Tongues of Fire

By G.P. Avants

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

    Romans 12:21

Communication is an amazing gift. I had heard it say that 90% of our communication is our body language, actions, and activities, while only 10% are the words we use. But as the tongue is one of the smallest parts of our body, it wields a power that the Bible calls a uncontrollable fire. Even though it is a fraction of how we express our thoughts and feelings to the world, it can set the world around us ablaze with just one spark. 

What kind of fire will we ignite? 

This is the tenth entry in the Overcome Series. How we use our precious words can be the difference between setting a firestorm that can’t be contained or warming up a cold lost soul who is looking for comfort and hope. What will the word, “Overcome” mean when it’s spoken on our lips? Will it be uttered as we run from a fire that we can’t control, or will we be using that flame to point others towards the road that leads to life eternal?

Words are powerful things. I am sure you have seen them used to build others up or tear them down, bring a smile to others faces or set a blaze of indignation that might catch like wildfire. It’s an amazing thing to think that God made mankind in His own image. Now, here is just an observation from a layman and a creative writer, but think about this. God spoke and created everything. His power is in His words. There is power behind statements like, “Be strong and courageous.”  “Do not fear.”  “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved”. He’s not just tossing out promises that sound wonderful and give us something to desire. In actuality these are real things spoken into existence. If you want His courage, freedom from fear, and salvation,” take it and receive it from the Lord. (This is more than “name it and claim it). God has life and his glorious presence like a living fire, ready to put these Holy Spirit attributes into our lives. 

They say our God is a consuming fire. That imagery still today is something to wrap my mind around. There is light, heat, energy, creation, and living in Southern California, I have seen the destructive use of fire just about every dry and dusty summer. As a camper I have been blessed by being able to enjoy the benefits of glow from a welcoming camp fire after a long hike.  If one is not careful with fire one is often burned by it. Fire is an untamable entity that is still a mystery to even to most learned researcher.

Okay, so this might sound a little odd but please let me try to break down an idea. If God made man in his image, what would a flame look like in a human form? Since our physical bodies are a house for our true spiritual  self, maybe that fire is there on a very tiny degree. That means that out of our mouth our hearts (our real self) speaks. Maybe our tongues do have power to create or destroy the world around us? The Bible does say that we all have a fallen nature. So if that is so then that creativeness has been twisted as well. Again the scriptures describe the tongue as a poison, a restless evil that no man can tame. So, again we see the effects of sin corrupting the good that should have been coming from our mouths all along. 

We have seen in these days the destruction misplaced and hateful words can cause. The old adage that says, “Sticks and stones can hurt our bones,” is true but really words can cut deeper still, into the soul of a person and totally destroy them. We hear people renaming terms, downplaying truth, talking over sound advice, and caught up into a literal war of words. Do we watch the words of out mouths like our parents often told us? I am talking not to the people of the world who don’t know but to you as a believer who should know better. The Bible again reminds us, “Be quick to HEAR, slow to SPEAK, and slow to WRATH. 

What a wretched man I am. Who is able to restore the power of words coming out of my mouth?

I think it comes back to the source of all words. Like Isaiah who as a young man saw the glory of God. It rendered him speachless. This young man who was called of God knew how he struggled with the words coming out of his mouth. However, his coming into the presence of the Lord was life-altering, The Lord had his lips touched with coals from God’s altar. It was a wonderful image of the Lord getting a hold of the heart of a man or woman. When he purifies the heart of person, Jesus becomes the gatekeeper of the words coming out of lips. The answer comes back to letting the Lord reclaim what is rightly his, our precious soul. When we are truly redeemed by the cleansing fire of the Lord’s Holy Spirit, the words that come out are more likely going to bring life, hope, faith and love into the dark world of words. 

Before you speak a word into the people’s life around you, ask the Lord to guard your lips and speak the words that truly burn with message God wants others to hear. 

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  1. thanks for sharing such unfamiliar and eye-opening insights…for the mere fact that we are created in GOD’s image, and GOD ordered everything into existence by speaking them, I believe the words from our tongues (which mirrors that of GOD) are as powerful as GOD designed them to be; even though mankind has fallen away a bit, and our spirits are living in destructible bodies, we stil have tongues of fire that can be at the highest powerful level if we allow GOD’s spirit do its work within us

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