Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Power of Words

I've been thinking a lot recently about the power of words. It's so easy to think of words that come out of our mouths as nothing but bursts of hot air that don't have any lasting impact in any shape form or sense, so it's easy to use our words carelessly. It can be easy to forget just how powerful, life changing and even world changing words can be.

The entire universe came into being through words spoken from the mouth of God Himself. The book of Genesis explains how in the beginning the world was dark and formless, until God spoke and said, "Let there be light" and then there was light. God spoke - and the universe obeyed his command. His words created something powerful and tangible. God did not sit down and attempt to figure out light, or try to build light with His own two hands. He simply spoke the word and light appeared.

In the same way, our words have the power to both create and destroy things. Granted - if it's the middle of the night and we say "let there be light" the world isn't all of a sudden going to transform into daylight. Our words are not as powerful as the words of God. But they are still very powerful and very capable of changing things - sometimes for eternity. Proverbs 18:21 says "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat it's fruits." The Bible clearly says that our words have the power to both build up and destroy. I remember when I first became a Christian. I received a prophetic word which was spoken over my life that said "I would touch a generation with my words". Those words impacted me powerfully and created a sense of hope in my soul that wasn't there before - not to mention a strong desire to follow God. 12 years later and those words are now coming true as I am a published author. My story of healing from mental illness is slowly spreading across the globe and I am receiving amazingly positive feedback from people who tell me it has changed their lives. The words spoken over my life came true - and also created a desire in me to follow God which would aid in seeing these words come true.

Our words can also have a deeply negative impact on things. A great deal of the mental suffering in my life has come from powerful negative words spoken over someone in my generational family lines out of jealousy that created a curse of poverty over my life. This person who spoke this curse of poverty may have only done it out of frustration without realizing what they were doing - who knows what their motives truly were - but it created something in the spiritual realm that has hung over my head my entire life and been a powerful cause of bitterness, frustration and even hatred in my life. Because of this curse of poverty I simply could not get ahead financially. It didn't matter what I did or how much money I had - it would always find some way to disappear and I would be left just barely scraping by, as per usual. This was not a matter of "needing to learn to save better" or anything like that. It was the fact that a curse was operating over my life in the spiritual realm due to the negative bitter words spoken generations back which would always create circumstances to strip me of whatever money I had. The only way its hold on my life was finally broken was through prayer. Negative words created a curse in the spiritual realm that simply would not go away on their own - only through the power of the name of Jesus being confessed was their power able to be broken over my life.

Speaking - especially speaking in the heat of the moment in a situation of conflict - has always been something I've struggled with enormously. I have no problem speaking in public in front of people but when it comes to confrontational situations I find it very difficult to get the words out. I used to think that this was because of a lack of self belief and a doubt in my own ability to change anything or any situation using my words. But as I've thought on the subject further I've realized that the truth is actually the opposite. There's been a subconscious belief operating in my life that is all too aware of the incredible power of words and the influence that they have in the spiritual realm which has translated into a fear of saying the wrong thing or saying something that I might regret later. Due to the curse of poverty over my life I was subconsciously aware of the incredible power my words could have which translated into a fear of speaking as I feared that I would bring poverty - or something far worse - into someone's life by speaking to them in what could be perceived as a negative manner even if I had every right to say it. This realization of these subconscious thinking processes has helped to free me up a bit more inside and helped me to realize that although my words have power, if I use them wisely then I have nothing to fear.

It is important to use wisdom and caution when speaking into people's lives and circumstances. A certain spoken word into somebody's life may be exactly what they need to hear and may create a sense of hope in their soul. A spoken word into a dark area in a person's heart may bring to the surface the root of that dark area and expose it to the light which opens a door for that person to go free. But a word spoken wrongly - even with the right motives - can have devastating consequences. This is why we must choose wisdom and seek out the counsel of the spirit of God if we feel we are meant to speak a word into somebody's life. It's wise to sit and pray before speaking a word into someone's life - but it's also unwise to not say anything when we know that God has told us to. I remember hearing a story of a pastor who met with a friend of his for lunch. They were simply chatting about daily life when the pastor was strongly impacted by a word from God - "Tell him that if he doesn't change his diet, he will be dead in 3 years time." The pastor (obviously a man well acquainted with words) was shocked by what he believed God was telling him to do - he even doubted he had heard from God in the first place - so he chose to say nothing. 3 years later, his friend was dead. A word given by God could have saved that man's life - yet since he chose not to give it, his friend perished.

We must learn to keep our emotions in check when it comes to speaking. Speaking rashly in a place of frustration, anger or fear can create lasting impacts in the spiritual realm around us and in the hearts and souls of those whom we are speaking to. It's always easy to say afterwards "Oh I was just upset when I said that, I didn't really mean it" but at the end of the day those words don't matter because regardless of whether they were meant or not - they created something and changed the atmosphere. Once I received an abusive message via Facebook. I was very angry reading the message and wanted to (quite rightly) give the person who sent it a piece of my mind as I knew in my heart and soul that their vicious attack against me was unfounded and way out of line. I wanted to strike back with the truth but the spirit of God said to me clearly "DON'T SAY ANYTHING IN RETURN." I was angry about this because I felt like I had every right to speak the truth and stand up for myself about the situation and this person's conduct - yet I did as I was told and remained silent. Later on I asked God "Why did you tell me not to say anything in return to that person when they were quite clearly in the wrong and I had every right to defend myself?" God Rhema'd to me the scripture Proverbs 26:4 - "Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be just like him." This person was speaking foolish words not based in fact and completely ignoring the deliberate sin and wrongdoing in their own life. God didn't want me to respond because He knew that this person could not see their own faults even if I told them so and that they were full of bitterness and anger. Responding to the foolish words of a fool would simply cause them to speak even more foolishly out of their bitterness which could create unwanted things in the spiritual realm that could try to come against me.

In conclusion, next time you are going to say something that you know could change things - possibly in an irreversible manner - remember the power of the words that you speak. They have the power to create and destroy equally. Ask yourself if you are really speaking from a clear head and out of a conviction of the Word of God for someone or if you're just angry in the heat of the moment and need to take some time to calm down before you create something with your words you may not be able to take back. But on the other hand - if you know that God is telling you to say something to someone - then say it. Even if it seems like it could be destructive or hard for them to hear. If you know that God is telling you to say something and you don't say it - far worse consequences could happen in that situation than any perceived consequence you may be afraid of as a result of speaking into their lives.

Take care.

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