Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How to Clean Your Mouth:Soap or Hot Coals?-Day 9 Negativity Fast

Day 9 of our 30 day negativity fast. It is our second week. Back on day four of our negativity fast I blogged about the Anatomy of the Mouth. In that post we revealed that there is a hidden component of your mouth which controls it's functions. "Taking a fast from negative words is not merely a physical exercise of controlling the motion of our mouth, but rather tending to the condition of our hearts." I asked a question, how do we tend to our hearts.

Through the years there have been several tactics used to attempt to clean up our speech. One of prominence is washing the mouth out with soap. I have also heard of people putting hot sauce on the tongue or making the transgressor drink Castor Oil. All of these means can instigate change, embed anger, or completely clean out your digestive system but can it get at that hidden component of the heart?

In Isaiah 6:5-8 (NIV) I found another method instituted by God and delivered by an angel: "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs (an angel) flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

During this first eight days of this negativity fast I hope you have come to the realization that it is impossible to rid your speech, thoughts, actions, and attitudes of negativity in your own strength. Some of us have probably felt like Isaiah in the above passage, a person of unclean lips and living among people with unclean lips. We can also glean from this passage a key prerequisite to having a successful negativity fast. We must have our hearts purged of sin in order to have our mouth cleansed of negative words.

Before a Holy God our best attempts are seen as unclean (Isaiah 64:6) and our need for help is exposed like a roach when the lights are turned on.

Hot coals represent purging, cleansing and pardoning. To be considered acceptable to God an unclean thing must go through purification. In this case it was Isaiah's mouth. In our case it is our mouth by way of our hearts!

The hot coals are not meant to burn your lips but rather clean your heart,
-they are not meant to scar your mouth but heal your heart,
-they are not meant to hinder your speech but qualify and bring life to your words,
-they are not meant to brand your guilt but pardon your sin.

God's word is like a fire Jeremiah 23:29. The Holy Spirit works as fire, Matt. 3:11. God's method for cleaning up our speech thoughts and actions are done by a means that effects us at the heart and conscience level. Read below:
Hebrews 9:13-14 (CEV)
According to the Law of Moses, those people who become unclean are not fit to worship God. Yet they will be considered clean, if they are sprinkled with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a sacrificed calf. But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That's why his blood is much more powerful and makes our consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.

God wants your speech to produce life but it can only happen if it comes from a good heart that has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. In the eyes of God there is only one acceptable sacrifice for our back biting, evil, slanderous, pessimistic, doubtful, and sinful words, thoughts, and actions (Heb. 10:14). God provided this sacrifice, His only son who was sinless and pure. Jesus was tempted at all points yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). The clean was given for the unclean. At a conscious level you can receive power to bless others from a pure heart if you put your faith and trust in Jesus and His finished work on the cross.

Don't attempt to do this Negativity Fast in your own strength. Surrender your heart to Christ and allow the Spirit of God to give you a new heart which will give you new speech with no soap required.

Join in as we fast from negative words for 30 days. I wrote 15 viable reasons to join this campaign in a previous post. Entire churches are joining, small groups, corporate offices, classrooms, families, teams, etc. are all joining in. This campaign will change your life! It is the right thing to do.

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