“Bit” your tongue

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A few days ago, we talked about obeying what we hear God say. Well, I can testify that I have been practicing today’s verse with complete accuracy for many years. Paul said that he hadn’t yet become perfect, but me?…..


Well, I’ve got this one down. 


The verse?


James 3:2a, of course:

We all stumble in many ways.” 


I perfectly stumble with great regularity.


Now to make sure that I was giving a true testimony here, I looked up the word stumble:

stumble |ˈstəmbəl|

verb [ intrans. ]

“to trip or lose one’s balance; almost fall; trip repeatedly, make a mistake or repeated mistakes in speaking.”



Yep. That’s me all right. And it’s most often evidenced in my words. 



James realized this in his life as well:



If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man…” (James 3:2b)



In fact, if you think about most of the sins that you commit, you will find that a great majority were with the tongue. Amazing, huh?



Check out these Proverbs:


“The one who guards his mouth saves his life” (13:3)


“He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles” (21:23)


“Don’t talk too much. You keep putting your foot in your mouth. Be sensible  and turn off the flow.” (10:19 TLB)



We would do well if we started each day handing our tongue over to the Holy Spirit.We put bits into horses’ mouths so that they may obey us” – why not ask the Holy Spirit to bridle our tongue?



In the mouth of a horse, a bit acts with a combination of leverage and pressure. Because equine animals have a large gap in their front incisors and the back molars, bits were designed to rest comfortably in this space. It is connected inside of the mouth with rubber or stainless steel and sits upon the horse’s tongue.



Used correctly, a bit isn’t painful, but simply a pressure connection between the rider and his animal. A horse who knows and trusts his rider can be guided gently and subtly with a simple shifts in the reigns and his body position. 



Years ago, I came upon the verse in Psalms that says, “I, the Lord, am your God….open your mouth wide and I will fill it.”. I depicted the Father pouring blessings of food and comfort inside me as I fed on them like a hungry little bird.



Although this is definitely a portion of our Father’s provision, could it not be that He is also wanting us to open up to receive our daily bit? A trusting horse receives the bridle from the gentle hand of his master. Why shouldn’t we daily do the same from our Holy Whisperer?



Holy Father,

I say I trust You but I am nervous about receiving your bit. My mouth can be quite undomesticated and is used to running free. Yet, I know that if I truly love life, my tongue must be kept from worthless and deceitful speech. I desire to give blessings in return for insults, but my tongue is in a wet place and often slips. Will you bridle me gently? 


Teach me to recognize the nuances of Your Spirit, so that I can sense when Your bit is holding my tongue in place. May I come to know You so well that Your slightest shift signals my immediate obedience. And when You do loose my tongue to speak, may I do so with utterances straight from Your heart.


Thank You that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. As I open my mouth, please slip on Your bridle. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.