“For who among them has stood in the council of the Lord to see and to hear his word, or who has paid attention to his word and listened?.. If they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.” “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” “At Iconium they entered together into the Jewish synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord… The people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles… They continued to preach the gospel… ‘We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.’ When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith.” Jeremiah 23:18,22; Mark 9:7; Acts 14:1-4,7,15,21-22
The tongue is a marvelous gift, and when employed by the Lord, can have great positive influence in and for His kingdom. But God has placed some parameters that our tongues be used for good, not evil, for as powerful as they are, they can effect destruction as readily as spiritual growth and transformation. (James 3:1-8)
The apostles taught the gospel with remarkable impact, proclaiming truth in such a way that its light broke through resistance, shattered preconceptions, turned upside down false gods. The word itself is powerful to cut deep, expose souls and sin, and when spoken clearly will have its God-ordained result. Our responsibility is to know it, and deliver it boldly. (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12)
Jeremiah, in denouncing false prophets, gives the secret for true prophets that we can apply today. A sponge can’t be casually tossed in a full sink, quickly grabbed out, and be wet enough to do much good. It must be plunged deep, have time to soak, to absorb water, in order to be of use. It takes deliberation, time, focus, to stand in God’s council to see and listen to His word, to pay attention and meditate on its meaning.
Would I speak for my Lord? My desire, my boldness, my best intentions, must all be immersed in His word. I must wait on His word and be faithful to proclaim; it is the Lord alone Who takes care of response and result. Some will receive, some will resist, some will flatly reject. God is the One Who tends the heart soil and brings about growth and change. (Matthew 13:1-23; 1 Corinthians 3:6)
Lord God, fill me with truth, and season my tongue with grace, that with Your voice I may speak all the words You command, holding nothing back. Have Your way and be glorified with all results. (Jeremiah 26:2,14; Colossians 4:6)