Have you ever been in a situation where it literally feels like “the cat got your tongue?” It’s such a silly saying right! When you are in a situation where you cannot get a word out it’s the world’s expression of something that has gotten hold of your tongue and you are unable to get a word out.
Our tongue is a powerful weapon! It can tear someone down and it can lift someone up! God gave us a tongue to make “speaking” happen! But the enemy also knows that, he will pervert what God’s intention was for your tongue. God’s intention was for you to speak life, to speak grace, to proclaim, to lift, to praise!
Going back a couple of years in my life when I was 12, my friend pushed me into entering a school beauty pageant. I was so not into those kinds of things, but I thought that I’ll give it a go and see! In the process of this beauty pageant, you needed to have an interview with the judges. This was where they would ask you a few questions and then score you accordingly.
As I sat down in front of the judges, I was unaware that what was about to happen would knock me for years to come. Small questions started flowing and being 12 years old…I didn’t know much plus I was very childish at the age! Then a big question came up: “Tell us about Candice, who is Candice, what are your goals in life, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?” A very long and in detailed question for a 12 year old.
Right there in that moment, the cat got my tongue. I froze. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know the answer… who I was… what my strengths were… what my weaknesses were. I realized I didn’t have any type of identity. I grew up in a family where I knew my parents loved me very much. But I didn’t know who I was. I sat for about 10 minutes, not a word left my mouth. I was sweating, feeling judged and completely humiliated. After the most painful 10 minutes of my life (it was probably less but it felt like 10), I walked out of that room, feeling completely stupid, ashamed and so embarrassed.
You might think it was silly and say “but you were only 12 years old, what could you possibly have known!” But right there in that room the devil used that moment and “caught my tongue” for a long time to come.
Years and years went by where I accepted that I was not one to speak. I struggled to speak to people – one on one or in large settings. My voice would literally shake when I had to open up my mouth. I carried incredible shame. Every time I would need to open my mouth, I would imagine having this big sign on my head with pointing arrows down saying STUPID. This made me feel worthless, and I felt I had no value. Who was I? I was a nobody!
This wrong mindset and lie made me walk down paths in my life where I searched for value and worth in all the wrong places and ended up in many shameful situations that caused condemnation to pile on my shoulders, making me feel even worse and accepting that, that was my identity.
See I accepted those lies, I accepted that I was all those things. I received the accusations that the accuser was throwing at me. He comes disguised as your own heart so you think OFCOURSE I AM! I did it to myself! I have walked years and years of being paralyzed by guilt and condemnation. Even when I decided to follow Jesus I still held on and carried that shame and the devil still had my tongue.
The word devil in Greek is Diabolos (ball). Dia – to penetrate, to enter into (diameter) and balos – to throw at, to hurl accusations.
The devil keeps throwing accusations at you until it penetrates your heart and you walk with the guilt, condemnation and shame. He knows that shame and guilt shuts your mouth, and when your mouth is shut, you dwell in shame. And when you are feeling ashamed you get anxious and depressed. Being anxious and depressed will make you stagnant and ineffective. And the ultimate goal is to derail you from the purpose and calling that God has on your life!
Revelation 12:10-11: “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom (dominion, reign) of our God, and the authority of His Christ have come; for the accuser of our [believing] brothers and sisters has been thrown down [at last], he who accuses them and keeps bringing charges [of sinful behaviour] against them before our God day and night. And they overcame and conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life and renounce their faith even when faced with death.”
I want to point out two things here that position us in the authority that Jesus has already given us against the accuser:
1. They overcame by the blood of the Lamb! Jesus’ blood has made us righteous! His blood has shouted over us REDEEMED! FORGIVEN! WORHTY! In Gods sight, we are perfect. We are His perfect daughters. We need to declare that, even when we don’t feel like it. Speak it out!
2. And by the power of their testimony! They overcame by SPEAKING what the Lord has done for them, declaring His goodness in their lives. Even when you don’t feel like it, YOU SPEAK IT – YOU SHARE IT – YOU DECLARE IT! But you need to know what Jesus has done for you!
I have found that the ‘accuser’ is always there and his ways are the same. He will always throw things at you that you know can hurt, and that is usually things from our past, but it can be things that might have happened today!! Some days I listen to those accusations. But I can choose to listen to that voice saying you are not good enough or I can shift my focus to Jesus and remind myself that HE IS GOOD ENOUGH. He has made me accepted in the Beloved. My mistakes from today or my past is not my identity, but in Jesus and His finished work!
Romans 8:15-17: “And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,” leading you back into the fear of never being good enough. But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,” enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as He rises up within us, our spirits join Him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!” For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as He whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”