Tongue-Tied for Jesus
Exodus 4:11-12 – The Lord said to him, “Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
Luke 12:11-12 – “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
In Exodus 4, God called Moses to be his mouthpiece. Moses would represent God to both the Egyptians as well as the Israelites. Moses would speak on God’s behalf and utter the very message God told him to pass on. Some believe that, when Moses first declined God's offer, he was practicing false humility, common in his day. Others believe he wasn't very eloquent and was simply scared. Who knows? Whatever the reason, it seems plausible he may have been a bit overwhelmed at the prospect of speaking to Pharaoh. Who wouldn’t?
I’ve been there. Such fear comes from relying too much upon myself and not enough on God. God says as much with these words,
“Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? (verse 11)
God’s the sovereign One in the equation, not me. Our Lord made a similar point in Luke 12 when he told his disciples they would be persecuted for following him. How would they respond when they were caught and tried by the authorities? How would they reply to the charges? Just think of the pressure and stress. Would fear overcome them? Or would they find the right words at the right moment?
Jesus told them not to worry about such things. He said,
“When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, (verse 11)
Our Default Excuse
Over the years there have been many people who have told me they do not share their faith because they are “afraid they won’t know what to say.” How often have we remained silent when we could and should have lovingly confronted a friend or family member for a particular sin in their lives? How many times have we avoided offering counsel to someone making a major life-decision because the pressure was simply too great? We’re afraid we’ll get tongue-tied for Jesus.
Those, and other examples, are often the result of leaning too heavily upon our own abilities (or fearing our inabilities) rather than trusting God and his Spirit to speak through us. But notice the reasons both
God the Father in Exodus, and Jesus in Luke’s Gospel, give for placing our trust in God:
Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” (Exodus 4:12)
for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:12)
Trust God and Speak
You see, God never requires anything from us for which he does not also equip us. God wants us to witness to unbelievers as well as to minister to fellow believers. We are his hands and feet. More than that, we are his voice. We are not called to share our own opinions, however, but his words and counsel. Of course, if we aren’t listening to God through prayer and the study of his Word, then it is indeed doubtful we will have much to offer anyone.
And yet, as we dig into his Word and meditate upon what he has revealed to us, we will hear not only what he is saying to us, but also what he wants us to share with others. And that’s more than worth our effort.
· Have you ever been frozen in fear of what to say to someone who asked you why you were a Christian?
· Or, have you not known how to counsel a friend who asked you for advice concerning a tough life-situation?
· Did either of those experiences make you more or less likely to “speak for God” when future opportunities presented themselves? Why?
· Do you think you were leaning too heavily upon yourself? Your abilities?
· A mentor of mine once told me there was no shame in being asked a question for which I did not have an answer… the first time. However, he said, we never want to be asked the same question again without having prepared ourselves to answer it. What are three things you can start doing today to prepare yourself to better communicate God’s truth to another person when the next opportunity presents itself?
Heavenly Father, I am grateful you have promised to always be with me. I am also thankful that both of today’s Scripture verses indicate you will speak through me when I have opportunities to be your ambassador to others. Please give me your peace and help me to not worry about how eloquent or clever I come across to others. Instead, let my greatest concern be to represent you faithfully out of love for others. Remind me that it will be your Holy Spirit and not my abilities that will bring a person to Christ or provide direction or comfort at the needed moment. And while you still call me to be a part of what you’re doing in the lives of others, let me remember to trust in you at all times and not presume it’s all up to me. And lastly, gracious Lord, encourage and humble me with the truth that if you can speak through the mouth of a donkey, you can speak even through me. In Christ I pray. Amen.
This Week’s Prayer Guide
[You can use this prayer guide in your own personal prayer time. However, I encourage you to use it with a group of Christian men. Each week you should spend time praising God for who he is, confessing your sin to him (be specific) as well as expressing gratitude to him for his gracious forgiveness. Also, don’t forget to thank God for the many ways he has poured out his goodness in your life. Then, focus on the following areas of supplication, which will change from week to week.]
Petitions – prayers for yourself
· Give me greater love for those who are hard to love.
· Help me to be compassionate and kind to those in need, even when it’s inconvenient.
· Pour out upon me your courage and boldness to love those who do not know you and to share with them your Gospel, in word and deed.
· Today’s events and interactions with others, planned and unplanned
· Other needs
Intercession – prayers for others
· My family
· My family and friends who do not have a saving relationship with Christ
· For those in my other spheres of influence who do not know Christ
· For evangelists around our city, country, and world who risk much in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who are lost
· Other needs
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