“The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” Isaiah 50:4
Purpose. Purpose. Purpose. This is how Jesus spoke.
Continuing to cover this verse in Isaiah, we see that Jesus never used words in a flyaway fashion. With everything He spoke, it was either with a purpose, for a purpose, or to fulfill a purpose – or all three in one.
When we think of “with a purpose”, we can think along the lines of healing, miracles, and deliverances. Jesus, in those instances, spoke with the intent to deliver an individual from some illness, or spiritual oppression, or to perform a miracle such as the feeding of the five thousand.
When we think in terms of “for a purpose”, we can think along the lines of the parables He taught. In those instances, He spoke for His audience to gain a greater understanding of something, particularly Kingdom principles.
And, when we think in terms of Jesus speaking to “fulfill a purpose”, we can easily associate this with prophecies such as the one He spoke from the cross: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Those exact words open the Messianic psalm found in Psalm 22:1.
Jesus used His words with exactness and preciseness. In this chosen verse in Isaiah, we see His words were carefully chosen “that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.” The right words at the right time, especially for the weary worn, are a special kind of sweetness to a soul that dreadfully needs it. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones,” and nobody could do this better than the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “…the word that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” (John 6:63).
Becoming more aware of the intentionality of our words can help us to use our speech in a way that mimics that of our Savior. Words without aim tend to get us in trouble. The Bible encourages us that “He that hath knowledge spareth his words. . .” (Proverbs 17:27), while opposite that it warns, “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin. . .” (Proverbs 10:19a).
A wise person, Proverbs continues to teach, is one that “that refraineth his lips” (Proverbs 10:19b). Not only does this one refrain speech from being unnecessary and unprofitable but a person who acts with this sort of discipline can also be seen as one who will train their words.
Previously, I wrote,
“James gives us the best possible illustrations of the power of the tongue by referencing it to two things we can easily understand. In James 3:3-4 he writes, “Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.” Through these two examples using a horse and a ship, James shows that mankind has down through the years discovered ways to bring these powerful objects under control.
Both of these instruments are used for control. They both direct the course of which way the operator wants each to go, be it a rider or the governor.Both are great examples of how these large and strong objects can be made to comply with the will of him who is controlling that little, vital piece. If these little things under proper control can move great objects into obeisance at its master’s will, what more of the little tongue?” (Word for Life Says/ Don’t Speak Against the Destiny God Has For You!)
We may sometimes struggle with guiding our tongue in which way to go, but Jesus’ tongue was always controlled with purpose and aim, and just as His Father, those words were spoken with the intention to see them fulfilled (Isaiah 55:11).
We have the power to discipline our speech, to train our words in which way they should go. The Holy Spirit is our guide and if we are actively applying the fruit of the Spirit principles found in Galatians 5:22-23, the whole of our lives, including the way we speak, will have a good aim and be filled with good purposes.
How we direct our mouths is up to us. When our lips part to speak, may they speak the same way Jesus would.
This three-part mini-series is adapted from a Sunday School Lesson I previously published titled 4 Ways to Use Words Better. You can click on that link if you are looking for a deeper study on this topic.
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