In continuing this series on overcoming fear and depression, we are talking about the need to watch the things we are constantly speaking over ourselves and our situations.
Revelation # 9 – WATCH YOUR MOUTH!
Friends, I don’t know how else to say this except to just say it:
Stop continually TALKING and PRAYING your FEAR, DEPRESSION and PROBLEMS.
I had a friend who for many years would always say “I’m so depressed.” It got to the point that he would involuntarily say it without thinking about it. There were times when I would ask, “What are you depressed about?” He would blink at me and say, “Oh, I don’t know. That just came out.” And you know what? He was depressed! Often! Every day he was setting himself up for a difficult day.
I had similar problems with my mouth for a long time. Half the time, I didn’t even realize how often I was thinking and speaking so negatively. And my prayers! I would constantly whine to God about how bad everything was, all the problems I had and how buried in problems I was. I didn't realize that the more I did that, the more I was digging myself deeper into a hole. So, speaking as someone who used to spew a LOT of unhappiness, depression and negativity out of her mouth PLUS spent hours meditating on the mess of it all, I am telling you with great love and compassion – just STOP.
The Bible has a lot to say about the words we continually SPEAK and the effect they can have on our lives. In my earlier life, I pretty much spit out whatever popped into my head, or however I was feeling at the moment. Most of it was negative and filled with poor expectations. Take a look at what Scripture says.
v. 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied.
The ancient Hebrew meanings of the words in that verse include these:
Fruit of the mouth – offspring, product
Stomach – referring to mind or body, like a womb, as in someone birthing something
Filled – having an excessive amount (of something)
Harvest – product or result (of lips)
Lips – speech, words, language
Satisfied – fulfilled, have one’s fill of
So this verse is saying: From the product of their mouth, a person’s stomach (mind and body) will give birth to an excessive amount (having their fill) of the result of their words and speech.
v. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
The ancient Hebrew meanings of the words in that verse include these:
Death – death, pestilence, destructions
Life – living, sustenance, prosperity, welfare
Tongue – speech, words, language
Eat its fruits – eat, consume, take in,
So this verse is saying: Death and destruction, AND life, sustenance, prosperity and welfare, are in the power (ability) of speech and words, and those who love (to use their tongues) shall consume the result of it (whatever they are continually saying).
In other words, if you are constantly speaking out negative, fearful and destructive words and expectations, you are literally drawing more of that negativity and destruction into your life. However, if you are speaking God's life-giving and positive promises as a believer, coupled by faith and trust in Him and His Word, then you are bringing God's power into your life and situations.
In Matthew 15:11, Jesus tells us that it is not what goes into a person’s mouth that defiles them [their life] but what comes out of their mouths because what a person constantly speaks out originates in their mind and heart, and according to Proverbs 18:20-21 (and many other Scriptures) whatever you are continually saying is going to give birth to something – either good or evil. (Also see Scriptures Proverbs 18:7 and Proverbs 21:23.)
We must learn to guard what comes out of our mouths, the words we speak. We have the ability with our mouths to either agree with what God says in His Word and to speak God’s Word over our lives (and to bless other people) - or we can agree with the anxious, negative and fearful thoughts the devil sends our way.
All through the Gospels, Jesus emphasized the importance of faith, and often asked people who wanted healing, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” to which they would verbally respond (most often yes!).
As one example, when Jesus was on His way to heal the synagogue ruler Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:34-36), and people came to tell Jairus that his daughter was dead, we read, “Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.” In seeing the same account written in Luke 8:50, we read, “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole."
We need to take lessons from the Lord. Notice “Overhearing but ignoring what they said,” and “keep on believing,” or “believe only.” So when problems, or the bad report, or the bad bank statement is staring you in the face, take the attitude of “I hear you, I see you, but I’m not going to let you move me off my faith and trust in God. I will keep believing.”
In Mark 6:5-6, it tells how Jesus went to His hometown of Nazareth, “And because of their unbelief, He [Jesus] couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place His hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”
I don’t know about you but I don’t want to amaze the Lord with my unbelief.
In Mark 11:24, Jesus says, "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
That word "RECEIVE" in the ancient Greek actually means "TO TAKE." So you ask, you believe, you TAKE it in your heart and mind as being done – you develop an attitude in yourself that you have it - and the Bible says you will have it. Of course, this means your request has to be in line with God's Word - for example, I would not expect God to answer my request to help me rob a bank. But if I have a need, God has said that He will supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19); for anything you need, look in God's Word to see what He says about it.
Additionally, Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”
So one of the BIG things I’ve learned with regard to dealing with and praying about depression and a whole host of other problems and issues in life: don’t keep talking and praying the problem. Don’t pray the fear. Don’t rehearse it over and over to your friends and family and God about how bad things are, how depressed you are, and how everything is falling apart. Understand – it is NOT that God is mad at you or that He does not care about your pain. But this kind of speech and “prayer” is not of faith – it is rooted in fear, and fear opens the door for the devil to come in with more fear, and it will invariably only entrench you deeper in your troubles.
The truth according to Scripture is that God has already DONE, HEALED, and PROVIDED everything for you in the Atonement that Jesus won for you. When Jesus cried “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant that His work on earth was done. The Atonement was complete. He provided everything we could ever need. That’s what salvation means; it includes eternal life with God but, as we’ve seen from other teachings in this series, it also covers everything we as His children could need on earth. As salvation is a free gift that we can either receive or reject, everything that is part of salvation is also a gift that we can either receive or reject.
Part of our job on earth is to learn to believe God and close the door on unbelief, doubt and fear. We accomplish this by renewing our minds to God’s Word. When we fill our minds with God’s Word and His wonderful promises, we will begin to see things the way God does. We will begin to trust God more and take Him at His Word. As we renew our minds according to what God has said, our hearts and minds will begin to fill up with God’s perspective and peace from His Word (replacing the negativity and fear) and we will begin to speak God’s Word over our lives with more faith and confidence and trust. As we speak God’s Word, the power of His Word transforms our lives and situations.
So remember – don’t constantly parrot the negativity around you. Fill yourself up and strengthen yourself with the Word of God, and say what God says about your life and situations! By all means, tell God about your needs or troubles or problems. Pour out your heart to Him if you are struggling. The Lord is full of love and compassion for you. But once you have poured out your heart to Him and told Him about your need, don’t stop there… look into His Word for His promises that relate to your need, meditate on them often and speak them out, pray them, and then trust the Lord; move into faith and start praising Him for the answer that you know is on the way because He is faithful.
Until the next posting in this series, be blessed!
For Part 1 of this blog Overcoming Fear & Depression, look here:
This blog is part of an overall Walking by Faith series that began on April 12, 2013. The introductory blog link is below, and blogs in the series follow from there in numbered order: