Back in the 1980s, I and my family had attended several Churches for a number of years.
Being in the military, we moved quite often, so this particular Church I speak of I was there over three years.
I had served three Churches prior to being licensed and ordained into the ministry. The third Church I and my family attended was a very pivotal Church in my growth and releasing me into the leadership in that particular Church.
I attended as many meetings as I could and usually was involved five days a week in various groups and was used in prayer meetings, women’s meetings, teaching, prophesying, and putting it strongly, I was involved!
I was so hungry for God and hungry to learn all I could absorb. I remember being in a ladies’ meeting on Wednesday and the subject that was taught was, The Taming of the Tongue.
That meeting made a great impact on me and I immediately could see myself in those words so I decided that a fast was in order.
In my desperation to get control of my tongue, I started a fast for as long as it would take. I know this may sound funny to some, but in taking control of my tongue I put duct tape on my mouth and kept it there until after five p.m. when my husband got home.
However, I continued fasting, keeping my tongue under control for two whole weeks. I only spoke after five p.m. if absolutely necessary and of course in taking care and guiding my small children.
I had so many phone calls I could not answer, and my husband at the time was continuing to berate me and harass me continually about anything and everything, but in all of this, I refrained from retaliation and took it in silence.
In prayer, I asked God to help me. I was so serious about learning how to hold my peace so I continued, but it wasn’t easy at all. It was so hard! I felt so abused and beaten down inside, and weary with all the accusations and harassment of my husband.
The second Sunday in the two weeks fast I, my husband, and three children were getting ready for Church when all hell was in my house.
My husband ranted and raved like a possessed man against me. I held my tongue and peace. On our way to Church, I held on to God with all my heart and refrained from reacting to his curses, abuse, and harassment.
When we finally arrived, we took our seats and I was so beaten down that I couldn’t even praise The LORD. I sat before The LORD and just wept.
On our way home, he was still harassing me and belittling me, making me feel so bad and all I could do was cry and talk to God to help me.
Once we got home and I changed clothes, I went to prepare our lunch while he continued to provoke me.
But on this day I could feel anger building up inside me. I couldn’t worship God at Church nor have peace in my home and I felt like my nerves and reserves were swiftly going away.
Well, he said all sorts of ugly things and criticized what I fixed for lunch and then I lost it! It was like I was a cornered animal that lashes out.
I thrashed out big time, calling him all sorts of names and words I won’t say. I promptly left for my bedroom, but as I went I knew I had sinned, as the scripture came to my mind, “let not the sun go down on your wrath, neither give place to the devil.”
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil,” Ephesians 4:26-27 KJV.
Well, as I laid on my bed upset, I knew where that scripture was, so I turned to another part of the Bible to avoid it, because I didn’t want to hear that scripture, nor read it.
But then my eyes landed on another passage of scripture as I laid upon my bed crying.
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah,” Psalm 4:4 KJV.
As I laid there not wanting to hear it, I asked God why is was that I had to be strong, while he gets away with everything! It was all about my rights!
But what we need is God’s rights and His right way!
All I could hear was that I needed to go to him and ask for forgiveness and do it that night. Well, I rebelled and I hung on to that anger I had towards him that night.
When I woke up on Monday morning for prayer at 5 a.m., I began to pray and The Holy Spirit immediately told me, “I will not talk to you until you ask for his forgiveness.”
I always hunger to hear God’s voice and I had to hear now. So there was no option, I had to obey because I had to hear The LORD!
As my husband was getting ready for work, he was stomping through the house in a demonic fury. When he stomped into the kitchen I could feel his anger, but I yielded to The Holy Spirit and said to him, “I am sorry for all I said.”
Then he promptly told me, “You should be!” I gritted my teeth not to speak and said to The LORD, okay I did what you said, now it’s your turn.
As my husband stomped through the house in anger and prepared to leave for work, The Holy Spirit told me, “His truck won’t start, and your car won’t start either.”
I sat on the couch and listened as he walked out the door. Sure enough, his truck would not start, then he left the truck and attempted to take my car and it wouldn’t start either.
As he walked back in the house, he looked bewildered and told me his truck would not start either, neither would my car. I told him I know. In shock he said how did you know?
I told him what The Holy Spirit said and that he needed to deal with these issues and repent before God. In shock, he sat down across from me in a chair and closed his eyes.
While he was silent and I sat and prayed, the anointing came strong on my left hand — like lightning — and The Holy Spirit said, “Tell your husband to stand up in the middle of the room, put his hands up in surrender to Me — then you are to put this hand on his head.”
This was a hard thing to say, because of his strong pride and I resisted for some moments.
I had to obey because The Holy Spirit was so strong on me. I told him what The Holy Spirit said and shockingly, he willingly and immediately stood up in the middle of the room and he put his arms up and stood there with his eyes closed.
Then I got up and laid my hand on his head and immediately he fell backward and was out on the living room floor!
He was out for a long time. When he finally was able to get up, the devil was defeated and there was peace between us and his attitude totally changed.
What a revelation that was to me and that experience has forever branded my heart!
It is so true, we must forgive speedily so that God can work for us. Many times, we don’t realize how we hinder our own prayers by getting in God’s way and we cancel out our words and curse our own lives because we fight our own battles.
I learned a valuable lesson when I hold my peace and let The LORD fight my battles, victory shall be won.
We must learn to get out of the way.
I heard something I never ever heard before, The Holy Spirit said, “Unless you forgive him, release him and let him go, I cannot work in your situations for your good. And because you fight your own battles, it ties my hands to fight for you.”
Well, at times I am reminded of this experience at how The LORD “vindicated” me when I chose to do it God’s way.
It will work for you too if you work it, and God will turn everything around for your good because you love God and are called according to his purpose. Amen? Amen!
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh,” James 3:3-12 KJV.
“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain,” James 1:26 KJV.
In HIS Grace and Mercy,
~ Sherry Edwards Mackey