With my lack of spiritual understanding in this area, I would always try to defend myself by explaining to them the physics of speech. 'But how does the sounds that I make with my mouth have any kind of real significance at all! When we as humans speak, we are merely creating vibrations in the air! How can one particular set of sound waves be a bad set and another be good! This makes no sense to me'.
Boy, I had it wrong. Big time.
Slowly things began to click for me. It wasn't an instant revelation- it grew over time as I leant more about the nature of God and spiritual laws. This said though, I think there were two major moments that really got the ball rolling for me in this regard. Firstly there was the point where I finally understood that God SPOKE the world into existence. The second was Proverbs18, that tells us 'Death and life are in the power of the tongue'.
Just a tip to help you with your own existence: whenever you are presented with the choice of life or death- choose life. Everything is much nicer that way. Deuteronomy 30 tells us this is the best idea, just in case you wanted some scriptural reference for that handy hint.
So I finally got that, I had to watch what I spoke. I basically had a list of things I couldn't say. No cussing, gossiping, slander or negativity. I had it down pat. Easy peasy. Well I was wrong again. It was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Yes there are things we are not to speak, but that is only because there is immense power in what we say. We should really be using our words as a tool.
Jesus himself told us that whoever speaks to the mountain and tells it to be cast into the sea, it will be done- so long as he believes in his heart. So what are we speaking? Winter is coming on now, are we walking around saying 'I always catch the flu this time of year, I know it's going to happen!' Next minute, you've caught that cold! Big surprise! Or are we declaring the word of the Lord? 'I am not getting sick this year at all- by His stripes I have been healed and that is the truth I declare over my life!'
What are words doing to us?
Are we bringing ourselves down all the time or are we building each other up with encouragement? We are the sons of God made in his image, and he doesn't make rubbish. 'I'm not talented or gifted, I bet I'm not going to get that job I applied for, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to fail this semester at uni.' Don't speak those things over your life!
Speak life into your life! 'God made me with gifts to glorify his name!'
Are we declaring what the word of God says? Are we speaking to the mountains in our lives and casting them into the sea, or are we just putting up with attacks from the enemy? If the enemy has put a mountain in your life that doesn't line up with the will of God, speak to it! Have it thrown into the sea and believe that it will be done, and in fact has already been done 2000 years ago. It's your job to declare that it manifests in your life now.
I worked for quite a number of years as a swimming coach, and the elite teams psychologists would bring positive self-talk into training sessions. Even the secular world understands the significance of speaking out words over yourself and situations. But how much more should we as Christians be mindful of the spiritual side of our speech! And be using it as a tool for establishing the Kingdom of Heaven on the earth.
I love being able to apply something directly to my life after learning about it, and here is my challenge to myself and those who read this: assess what we are speaking. Are we speaking the word of God over our life, declaring that everything the Lord has promised will be manifested in our life for his glory? Or are we speaking (knowingly or unknowingly) death? Speak to those mountains and believe in our heart that the Lord does not lie.
Be accountable for what we say, and know that there is power in what we speak.
Sam James is a Media Communications graduate based in Wollongong.
Sam James' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/samuel-james.html