And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord (1 Sam 3:19-21).
A short while ago, I was ordained as a minster with the Assemblies of God. During the sermon leading up to the event, our District Superintendent Don Miller (who is one of the most amazing men of God I know) preached a sermon about being a man of God. In that sermon, he talked about Samuel and how, because of the anointing God put on him, through him the word of God was heard again in Israel.
And as he read this passage, the Spirit highlighted the phrase, “And the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” And I prayed, “Lord, may it be so with me. Do not let my words be wasted, but uphold them!”
And the Spirit replied, “Are your words worth it?”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:4-5).
This was a time of huge conviction for me. The truth is, my words are not always worth it. If God were to refuse to let them fall to the ground, if He upheld them, many things would go very wrong.
Not very much in public. But in private? When I’m frustrated playing a hard video game and everything goes wrong even though I did everything right? Are my words then worth upholding?
When I’m driving in my car and the person in front of me is going ten mph slower than the speed limit and won’t let me around them (unavoidable in Springfield, MO). Are my words then worth letting none of them fall to the ground?
The thoughts in my head when someone does something I find offensive, or demeaning. Are they worth making true?
The answer was no. I am a man of unclean lips.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless (James 1:26).
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body (James 3:1-2).
… out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks (Luke 6:45b).
Why is the Bible so concerned about our words? Why do our words matter so much? Because your mouth and your heart are directly linked! What is in your heart is what comes out of your mouth. And if you can control your tongue, you control your heart, and thus your whole body.
How often have you wished for the gift of prophecy, to know the mind of God and be able to speak it out? How often have you wished that God would not let the words of your mouth fall to the ground?
Consider your words. Are they worth it?
Not just what you say to other people (though do not neglect them!), but the words you say in private. When no one else is around to judge you, what are your words?
What are the words in your heart, before they even reach your mouth?
Are they worth upholding? If God refused to let them fall to the ground, how would that shape the world around you?
Are you speaking words of life? Or do you speak death?