Journal Ps 17-18 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” (Ps 17:3)
Observation: Sometimes it is difficult to stay on one theme; multiple themes grab at my soul and I have to pay attention to one that speaks to me the most.
Analysis: When I think about all the times where my heart is tested; about all the times where sleep doesn’t come, and I toss and turn because my mind cannot, will not, turn off, I should call upon the Lord. However, like perhaps many, I don’t.
I can think and read the positive exclamations of the Lord being my Rock, my Fortress, my Deliverer. What is harder is to keep my mind steadfast on this when I am tired or despondent in any measure; I fluctuate, blown in the wind, captured by my physicality and/or my feelings.
What happens is that when I am in the flux zone, I can lose control of my tongue. Shucks, when I am just being me, I can lose control of my tongue. Why? Because I am not paying attention.
I spoke about this with someone yesterday: Successful crisis management comes from being prepared and preparing in the non-crisis times—when there is peace. Preparing in peacetime makes success in crisis time.
As I work through my salvation with fear and trembling; work through sanctification; work through walking worthy of the calling in which I have been called, it is my mouth that sins the most.
Oh, I know there is my mind, I am a sponge for sinful thought. But somehow that is not what the Scriptures addresses primarily. Do I want to analyze how I am doing as a disciple? What is in my heart is the stuff that bounds out of my mouth. What is the measure of my soul? It is what comes out of my mouth.
What does transgression with my mouth look like? I noticed that I wanted to write, “What does transgression OF my mouth…” but that isn’t right. I transgress and use my mouth to do it, my mouth is just the instrument.
Grumbling, complaining, lies, exaggeration, not making my “yes”, yes, trying to argue a position with my own feelings and reasoning—that is what transgression looks like; not taking the opportunity to renew my mind so my soul is aligned with the Scriptures so my REFLEX is His Word and, as much as it can be, God’s mind.
A guy I knew said once that a possible way to start is to emulate Jesus by this pattern: Saying what I need to say and following it with “for the Scriptures say….” A bit unwieldy, but the idea is there to copy.
There are a ton of suggestions, directions, etc. of what I need to do to be a successful disciple. Controlling the tongue, the mouth is certainly at the top part of the list…
Prayer: Father, I appreciate that you have driven and are driving this particular verse into my mind. It is hard to put a bridle, a fetter, on my mouth which wants to go wherever it wants; lie, boast, look for adulation or pity—all in the name of my self-esteem.
I am weak and need your strength, Holy Spirit, to give up that quest to satisfy myself for my longings. I am clay, mold me, shape me, into what You are looking for in me.
Bring revival, heal my land,