Don’t undo your blessing with your mouth!
And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak, (Matthew 12:36).
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been a follower of Jesus for 50 years now, but I am absolutely appalled at some of the things I hear people say. Yes, the people in movies and popular songs use offensive language more and more, but that’s not what I’m talking about. It’s the things I hear fellow believers say that shocks and saddens me. Some of them do use the language of movies and popular songs, revealing the old computer programmer principle: garbage in, garbage out. But I’m not even really talking about that. I believe that as they follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will clean up their language.
What I’m talking about is a different kind of language that is even more insidious: faithless talk. Now, I’m not saying that these believers don’t have faith. I know that they do. But their mouths reveal a shallow kind of faith: one that trusts God for the sweet by-and-by, but not for today’s needs.
“None of my prayers are being answered!”
Of course not! If you’re saying that, your guardian angel is reporting back to God like this: “She says that none of her prayers are answered.” So the angel doesn’t bring you back God’s blessings that you’ve been praying for because of what it hears you saying. Angels are completely humorless and very literal. They will do for you as they hear you professing and confessing. They don’t understand that you’re just joking when you say, “I forgot to bring an umbrella, so of course it’s going to rain!” They are under orders from God to listen to you and help you. If your angel hears you say, “I never seem to have any money at the end of the month,” you have effectively tied its hands and it cannot help you. In fact, if the angel did something different from what it hears you say, then it has disobeyed God’s orders.
Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation, (Hebrews 1:14, emphasis mine).
“It [the bad situation] must have been God’s will to teach me patience in suffering.”
That may be exactly the reason for the bad situation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It might be that allowing the bad situation was the only way that God could get you to quit rushing around and to listen to Him. We have been so conditioned by this world to do, do, do, that sometimes we forget that the most important thing on our daily agenda is to spend time in God’s presence. So don’t just do something, pray!
“I’m just praying for God’s will.”
This sounds so pious. It’s like saying: I’m praying, but letting God decide how He wants to answer. Friends, this kind of prayer takes no faith whatsoever. This is a lazy and unbelieving prayer. God responds to faith, but this is manipulation more than it is faith. This is “Jesus take the wheel,” not faith.
This next one is even more lazy than the faithless prayer:
“Will you pray for me? I need to know whether I should . . . or not.”
The reason I say that this one is even more lazy is because if you have a relationship with Jesus, then you should be able to get your answer straight from Him. You shouldn’t need an intermediary every time you need to make a decision.
If you are unable to hear from God you:
- Don’t have enough of God’s Word in your heart and mind;
- Are rushing through your prayer time;
- Are filling up your prayer time with your own words instead of taking time to listen; or possibly . . .
- Have failed to act on the last thing God told you to do.
That last one is rebellion. If you can still do the thing God told you to do, you should do it immediately. If it’s no longer possible, then you need to confess it, repent for not obeying, and obey immediately the next time He tells you to do something. Nothing will stop you from hearing God’s voice like disobedience.
“I feel called to the mission field, but . . .”
Friends, everything that follows that “but” is wrong, lack of faith, and disobedient.
- . . . I’ve got kids.
Really? You think that God doesn’t know that you have kids? If God calls parents to the mission field, then He’s also calling the kids. And often the kids are better at sharing their faith than their parents are. Your kids can tell your cranky neighbor that he needs Jesus—and he’ll actually listen to them. Some of the most amazing missionaries I know grew up as MK’s (missionary kids—though it is not a guarantee, of course).
- . . . I can’t just pick up and go.
Really? And you think that you can tell God Almighty no? As one who did that, I can tell you, things are so much better when you do them God’s way. It’s a good thing for me that God is very, very merciful because although I walked a very tough and painful path (of my own choosing), He didn’t punish me like my disobedience deserved.
- . . . where am I going to get the money?
When God tells you to go somewhere, He will always supply the means necessary to get you there. If you find the faith to go despite not having the money, then you will also find that God is faithful. He will never let you down.
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:19, emphasis mine).
“*sigh* All we can do is pray.”
Whenever I hear this I want to shout: “Hallelujah! Now God can finally work in this situation!” Why do we use prayer as a last resort? I’ve gotten into the habit of taking everything, every situation, every person, every need: both great and small straight to my Heavenly Father who cares intimately and infinitely for me. And do you know how God often responds?
I will answer them before they even call to Me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! (Isaiah 65:24, emphasis mine).
Many times I have seen the answer before I’ve finished praying. I think God does far more this for people who use prayer as their first resort. So what kinds of things do I pray about? Everything! I’m always surprised when people tell me (with an embarrassed tone): “I pray for a good parking place.” I not only pray for a good parking place, but I proclaim that God has given me a parking anointing. Now, sometimes I get a parking place that is where I want it. Other times I get a parking place where I need to be, but didn’t know it. For example, I have found people’s wallets by my parking place (who better to return the wallet intact than someone who will also return everything that’s inside of it, too?). Other times I have parked farther away because there was someone I needed to meet on the walk to or from the place I’m going.
Not only do I have a parking anointing, I also have a transportation anointing. I started proclaiming this before I actually saw it: proclaiming and thanking God for a transportation anointing. And after consistently doing this, I was soon arriving at bus stops just before the arrival of the bus, and often finding a seat when I needed one. Whenever I missed a bus, train, or flight I looked around to see what the Kingdom Purpose for missing it might be. Often there would be someone I needed to talk to or pray with. And always there would be an extra measure of grace (and funds) for replacing the ticket. And I believe that the reason I received that extra measure of grace is because I never got upset about a missed conveyance. I kept my mind Kingdom focused.
That’s the secret in a nutshell:
Keep your mind Kingdom-Focused!
And never forget: God is good!
 And of course that process will be helped by them spending more and more time in God’s Word and in God’s presence.
 See the whole chapter to understand the context. And remember never, ever tell the angels what to do. Instead, ask God for angelic help. The godly angels take their orders only from God.
 Again, read from verse 10 to understand the context.