Friday, April 27, 2007

Your Mouth is the Thermostat of Your Life

Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)

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)
Get the connection: What is in your heart in abundance is what will come out of your mouth; what you believe in your heart and declare with your mouth is what will come to pass in your life.

Your mouth is the “thermostat” of your life. A thermostat is a little device that calls for a certain temperature to be set. For example, you can set the thermostat on your air conditioner to cool off your house or car to a certain temperature. Or you can set the thermostat on your oven to heat it up to a certain level. In a similar way, you mouth is like a thermostat that calls for certain conditions to be established in your life.

Some people use their mouths like thermometers. A thermometer simply tells you what the current temperature is. Thermometer people boast, “Well, I’m just telling it like it is.” And to a certain extent, that is true. They see a problem and then they identify it, and there is nothing wrong in that. But then they keep looking at the problem, thinking about the problem, and soon their heart overflows with the problem. They believe the problem in their heart, and do not have any doubts about the problem. So they talk about the problem, and keep on talking about the problem, and the result is that they are stuck with the problem. It is one thing to identify the problem, e.g., “I am sick,” “I am in debt,” “I have no job.” It is quite another to fixate on the problem. Some people even embrace the problem so that it becomes a personal possession: “my cancer” or “my bad heart.”

People with a thermometer mentality simply report what they see: “There’s a mountain in my way.” They do not realize that we were created to be thermostats. We were meant to not only recognize present conditions, but to establish the proper conditions. That is why God created us in His likeness (i.e., to be like Him) and authorized us to “fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion” (Genesis 1:26-28). To subdue means to set in order. That requires recognizing the present condition (thermometer) and bringing it into line with the way it ought to be (thermostat).

God is a thermostat God. We see this from the very first verse of the Bible when He created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). He spoke it into existence, framing it with words (Hebrews 11:3). When darkness was on the face of the deep (v. 2), God did not fixate on the darkness. He recognized the problem, but then having done that, He simply spoke the solution, “Light, be!” (v. 3).

Jesus taught us to do the same thing. First, we are to have faith in God. Faith is the gift of God, and comes by hearing the Word of God. This is important to know because the Word of God has something to say about every problem. When we let the Word of God fill our hearts to overflowing with faith, we are then ready to address the mountain that stands in our way.

Second, we are to speak to the problem, not focusing on the problem itself, but focusing on the solution. In the example Jesus gave us, we would say to the mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea.” When we keep talking about the problem, we are using the thermostat function to maintain the present condition, and the problem will persist. But when we start speaking the solution, we are using the thermostat function to change and improve the present condition. So we recognize the mountain, but then we tell it to move.

Notice that Jesus did not tell us to tell God all about the problem. God already knows it and has provided us with the faith to handle it. Rather, Jesus teaches us to address the problem with words that overflow from a heart filled with faith. As some have put it, we move from talking to God about the problem to speaking to the problem about God — and that is a very important shift! When we do that, the mountain will move.

Your mouth is the thermostat that establishes the conditions of your life. Your heart is what sets the thermostat of your mouth. Let the Word of God fill your heart to overflowing with faith so that, when problems arise, you will be able to speak the solution and remove the mountain.