<<elements of speech and writing>>

Words, both spoken and written, are an extremely powerful means of communication, as evidenced when God spoke and creation was the result. Likewise, the Bible was written (over many years) as men were inspired by the Holy Spirit and it will be the standard by which we will be judged (Gen 1:3-27; Jn 12:47,48; 2 Pet 1:20,21).

When on earth, Jesus advanced the heavenly Kingdom by speaking into the spirit realm and changes took place – material provisions were made, a storm was calmed, people were healed or delivered from evil spirits and the dead came to life (Mt 8:8,26,28-32, 17:27; Jn 11:43). It is recorded He said, “The words I speak to you are Spirit and life” (Jn 6:63). Originating with the Holy Spirit, they were life-giving words, in contrast to ours that are mostly self-directed and risk delivering injury or death.

Jesus told His followers (those who had an intimate relationship with Him), “In my name...” you will do things that are not possible any other way (Mk 16:17,18). One account describes Peter speaking to the man crippled from birth. When he extended a helping hand and commanded him “In the name of Jesus, walk”, a miracle took place (Act 3:6). So don’t just speak to the Lord (or others) about the problem, speak to the problem in the name of the Lord.

We also help to advance God’s Kingdom by being people who speak the truth of God into situations to uplift and help others fulfill their potential in Him. By speaking positive words characteristic of Christ’s nature – expressing love, justice, peace, forgiveness and encouragement – we will counter the effects of Satan’s Kingdom. Using negative,

Do I endeavour to speak encouragingly rather than critically?

destructive language (or agreeing with other people’s disparaging comments) only causes bitterness, anger, resentment, criticism and complaining and will hinder or prevent the blessings that are our inheritance in Christ, as well as failing to attract others.

Thoughts precede our words. Every ungodly thought or attitude in our minds must be brought into obedience to Christ and replaced with something God-honouring for no “unwholesome talk should come out of our mouths but only what is helpful” to build people up in their faith (2 Cor 10:5; Eph 4:29; Phil 4:8).  As witnesses for Christ, our words must endorse what we do, our actions confirming our speech (Act 1:8; Jas 2:14-26). By speaking with integrity, we will protect ourselves from much trouble. Counteract all Satan’s attacks, lies and negative statements with the promises of God, speaking the truth in our hearts (Ps 15:2; Prov 21:23; Eph 4:5, 5:19).

The effects of words remain with us for good or ill. Our memories need to be healed of the negativism of the past, so it is essential to sever the destructive words we have used about ourselves, or that others have uttered, damaging our self-esteem. We can accept the positive words spoken to us or reject the negative statements made with ‘in Jesus name I do not accept that’.  A knowledge of the truth (that we are an infinitely valuable child of God) can bring us into freedom and though we may still recall the words, their destructive stranglehold will be broken (Prov 12:6; Jn 8:32,36, 10:10; Eph 4:27). Intentionally speak His favour into your life and His purposes into reality by thinking and saying what He says about you, ‘I am chosen by God; what He’s started He will bring to completion’, knowing that every word of God contains in it the power for its own fulfillment (Eph 1:11; Phil 1:6). God declared, “What I have said, that will I bring about.” The Word of God will accomplish and achieve the purpose for which it is sent, so in faith, pray, “Be it done unto me according to your word” as Mary did (Isa 55:11; Lk 1:38).

What we speak has profound consequences!  Goliath’s size and words intimidated the Israelites who looked at the situation from the natural viewpoint. David saw what was achievable from the divine perspective, and came against the enemy in the name of the Lord Almighty. This great victory that began with words of faith and conviction was outworked in actions (1 Sam 17:4-11,45-47). What is the enemy that appears to be dominating the skyline of my life blocking my progress? Like Goliath it too will come crashing down, as we understand the true situation, speak words that bring victory and act on the Word of God. Words should be the beginning of action, not a substitute, so be committed to your convictions, doing what you say (Deut 23:23; Josh 14:7).

Words have the ability to generate emotions, attitudes and behaviour that enslaves or frees us – by binding or holding back the destructive forces of Hell, and releasing the power of God to be outworked in us (Mt 16:19). Patient persistence is a hallmark of a Christian. The writers of the Psalms

“May the words of my mouth….be pleasing in your sight” – Psalm 19:14

were confident that those who praised God and kept a tight control on their conversation would “know the salvation of God” (Ps 15:2,3, 50:23). The vision of the last judgement records the triumph of faithful testimony (Rev 12:11). It takes numerous positive statements to counteract one negative comment so it is imperative to reinforce the desirable qualities we want to develop in others, especially children, by regular repetition (Deut 6:7, 11:19). Thoughts and words spill out of our hearts continually. Allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse their source so our words will always be wholesome, gracious and without profanity and we will not be ashamed of them (Ex 20:7; Mt 12:34-37; Lk 6:45; Eph 5:4; Col 4:6). Wise guidelines for our conversations include these: is it true?; is it necessary?; would I say this if the person I am speaking about was present?; and would I like this said about me?; otherwise leave it unsaid (Prov 4:24, 10:19, 21:23)!

“The Lord let none of [Samuel’s] words fall to the ground”, instead they were effective and accomplished their intended purpose as what he spoke represented the will of God (1 Sam 3:19). What an incentive to be dedicated and walk in holiness with Him, so we know and declare His messages with the same effective and creative power to see His Kingdom advance and Satan’s realm defeated. Elijah was another whose words and prayers achieved extraordinary events for the glory of God (1 Kgs 17:1; Jas 5:16-18).  David, a man well regarded by God said, “Lord, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight…I will bless the Lord at all times...I will declare that your love stands firm forever” (1 Sam 13:14; Ps 19:14, 34:1, 89:2).

Words convey messages and the phrases ‘a word’ or ‘the word’ are often used symbolically to represent something larger than discrete units of speech e.g. have a word with him/he got the word. Some Christians say they ‘get a word from God’ when a Bible verse is brought to mind. Others will ask someone to ‘bring a word’, meaning them to share a short devotion or insight gained from the Word of God – the Bible.

See also: binding and loosing, blessed or cursed, communication, confession, declare, empower, Jesus/name of, political correctness, self-fulfilling prophesy, speech, spirit realm, tongue, verbal abuse, vow, Word of God.