Willful Words

“Set a watch (guard), O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my mouth” PSALM 141:3

Most honorable of prayers and desires of the Lord. Our words truly can be of life or of death as the Bible so clearly tells us. Ours words can hold encouragement and hope and our words can tear down and destroy. We are also told that by and through the words of God we are kept from the destroyer, but how about we our OWN words can be that vehicle of destruction?

This is truly not about “speaking over”, although I do believe we should speak hope over all things and it is not a hit on lashing out, God knows I have made more than enough mistakes with my own mouth and immediately felt such conviction that there wasn’t a rock I could hide under and we all know that sorry, no matter how sincere those words are, can never go back and change the hurt that has been done.

No, this about the need for us to be so careful, so thoughtful in ALL we say, and taking a moment, especially in times of hurt, sorrow, and anger to just not say anything because those gushed out words of woe will undoubtedly come flying back home, when we least want to be visited. It is not just anger, it is times of “lack” and confusion and the temptation to pronounce all sorts of horror over your own life, especially in the areas of that it has always been that way and always will be that way and that alone is defeat and it is not the devil’s doing, maybe he is pulling the strings but when you feel that tug, think of Jesus and SPEAK not a word.

Again, I am not into the “speaking” thing, if  a request is NOT God’s will, we can “speak” until the cows come home and it is still not going to happen. But we do need to be careful not to speak discouragement because that is the first sign of “heart” trouble, we are only relying what we feel, but we can’t afford to feel failure and defeat, because it will “become us”. 

“My son, if thou be surety (collateral) for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art SNARED with the words of thy mouth, thou art TAKEN with the words of thy mouth.” PROVERBS 6:1,2

We can be snared, trapped, and hindered by our own words and words spoken with, to, and on the behalf of others. I want to show you the power of these proclamations, the regret, and the unbreakable bind they do bring.

First, we’ll go to the book of Judges and learn the valuable lesson of WAITING on the Lord and not prematurely vowing things to Him, God loves us, it is His good pleasure to give us victories, even maybe when victories don’t look exactly like we thought they would, but this story is a good warning to all of us.

Jephthah wanted victory and he wanted assurance of that victory, JUDGES 11:30-35: “And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, if thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands.

Then shall it be, that WHATSOEVER cometh forth of the doors of MY HOUSE to MEET ME, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, SHALL SURELY BE THE LORDS, AND I WILL OFFER IT UP FOR A BURNT OFFERING.”

Needless to say, he had his victory, but GOD HAD NEVER ASKED HIM TO MAKE A VOW, remember that, this was his own freewill that had been talking, drop down to verse thirty-four:

“And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto HIS HOUSE, and behold, HIS DAUGHTER CAME OUT TO MEET HIM with timbrels and with dances; and SHE WAS HIS ONLY CHILD; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

And it came to pass, when he saw her, he rent (tore) his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art as one that trouble me: FOR I HAVE OPENED MY MOUTH UNTO THE LORD, AND I CANNOT GO BACK.”

He was bound by his words, words that were never required of him but tragically binding nevertheless. Many other examples, but I want to use this one:

MARK 6:17-26: “For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias sake, his brother Philip’s wife, for he had married her (so it was to appease her) For John had said unto Herod, it is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him, but she could not, For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy (holy man) and observed (protected) him, he did many things, and HEARD HIM GLADLY. 

And when a CONVENIENT day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, and pleased Herod and THEM THAT SAT WITH HIM, the king SAID unto the damsel, ASK OF ME WHATSOEVER THOU WILT, AND I WILL GIVE IT TO THEE.

And he SWARE unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt asked of me, I will give thee, up top half the kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by (at once) in a  charger (on a platter) the head of John the Baptist.


And we all know that would be the earthly end of the prophets prophet and a sorrow even today. But do you notice that it was a “convenient” time for the evil to break forth and notice that Herod had SAID this in front of all his friends and also that because of HIS word and the fact that he had spoken and given his promise in front of them, HE HAD TO LIVE UP TO THAT VOW. He had GLADLY listened to John and was keeping his wife happy by locking him up but he was also keeping John alive and through his OWN mouth, he signed John’s death warrant.

ECCLESIASTES 5:4,6: “When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer (delay) not to pay it; for his has no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. BETTER IS IT THAT THOU SHOULDEST NOT VOW, THAN THAT THOU SHOULDEST VOW AND NOT PAY.


Scary business? We’ve been given the stories above and many others that we could go to prove just how scary it is and the one making the vows wasn’t the only one that suffered the consequence.

Whether it is anger, distress, hurt, passion, whatever the reason do not let your own words cause the train wreck that destroys your own happiness. Never say never, as the saying goes because what we stubbornly proclaimed we would never do is usually the very first thing that happens.

God NEVER asks for deals, it is easy in the moment to promise a list of works you will complete on His behalf in gratitude for salvation, BUT HE DOES NOT ASK YOU TO DO THAT, so don’t.  For your own good.

Unless it is something that you know you can only give up by vowing it to him and are willing to honor that promise, because it can be quite a deterrent to a hard to overcome behavior. But don’t think you have to vow to get something, God blesses you BECAUSE that is His nature toward His children. 

Be patient, We are all works in progress.. let Him work and see the goodness of God, IN HIS TIME, he “maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it” so don’t let words and actions add sorrow that He had never intended.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016