Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What My Tongue Has Won Me

This is the week before Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Like most people who observe the Bibical Feasts of YHVH, I have begun deep cleaning the house in an effort to remove any leaven that is in the house.  As I clean the house, I try to pray, asking Father to reveal to me any unconfessed sin (leaven) in my heart.  This is our third year of keeping the Feasts, and so far Father has not failed to answer my prayer.  This year, however, has been the hardest for me.  

Since my family and I have started observing the Feasts of YHVH, I have noticed an increase in spiritual warfare leading up to the Feasts.  As I was praying earlier today, once again crying out in remorse over what the Father had revealed to me, I told Him that I can't blame this one on Satan!  

I remember the second year of deep cleaning the house in preparation for Unleavened Bread, I found something with leaven in it that was at the bottom of our deep freezer.  I had overlooked it the year before, which means that during the week of Unleavened Bread, I still had not completely rid the house of all the leaven!  I was mortified!  However, it proved to be a learning experience for me: No matter how thoroughly I think I have examined my heart, there can always be something there that I have overlooked. 

 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
         Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
         And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24

So far this year the Father has reminded me of the ramifications of an unbridled tongue.  It has been brought to my attention that something I said out of anger years ago made a very negative impact on someone whom I dearly love.  Unfortunately this isn't the first time my tongue has been the source of pain.  

When I was child, my tongue won me multiple spankings. 
In elementary school, my tongue won me a beating from a boy in class. 
In middle school, my tongue won me my first visit to the principal's office. 
In high school, my tongue won me even more visits to the principal's office. 
As a young adult, my tongue won me a show-down with my mother, which led to each of us slapping the other. 
As an adult, my tongue won me the opportunity to see hurt expressed on the faces of those to whom I lashed out. 

Overall, I would say my tongue has won me major losses. 

Rash speaking is like piercings of a sword, 
But the tongue of the wise is healing.
Proverbs 12:18

 And the tongue is a fire, the world of unrighteousness. 
Among our members the tongue is set, 
the one defiling the entire body, 
and setting on fire the wheel of life, 
and it is set on fire by Gehenna.
For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
But no man is able to tame the tongue. 
It is unruly, evil, filled with deadly poison.
James 3:6-8

So now I am faced with the daunting task of seeking forgiveness.  Thankfully, the person I hurt has already extended their forgiveness.  Thankfully I know that Father has forgiven me because He promises in His Word: If we confess our sins, He is trustworthy and righteous to forgive us the sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9). No, the hard part is forgiving myself.  The hard part is finally learning the lesson of the power of the tongue and how to bridle it!  

For the most part I have finished cleaning out the leaven in the house this year.  So far Father has been faithful to point out the sin in my heart that I have overlooked all this time.  Hopefully, that is all there is.  But who knows? Father knows.  If there is more sin in my heart, will He reveal it to me this year? Part of me hopes not, because I am not sure that I can bear it, not when I am still bearing the pain of hurting someone I love. Yet, maybe it would be good to own up to everything at once.  Again, I don't know. Father knows. 

 Create in me a clean heart, O Elohim, 

And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, 
And do not take Your Set-apart Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your deliverance, 
And uphold me, Noble Spirit!
Psalm 51:10-12

I have said,“Let me guard my ways Against sinning with my tongue; Let me guard my mouth with a muzzle...”  
Psalm 39:1 


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