The whole process of creation was carried out by God through His word joining the Holy Spirit. By His word there was light, sun, moon and stars were created and placed in their respective orbits and the earth produced whatever it was commanded to do. And then God created man in His image and likeness and gave him dominion over everything on the earth. But did God also give man power and authority to use his word to affect changes or bring about things that are not?
Importance of right speaking and listening – Solomon shared his God given wisdom to tell that, ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit’ (Proverbs 18:21). And that a fools lips are the snare of his soul and cause of destruction and the words of a talebearer go down into the inmost belly thus affecting the listener’s life (Proverbs 18:7-8). The Savior Lord has also taught that, ‘Whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be in danger of the council (Sanhedrin). But whoever says, ‘You fool’ shall be in danger of hell fire’ (Matthew 5:22). But why did the Lord place such great punishment for such simple words which are spoken so casually? At any time there are at least three parties privy to anything that we speak, first, God who is in us; second, the demonic forces that are all around us and thirdly, the speaker himself. The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters but the action started only after the Word was spoken by God (Genesis 1:2). Satan and his demonic forces catch our spoken words as authority to act upon.
The Holy Spirit in us is the Spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind and the words that we utter have the power of life and death (2 Timothy 1:7). Our words of condemnation of someone not only affect him but also us, for the exercise of the given power is required to be controlled by love and self control. Our calling someone a fool is adversely affecting that person’s life while the devil is likely to cause strife. Secondly, we are being judgmental about another person in violation of God’s commands and our sin of disobedience leads us to judgment and sin (Matthew 7:1-2). Lord Jesus has taught, ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life’ (John 6:63).
There are two types of laws that are operating in the universe (Job 38:33), God given spiritual laws about life as governed by the Kingdom of God and God given natural laws governing life on the earth. Man was created to live as per spiritual laws but man chose to fall under the natural laws of the knowledge of good and evil of this world. We were created in God’s image and likeness to give effect to things on the earth with our words. King David said, ‘I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle while the wicked are before me’ (Psalm 39:1). Are the wicked that were present before David human beings or demonic forces? We fight against ‘rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 6:12). Sin of the tongue through the spoken word opens a door for these forces to take charge and act against us and others and we become partners with them.
Angel Gabriel was sent by God to proclaim the word of God to Zechariah, the priest, regarding a blessing about the birth of a son, John the Baptist, in their old age. But Zechariah doubted and was made ‘mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place’ to restrain him from interfering in the plan of God through his negative words (Luke 1:13-20). While giving testimony about some miracle in one’s life, people continue to speak on and on without realizing that through their words they are likely to receive judgment. What is required is to confess the miracle, thank God the Father and Lord Jesus for that and place a hand on the mouth lest I say something wrong.
Different types of tongues – As per the Scripture there are four types of tongues in men. First is the controlled tongue of those who think before speaking, know when silence is best and give wise advice (Proverbs 10:19). Second, type is the caring tongue that speaks truthfully while seeking to encourage (Proverbs 12:18). Third is the conniving tongue that is filled with wrong motives, gossip, slander and a desire to twist the truth (Proverbs 6:12). And fourth type is the careless tongue that is filled with lies, curses, quick tempered words that lead to rebellion and destruction (Proverbs 15:4). What we speak affects more people than any other action of ours and brings curses on our own life also.
The centurion whose servant was sick admitted his sinful life and his unworthiness to come into Lord Jesus’ Divine presence and urged Him to ‘say the word, and my servant will be healed’ (Luke 7:7). He recognized that the spoken word releases the spiritual powers setting them into motion. On the other hand, Jairus beseeched Lord Jesus to come to his house and to lay hands on his daughter, ‘that she may be healed and live’. He wanted action as per the natural laws of the world (Mark 5:23). While moving towards Jairus’ house a message was received that his daughter was already dead but Lord Jesus set into motion the spiritual laws by saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe’. The same action was repeated by the Lord in Jairus’ house, ‘The child is not dead but only asleep’ (Mark 5:35-39). Lord Jesus permitted no one to follow Him except Apostles Peter, John and James, to stop any speech from anyone in violation of spiritual laws.
The Old Testament prayer was ‘Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips’ (Psalm 141:3). God’s command to Moses was, to send the leaders of each tribe to ‘spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel’ (Numbers 13:2 & 30-33). On return all accepted the goodness of the land but ten gave a negative report while Joshua and Caleb urged them to go in at once. The ten said, ‘we were grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their (the giants) sight’. Faith in God’s promise was lost and worldly laws were released leading to death and destruction for them. And the LORD declared to Moses to tell the Israelites, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you’ and all Israelites above twenty years old and above died in the wilderness except ‘Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun’ and those below twenty years of age could enter the Promised Land (Numbers 14:28-34). Each day spent by them in spying out the land, forty days were turned into forty years in the wilderness as a result of what they had spoken.
King David said, ‘I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and Your truth, for You have magnified Your word above Your name’ ( Psalm 138:2). How can God’s word be exalted above His name for His name represents His person, great power and majesty? To God any Word of His is more sacred than His own name and God binds Himself by His words. King David prayed to God, ‘For Your word’s sake, and according to Your heart, You have done all these great things, to make Your servant know them. Therefore You are great, O LORD God’ to make His word known to me fully (2 Samuel 7:21-22). The Son of God is the Word manifested in flesh and God has magnified His Son above every other manifestation of Himself (John 1:14). His Word is honored by God and all His promises in Him are ‘yes and Amen’ to the glory of God through us (2 Corinthians 1:20).
We are ‘being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Corinthians 3:18). We are given ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ (Ephesians 6:17). Greek word ‘machaira’ translated as sword is ‘a short sword or a dagger’ used for stabbing or retribution. On the other hand the sword in Lord Jesus’ mouth is two edged and a ‘romphaiah’ which is a large sword. Lord Jesus’ word cuts every way that the sword is wielded by Him whereas our sword is shorter to cause effect on a limited scale. When God has exalted His Word He has bound Himself by His own word for His very name depends on fulfillment of His word and when we proclaim His word in the authority and power of His Son, the same gets fulfilled by God. We are created in the image and likeness of God and the same rule applies to our spoken word for the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit gets into action to confirm our words.
Authority and power for believers – Lord Jesus’ gave power and authority to the disciples ‘over all demons, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick’ (Luke 9:1-2). Also the Savior Lord gave the disciples power over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease’. This command to ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons’ is again about being authorized to act on His authority (Matthew 10:1 & 7-8). Lord Jesus has promised, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father’ (John 14:12). Either we believe His word or we reject it as false. He did not tell us to pray for the sick but to heal them and to use the sword of the Spirit to good effect in His power and authority.
If anyone does not stumble in the word, he is a perfect man (James 3:2) and what is spoken and what is left unsaid are both important. Speaking the right words in faith will release the power of God’s promise and doubts or not speaking out would restrain God from blessing us. If we do not take authority and become commanders how can we expect and receive miracles to happen in our lives. ‘Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, ‘Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the works of My hands, you command Me’ (Isaiah 45:11). We cannot order God but probably what He means is for us to take our authority and command His power to work for us in confirmation of our spoken words. The electric supply is there in the wire but I have to flip the switch to turn on the lights. The power source has generated the power and made it available and though I am not the power source but I have been given the control over what that power can do. The moment I assume my authority in Lord Jesus’ name the power is under my command.
Lord Jesus has filled to the full the completion of works of the prophecy and he has already healed everyone that will ever be healed (Isaiah 53:5 & 1 Peter 2:24). He has deposited this resurrection power inside every believer (Ephesians 1:20). He has done His part and blessed us with His authority and power of the Holy Spirit to perform and receive marvelous healing of the body and soul and to perform miraculous deeds. We are not to pray for the sick but we are to heal the sick in Lord Jesus’ name through our words. Lord Jesus was ‘in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts and the angels ministered to Him’ (Mark 1:13). Satan knew about His Divine status, yet he tempted the Lord while wild beasts and the angels watched in silence and thereafter the devil withdrew. Satan moves around like a roaring lion trying to create fear in our hearts and lead us away from the blessed state of power in Lord Jesus (1 Peter 5:8). The devil has no God given power against us but the authority that Adam and Eve have given and now we give. Satan cannot do anything to us without our permission and cooperation or without God’s specific permission which may be for testing our faith.
Our confession of Lord Jesus as our Savior Lord releases His blessing of His confession before our Heavenly Father and also before His angels (Matthew 10:32 & Luke 12:8). This confession of the Lord is providing us with an identity in heavenly places like providing a connection to the electric power line to enable us to use that. Law of God is unchangeable and Joshua and Caleb entered the Promised Land on the basis of their confession. In like manner, the words spoken by us release blessings or curses, for God blesses while the devil causes turmoil as per our spoken word which gives him authority to do so. When a child comes home with his report card, it will be seen that he has done very well in some subjects while not too well in some. When we praise him for the good then we can help him find a way to overcome the weaknesses also but if we focus only on the bad, he will falter even in the good.
God the Father is well aware of our weaknesses but He focuses on the good to encourage, enlighten and strengthen us. No one can stop the flow of blessings into our lives but only we through our spoken words. What we speak gives authority to God or Satan to intervene in our lives for they both have their inherent power but can only affect us through our cooperation. God desires our willing cooperation while the devil takes control through our loose talk. Who do we want to cooperate with is totally up to us and the power of our spoken words will reveal our true intent!