We’ve seen that the Creator gave each of us a tongue for one supreme purpose—to glorify Him. This leads to a consequence of great importance. Every use of our tongue that does not glorify God is a misuse because we were given our tongues to glorify God.
We can look at that well-known statement of Paul in Romans 3:23:
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (NAS)
The essence of sin is not necessarily committing some terrible crime. The essence of sin is falling short of the glory of God or not living for God’s glory. People might argue with that and say, "It’s not true of me; I have never fallen short of the glory of God."
But I ask you to check the use of your tongue. Remember, the only reason you have a tongue is to glorify God. Every use of your tongue that does not glorify God is a misuse. I do not believe that there is one of us that could honestly say that we have always used our tongues for the glory of God. Therefore, we must acknowledge the truth of Paul’s statement that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If this is not true in any other area, then it is true in the area of our tongue.
Two different kinds of fire meet on the human tongue. First, there is a fire from hell that inflames the tongue of the natural, unregenerate, sinful man. James says:
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6 NIV)
This fire in the human tongue comes from hell itself, and its fruit—its results and consequences—are hellish. But on the day of Pentecost, when God brought into being the redeemed community that He wanted to use for His glory on the earth, another kind of fire came from another source. The fire of the Holy Spirit came from heaven, not from hell. It first operated in the tongues of those in the Upper Room. In other words, the fire of God from heaven drove out the natural tongue's fire of hell. The fire from hell was replaced by a fire that cleanses, purifies, and glorifies God.
Dear Lord, thank You for the fire of Your Holy Spirit, which cleanses, purifies, and enables me to use my tongue to glorify and worship You. I recognise my need to be continually filled with Your Holy Spirit and I pray that I would never forget that. In Jesus' Name, Amen.