(The Faith Forum Series – Batch 2)
The statement: ‘words have power’ sounds nice and is popularly used today but is it TRUE?
According to the words we use, we can bring hurt to others and their reputations but are words themselves powerful?
In fact, there is a popular movement today among many professing Christians, where people are urged to declare what they want with their mouth and to speak it into being, on the premise that words have power.
The result has been that people have been busy, all over the world, stating: “I declare!” and then expecting that what they have said, sometimes repeatedly and with great emphasis, will come to pass, simply because they have said it. They reason: We have spoken it so it SHALL be so. It MUST be so.
But is this really the case? Is this biblical? Do words really have power? What does God’s Word (the Bible) tell us?
Before I look into the Word of God (which is the final authority on all matters), here is a list of examples of quotes that I have actually seen circulating online, on this issue of speaking things into being. Pay particular attention to what is being said in these statements which people have made:
- “Speak things into existence.”
- “Words have power and when you speak, you give them life. Speak into existence what YOU believe, desire, dream and hope.”
- “Speak it into existence and your words, through your desires, will bring it into fruition.”
- “Think it into existence. Speak it into existence Write it into existence. Work it into existence.”
- “Whatever it is that YOU want and need in this life, speak life into existence. No excuses. YOU can have it. Go for it. Make it happen. Speak it. Believe it. Own it. Have it.”
- “I’m going to accomplish and manifest all of MY dreams. I’m going to think, speak and work it into existence.”
- “Only speak what YOU wish to be brought into existence.”
- “Speak what YOU seek until YOU see what you’ve said.”
- “Claim it. Speak it into existence. Pray on it and it is YOURS.”
These words are popular because they appeal to the lusts of the flesh, the pride of life and the lust of the eyes. Notice that they are all about obtaining something, not for anybody else but SELF.
This is the world’s system. It encourages and even pushes people to run after the wants and desires of SELF and to fight desperately, aggressively and relentlessly to get ahead at all costs, so that SELF can acquire the things that SELF longs for.
Yet the Word of God, the Bible, states that: “…all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
This mentality of chasing obsessively after life to acquire the best for SELF is not of the Father but is of the world.
Unfortunately, human beings tend to want many things due to a spirit of discontentment and so the idea that whatever you speak, you get, is to them, a romantic and irresistible notion and they run with it.
However, while these words all sound nice and grand, they are nothing but lies from the pit of hell. For, they encourage the exaltation of the human self and suggest that there is some power or innate ability in us (outside of God), to make things happen in our lives, just the way we want it.
The statements I have referred to above are dangerous, damaging and damning, as they suggest that you don’t need to wait on God, that you can get whatever you want, by yourself and when you want it, by just speaking it into being, as there is some mysterious power that flows from your words and floats into the atmosphere, to bring what you want, to pass.
This belief is not the faith of the scriptures. It is humanism or some other warped theory packaged in palatable terms and trying to fool people into believing that it is biblical. It is no different from the following statements that encourage self-sufficiency without God, although the previous quotes have been disguised by the master deceiver (the devil) to look biblical:
- Speak your dream into existence and the universe will attract the right circumstances and conditions for it to be realized.
- I believe in the law of attraction. I believe you can speak things into existence. When you know where you’re going and what you want, the universe has a way of stepping aside for you.
- Think positive and positive things will happen.
- Once you speak something into the universe, it is already in a state of creation. Keep your doubt out of it.
Clearly, both the earlier set of quotes and these quotes have the same diabolical source. They both promulgate the idea, that we are gods unto ourselves. Yet, it is only the one true and living God (not man) that has the power to speak things (just as he did with creation) into existence and to grant what some men speak through faith in HIM, once it is in accordance with HIS will.
For example, at the beginning, God created the world by just speaking the words into being. He didn’t have to speak them. He could have just willed it to happen and the world would have been created but he chose to speak.
Genesis 1:3 states: “And God said, Let there be light and there was light.”
In fact, much of Genesis 1 repeatedly states: “And God said, Let there be…” and there was because he is God.
This power was not given to human beings. No matter how religious or spiritual a person may think he is or purport himself to be, he cannot just speak words and cause them to come to pass, simply because he has uttered them. If what he speaks lines up with God’s will and God decides to do something, then it gets done, not because the man has said it but because God has decided to use HIS power to bring it to pass. God sometimes does this when we believe he has the ability to do so and believe that he will do so and he decides in that situation, to operate through the faith that we have exercised, not in our selves but in JESUS CHRIST his Son.
Man, thinking he has the ability of himself, to speak things into existence (which he does not) is simply the devil resorting to his old tricks, trying once again to deceive man into believing, as he did to Eve, that he can be like God.
In Genesis 3:5, Eve believed the devil’s lies when he twisted some of the truth and told her that if she ate what God told her not to eat, that “…your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
Later on, after Eve and her husband Adam had disobeyed God and eaten the fruit, their eyes were opened but not in a positive, empowering or liberating way. Whereas Eve thought she would be free from what the devil had convinced her was God’s suppressive hold, she found that this new enlightenment, now brought bondage.
She and Adam also became acutely aware of good and evil, to the detriment of themselves and the rest of humanity but they DID NOT become as gods. What the sin awakened however was a thirst and desire to be as gods, which has perpetuated the human race from that point, to now.
This is why man is so proud and rebellious. It is why humanity did not and still does not want Jesus to rule over them. Man wants to rule over himself and to be as gods. YET, for as long as the Kingdom of the true and living God remains (which is an everlasting Kingdom so this is forever), man will NEVER be as gods and NEVER usurp the authority of the only true and living God.
Indeed, man has become so full of himself in his insatiable quest to be as gods, that people have misquoted scripture to further their evil, self-serving agenda.
For example, I saw the following quote online:
“Speak those things that are not as though they were” (Romans 4:17)
Yet, when I went to the Word of God and checked for myself to see what Romans 4:17 really said, it became clear to me that the scripture was deliberately misquoted and words deliberately omitted, to make it appear that we have power of ourselves, as human beings, to speak things into existence.
Here is what Romans 4:17 which was speaking of Abraham, really states:
- “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, EVEN GOD, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
Clearly, in the misquoted scripture, the reference to God was removed, giving the impression that it is us human beings that have the power to call things which be not, as though they were. YET, it is GOD that quickeneth the dead and it is GOD that calleth those things which be not as though they were, just as he did with creation.
It is GOD that said that Abraham and Sarah would have a child in their old age (not Abraham) and it is he that followed through with his promise and gave them power to do so.
The next verse, verse 18 continues on to state of Abraham’s faith (not in himself but) in GOD, to bring to pass what GOD (not Abraham) had spoken: “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”
For the record, the idea of us, as mere human beings, speaking things into existence based on our own power is not biblical.
In disagreement, some people love to quote Proverbs 18:21 which they state, support their notion. This verse says: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
However, what the enemy has done (again) is try to twist the truth of God’s Word in a subtle manner, to promote a false reality. Whenever the Bible speaks about the power of the tongue and eating the fruit thereof, it is doing so in connection with the concepts that perpetuate the scriptures.
CONCEPT 1 – DISOBEYING GOD WITH THE THINGS WE SAY WITH OUR TONGUE, WILL REAP ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES
The first such concept is that God has laid down rules and instructions for living, which, if we use our tongues in a way that violate this, we will suffer the consequences, as whatever we sow, we will reap.
For example, God has made it abundantly clear and repeatedly in his Word, that he hates gossip, discord, divisiveness and talebearing. He also made it clear in different verses, that whatever pit we dig for others, we will fall into it ourselves.
These are biblical principles set by God and when we use our tongues to promote evil by gossiping or to attack someone’s character therefore, the biblical principles will operate.
In that vein, the scriptures make it clear that we can use our tongue to build up, edify and encourage others or we can use our tongue to break down and destroy others. Also, what we say, can result in us seeing good on earth because we are using our tongue in a manner that is obedient to God’s instructions or what we say can result in us seeing evil because we have chosen to violate God’s instructions and use our tongue for a purpose that he has not condoned.
Based on what we say, we can hurt and injure the reputation of others and hurt ourselves as well because we have given the devil a foothold in our lives to operate. In such a situation, we are not negatively affected because the words themselves have power but because they contravene God’s instructions in His Word for how we are to live and conduct ourselves and there is chastening for disobedience.
CONCEPT 2 – GOD OFTEN (ALTHOUGH NOT ALWAYS), CHOOSES TO ACT IN A CERTAIN WAY BASED ON OUR FAITH IN HIS POWER AND MIGHT (NOT OUR OWN), WHICH MAY HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED IN OUR WORDS
The second concept in the scriptures that applies to the power of the tongue is that we should have faith in God (not in self) and God often rewards those who have faith in Him (not in self) because having faith in Him, pleases Him.
Nothing would be wrong therefore, where a Christian declares something based on what has already been said in God’s Word about that person or a situation or an outcome. In such a case, there is no miraculous power in the person or in his words but this power is vested in God and what the Word of God has already said. The person is simply lining up with and believing what God has said about that person, situation or outcome, which is a good thing because whatever God has said, if it applies to that person, will surely come to pass.
Also, nothing would be wrong where a Christian speaks positively about something he or she has not yet seen, operating on the concept that, since I have come to learn of the character of God and since we walk by faith (in God) and not by sight and since I know that God is all powerful and can do anything and that he loves persistent faith in Him, I am believing against all odds that he will grant me this thing because I have put my hope, trust and confidence in Him (not self) and believe that he rewards those who diligently and persistently seek Him in faith.
The central theme here is GOD. Such a Christian knows that the power to effect change does not come from the words he or she has spoken but from GOD, who that Christian hopes will extend grace and honour those words said in faith, by bringing to pass those things desired.
Such a person knows though, that God is not obligated to do what he or she is hoping he will do and what he or she has spoken in faith, that he or she believes he will do. For, God reserves the right to say no.
The Word of God teaches us that God has a sovereign will. While he is merciful and loves to reward the faithful persistent person who seeks his help, at times, due to his sovereignty, his will is unaffected, unmoved and not at all swayed by what we say or do.
For example, Abraham did not want Sodom and Gomorrah to be destroyed but although he put up his best argument and God allowed him to reason to the best of his ability, he still purposed to destroy it. After Moses disobeyed God by striking the rock, God said that he would not allow him to enter the promised land. Moses appealed to God’s mercy by begging him with words to get to enter but God remained resolute. He allowed him to see it from afar but he did not grant him his request.
In Mark 11:22, 23 and 24, identifying God as the source of things happening and the one that his disciples should place their faith in (not themselves), Jesus said:
- “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
However, 1 John 5:14-15 further informs us:
- “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
From these two portions of scripture which I believe are to be read together, it is clear that God rewards faith and that we are certainly to pray in faith, believing that God will grant our petitions. For, a double minded man will get nothing from the Lord (James 1:6-8). However, having strong faith is not a guarantee 100% of the time, that God will grant us our petition, as he will not do it if it does not align with his will.
We’ve seen this many times when we pray, using our best, most heartfelt words and with great fervency and faith, yet God decides not to grant the request. For example, we may pray for a sister or brother in the Lord to get better from illness, believing in strong faith that God will bring him or her back to good health but God decides in his sovereignty and based on his divine purposes, to take him or her.
As much as God loves to reward our faith-filled petitions therefore, we know, based on experience and examples in God’s Word, that there are times that we may not be granted our petition because God has a sovereign will that has purposed for it not to be granted. This may be because he has some other plan in mind or some other timing or due to our own disobedience or because our motive for asking is not pure or because we have harboured bitterness and non-forgiveness in our hearts or because we have sinned and have not confessed it or some other reason.
While praying earnestly and persistently (sort of like the widow who kept coming to the earthly Judge to avenge her situation) may move the hand of God in some situations therefore, there are definitely times when he resolves that it will not be moved and no amount of prayers you mutter will change that.
Cases in point: David prayed earnestly and his child with Bathsheba still died. Paul besought the Lord thrice for a situation to be removed but God resolved not to move it and told him instead, that his grace was sufficient to him.
- “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV)
Not even praying about an issue therefore, effectually and fervently, can guarantee all the time that God will do it, no matter how much you pray about it and how much you speak it.
If prayer, therefore, even with strong faith, will not guarantee that we will always get our way, what makes some think that just uttering words will?
Words being uttered outside the will of God with the expectation of a positive result simply because you have said it is tantamount to the adages: ‘Have faith!’ and ‘Believe in yourself!’
These two statements are fundamentally flawed, as they are not based in Christ. We must have faith IN JESUS CHRIST, in His power, His wisdom, His love, His will, His purpose and His timing.
To have faith in oneself or a floating, mindless faith that is not tied to the power of a God that is sovereign in all circumstances is a waste of time. For, we can achieve nothing outside of Him (John 15:5).
Faith is not just believing God for stuff or to grant us what we want either. It goes beyond that. It is believing that God can and will grant us stuff but even when he chooses not to, that he is still God, he knows what is best and his will is always right, so we can rest in Him.
This does not mean that we ought not to hope in the Lord that he will grant us what we have asked. It also does not mean that we ought not to think positively about our request, believe that it will be granted or that we should just sit down and do nothing in life because we have no power outside of Christ.
God has given us the ability and common sense and some measure of wisdom to take action in certain situations and as we depend on him, he guides us along. However, we must do so while never losing sight of the fact that we can do nothing unless he allows us to do it, He alone is sovereign and He is always in control.
It is often said: ‘Declare with your mouth and it shall be as you have said. Speak it into being. For there is power in your words.’
However, while God often rewards faith in Him and we can choose to use our tongues in a manner that does not violate his precepts and therefore brings blessing, there is no power outside the will of God and no power innate in man, to achieve anything. If God has not purposed to do or allow something, no amount of speaking it into being on our part, will bring it to pass. For, our words could never be divorced from His power, His control and His will.
Simply put, our words don’t have power. God does. Power resides and will be forever vested in Him.
Can you imagine the mayhem that would occur on earth, if we had the power (outside of God’s will) to speak things into being as some false teachers and preachers promote? If that was the case, then whenever we wished evil things we would get it and whenever we wished selfish things, according to the lust of our flesh, we would get it, whether it is good for us or not.
Many more people who have professed Christianity would be walking around rich simply because they spoke the words and the riches flew in their direction.
That Church sister would wish her enemy dead (due to jealousy) and speak it into being and it would be so! That Church brother would wish to be a millionaire (because he loves money) and speak it into being and it would be so! There would no longer be any need to ask God for anything and run the risk of not receiving it because we ask amiss so as to consume it on our own lusts, because there would be no need for God. We would be our own gods.
In the real world, James 4:3 explains clearly why we sometimes get a no from God to our requests. He states: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Can you imagine how reckless God would be, if he just allowed us as sinful human beings, to get whatever we desired and spoke with our lips, outside of his control and power? The whole idea of speaking and declaring things into being based on our own power and lusts, operates on the premise that all that we desire we must get without inhibition and without delay. It therefore tries to remove God’s sovereignty, where he reserves the right to say no.
Since man’s deepest desire is to be as gods, then if he had the power to speak things into being and by so doing, to make them actually manifest, then he would say that he is a god and be a god.
As mere mortals, we need to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God (1 Peter 5:6) and know that we have no power to command anything. We are not God and we will never be like gods. God will always have the final say and he has set limits to our existence, which no devil can disannul.
The Bible makes this clear in Lamentations 3:37 when it states: “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?”
The central theme is always God and the power to see things manifest after we have spoken has and will always be vested in God. Whatever we speak by faith in Jesus Christ, it has to go through God’s meter first, be processed and if it is found to be according to his will, then through HIS POWER, he grants it.
Many people who promote the ‘speak into existence’ doctrine and the idea that our words have power (when they do not) are not even genuine Christians but false teachers, false pastors, false prophets and false preachers. They are wells and clouds without water, as described in 2 Peter 2:17 and Jude verse 12 and are therefore disqualified from benefiting from God’s POWER, as it is the speech of the children of God (those in covenant with him through his Son Jesus Christ) that he hears and grants.
Even so, apart from God’s will, many genuine children of God (Christians) do not get what they have spoken and prayed for, due to a lack of faith or because they have disobeyed God or are being selfish or have ulterior or dishonorable motives or have that thing that they want elevated as an idol because they are lusting after it or because of unconfessed sin, non-forgiveness or some other reason. God therefore refuses to honour what they have spoken and so it does NOT come to pass because the POWER to bring things into existence is of Him, not man.
(Written on 1st May, 2020, added to thereafter)
ADDITIONAL NOTE: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ‘WORD OF FAITH MOVEMENT’
I heard something quite disturbing after I had written the Note above and so I decided to address it here. A biblical commentator and Christian stated that some people advancing the ‘speak into existence’ idea (which he called the Word of Faith Movement), had gone so far as to state that even God himself uses the faith principle, as he too speaks things into being by releasing his words into the atmosphere.
Without apology, I am exposing this belief as A HORRENDOUS LIE FROM THE VERY PIT OF HELL.
Those who belief this nonsense are basically stating that there is something supreme in the universe called ‘faith’ which is superior to God and that once God or any human being taps into it by their words, it releases what they want.
This is completely non-biblical and is a doctrine of devils. It is clear from the scriptures that there is no power greater than God. HE is the ultimate authority and HE alone is omnipotent.
This is why in Isaiah 43:10-11, God boldly declared through his Prophet: “…understand that I AM HE: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me, even I, AM THE LORD; AND BESIDE ME THERE IS NO SAVIOUR.”
John 1:1-3 states of God that:
- “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM; and WITHOUT HIM WAS NOT ANYTHING MADE THAT WAS MADE.”
Colossians 1:16 states of Jesus, who is God the Son that:
- “For BY HIM WERE ALL THINGS CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or POWERS: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.“
God is therefore the greatest and second to none. Since he created all things, even the faith principle we see in the scriptures was created by him. The faith principle is not a faith whereby you tap into some fictitious power in the universe, external to God but it is a principle by which you believe that He, God is all powerful and you trust Him (not a force or anything else) to honour your faith in Him by bringing to pass your request, which he will do in his own way and timing, provided it is within his sovereign will.
It is important that I repeat, that the power God uses to make things happen is not external to himself or higher than himself, as some false teachers have been saying. He does not tap into anything outside of himself and his words do not have power because he applies the false ‘Word of Faith’ principle (which is not biblical) by speaking what he wants into the atmosphere, thereby causing the atmosphere or the power in the universe to respond.
This earthly philosophy is diabolical and not founded in truth but inspired by the father of lies, the devil. For, it seeks to dethrone God from his Lordship and Majesty, by suggesting that there is a power in the universe called ‘faith’ which is greater than he.
Yet, the God of the scriptures describes himself as the I AM because he is the ultimate authority and the source of all power (Exodus 3:13-14; John 8:58). When he speaks, whatever he wills, happens, not because of an external power that he taps into with his words but because all power resides within himself.
This is why in 1 Chronicles 29:11-13, David declared:
- “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and THE POWER, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as HEAD ABOVE ALL. Both riches and honour come of thee, and THOU REIGNEST OVER ALL; and IN THINE HAND IS POWER AND MIGHT; AND IN THINE HAND it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”
It is also why in Psalm 33:6,8-9, it states:
- “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of HIS mouth….Let all the earth fear the Lord: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.”
In Isaiah 40:25-26, God spoke through his Prophet saying:
- “To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that ringeth out their host by number: HE CALLETH THEM ALL BY NAMES BY THE GREATNESS OF HIS MIGHT, for that HE is strong in power; not one faileth.”
(Addition written on 01st July, 2020)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Note to be eye-opening, beneficial or interesting, if you love truth as revealed in God’s Word the Bible, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 27 – ‘You Cannot Command Your Morning Or Day’