revjoaquinwillisweb.gifCommunication, the foundation of a good relationship, is built upon words.  And, with God and the Holy Spirit as architects of our speech, words have power. 

In Numbers (13:30), Caleb conveys to Moses the good news of Israel’s pending victory in Canaan, the Promised Land.  Moses was pleased with Caleb’s faith in God when Caleb proclaimed, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”   

Other spies, however, “spread a bad report among the people.” The report, that “the land we explored devours those living in it, all people we saw there are of great size,” created fear, doubt, and a schism displeasing to God.

In Numbers (14:2-3) we learn that people cried out to God, asking why they had been saved from death in the desert, only to suffer it by the sword. 

Scripture teaches us the effect of words, and how current bad news can overpower the earlier good news of God’s blessings. 
Except for Joshua and Caleb, many Israelites continued to dwell upon God’s power and His help against their enemies by delivering plagues, parting the Red Sea, and through other life-saving miracles.    

Because words emanate from our mouths, we must consider the “sanctified mouth.”  While our minds feed our mouths, our mouths also nourish our minds.  We use words to persuade ourselves and others to believe in God’s word.   To live and prosper in the promises of God, we must sanctify our mouths.

Our words, infused with the Holy Spirit, are filled with divine power.  But, when our words are unsanctified, our spiritual effectiveness is defused.  With words, we can destroy or construct, discourage or encourage.  Our words have spiritual significance; they can be God’s words. 

The “sanctified mouth” speaks blessings, prays, conveys loving feelings, gives divine instruction, resolves conflicts, explains concepts, and has the power to heal.  In her book, Believing God, Beth Moore says, “Daily dependency on God develops unmatched intimacy, cleans up the mouth, and unplugs our primary pipeline of divine power.”

Both God and Satan vie for control of our mouths, knowing our words can bring blessings or wreak havoc.  No threat is greater to Satan than a believer with the Words of God in his mouth.

Isaiah (6:5) cries, “Lord I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips…then the Seraph takes a hot coal from the altar of God and touches his mouth, saying your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” If you are like me, your mouth has spoken countless inappropriate words.  While not all of us are called to preach, we are all called to use our mouths to glorify God.

“Altar” in Isaiah (6:6) derives from the Hebrew word for sacrifice.  The “live coal” in his vision is from God’s altar of sacrifice.  With Christ’s blood laid upon our altars, we are provided forgiveness, grace, atonement and sanctification.

I am sure each of us could use a live coal from the altar of God, an agent that could forgive, save, and sanctify our mouths, and give us the blessed assurance that our mouths are sanctified for the work of God. 

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at