I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. Jeremiah 1:5-10 (KJV)
I love verse 9: “The LORD put forth his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold I have put my words in thy mouth.” Think of what Jeremiah accomplished after he became God’s mouthpiece. He was called to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant. That’s a powerful mission, no small assignment. Through our prayers and witness we can do the same. We need the Lord to touch our mouths and put His words in our mouths so that we pray out God’s will. God’s Spirit wants to flow through us as rivers of living water. We must believe this, and as the days darken we must learn to be His voice and speak His truth in love. Don’t hesitate like Moses. Moses hesitated to accept the mantle of leadership, saying he was slow of speech. But God reminded him:
Who gave human beings their mouths? …Is it not I, the LORD? Now go; I will help you speak… Exodus 4:11-12 (NIV)
The original language literally says that He would “be with his mouth”. God wants to speak through you.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. 1 Peter 4:11 (NIV)
Speak as though God Himself were speaking through you. Are you God’s mouthpiece in a world that desperately needs to hear His voice? If you examine a musical instrument such as a trombone or clarinet, you will notice that an important aspect of their makeup is the mouthpiece. Yet that mouthpiece is totally useless without a musician. Likewise, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to breathe in us and speak through us.
Peter and John were arrested by the authorities in Jerusalem for speaking out about Jesus. Facing the same religious court that had condemned Jesus to death, Peter (the same Peter who had been so terrified of the opinions of others during the trials of Jesus that he had denied His Lord three times), now filled with the Holy Spirit, boldly proclaimed Jesus Christ as the One…
…whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead… Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12 (NIV)
The authorities were astonished (verse 13). After consultation among themselves they charged John and Peter not to speak at all in the name of Jesus. The disciples’ reply was this:
…we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. Acts 4:20 (NIV)
It’s impossible. If only we had the same courage, the same conviction, the same compulsion to speak out rather than abdicating our responsibility.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the good news of Jesus Christ. As we proclaim Jesus as the hope of Ireland and the world, help us to be loving yet bold, compassionate yet courageous. Deliver us from shirking our responsibility and keeping silent when our world is in such desperate need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.