Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do Not Be Overcome! The Power of the Spoken Word

I heart the Word. It's my fave! I am super-passionate about weapon number five: the spoken Word! Okay, seriously, as I sit here typing, my heart rate has picked up. That's how excited I get about this subject. I'm like a hard-core fan club president of the Word of God. I swoon. And here is why: it works. Every time. And it always satisfies. Every time. Nothing can compete with that. 

Today, I want to specifically reflect on the power of the SPOKEN WORD OF GOD. I'm talking about the kind that comes out of your mouth. Out loud. Verbally. 

Now, let's stop right here and address the subject of "Name it and Claim it." I know that sometimes when people hear talk of confessing the Word over themselves or their situations, they automatically shut down. Perhaps they have had a bad experience with a television evangelist and subsequently lump all verbal confessions into the dirty category of "Name it and Claim it." I do not watch television evangelists, so I do not know what they are saying these days, but I do know that no amount of criticism in this area can change the power of the Word of God. It's impossible. This is yet another example of how Satan will take a spiritual truth, twist it, warp it, chop it up, and put it back together into something that is no longer pure or truthful-- just to get people off track. It really ticks me off, I tell you. 

So, rather than just avoid the topic for fear of being labeled one of "those people", I'd like to start fresh and take a healthy look at what the Bible has to say about it all. Oh, I'm getting excited again! My wrists are sweating.

Let's go way back to when the earth was dark and formless and empty. How did everything get here?

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
Genesis 1:3

God SAID! He created with His words. Genesis chapter one is full of God saids. And although I am no theologian, I do believe that God is demonstrating an important spiritual principle here. Words have power.

His words made birds of paradise, Mars, the rain forest, lightning bugs, Venus fly traps, sandy beaches, and human beings. Those are some mighty powerful words. Notice God did not just think the words. He said them. 

Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."
Genesis 1:26

Hmm...interesting. We were made in God's image, in His likeness. What does this mean? He actually made us to be like Him, with His characteristics, perfect in every way, including speaking powerful words. In fact, the first recorded job that God gave Adam was to speak out names for the animals!

Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
Genesis 2:19-20

This is a side note, but I really like the way this passage hints at God's curiosity. He brought all the animals to see what Adam would name them. I'm guessing that God must have been pretty excited about all the things He'd just created. He knew He had done well, and now He couldn't wait to see what Adam would think of His work. What he named them would reflect what Adam thought of each creature. And I love that God respected Adam enough to trust him with this very significant task.

Of course, things got all messed up when sin entered the picture, but God's spiritual laws and principles have remained constant. Somehow, we modern folks have lost sight of the power of our words, but people in the Old Testament understood how much words really matter. 

When Jacob stole the birthright from his brother, Esau, what exactly was it that he stole? Was it the deed to his father's property? A box containing his father's life savings? The title to his herd of camels? No. It was words! He stole the spoken words of blessing intended for his slightly older brother. Words, my friend, were worth more than gold and property. I feel so sorry for poor Esau every time I read this story. When he discovered that his father had already spoken the blessing over Jacob,

...he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me--me too, my father!" But he said, "Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing."...Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!" Then Esau wept aloud.
Genesis 27:34-35, 38

Some might say, "Oh, for Pete's sake. Why is he bawling over some words? Does it really matter that his dad said some nice things to Jacob?" But Esau's bitterness was legitimate. Isaac's words spoken over Jacob changed Jacob's future. Those words spoken in faith released God's blessings into Jacob's life. This is only one example of many Old Testament stories that reveal the importance of words.

God placed a choice before the nation of Israel of life or death, and revealed to them that the choice of life was in the Word of God that was in their mouths and hearts.

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
Deuteronomy 30:11-15

The wisest king, Solomon,understood this principle too.

From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:20-21

Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.
Proverbs 22:17-18

David also understood the value of God's words.

And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.
Psalm 12:6

Of course our best example of this principle in action is Jesus. How did the spoken word play a part in His ministry here on earth? Well, a study of the gospels will reveal that Jesus used words to overcome the power of the enemy! When he was tempted by Satan in the desert, he spoke the Word of God. He spoke with authority to demons when he healed people. He spoke to a fig tree, a storm, and several dead people. His teachings also included instructions in the area of the spoken word.

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Matthew 12:34-37

"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Mark 11:22-24

Now let's take a look at what the apostle Paul has to say about our words. In Romans he actually refers back to the passage we just read in Deuteronomy.

But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:8-10

And in 2 Corinthians, Paul writes of that natural marriage between believing and speaking.

It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak...
2 Corinthians 4:13

Hopefully, it is becoming clear how important our words are! Confessing the Word is not a fad or a new religion. It is not super-freaky or something to be afraid of either. It is a wonderful gift, a tool, a weapon! And I have so much more to say about it. How do we practically apply this principle to our daily lives? What is actually happening when we confess God's Word and how do we do it? I want to share my personal, practical applications with you in my next post. I would also love to share some of the helpful resources that I personally use and love. And I'm so passionate about this subject, I'm going to host a giveaway and share some of these things with you, my overcoming friends!



  1. You are such a good teacher, Rachelle! You need to publish a devotional book. How does all this knowledge pour out of you like this? Your thoughts and words are beautiful, just like you are.


  2. Listen to your momma. She is right.


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