The Measure Of A Perfect ManHandbook 3: Article 39 - Every Thought Captive

"Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment (or greater condemnation). For we all stumble in many ways. If any one does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well."

James 3:1, 2

It is also the measure of a priest of the kingdom:

"True instruction was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found on his lips... For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for He is the messenger of the Lord of hosts."

Malachi 2:6, 7

How did Jesus know what to say to the world and to us? How did He speak living, active words that pierce us to our depths, words that divide our soul and spirit, words that expose the thoughts and the intentions of the heart? And how did He know what words would comfort our aching and ailing hearts, revive our sagging spirits, strengthen our feeble and trembling faith, draw us to Him in love and obedience? The following Scripture has come up so many times now on my journey through the Revelation, it must be extremely important. Listen to the words one more time.

"...the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world... I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me..."

John 8:26, 28

Jesus did not try to serve and please His Father by His own witness. Before He spoke He was spoken to. This must also be true of me. Before I dare speak in His name, I must be spoken to. If Jesus had spoken on His own initiative there would have been death, not life, in His words. If I speak when God does not require it and even if at that moment Scripture should pour effortlessly and beautifully from my lips, I can be certain that there will be death in my words.

Remember Isaiah? When Isaiah saw God in His glory he caught a terrible glimpse of himself -- he was a man of unclean lips, his words were ruining him. Then a wondrous gift was given to him -- God cleansed his lips and forgave his careless words. And he heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Who will go for Us?"

God chooses who will speak for Him, He gives that one His words to say. But:

"...those lips must be under the authority of the King... they must not speak at random or uncontrolled."

Watchman Nee

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