WORDS. They are incredibly important to God, and thus, they should be incredibly important to the believer. Genesis 1 says God spoke the universe and all of creation into existence and Hebrews 1:3 says His word still holds the entire universe in place. Rev. 12:11 says the believer uses words to overcome the devil. Jesus did that too. In fact, throughout the entire Bible, words are said to be key to blessings or curses, life or death, victory or defeat. Consider this: Deuteronomy 30:11-15: Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. Paul repeats this and applies it to faith in Roman 10:6-10: But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “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. 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.
Numbers 14:28 So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say…
Psalm 107:20 says: He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
Proverbs 18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Isaiah 40:8: The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.
Jesus repeated a verse from Deuteronomy in Matthew 4:4: Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 9:21: She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." The Greek word used here means to actively speak, command, conclude. She knew she would be healed; she wasn’t hoping or wishing, she believed it thoroughly, and out of her heart or belief, her words spilled.
1 Peter 3:10 quotes Psalms 34: For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech.
John 1:1-3 equates Jesus with Word: 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 Matthew 12:34-37, Jesus says: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Do you want God to hear and do the things you say? Of course we want God to listen when we pray, but do you want Him listening when we say course things to get a laugh, insult and put someone down, or use phrases like “It just kills me . . .” Peter used specific words to prove He wasn’t associated with Jesus. Do your words deny or confirm your affiliation with Christ? Every word matters. If you want God’s healing when sickness comes, don’t spend years speaking contrary words; if you want to receive God’s promises—salvation, healing, blessings, abundant life—pay attention to your words. If you are denying God’s blessings with what you say, you need to a) get the Word in your heart and/or b) get understanding of the Word you already know.
In Mark 4:14-20 (and Matthew 13 and Luke 8), Jesus likens words to seeds that produce crops: The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
God promised, in Genesis 8:22 that seed time and harvest would remain as an enduring principle of the earth just like the sun rising and the seasons: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
God’s word not only holds the universe in place, it is the invincible seed that produces the saints according to 1 Peter 1:23: For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
But in Matthew 13 we see that there are good seeds (words of God) and bad seeds (words of Satan): Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds (words of Satan) among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed (words of God) in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
“ ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.
Galatians 6:6-7: Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
Matthew 15:6 (and Mark 7:13) tells us that our behavior can cancel God’s word or blessing: Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
The correlation is clear: words will ALWAYS produce a harvest—30, 60 or 100 fold; God’s words produce blessings, life, prosperity, salvation, justification and acquittal; Satan’s words produce curses, death, misery, condemnation and destruction.
What kind of harvest do you want to reap? Do you really want a 30, 60 or 100 fold harvest of sickness, disease, poverty, prodigal children, and discord in your home? What “seeds” are you sowing when you open your mouth? Are you “murmuring” like the children of Israel in the desert, complaining about your job, your boss, your bills, you spouse, your kids, your health? Are you focusing on the negatives, like the 10 spies who Moses sent out did, or will you be like Caleb and Joshua who had faith in God that they would be “more than conquerors through Him who loved us”? Those evil spies simply shared a ‘negative’ report saying the people of the land were giants and the Israelites didn’t stand a chance against them. God sent a plague to kill those 10 spies, and everyone who believed their evil report died in the desert. God takes this seriously. Are you spreading negative reports? “The doctor said . . . .” “There is no way we can afford . . .” “All teenagers get crazy and hateful.” “My company never gives raises or promotions.”
In Luke 6:44-45 Jesus said “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Let me repeat Matthew 12:33-37 for the stronger statement: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Jesus is comparing words to fruit or produce. He is telling us that our mouth speaks what is in our heart. And furthermore, the evidence of our words will be used to acquit or condemn us on judgement day! How often do you put more faith in the doctor’s report, repeating it to everyone who will listen, when that report contradicts God’s word? How many times have you completely discounted God’s financial promises to you because your paycheck seems inadequate? Remember the children of Israel and those spies? They ALL died in the desert, only Caleb and Joshua survived that generation to see the promised land. Why? Because their words reflected the trust they had in their hearts, Caleb and Joshua believed God would give them victory.
Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”.
Look at Matthew 25:14-30, the story about the servants:
“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.
“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The first two servants said “you entrusted me” but the third servant said “I knew” meaning in his heart, this was what he truly believed about his Master. Folks, God listens to what you say, especially when you say things about HIM! In the book of Daniel, the angel tells Daniel that from the minute he first spoke, his words were heard and acted on heaven.
Your words determine your fate. Over and over the Bible tells us that our words are evidence of our beliefs and understanding (or lack of understanding!) about God, ultimately the expression of our faith, and these words are what saves or destroys us. It can’t be stated any clearer: the power of life and death is in your words. It’s stated that way in the law, the prophets and the New Testament.
James speaks in length about the power of words.
When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
Did you see that? Our entire life and our whole body are impacted and directed by our words, for good or bad!! Is the Bible true? Do we believe this? It’s in the Bible, not just one place, but from beginning to end throughout the Word. This IS what Jesus taught all throughout His ministry.
Matthew 17:20-- He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
Matthew 21:21-- Jesus replied, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done.
Matthew 21:22-- If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Mark 11:23-- "Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.
Mark 11:24-- Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
John 14:13-- And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 15:7-- If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:16-- You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit--fruit that will last--and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
John 16:23-- In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
These are Jesus’ own words, in red in your Bible. Jesus repeatedly connects your words, spoken in faith, to manifestation. Seeds WILL produce a harvest. Always. This is a law that God imposed on this earth at creation. When God spoke every aspect of this world into being, and then created Man in His own triune image, breathing His own Breath of life into Man, He designated authority. Our words have power, the amount of power depends on our connection, either to our Father in heaven or the father of lies. Satan knows this principal. The first temptation he offered to Jesus was to “speak to these stones.” Speaking. To stones. This seems like such a benign thing, to simply speak to some rocks, even to turn them into food. So what? Why is that so bad? Jesus spoke food into existence several times when feeding crowds and cursed a fig tree into extinction because it naturally bore no fruit at that time of year.
This first temptation was to Jesus’ flesh. He had gone 40 days without food or drink at this point, He would have been faint with hunger. He had real, urgent, earthly needs--just like you and I. But He wasn’t going to respond to ideas instigated by Satan. When we have needs, we need to look to our Provider, Jehovah-Jireh, and the Word. Jesus responded with the words of Moses in reference to the words of God: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ There it is again: man is supposed to live on God’s Words! These words in verse 4 were what moved heaven into action in verse 11 when the angels came and ministered to Him. Jesus didn’t take matters into His own hands, He submitted to the Father and refused to use His words—His power and authority--to satisfy desires put into His mind by Satan. He didn’t deny the power of the words, nor did He deny Satan’s power to produce results with his words. He trumped Satan’s words with God’s words.
This is the spiritual weapon, the sword spoken of in Ephesians 6 and Hebrews 4. All other parts of your spiritual armor are defensive, but the sword, the Word, is offensive as well as defensive. If you are going to defeat the devil, you have to go on the offensive, like David did with Goliath when he used the ‘blood’ and his testimony (Rev. 12:11), pointing out the lack of blood covenant relationship of the “uncircumcised Philistine” and recounted the faithfulness of God when he defended his sheep against the bear and the lion. You have to KNOW the Word of God, it is a seed that produces faith (Romans 10:17) and then a harvest as in the parable of the sower. “If you abide in me and my words abide in you . . .”
James addresses this also:
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
James isn’t talking about gossip, which in itself will keep you out of heaven. James is talking about using your spiritual weapons, your ‘sword’, to wage war for the devil! This isn’t reserved for Wiccan covens or witches or extremists. James is speaking of words we speak that are contrary to God’s words. I am talking about people saying that God gave them cancer or some disease so He could teach them a lesson or killing a child so He could ‘take them home.’ Or that God says “no” or heals people through death. Or idle words and traditions like “my back is killing me”, “I am dying to see that movie”, “that will be the death of me”, “I am so stupid”, “What a dumb***!” or any of a hundred other common sayings. We are cursing ourselves and others.
The power of our words is real, and our words reveal what is in our minds and our hearts. You can sincerely believe something and be wrong. You can say words you don’t believe or understand. But when you understand a spiritual truth correctly with your intellect, it germinates the measure of faith that every human is given, and it produces fruit, a harvest. When words of faith—God’s Words—are planted in your mind and heart, they produce the harvest of faith words in your mouth. If you don’t know what God’s words are, KEEP QUIET! Don’t speak your own opinion on the matter, or spread the ‘evil report’, you are cursing your own future. Get in the Word and find out what God says about your situation and then speak ONLY GOD’S WORDS over your life. Get in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. John 14:26 says “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” Join the prayer of the Psalmist when he says “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Start learning and speaking God’s words of faith and change the course of your entire life.