I haven’t had a sense of urgency per se with my posts in a while. Now don’t get me wrong–I love to share thoughts I’m working through or ideas and I always feel like there is something that I can share, but this morning I had an unexpected sense of urgency with what the Holy Spirit stirred me to write. Make sense? Like what I want to write vs what He wants me to write. I was sitting on the bus to work this morning and mulling over my thoughts for today’s post and I couldn’t get a couple of sentences out of my mind. I was like okay okay I will remember this when I get to work. And the thoughts were swarming. To the point where I knew I had to write them in my phone so I wouldn’t forget any of them by the time I got to the office. It would be like your dog jumping up and down wanting to go for a walk, or pulling the leash off the key hook as if to say I’m ready–take me out!
The thought for today is about the power of words. Maybe this sounds like old hat to you but the more I thought about it–the more I couldn’t stop thinking about it. For most of my life, from a very young age, I knew how dangerous my own mind could be, my own negative thoughts, my own self-analysis, and the bullying words of others. Like the Bible says in Proverbs 16 MSG:
24 Gracious speech is like clover honey—
good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body.
I love that. Just the name clover honey sounds magical and wildly delicious in my mind. The words sound good. And then the picture of it being tasty to our soul and energizing is powerful. Words can literally be savory to your soul and give you a boost of adrenaline. On the other hand in James 3 MSG:
5-6 It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
Words literally have the power to destroy–whether it be someone’s confidence, reputation, joy, whatever words can be a dangerous weapon out of the mouth of human beings and when whispered through the Enemy and His legions.
The great reminder and relief though is that God’s Word supersedes both—both humans and His antithesis, Satan. In Hebrews 4 MSG it says:
12-13 God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what
So what is the point of everything I just said?
I began thinking about all of this and came to two revelations:
1. My words can be my own undoing or someone else’s
2. My words have the power to unleash Heaven in the same way that God’s Word spoke Creation into existence
Think about this example: I think inwardly that I am not beautiful. I think it so often that I begin to believe it and my inner “words” become my thoughts and beliefs. If someone bullies me and says I am ugly they have outwardly vocalized what I have believed in secret. Satan knows my weakness. He has the power to whisper self-doubt into my ear based on my life’s experience i.e. if I was married and my husband cheated on me Satan could easily tell me it wouldn’t have happened if I were prettier.
It is very important to be careful with the words and “truths” I choose to believe or even speak over myself. We grossly under-estimate how powerful those words are. In the same way we need to be careful not to be the “bully” over someone else’s life. I sometimes wonder if moments like Why did I say that? were really moments where I could have avoided being a mouthpiece for the Enemy by simply remaining silent or asking God if that was something He wanted me to say.
With the next point, my words have the potential for Divine power. Hebrews 11:3 ESV says:
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
I think I’ve forgotten this simple fact: everything was created out of the Word. A Word was uttered by the Most High and had no choice but to come to fruition. Imagine that. A quick Google search and I found the best explanation of this:
Question: “What does the Bible say about the power of words?”
Answer: Words are not simply sounds caused by air passing through our larynx. Words have real power. God spoke the world into being by the power of His words (Hebrews 11:3), and we are in His image in part because of the power we have with words. Words do more than convey information. The power of our words can actually destroy one’s spirit, even stir up hatred and violence. They not only incite wounds but inflict them directly. Of all the creatures on this planet, only man has the ability to communicate through the spoken word. The power to use words is a very unique and powerful gift from God.
I find that wild. OUR WORDS, OUR MOUTHS, have the same power as the Creator because we were made in His image. Therefore what we can say with our mouth has equal authority/power. That is a powerful ability. Imagine the things we could do if we used that power properly?
The last reading I want to reference today is in Job:
1-3 Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East!
4-5 His sons used to take turns hosting parties in their homes, always inviting their three sisters to join them in their merrymaking. When the parties were over, Job would get up early in the morning and sacrifice a burnt offering for each of his children, thinking, “Maybe one of them sinned by defying God inwardly.” Job made a habit of this sacrificial atonement, just in case they’d sinned.
The First Test: Family and Fortune
6-7 One day when the angels came to report to God, Satan, who was the Designated Accuser, came along with them. God singled out Satan and said, “What have you been up to?”
Satan answered God, “Going here and there, checking things out on earth.”
8 God said to Satan, “Have you noticed my friend Job? There’s no one quite like him—honest and true to his word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”
9-10 Satan retorted, “So do you think Job does all that out of the sheer goodness of his heart? Why, no one ever had it so good! You pamper him like a pet, make sure nothing bad ever happens to him or his family or his possessions, bless everything he does—he can’t lose!
11 “But what do you think would happen if you reached down and took away everything that is his? He’d curse you right to your face, that’s what.”
12 God replied, “We’ll see. Go ahead—do what you want with all that is his. Just don’t hurt him.” Then Satan left the presence of God.
13-15 Sometime later, while Job’s children were having one of their parties at the home of the oldest son, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys grazing in the field next to us when Sabeans attacked. They stole the animals and killed the field hands. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”
16 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Bolts of lightning struck the sheep and the shepherds and fried them—burned them to a crisp. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”
17 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Chaldeans coming from three directions raided the camels and massacred the camel drivers. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”
18-19 While he was still talking, another messenger arrived and said, “Your children were having a party at the home of the oldest brother when a tornado swept in off the desert and struck the house. It collapsed on the young people and they died. I’m the only one to get out alive and tell you what happened.”
20 Job got to his feet, ripped his robe, shaved his head, then fell to the ground and worshiped:
21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth.
God gives, God takes.
God’s name be ever blessed.
22 Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God.
Let me say that I’m not Job. His reaction to all that he went through was much more admirable than how I’ve handled loss or disappointment. But it reminds me that he was a man of his word. Satan could whisper lies to Him about maybe how God didn’t love him, how maybe something he did or didn’t do was to blame for what had happened to his family, but instead of listening to the power of those words, he was wise enough to use what he knew of God and speak life over the situation and worship. He knew his God to be above all things. He knew his God to be too good to be behind these evil things.
So I challenge not only myself but you to reflect on what bad words you are reciting over yourself, your situation, and others and how you can free the hold they have by speaking positivity over them. By speaking the word of God over them. By refusing to believe the lies of the Enemy who comes to kill, steal, and destroy like the thief he is, and to remember that you are a child of the Most High, the one whose very words spoke everything into being.
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