January 6, 2019
Lethal Language: Experiencing the Power of Life-Giving Words (Part 2)
Below you will find an audio of the devotion being read for you, followed by the written devotion. Listen on the go, listen as you read along, or enjoy reading it without the audio. God bless!
A Hundred Reasons to Live
I believe we would all agree that it is important to exercise caution and kindness when talking to others, but sometimes we don’t extend the same grace to ourselves. We need to be just as vigilant about the words we choose when we speak to ourselves, and when we speak to others about ourselves. Hopefully that was not confusing. I think you know what I mean.

There was a gentleman in Pastor Craig Groeschel’s life that came to him for counseling. Sadly, this man had reached a point of great despair. The enemy’s lies had been bombarding him for so long, he started to agree to the idea that his life was not worth living.

Groeschel, feeling impressed of the Lord to do something unique, told the man to tell him 100 reasons he had to live. The man started off very reluctantly and had to be encouraged quite a bit to continue. Eventually the man became engaged in the activity and was enjoying himself as he pondered the many reasons he had to go on living. What changed? The way he was talking about himself. That seems too easy doesn’t it? I challenge you to try it the next time you are feeling really lousy about life, take out a piece of paper and start listing 100 reasons why you are blessed.

The man who was tired of living, had new life. He later moved away from the area, and it had been several years, when the man showed up at church and surprised Groeschel. He now had a wife and a child. When he saw Groeschel, he pulled out his wallet and took a folded piece of paper out of it. It was the original list of 100 reason he should live.

When you talk about yourself, to yourself or others, show some grace. We are often too hard on ourselves. I am not saying we should excuse or justify wrongdoing, but we can relate to ourselves in a gracious, life-giving manner. Changing our self-talk will change how we talk to others too.

Speak to Your Mountain
Let’s be honest, we all face mountains that seem insurmountable. We face trials and struggles of life that seem to be our end. Sometimes we are making mountains out of molehills, but other times, we are truly facing challenges that are impossible for us to overcome in our own strength.

I Samuel 30 chronicles a story of deep despair and great triumph. David, and his men, were returning to their homes in Ziklag. As they neared the city, they excitedly anticipated their wives and children running to greet them. Their great expectation was changed to shock and despair when they were greeted by the silence of smoldering remains. While they had been away, their homes and possessions had been burned to the ground and their wives and children had been taken captive. They collectively let out a great cry of anguish and began to weep until they could not weep anymore. As can happen to anyone going through the stages of grief, their emotions shifted from shock and grief, to anger and blame. David would become their focus of blame. David was certainly facing a mountain of trouble. Not only was he grieving the loss of his possessions and the kidnapping of his wives and children, but now the men spoke of stoning him! How could it get any worse?

David showed us one of the reasons why he was called a man after God’s own heart. Instead of crumbling in a pile of self-pity, David encouraged himself in the Lord his God (1 Samuel 30:6). Oh, that we could respond like David! When we are down to nothing, God is up to something! When we come to the end of ourselves, we find the beginning of God’s provision.

I don’t know all that David said to his mountain, but he overcame it! The Lord told him to pursue the enemy and they recovered all that was taken from them…and some!

Another time David faced a mountain of a man! Over 9 feet tall, Goliath of Gath, towered over David. Yet, instead of cowering in fear, David ran to meet the giant. As David approached, Goliath hurled insults and tried to intimidate David. He was used to scaring people away, but David was not focused on the size of the giant, but the size of His God. David didn’t flinch or slow down, he just kept running and declared, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Today the Lord will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel!” (1 Samuel 17:45-46)
I am praying that we develop that kind of faith to be able to speak to our mountains! David had to experience some battles before that day – namely with a lion and a bear – in order to confidently declare victory through the God of Israel. Don’t despise your mountain. The mountain you are facing now is only preparing you to defeat a bigger one in the future. So speak to your mountain today. Run full speed ahead, right at that mountain, and declare victory in Jesus name! The God of Heaven’s armies is with you!