What you say matters. Your words may seem insignificant, but they carry more weight and power than you can possibly imagine. Yet many times I hear believers describe in graphic and sometimes gruesome detail the victories which they perceive that the enemy is having in their lives and even in their bodies, and it is precisely because they do not understand the power of their words; and as a result, they do not realize the ground which they are giving-up to the enemy.
That’s why in this study today, we will be examining the power of what we say, the words that we speak, and what the Bible says about it all. This is not new-age philosophy, but it is Bible fact and truth from the Word of God.
So let’s begin our study, by reading James 3:3-6:
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, wherever the governor wants.
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.”
A bit is placed in the mouth of a horse and it steers the entire body, in the same manner does our mouth; our tongue; the words that we speak also direct our entire body. James here also uses the analogy of a ship in verse 4. Even though the ship is large and the wind gives it drive and motion, the direction of the ship is decided ultimately by the helm. Likewise also, even though our entire body is a large working machine, which is given force by the wind (the Spirit) our direction is ultimately decided by our tongue.
In verse 5 we see that a large matter can be made even by a small amount of fire, and most people interpret this to mean arguments and disagreements, and yes, it can certainly mean that also, but I want to open your awareness to another kind of matter… because fire many times in the Bible can also mean judgment. Because the next verse 6 tells us that the tongue is a fire, it is a world of iniquity able to defile the whole body, it sets on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of hell.
Make no mistake, what sets our tongues on fire is hell, plain and simple. The bad words that we speak are not natural… they come from hell. The words of doubt, discouragement, fear, worry and all manner of cursing are not natural… they come from hell. And even a little bit of that fire emanating from our tongue can cause a big matter.
Proverbs 4.24 tells us:
“Put away from you a fraudulent mouth, and perverse lips put far from you.”
Now a fraudulent mouth denotes lies, and perverse lips mean willfully and purposefully going contrary to a thing. In the context of this verse here in Proverbs, the thing is God’s Words. So we can see that a mouth which speaks lies contrary to the Words of God are not good, and can actually be harmful. Proverbs 12:18 says this:
“There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.”
A wise person will speak health over their life, but we don’t hear many believers doing this today. Most of the time, we hear believers speaking about the latest ailment they have, or the new deadly outbreak that is sure to afflict them next. I remember some time ago there was a big scare about the bird flu, and everyone I talked to was panicking about it. I said “I’ll never get that… It would have to get through Christ to touch me because I’m in Him.” – and these “believers” thought that I was crazy for saying that… well sure enough they all got the flu and I didn’t. Now why? Was it because God loves me more than them? No, of course not. Was it because I was more spiritual or more holy than them? Nope! Not that either… Turn to Proverbs 4:20-23:
“My son, attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings.
Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the middle of your heart.
For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Notice that when we attend to God’s words, when we incline our ear to His sayings, when we focus on them and keep them, that they will be life to those that find them and health to all their flesh. You can not spiritualize this – flesh means the body here… your skin, bones, internal organs, all of it.
Notice that verse 23 says to keep your heart with all diligence. We must always guard our heart from the many influences of the world, the many spirits that will try to move us out of the realm of faith and into the realm of fear, worry and doubt. Remember that whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). We must guard against worldly influences of fear, worry, doubt and depression as well, because spirits are contagious. Check your heart when you watch the news… do the stories upset you, do they trouble you? They have an affect. Don’t ever say that the media, the shows you watch or the music that you listen to does not affect you, because remember: we use television and music to teach children how to read and write. We already know that they have a long lasting effect, and can train and teach us.
Let me give you another example of this from scripture. In Numbers 13, the Israelites send out twelve spies to inspect the land of promise which God had given them. And as they returned, this was the report from ten of the twelve spies, in Numbers 13:27-29:
“And they told him, and said, We came to the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.
The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan.”
Now keep in-mind that this was the land that God had already promised them that they have, all they had to do was go in and posses it. Yet these ten spies came back and as we read in verses 28 and 29, they basically said “the people are too strong, the walls are to tall and there are giants in the land.” (The Children of Anak mentioned in the verse refers to the Anakites, a race of formidable giants).
Now in verse 30, Caleb has a different report, a report of faith, for he trusts in God and believes in His promises regardless of the outward appearance.
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.”
In verse 30, Caleb says Let us go up at once and posses it! There’s no reason to even wait, because God has already given us the land! Caleb says we are well able to overcome it! But as we see in verse 31, the ten other spies are not operating in faith, but in fear and doubt and they say that they cannot conquer the people there.
And in verse 32, we see that God calls the report of those ten spies, evil. God calls their report which is not based on His Word and His promise, evil. And today, there are a lot of evil reports being spoken, even in Christian circles.
In the next chapter, Numbers 14, the people continue to complain and wallow in fear and they even go so far in verse 4 as to say “let us appoint a captain and return to Egypt.” But the two spies who were of faith rise up again in faith and speak, let’s continue the story in Numbers 14:9-10:
“Only rebel not you against the LORD, neither fear you the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.”
Joshua and Caleb continue speaking in faith, not letting the evil report of the majority sway them in the least. They say do not fear the people, they are bread for us! Their defense has left them and the LORD is with us: Do not fear them!
Such words of faith are hardly heard at all anymore with today’s brand of believer. Joshua and Caleb are not going by what their physical eyes see, or what their human senses are telling them, but they are leaning completely and totally on the Word and the Promise of God. And what happened upon hearing such inspiring words of faith? All the people said “Hey, he’s right! God is on our side! Let’s take that land!”
Well, no… We see in verse 10 that the people were preparing to stone them. And the same kind of response can still be seen today, even among Christian-folk who don’t believe that God is as good and as amazing as the scriptures plainly say. The average believer does not like anyone who speaks with the faith of God because it goes against their natural experience and human reasoning, and so they rail against what they do not understand or what doesn’t fit their personal ideology.
In verse 28, the LORD said of the ten spies who spoke the evil report: as you have spoken in my ears, so will I do to you. They received exactly what they had spoken, they were not able to posses the land, and they were slaughtered by their enemies.
So my question to you today is “what have you been speaking?”. What spirit is in-control of your tongue? Is it the spirit of fear, which God has not given (2nd Timothy 1:7)?
Or is it the Spirit of Faith based on the promises of God?
God says of Caleb in verse 24, that he has a different Spirit. That, my friends, is the Spirit of Faith – the very same Spirit that you and I have today. Caleb was not some super-spiritual figure that is so high on a pedestal that we can but dream about him. No, the Bible says in 2nd Corinthians 4:13 that we have the exact same Spirit of Faith with us today… the Holy Spirit of God.
I am not just talking about positive confession or the law of attraction or any of these things, no I am talking about standing on the solid foundation of the Words and Promises of God in Faith.
God is a faith God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6) and Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). So you see, it all revolves around Jesus. You cannot stand firm without a foundation and Jesus is the Solid rock upon which anything of value can be built (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is also the manifested Word of God (John 1:1), so the more of the Word you have and speak, the more of Jesus you are having and speaking and the more faith will be manifested in you and the more solid you will be.
He said for us to come to Him and drink and out of our bellies, shall flow rivers of living water.
It all comes back to Jesus.
So whatever giants you are facing today, I encourage you, don’t go by what your physical senses or human reasoning is telling you. Go by what the Word of God says instead. All of the promises of God are Yes and Amen to us in Christ Jesus today (2nd Corinthians 1:20). Speak the Faith of God, not the fear of the enemy. Speak Life and not death, and you will have victory.