The Spirit Helps Us Speak Creative Words of Energy and Life
Matthew tells us: Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” Matthew 12: 22-24
Demonic activity robbed the man of sight and speech. And Jesus,
whom the Apostle John calls the Word, restored speech to him.
In Genesis, God’s first words, Let there be light create beauty
and life. And Satan’s deceitful words cause sadness and strife.
Our words, too, can be creative, bringing energy and inspiration,
or destructive, bringing discouragement, defeat, and misery:
word-swords which cut down, millstones which grind down.
The Apostle James writes, Consider what a great forest is set on fire
by a small spark. The tongue also can set the whole course of one’s life on fire.
Fire! I’ve seen people lose precious friendships and relationships
through angry words and emails. I have done so myself.
So how do we use our words to bring light, energy, and life,
not darkness and heaviness? We must pray for the promise
in Ezekiel, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit
in you.” “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon
you, and you will be changed into a different person,” Samuel
promises Saul. ‘And God changed Saul’s heart.” Just like that.
The Spirit comes when we are hungry, and we ask for him,
Jesus says, and he changes our minds, emotions, and spirit. For
He is, as the prophet Isaiah writes, the Spirit of wisdom,
of understanding and knowledge. His fruits are love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control. A new personality.
We can accelerate our experience of the Spirit through the ancient
practice of breath prayers as we go about our errands, housework,
gardening, and walks. Exhale: “Lord, I confess my anger and faithless
stress.” Inhale, “Come Holy Spirit of peace.” Exhale, “Lord,
I give you my turbulence.” Inhale, “Come, Holy Spirit of wisdom.”
Use simple practices to control your words. I’ve started using a
count-up timer when I am feeling critical and naggy in family life,
waiting seven minutes before I speak, which, then, I often don’t.
I now take 24 hours before responding to stressful emails.
The Spirit may graciously fill us in response to our prayers
faster than we imagine. God blessed Aaron’s staff in the Book
of Numbers; it budded, blossomed, and bore fruit overnight.
Come, Holy Spirit, fire of energy and love, change us. Amen.