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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Words can be powerful. Let's start by looking at God's Word and then see how that relates to our word. Let me begin with this statement and tear it down from there:

"God’s Word spoken in love and in accordance with God’s will creates something from nothing."

We know and can trust from Scripture that God is love. The Bible, God’s Word, we call it, says that God is love. So, every word spoken by God comes from a place of love. Why would we serve God if he were not love? So, if there is a God worth serving, we can agree that he is loving. So, we can assume that anything that is God's word is spoken in love.

And, every word spoken by God is according to his will. As humans, we are imperfect, we lie, our words are not always in accordance with our own will let alone with God’s will. You see that. But, that is not so with God. God is not divided. God is one. God is not a liar. Everything that God says we can assume is according to his will.

So for the sake of brevity, we can shorten this statement to:

"God’s Word creates something from nothing."

Now let me talk through what that "something" is. What is God creating?

We can read in 2 Tim 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed [God’s Word] and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

Useful - God's word is practical. It does something. It creates something. In this verse, it is described as creating righteousness.

Righteousness -  The purpose that this verse gives for creating righteousness is so that the servants of God will be able to do good works.

Good works - This is a new possibility that was created by God in his servants. Now, unlike before God spoke, they are able to do good.

In Hebrews 4:12 we read that the Word of God is alive and active. It has life. It is powerful.

Isaiah 55 puts it this way:
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Like rain brings life, God’s word brings life. It creates new life and new possibilities from nothing. It does. It always, 100% of the time, does. Without fail. Otherwise, it is not God's word. So, we can change the statement this way:

“God’s Word creates new possibilities from nothing.”

Now, let's look at the word nothing. Where are those new possibilities coming from?

We see this most clearly in the creation story of Genesis 1 and John 1.

Genesis 1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

He repeats this day after day, speaking this universe into existence. It would be amazing to think about him still speaking everything into existence now and now and now.

John 1 describes the original creation this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

The Word here is referring to Jesus Christ. (Check John 1:13 if that is a question for you.) So, everything that was created by God in the beginning was created through Christ. Life was in him and came from him. And, nothing was made apart from him.

So, now here is the final statement about what God's Word creates in this world:

“God’s Word creates new possibilities through Christ."

Now let's see what we can say about the power of human words.

We were each created. We were a new possibility through Christ. "I am a new possibility created by God through Christ." Try repeating that sentence every day. It might change our lives to think that way. Wouldn't it?

Try repeating it now. Maybe even say it aloud. Try it on for size. Does it fit?

We are created in God’s image according to Genesis 1:27 and knit together by God himself according to Psalm 139:13-14.

The Creator created human beings in the image of the Creator to be like the creator in creating.

Our likeness to the creator is not perfect or complete. "We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," (Romans 3:23). But, we were created like Him, in His image, to be creative with our words. And, I don't mean using descriptive vocabulary.

We can create new possibilities through Christ when we speak in love and in accordance with God's will.

1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

This amazing idea is echoed in many verses in the Bible. (Matthew 7:7; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:13-14, 15:7, 16, 16:23-24; Philippians 4:6-7; James 4:3)

So, our words can have power, if they are spoken in love and in accordance with God’s will. If in essence they are God’s words. God can speak through us. 

Or, through Christ, we can speak God's words. And, when we do, God creates new possibilities for us.
(The flip side is also true and this shouldn't be overlooked. There are many exhortations in the Bible to beware false teachers and false prophets whose words have the power to destroy instead of create. Our words can also potentially have destructive power which we see and feel everyday. Almost every fight has been begun with words and has escalated with words.)
Notice I said, they have the potential to create, not that they always do. God’s word has power and always accomplishes what He desires, and it achieves the purpose for which He said it.

Our words are not guaranteed to create because our words are not always spoken in love and aligned with God’s will.

How do we align our words with God's word so that we can create new possibilities through Christ for ourselves and others?

In Matt 7:15, false prophets are equated to ferocious wolves in sheep’s clothing.
God is not condemning wolves. He is condemning deception and ferociousness.

We are all inauthentic. We all lie, to each other and most often to ourselves. But, these wolves lie about being wolves. They lie about being inauthentic. They pretend that they are open books when in reality they are hiding. They are hypocrites.

Our integrity is crucial to speaking words that have the power to create new possibilities. Integrity comes from a commitment to being authentic. But, since we are all inauthentic, it is a commitment to being authentic about being inauthentic. That is integrity.

That’s God's condemnation of false prophets. They have no integrity.

And, whether you are a prophet or not, recognize that “God’s Word creates new possibilities through Christ.”

You have the power to create new possibilities through Christ as you speak God’s word in love and in accordance with God's will.

At first, our words take on power when we declare with our mouth "Jesus is Lord." Remember the righteousness that God was creating in us through His word as described in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. When we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth "Jesus is Lord," we are forgiven of our sins and are saved, making us righteous not because we do good things, but because Christ's righteousness is imparted to us. Here's how Paul described it.

Rom 10:6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: ... SKIP ahead to verse 8 “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

[And, like in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it is so we can be thoroughly equipped to do good works. And, the first good work is to speak to others so they, too, can experience the power of God's word. Paul continues...]

14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

If you want to see the power of God manifest in your life, speak God's word to create new possibilities through Christ. First, in ourselves, as we declare "Jesus is Lord" and then, in others, as we declare "Jesus is Lord."