When God created the heavens and the earth he did so by speaking. He said let there be and there was. God in his great power literally spoke the world into existence. He spoke into what was void and empty. From that came this beautiful world that we see all around us.
The question I want to pose to you is, has God passed this same power and authority to you and I? Can you really speak things into existence? There are scriptures that seem to support this point of view so let’s analyze some of those so we can find the answer to this question.
Words Are Powerful
Let’s be clear: your words are powerful. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that life and death are in the power of the tongue. That’s right, your words can speak life and encouragement to a person’s soul. They can also be discouraging words, shooting holes in people’s ambition and bringing death to their dreams.
On a positive note, consider all the people who have been inspired by someone telling them a word of encouragement. I remember having a conversation with my pastor and I was telling him about a book I was writing. The first words out of his mouth were “how can I help you?” Those five words were a source of motivation and encouragement to me. They really inspired me and helped me to get the book done.
Understand that your words have power. But is there a limit to that power?
"Speak it into Existence" A Commonly Misquoted Scripture
In some Christian circles, you may hear people say “speak those things that are not as though they are.” Usually this is said with great faith – with the thought of bringing something that you want to pass. Let me be clear, I am not trying to discredit anyone’s faith. I have no interest in doing that because I believe people who say this truly believe. The problem is the quote of the verse is incomplete. Here is the full verse in Romans 4:17:
“(as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;” (NKJV).
(For context, the father of many nations to which Paul is referring is Abraham.)
What you notice in this verse is that there is someone who can call to being things that do not exist, as though they do. That person is God. Though your words are powerful and can have tremendous impact in people’s lives, your words alone do not have the power to call things that do not exist into being. That right and power is only reserved for God alone.
Your responsibility is to let your faith be in the God who calls things into existence and not in your own ability to do that. In other words, be like Abraham. God told him he would give him a son in his old age. Abraham believed what God said, even though it took 25 years. Because Abraham believed God, what God said came to pass in Abraham’s life. Let your faith not be in your own words, let your faith be in God’s word. Here is what we know about God’s word:
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Trusting God’s word is the greatest guarantee that you will ever have in your life.
But Didn’t Jesus Say…
Listen to the words of Mark 11:23:
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (emphasis added).
When we look at this verse, we seem to have the same conundrum. What you see again is the power of your words. Does Jesus really mean that all it takes is for you to speak to a mountain and as long as you believe, that mountain will move? It appears on the surface that your words alone are being given the ability to have mountain-moving power. Before you make that final analysis, let’s consider the full context. Look at Mark 11:22:
“So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God.’”
With the full context, we can now put this whole thought together. What I want you to focus on is what the object of your faith is. Is it your words or is it God? The object of your faith must be God. The power in faith is not faith itself – it is the object of that faith. It is faith in God that makes the impossible possible. Here is what Tony Evans said about this in The Tony Evans Bible Commentary:
“The most important aspect of faith, then, is the worthiness of its object. You must be trusting in the right thing. You can place tremendous faith in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus but you’ll be disappointed. If, however, you have true, vibrant faith in the God of the Bible, you have spiritual authority to access divine power.”
The result of mountain-moving faith is not coming just from “what” you say. The result of mountain-moving faith is coming from “who” you are believing in. Believe God and believe his word, for that gives you access to his divine power. It is that power alone that will move the mountains and change the situations in your life.
What Do You Do Now?
I want to encourage you to speak. Know for certain that life and death are in the power of your tongue, so speak. Speak words of encouragement, life and hope to those around you. Speak God’s promises over your life. Speak to yourself and remind yourself who you are in Christ. Speak and encourage yourself in the Lord. Speak the word of God into your situations. Speak to the mountains and challenges in your life and don’t doubt that they will move.
However, in the speaking, remember to put your faith not in the words you speak, because that is not where the power comes from. Put your faith in God who has promised to bring his word to pass. This is the true source of your power. Let your faith be solely in God and his word because we know that his word will accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Matthias Wagner
Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club. He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. He has also just released his new book The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. Do you want to go deeper in your walk with the Lord but can’t seem to overcome the stuff that keeps getting in the way? This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. To learn more about his ministry please visit clarencehaynes.com.