Choose To Daily Speak Life – Not Destruction
The power of life and death is in the words that we speak over ourselves, other people, and every other aspect of our lives.
Scripture Reading: James 3:1-12 (Also Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 12:35-37; Ephesians 4:29-32; Numbers 3:23-27)
If we truly believed what the Bible teaches about the power of our words, it would radically change how we speak and what we talk about. Think about it, the world was not created by any action of the hands, but by God’s spoken word (Genesis 1). At Babel, God declared that with man unified in purpose and tongue “nothing would be impossible for them,” so His method of stopping what would have been unstoppable was confounding their tongues– confusing their words (Genesis 11). God gave Aaron a blessing to pronounce over Israel (Numbers 6:23-27), and they prospered and multiplied wherever they traversed throughout the centuries. Solomon, who God’s word declared as was wiser than anyone else, gave us the significant insight that “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and we will eat the fruit of death or life in our lives on the basis of what we speak (Proverbs 18:21). Jesus overcame Satan (Matthew 4:1-11), healed the sick (Luke 5:13 & 7:7), and cast out demons by his spoken words (Mark 1:23-27). We are saved not just by believing, but also by confessing with our mouth the Lord Jesus (Romans 10:9-10). When accompanied by faith, our words can command a mountain to be cast into the sea (Mark 11:22-24). This is what makes prayer so potent and essential to our lives: we speak words that are aligned with God’s heart and we can see things happening on earth as they are in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
James, pastor of the church in Jerusalem, reminds us of the power of the tongue within the church to do great good (blessing) or harm (blaspheming). Out of control, it could be a destructive, raging fire. Under control, it could be a bridle or a rudder to our lives (James 3:1-12). His statement that “no man can tame the tongue” isn’t a promise, but a warning of the unholy spirit behind it that requires the Holy Spirit to overcome it. It both can and must be overcome in our lives! No wonder on the Judgment Day we will give an account for every word, because Jesus said our words reveal what is really in our hearts (Matthew 12:35-37).
Gossip (sharing information with one who is neither part of the problem or solution), blasphemy (to speak something evil or negative against someone else), cursing (releasing negative spiritual consequences into peoples lives through our words) are all condemned in scripture. Whereas blessing (releasing positive spiritual consequences into peoples lives through our words), edifying (to build or stir up others toward positive goals), encouragement (to strengthen someone’s motivation or courage), and prophetic words (to speak God’s vision of someone’s destiny and divine intent) are commanded as regular exercises of the church (see Ephesians 4:29-32).
Just as Jesus’ spoken words to “take up your bed and walk” and “stretch forth your hand” actually released the power in that person to do it, we should speak our words with the same awareness of their power to release heavenly reality into the context of the people and situations around us. Speak life, healing, release, encouragement, faith, praise, blessing and favor daily. Ask the Holy Spirit to set a guard over your mouth when anything contrary begins to arise out of your speech. Stay with it. Don’t let the enemy minimize your verbal destruction nor your incredible potential through faith-filled, Christ-honoring speech.
- On the basis of how you have used your tongue recently, both positively and negatively, how seriously would you say you’ve taken the power of spoken words
in your daily life? Will your attitude and actions change? If so, how?
- Is there anyone in your life who challenges, encourages and builds you up whenever you talk to them? If so, what is it that you notice they do that you could imitate?
- Would you consider a spiritual fast against negativity? Ask the Spirit to hold you accountable to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph.4:29). Would you be willing to set specific markers to do inventory on your progress and let Him train you in choosing words that release only life?
Declaration: As you pray today, make the following declaration…
I have incredible potential from God that is released through my words. I will not utter words of death, but of life. I will affect the atmosphere around me by my words. I release life, healing, liberty, encouragement, faith, praise, blessing, and favor today. Because my heart is being perfected, my speech will be perfected! Because God is committed to this reality in my life, I am committed to it as well, by the power of the Holy Spirit.