If you are a student of the Bible you will at some time or another have looked at how our words effect us. One of the most important things I believe that the Body of Christ can do at this time in history, is not just learn new revelation but apply it, with both our actions and our words. Proverbs 18:21 tells us “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Have you heard the saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me”? Well that is just a big lie! There is power in words. The born again believer however, does not have to fear the words, or curses from other people if they know who they are in Christ and what His Word says about them. Proverbs 21:28, Matthew 5:10-12 Both deal with the same issue of words against you. If we belong to Christ (the Anointed One and His Anointing) then we don’t have to fear others’ words!
1 Peter 3:16 says “But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” You have authority over the words that are spoken over you. Just as you have authority over your reactions, and emotions to these words. So what words are we talking about then, that have life and death attached to them for the believer?
Your words have power! For good in your life or for harm. Now God wants you to use them for good, but the devil wants you to use them for harming your life, future and destiny in God. From Scripture we can see five levels of words that are worth studying. Let’s start from the Good and progress to the bad.
1. Words of Life,
2. Vocabulary of silence,
3. Idle words,
4. Murmuring and complaining,
5. Dangerous words
1. Words of Life are the highest level of words. These are the words we should be speaking as Christians, as ambassadors of heaven on this earth. These are words based on God’s Word.
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” In John 1:14, Jesus is described as the “Word made flesh”. His words are life, so speaking the Word is our best and highest level of speech. Try just as a discipline for yourself one day this week to not speak anything that is not from the Word of God. (if nothing else you will find out how much of the Word you know, or don’t know as the case may be!)
Now, it’s important that you understand this, Speaking what God’s Word says instead of speaking about the negative circumstances surrounding you is not “living in denial.” Many people get this mixed up. Let’s look at Romans 4:17, “(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;”
God spoke by faith about things that did not yet exist in the natural realm. This can be done because when they are spoken by faith, being the assurance of things hoped for, they do exist in the spiritual realm. The physical follows the spiritual, so it’s just a matter of applying patience to your faith to see the manifestation of your words. Notice you are not calling that which is, as though it was not! That is denial! You are just refusing to reinforce the circumstances with your words and you are calling on the Word of God and calling what does not yet exist in the physical realm as though it did, so that it can be!
Words of life are always followed up by actions consistent with them! James 1:22 shows this clearly “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
In other words if you say one thing and then do another, what you said was not in faith. Let me give you an example. If you are praying one morning for a new ministry bus for your Church and God says to you that He will provide one for you debt free by the end of the week. You proclaim “thank you Lord I receive that Bus debt free”. Then you go out that afternoon and start talking to the bank about whether or not you can borrow $40,000 to buy one, your actions are not consistent with your words.
We must make a quality decision to base our actions on what we find in the Word of God. Speaking the Word is a good start, it will develop your faith as you hear yourself say it. Then you need to put your faith into action and act on those words. James 2:14-17 put’s it this way “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
2. The Vocabulary of Silence is a skill that every believer should learn. If you can’t put voice to God’s Word and agree with what He says, then the next best thing is to say NOTHING.
A perfect illustration of this is found in Luke 1:5-20. Zacharias was a man who loved God, but when an angel showed up and told him that his wife would have a baby named John he started to list all the reasons for God’s Word to not work, so Gabriel had to help him not confess negatively. “But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time. “Luke 1:20
It was important that Zacharias did not speak unbelief over his wife or his son. The mission John the Baptist had was important and this was an important lesson to learn. It’s interesting to note that the first Words (Words of Life) that Zacharias spoke after John was born were in line with the Word of God. In Luke 1:13 Gabriel tells Zacharias “……you shall call his name John.”and Zacharias’ first words after being mute in Luke 1:63 are “…His name is John” Zacharias had got the message….get in line with the Word of God and speak that!
There is the same principle working in the lives of the Old Testament Israelites. Now Joshua who was their commander was given instructions by God in Joshua 6:3-5 to march around Jericho. God gave Joshua a supernatural battle strategy, not based on past experience, not based on training, not based on anything even heard of before, but based purely on the Word of God. Now notice that God did not tell Joshua to command the people not to speak, that was something Joshua added. Joshua 6:10 “Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”
Joshua knew the people well enough, he grew up with people who never made it to the promised land because of the negative words from their mouths and he was not about to let this generation make the same mistakes. He knew that they would winge and whine about walking around the city walls of Jericho. You can just imagine what kind of things could have come out of their mouths. “Why they’re laughing at us” and they probably were too! “What kind of battle plan is this?” Then some smart Alec in the back would say “Are we there yet?”
This strategy could not be jeopardised by doubt-filled words. If they couldn’t speak faith, they weren’t to speak anything. They walked around for six days without saying a word and do you know what happened? Instead of growing the seeds of doubt, seeds of faith grew. It says in Joshua 6:19 that “the people shouted with a great shout” You know that if they had been complaining for six days it would not have been a great shout, but a half hearted wimpy shout that might have moved a few roof tiles!
If you can’t speak faith and life, then keep quiet, hear the Word until you can and the measure of faith that God gave you will get developed to the point that you can.
3. Idle Words are a third level of words that Jesus talked about in Matthew 12:36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.” These are what Jesus called “idle words” The literal Greek used here for this word is “argos” meaning non-working, inactive, unfruitful. These kind of words don’t do anything against you but neither do they do anything for you! These are the kind of words that just lay around doing nothing, they produce nothing. They are like weights in our lives. When we are weighed down we don’t feel like doing anything.
Hebrews 12:1 gives us some understanding regarding how to deal with these kind of weights “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,”
We can usually identify sin fairly easily, but it’s not always as easy to identify “weights”. Some times they take the form of hobbies or sports, they are not wrong in themselves but they can start to consume our speech. We start to talk about them all the time and they begin to take a larger portion of our consciousness than the Word of God. One day we will have to give account for our words. Why? because out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). Vs 35 shows that these words effect our heart and our heart effects what we do and produce in life.
Now this doesn’t mean you can never talk about your hobbies or sport etc. but make use of the words, give God praise or glory or thanks in the things you enjoy. Because of the place of authority in this World that you have been given in Christ,
DON’T JUST WASTE YOUR WORDS!
4. Murmuring and Complaining are words that can bring disastrous results into our lives. I Corinthians 10:10-11 shows us an example of this “nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
It is a shame that we have to learn from others’ mistakes but nevertheless, it has been written for you by a loving God who is saying “DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE”. Murmuring by the Israelites thwarted the will of God for their entering into the promised land and it will you from entering into your promise too. This is why Joshua commanded them to not speak when walking around Jericho. Not only did it stop them entering in to Canaan it was also the cause of “destruction”, they opened the door for the destroyer!
Israel were warned in Exodus 23:20-21“Behold, I send an Angel before you to keep you in the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. “Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him.” Unfortunately they didn’t listen to this warning and the writer of Hebrews tells us “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.” (Hebrews 3:16)
If you want to die in the wilderness and never know what it is like to enter in to the promise of your destiny then keep on complaining. But if you have a desire to fulfil what God wants for your life, then get your speech right and don’t let murmuring and complaining come out of your mouth again.
5. Dangerous Words Now we get to the words that you want to distance yourself from, but unfortunately they are the most common ones in most Christians’ vocabulary. Not because of rebellion but because of habit! This level brings death, these words are contrary to the Word of God and so you find yourself speaking against God. Just as God has dispatched angels to“harken to His Word” (Ps 103 20-21). There are other fallen angels that will also harken to words that oppose what God says. These angels that we call demons, do not care if this is new to you or not, they won’t “let you off this time”. They are looking for any opportunity to bring sickness, poverty and destruction into your life. God wants to protect you from this, so He has instructed us in Ephesians 4:29,31, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
When you speak dangerous words you “..give place to the devil…” this is stated just before these verses in Ephesians 4:27. Proverbs 6:2 Puts it this way “You are snared by the words of your mouth; You are taken by the words of your mouth.” Take an account of what you say over the next 24 hours. Most people will say things like, “I’m sick and tired of this mess” then wonder why they are sick and tired. We phone people up especially to proclaim “I’m sick” instead of proclaiming “by His stripes, I am healed” The person on the other end of the phone then proclaims “Oh you poor thing” and speaks poverty over you!
Can I encourage you to read through this teaching 2 or 3 times and actively adjust your speaking if necessary. Speak words of Faith, Hope and Love and see the results in your life and in those around you.
© 2004 Christ Ministries International LTD