We are studying James chapter three today and it is a doozy! What I mean is…it is one of those chapters that is chock-full of both wisdom and wonderful analogies. The subject is the tongue. Though it is a small part of the body, James describes it as being evil and unable to be tamed.
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:8 NKJV
What does he mean? James is saying that, although small, the tongue can cause much damage, much like a spark causes a great forest fire. There he goes again, using extreme terms. James holds nothing back in getting his point across, that the tongue is a dangerous part of the body. He also admits that no one is perfect.
For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. James 3:2 NKJV
As a bridle causes a horse to move a certain way and a spark causes a great fire, so a ship’s rutter causes the ship to go in a certain direction. What great analogies!
Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. James 3:4 NKJV
That’s amazing isn’t it, that a small rudder can direct such a large ship! It would be great if our tongues had a rudder then, wouldn’t it? Then we could control our tongues ? That is wishful thinking, perhaps because we aren’t that good; only God is. Which brings me to this idea I want to offer:
We DO have a rudder and it is our heart. Our hearts determine where we want to go, what we want to say and what we want to do. As a rudder directs the ship where the pilot wants to go, so the rudder heart directs us where WE want to go. We choose.
Now I am going to be like James and propose two extreme kinds of rudders or hearts, that we can choose. We can have a heart that desires to go in the direction of self. It is the most popular model of rudders these days and is available to all. This rudder, or heart, will go the direction that the pilot wants, the direction of his or her own will. And that can be dangerous territory!
On the other, better, hand…We can choose a rudder or heart that wants us to go only where God wants us to. Being directed by this rudder requires a daily surrendering of our will to God’s direction. We may not know what direction that will be, but we trust God. We desire our heart to be controlled, instead of controlling our own heart and thus the direction.
I want the model of rudder that is controlled by God. You? That type of rudder, or heart, is free for the asking! And it works great! Hope this makes sense. See, when we choose a heart for God He gives us a desire for our heart to go HIS direction, AND He directs us. His way is safe territory! Isn’t He awesome to help us? He is a wonderful, caring Father!
Here is a verse to think about, to set us up for tomorrow’s devotion:
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NKJV
Please pray with me?
My heart is so full right now because I am so aware of how good You are. You do not leave us to my own to try and control my tongue. Any struggle I have or any desire I have to do Your will, You help me with. You are everything! Thank You for shedding light on how our hearts determine what comes out of our mouths and what direction we go. I will do better, Lord, in dedicating not only each day, but each word to You. Help me to do Your will, whatever that may be. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that lights my way. I love You so much! Amen
Tomorrow we will finish chapter three. James makes another comparison that is so cool!
I hope you have a great day and week! With love from the Father to you,