Open your Mouth
It seems that recently many of God’s people have been experiencing an unprecedented sense of heaviness. Perhaps you are among those who have wondered lately, thinking; “I am a seeker of God and I am not living in wilful disobedience. I have searched my heart and am walking in the light He has revealed to me… yet recently a great heaviness has come upon me. Is depression coming into my life? Is this a result of the hour in which we are living? What is causing these feelings?”
I suggest that what many have been experiencing is actually a precursor to something God desires to do in our world today.
He wants to do it in His church—in your life and in mine.
As we look at the way God has dealt with His people in the
past, it will give us a better idea of what exactly this is.
Throughout the Old Testament, we see that the nation of Israel often found itself in a very precarious position. Society would be failing and people faltering—evidence of the common pattern found throughout history that no matter how God blesses us,
we somehow foolishly find a way to walk away from it. For example, look at America! In just a few hundred years, God’s blessing helped that nation to rise to pre-eminence in the world. America was birthed as a country where people could freely worship God; the Judeo-Christian ethic was the foundation of law and practice in that country’s inception. Society was not perfect, yet they and we are now living in an hour marked by casual handling of truth. The value system of a fallen society has found its way into the church and now dominates much of today’s preaching, resulting in a powerlessness among the
people, and within the Church. So much so that in most of the Churches I visit, I increasing find a despondency and a despair not previously experienced.
In the book of Isaiah, we find that Israel had once again found itself in such a situation. In His mercy, the Lord decided He was going to speak one more time to the people, just as He is preparing to do in our day. God drew a young man named Isaiah into His presence (see Isaiah Ch 6). Isaiah, a student of the Word, had already been given a measure of revelation and had been prophesying prior to this point. He was a sincere and honest man, yet when he was lifted into the presence of God and beheld His holiness, he cried out , “I am undone! My works are but filthy rags in the sight of a holy God!” No matter how he had claimed to know God, he realized that he truly did not, for now his eyes had seen the King of Glory in a fresh light.
He had received a fresh and refreshing revelation of God.
A weight of heaviness had come upon Isaiah. For a moment, he experienced the heaviness that many people in society would soon feel—people who were living without God yet who were about to hear the voice of a holy God speaking to them in some measure. It was at that moment of being undone, that a living coal from the altar touched Isaiah’s lips. God filled his mouth, and the message was beyond anything that humanity he could have produced. The message was about God, originating from His very heart. In fact, Isaiah was given a panoramic revelation, one of the most momentous revelations in all of the Old Testament.
He saw the cross, the Saviour, the Gentiles coming to Christ.
He saw a day of jubilee for all who wanted to be free from bondage and burdens and he saw the returning King!
Isaiah was given this incredible vision of Christ so that he might preach to a generation for whom the Messiah was
simply a fading illusion.
Just as the Lord touched Isaiah’s lips and filled his mouth, a similar theme is found in Psalm 81: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” (Psalms 81:10). God is essentially saying to His people at this point in the journey, “I want to fill your mouth. I want to fill it with that which could come only from heaven. I want to give you a testimony and do something in My people that would astound those who live outside the kingdom of God. I want to lift you into the supernatural and empower you with the Holy Spirit.” Remember, the kingdom of God is not to be a natural kingdom—it is a kingdom of faith. It is not a kingdom where the naturally strong rise to the top, but rather where the nothings and the nobodies are empowered by the Spirit of Almighty God. It is a kingdom of men and women of whom the secular leaders would say, “I don’t understand how they speak with such wisdom! We know they do not have the learning that we have. The only thing we can say about these people is that they have been with Jesus!” Can the world out there say these things about you, and those who sit alongside you in Church today?
Despite all that God purposes to do in His people, isn’t it appalling how we turn away from Him time and time again? As it says in Psalm 81, “But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would have none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels” (Psalms 81:11–12). “I gave them up!” It is tragic how even in
our great democracies, we have taken the inalienable right of all men and women for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness —and allowed it to become a substitute for the worship of God. Now we have been left to walk in our own counsel, and look at what has happened. My heart breaks every time I look at the news—parents killing their unborn children; schools and streets unsafe to play in; people becoming dull to the abject violence that abounds. Social engineers are working behind the scenes to produce a nation where evil is called good, and good is called evil. It is a plot generated under the guise of tolerance, but when it gets into power, beware of it, for it will be anything but tolerant of the Church of Jesus Christ.
The central theme of my Message today is that it is time for You the Church, the body of Christ to OPEN YOUR MOUTH!
… and Firstly, – Open Your Mouth in a SONG.
We have come to a critical hour when as the Church of Jesus Christ we must make a decision. To those who still have ears to hear, the Psalmist says, “Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow upon the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day” (Psalms 81:1–3). In other words, God is saying to His people, “Here is where it starts; open your mouth with a song.”
It does not matter how many backstabbers are in your workplace, do not join them. Instead, when you walk in, have a song in your heart. The psalmist David said it is a song that can be seen long before it is heard—a song of joy and hope (Psalm
40:3). As the days grow increasingly difficult, you and I must remember all that the Lord has done for us, for our tendency is to get lost in the present if we forget the past. Think about where you would be today had He not broken your chains and set you free from what captivated your heart. As we noticed in our lesson from the book of Deuteronomy, God even told His people that when they walked with their children, when they got up in the morning, and when they went to bed at night, they were to rehearse what God had done for them, lest they would forget who He was.
Open your mouth and celebrate with a song. Psalm 89:1 – says it this way: “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.” Do not allow the devil or the evil of this society to take the song of God out of your mouth. Keep singing, keep repeating, keep rehearsing that song. Sing it every day and every night: “Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father!”
Then, Open your Mouth in a PRAYER
Not only should we have a song in our mouths, we must also open our mouths in prayer. It is time to go into our prayer closets, even if we have to go there with trembling, weakness
and tears, as Paul did; God promises to fill our mouths.
Consider what happened after the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2 through chapter 4). Miracles were abounding and thousands of people were being added to the church. Yet suddenly voices began to rise up and threaten the very testimony of God, and the disciples were commanded –
“not to speak at all in the name of Jesus”.
At that point, the disciples did not strategize or form a committee; they did not say, “Let’s find seven steps to get out of this mess.” No! They lifted up their voices to God with one accord in prayer: “And now Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness”
The Bible says here that the place where they were gathered was shaken when they prayed. What a reminder for you and me that this is not a time to be quiet or to recede. We must open our mouths and pray boldly just as the disciples did. “Lord, stretch out Your hand and heal. Give me power in my speech so that I can speak to the people around me—power to heal wounded hearts, broken homes, hopelessness; power to bring victory to somebody who might want to take their own life. Dear God,
put something in my mouth!”
You and I can no longer live in silence in this generation. However, I am well aware that I cannot do this without the Holy Spirit, and neither can you. God forgive us as a Church for trying in our own natural strength to advance a kingdom
that cannot be seen or rationalized.
Finally, we need to
Open our MOUTH with the POWER OF GOD
When the 120 disciples initially came out of the upper room and burst into the marketplace, they were speaking the “word” of God. In the Greek New Testament, the word there is “megalios”
of God – were words spoken by faith regarding what the living Christ within them was about to do through them. The disciples were given the ability to speak in other tongues to people of other languages and other cultures—languages they had never learned. They were speaking eternal, heavenly truths.
Peter then opened his mouth with the power of God and preached an eloquent sermon that could only have come straight from the throne of God. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Bear in mind that these were people who were alienated from God—Christ-haters in their generation. Yet they saw something supernatural at work in these disciples, and all of a sudden their hatred dissipated. It was just like the Lord said in Psalm 81, “Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord should have submitted themselves unto him…” (Psalms 81:13–15). Suddenly those who hated God were melting in His very presence, and thousands were asking, “What must we do to be saved?” Oh may God take us back to those days, and take us there soon.
For in our generation, our cities will not be saved in any other way but through a body of believers in Jesus Christ who are filled with the Spirit of Almighty God. There is no other plan
of God for the time in which we live—no Plan B; …
no superstar who will suddenly rise up to save us.
There will either be a church or there won’t be a church, and that is the choice that you and I must make now. We must choose to be a people who are God-gripped by the Holy Spirit, walking in the supernatural, filled with the tenderness and compassion of God. We must be willing to be yielded – and ridiculed; willing to stand out in the marketplace no matter what the cost so that others may come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We have a window of time, a window of opportunity where multitudes may turn to Christ, where Churches can live again, where the testimony of Christ can rise out of the ashes and have a great effect on our society. I do not know how long that window of time is, but I feel in my Spirit that it is not for long. We do not have a hundred years to get this right. We must go into that prayer closet now and say, “God Almighty, whatever You have to do in my life, wherever You must take me, whatever You need to say to me, I invite You to do so. I know that I cannot do this apart from your strength inside of me, and I am not even willing to try. When I open my mouth, Lord,
you said that you would fill it.”
My prayer in recent weeks has been: “Jesus, baptize and anoint me afresh in the Holy Spirit. Give me strength, and strengthen Your people for this journey. Make us a testimony for the sake of Christ and for the sake of the lost in our country. I am not willing that people should perish in their sin when the church
of Jesus Christ is still able to speak up!”
It is possible that the Lord has brought this heaviness into your life to remind you of your need for Him? Perhaps He has allowed the distress in your mind and heart in order to bring you to the end of yourself, to bring you to the place where you
once again cry out, “Lord, I need You! I cannot do this unless You fill me with your Holy Spirit. I need Your thoughts, Your words, Your plan and Your power to accomplish it. I want to make a difference in my generation. I am simply unwilling to stand one day at the throne of God with a full notebook from church but an empty heart – I want to bring a load of people
with me. I want to believe You for the miraculous.”
NOW THIS FINAL WORD
I cannot cry out for you – and you cannot cry out for me. This
is something that must be birthed in our own hearts. When I picture the disciples gathered in that upper room, I certainly do not imagine it was a nice, quiet little prayer meeting—”Would you pray now, Brother Peter? Okay, now it’s your turn, Brother Matthew.” No! I see a group of people desperately crying out, “Oh, God, if You don’t do something in us, we are going to have no effect! Glorify Your name in us!” And suddenly a rushing mighty wind came, cloven tongues of fire sat upon them, and they began to speak about the wondrous power of God that is available to all who turn to Him.
I urge you today—do not sell yourself short in this hour. Do not settle for powerless religion or mere thoughts of God. Get hold of a living relationship with the Lord. If that means you have to hang on to the altar until He comes, then do it! Open your mouth and He will fill it. Cry out to the Lord until He baptizes you afresh with His Holy Spirit, that the power of God may rest upon you in this generation.
And may God richly Bless You. … Amen.