These are notes on the sermon, Speak Your Way to a Long, Happy Life, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Pastor Prince begins his sermon by asking us, “Do you want to really live? Would you love to live a long, happy life?” (Ps. 34:12 NET).
Then, he proceeds to show us God’s instructions on how to live such a life: “Then make sure you don’t speak evil words or use deceptive speech. Turn away from evil and do what is right. Strive for peace and promote it” (Ps. 34:13–14 NET)
According to this passage of Scripture, by watching what we say, doing what is right, and striving for peace, we are also “fearing” the Lord and honoring Him. Pastor Prince reminds us that we are not to have a slavish fear of the Lord, and in Romans 8:14–15, we are told that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’”
Today, the people of the world do not have a fear of the Lord. They complain and criticize; they slander, insult, post nasty comments. They may sound like the majority, but the majority is not always right.
Take for example the children of Israel at Kadesh Barnea. When the majority 10 spies spoke against going into the land that God had promised them, the people believed them and paid the price for it. They spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness before dying without ever entering the promised land. Only Joshua and Caleb, the 2 spies who wholly believed God’s Word and spoke about how they were able to take the land, made it into the land “flowing with milk and honey.”
Both these men, Joshua and Caleb, lived long, good lives. And Caleb at 85 said, “I'm as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me” because he believed God. For that, God said Caleb had a different spirit about him, and that was why Caleb could enter the promised land.
The Lord also wants us to have such a spirit of bold faith. He wants to fire up our spirits and impart to us the spirit of faith so that we become Christians with a different spirit, a spirit that says, “I believe and therefore I speak!”
In Psalm 34:13–14, God’s Word instructs us: “Make sure you don’t speak evil words or use deceptive speech. Turn away from evil and do what is right. Strive for peace and promote it.”
These instructions were quoted by the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 3:10–11, demonstrating that these verses still apply to people under the new covenant.
“For ‘He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.’”
—1 Peter 3:10–11 NKJV
Now, we all love life and want to see good days; not just a long life, but a long life full of good days. Then, it is important that we refrain our tongues from evil and our lips from speaking deceit. We are also instructed to turn away from evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it.
So the secret to a long, good life is in your mouth! In the Old Testament verses of Psalm 34, we have the negative instruction that tells us to refrain from speaking evil words. But God’s ways are always positive, and in the New Testament, He puts in a truth that helps us to complete the picture. In James 3, He says if anyone can tame their tongue, he is a perfect man.
But no one can be perfect in his behavior, except for our Lord Jesus. And unfortunately, the same tongue by which we worship God, we also use to curse men.
But pastor, I don’t curse men ever since I was saved. I don’t curse anymore.
Do you know what a curse really is? A curse is speaking something that puts someone down. When you malign, slander, or tell an untruth about someone, you are cursing that person. In Matthew 21:19, when Jesus cursed the fig tree, He did not say, “I curse you.” Instead, He said, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.”
So when you tell your son, “You’re forever so careless. You are always careless.” You have just placed a curse.
To help us tame our tongues, God gave us a gift. This gift came on the day of Pentecost when the church was born. On that day, the Holy Spirit came and with Him, came all the gifts of the Spirit, including the gift of speaking in tongues. And a prayer that never existed in the Old Testament was birthed in the church.
Now, this is a prayer language that the enemy cannot wiretap. He cannot understand tongues nor hack it. No AI (artificial intelligence) or ChatGPT can understand or access tongues. And the mysteries and the revelations that come to us through speaking in tongues are insights that no computer, no intelligence, artificial or otherwise, can ever come close to.
With this gift of speaking, praying, and singing in the Spirit, we can speak to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs in a church or corporate setting, as well as redeem the time (kairos) or buy up every opportunity, every kairos moment that comes our way (Eph. 5:15–20, see Keys to a Spirit-Filled Life).
On your own, you can sing and pray in the Spirit for your own edification (1 Cor. 14:4). Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, even when you are driving, you can exalt the Lord’s name. And you will be in much better shape when you arrive. When you are under stress, when worries and anxieties fill your heart and mind, sing and pray in tongues. As you do, you will find God filling you with His Spirit, and His divine life and power flowing into you, your body, your mind, and your situations.
And as you fill your mouth with this heavenly prayer language, there will be no opportunity to speak evil and deceit, but there will be peace and anointing, and Spirit-led words, thoughts, and deeds!
Looking at the world around us, we see an emphasis on doing and achieving through effort. People of the world will say that talk (or speaking) achieves nothing, and that doing is what’s important. Such a saying seems to make sense, in the natural.
But think about it, how were you saved? How did you receive the greatest gift of all, salvation? You were saved when you confessed with your mouth, the Lord Jesus, and believed in your heart. Yet, a lot of people find it just too simple. But simple doesn’t mean cheap because your salvation cost God His son, and it cost our Lord Jesus His life.
In Genesis, when God created the world, when He got things done and affected situations, all He did was speak (Gen. 1:11–31). And we are made in the image of God, in the likeness of God, not in the image of a monkey or a beast. When we speak, evil spirits obey the authority that we have in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Speaking in faith is an exercise of this authority.
And faith is not about doing, but about speaking and believing (Eph. 2:8–9, Rom. 10:9–10). Romans 10:5–6 says it this way: “Moses writes about the righteousness which is of the law, ‘The man who does those things shall live by them.’ But the righteousness of faith speaks.” When you believe, you do not trust your efforts or yourself. Instead, in whatever you do, you place your trust in the Lord.
For example, when you exercise, ask the Lord to bless your exercise, to quicken your body and strengthen you. It’s His blessing that secures the benefits of the exercise for you, not your efforts. And you’ll find that you won’t have to spend a long time in the gym, because with His blessings, a little becomes much.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”
—John 7:37–39 KJV
In these verses, the Lord invites all those who thirst to come to Him and drink. Now, drinking is a very personal thing. You have to go to the Lord, and you have to drink for yourself. No one can drink for you.
And when you go to the Lord yourself and drink, out of your belly, your innermost man, will flow rivers of living water. If any of your reading this has issues with your belly, or womb (the word “belly” is also used by the Jews to refer to the womb), you need to take note of the following where Pastor Prince expounds on Ezekiel’s vision from the Lord.
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. . . . Then he said to me: ‘This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.’”
—Ezekiel 47:1, 8–12 NKJV
In this vision that God gave Prophet Ezekiel of the temple, the prophet was brought to the door of the temple where he sees water flowing out from under the temple’s threshold toward the east, on the right side of the temple. And along the banks of this river, all kinds of trees used for food were growing. He saw that their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail, and the trees will bear fruit every month. “Leaves” here refer to your health, and in verse 12, it says, the leaves are for medicine, or medicine for health. This brings to mind Revelation 22:1–2:
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
The secret to all this happening is the water that flows from the temple, from the sanctuary. Today, who are the temple of God? You and I. So the more you let the river flow (pray in tongues), your leaves will not wither and your fruit will not fail. You will continue to bear fruit (compare Ps. 1:2–3) every month. You will remain evergreen and produce food, that is, revelation and knowledge, for your soul.
In verse 8, we are told that the water flows eastward of Jerusalem, which is where the Dead Sea lies. The water flows down the valley and when it enters the Dead Sea, the dead waters there are healed. Now, the sea always speaks of humanity, of mankind as a whole. And the sea we see here is dead. Because of Adam’s sin, man has been cut off from God, so they are dead spiritually. This deadness can manifest in health issues, in mental health issues, depression, anxiety, and in relationship problems.
So if you are experiencing physical problems, problems in your marriage, or a manifestation of death in any area of your life, know that Jesus wants to come in and save them. Our Lord came to conquer death, to bring rivers of living water into the dead areas you are seeing in your life.
In Ezekiel’s vision, when the river reaches the sea, its waters are healed and every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. Besides being of effect first in your life, what this also means is that if you keep praying in the Spirit and you meet someone who has experienced death in any area of their life, just a shake hand from you or a simple conversation, and they will live because of the waters that you, as the temple of God, issue from the sanctuary into that kairos moment with them.
So keep praying in the Spirit all day long, before you talk to your child, before you engage in a conversation, before you go for a meeting, even when you are tired and don’t feel like praying. The enemy wants to jam your mouth from speaking in the Spirit. He wants your mouth to speak bad things so that you cannot speak good things. But when you’re speaking in tongues, speaking in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, there will be no room for evil words, and a river of living, healing water will flow out of you!
“Don’t just talk the talk. You’ve got to walk the walk.”
I’m sure we’ve all heard this adage before. It tells us that we shouldn’t just pay lip service to a matter but actually put into action whatever values or opinions we espouse.
And while that seems right under many circumstances, when it comes to the things of God, the Bible places a different emphasis on what’s really important.
Look at this poignant scripture in Psalm 34:
“Does anyone want to live a life that is long and prosperous? Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies!”
—Psalm 34:12–13 NLT
And again in Proverbs 13:3 (ESV), we are told, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.”
From these verses we see that what we say can define the reality we experience, simply because our words reveal what we truly believe on the inside. That’s how faith works—through believing and speaking. That’s why the Lord wants us to guard and watch what we are saying about our lives, our children, our health. Because with our lips, we either release faith for our miracles or hinder them.
Now what’s even better than guarding our lips? It is to fill them with good things through engaging the gift of praying in the Spirit!
Every time we use this gift, we are allowing the Holy Spirit Himself to pray God’s best over us and into our situations! It will build us up, give us wisdom and insight, and lead us supernaturally and accurately in our own situations. It will literally cause the blessings of God to overflow from our “talk” into every area of our “walk”!
Maybe you’re familiar with it, but it’s been a while since you last prayed in tongues. Or maybe you’ve heard about the gift of tongues, but you’re not quite sure what it’s all about. Either way, Pastor Prince’s latest sermon will give you a deeper understanding and appreciation for this amazing grace gift God has given to every believer. When man-made solutions and steps can only take us so far . . . we can use this gift to unlock success, breakthrough, healing, and the wonderful future God has for us!
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
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These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.