Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Songs & Words about Mercy

  • Mercy Seat +

    Vicki Yohe gives a compelling description of the effect Christ’s love has on our sin. A song that shows us Read More
  • I'll Glorify His Holy Name: Ain't No Rock (MercyMe) +

    Ain't No Rock lyrics, originally performed by MercyMe-- Ain't no rock, gonna cry in my place as long as I'm Read More
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SylviaIsaiah 58:10b-12

Time and again God brings me to my knees over my heart attitude expressed out of my mouth. More than once, God has led me to fast of negative, critical, judgmental, and complaining words. Why a fast of words? Is that a legitimate application of fasting? The Hebrew word "fast" means to cover the mouth. For me, it is harder to fast from words than from food. Abstaining from negative words may be as powerful as fasting from food, because it is a particular battlefield for most of us.

A fast of words is one of the fasts in Isaiah 58. Isaiah 58:9b lists not pointing fingers in judgment and no wicked words as conditions of great blessings listed in verses 10b-12.

The first time God led me to fast for 40 days of all negative, complaining, critical, and judgmental words was one of the hardest experiences of my Christian life. The problem is not my mouth but my heart. Proverbs 4:23 says "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life

About two weeks into my fast, I was treated haughtily at a store. As I left the store, I said to myself, "I'll just take my business elsewhere. That is the second time she has had an attitude with me." Immediately I heard in my spirit, "No, you are the one with the attitude." I wanted to fall to my knees on the sidewalk, crying out, "Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips (Isa. 6:5). O God, take a coal from the altar and purge this wicked heart of mine." God showed me that He was dealing with a root of pride (Isa. 57:15, 1 Peter 5:5-6). I was puffed up, with no sense of my own spiritual need.

I struggled for a while in this fast of words, but God softened and sweetened my heart. After that season, I felt like a dog with an invisible electric fence. Every time I opened my mouth to say anything critical, I would get a check from my loving Father. Later I reviewed my prayer notebook and was amazed at how many Scriptural insights God gave me during that time. God was being faithful to reveal more of Himself.

For a while I have been keenly aware of living with a grateful heart, thankfully noting God touches great and small. Recently I read a devotional on a thankful heart. The author set up a contrast between thankfulness and negativity. He quoted Paul, when he said "And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroyer" (1 Corinthians 10:10). That puts the choice all of us have in very stark contrast: choose thankfulness in all things or choose sides with destruction.

Ask God if He is leading you to do a forty-day fast of critical, judgmental, negative, complaining, gossiping words. You may be amazed what God will do through it. At the very least, your family and friends may be amazed at the change in you, from destruction to blessing.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Eugene Peterson was one of America’s most beloved preachers. Let’s not miss his last sermon. +

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  • Eugene Peterson: 2009 Book of Faith Jubilee +

    Peterson discussed a wide range of topics with Diane Jacobson, Read More
  • Eugene Peterson: Journey with Jonah: Part 1 +

    This is part 1 of a 3 part series of lectures Eugene Peterson Read More
  • Eugene Peterson: Journey with Jonah: Part 2 +

    This is part 2 of Eugene Peterson's 1991 Simpson lecture Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • God's Healing Touch by Sylvia Gunter +

    Listen to God's word for you in Isaiah 42:3. "A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick Read More
  • The Healing Day by Bill Fay +

    It will be okay on the healing dayno more coldest placeon the healing day Read More
  • Inner Healing by Judith MacNutt +

    The following is a clip from a teaching at the MacNutt's Level I School. While brief, it provides a good Read More
  • Healing Ministry & Spiritual Warfare by Judith MacNutt +

    Judith MacNutt on the relationship between spiritual warfare and healing ministry. Read More
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