A Horse is a Horse, Of Course

"If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well." James 3:3

Do you ever put your foot in your mouth?  For me, it seems to be daily, hourly.  If my mouth is open, my foot is in it more times than I care to admit, and I am chewing.

If you remember the old television program, Mister Ed, you remember that this talking horse had a tendency toward putting his hoof in his mouth, too.

As I've been praying and asking God to refine me, this is one of the areas He has convicted me is in need of change.  Often I am silent when I should speak up, and other times I run my mouth when I should be quiet. Yet, trying in my own strength always seems to end in failure.

One morning, I was crying out to God about it and He reminded me of all the things His Word says about my speech--all the things that are truth and will lead to victory.

The one most important thing I must do is purify my heart.  Luke 6:45 says, "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."  I can do all the thinking I want before I speak, but if my heart and its intentions are not pure, I will fail.

It's really that simple.

But, is it . . . simple?  Yes, if we are trusting in Him.

Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees to clean the inside of the cup and plate so that the outside may also be clean (Matthew 23:26).  And, the only way our insides--our heart--can be pure is through repentance and choosing to obey Him in every single moment, every circumstance, every decision, and yes, every word. 

Purify the heart, and the tongue will follow.  Jesus told those He healed to, "Go and sin no more."  We do this by choosing to trust and obey.

"And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself."   James 3:6

In this season where we must diaper our faces to enter many a public place, I find it apropos.  Perhaps we could use this time to apply God's filter to our hearts, as well.

Goodnight, Runners.


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