There is a tool at the disposal of every Christian to stand in victory and it is being, at best, ignored, and, at worst, causing spiritual suicide. This tool, this weapon no one can take out of your hands (except yourself), will make the difference between victory and defeat.
Proverbs 18:21 says there is life or death in the tongue - you choose. Henry Ford even said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” What you think comes out in how you speak. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down."
Words have power beyond our imagination - and it doesn’t just have an emotional and mental impact.
As a woman with decades of emotional, sexual, physical, mental and spiritual abuse I can say with absolute honesty this concept has drastically changed my life and challenged me to my core. I have been diagnosed with complex-PTSD, anxiety, depression, adjustment disorder, suicidal, an insomniac and even nudged in the direction of dissociative identity disorder. I have been on medications to manage the chemical imbalance in my brain, hospitalized and spent years in and out of counselors offices since I was a child. With words in my heart, coming out of my mouth, I can say to all of that - so what?
Nothing has changed my heart, my life, like the tool of words. I’ve clung to the words of others as a lifeline because, strung together properly, they've given life to my soul. I have felt the thrust of words like a sword when, unsheathed, they’re used to destroy.
How is it possible for people to accomplish the impossible, push past common sense and sensibility to do what no one has done before? It began with their own words, a spoken belief in self even when no one else believed. A spoken determination to succeed, even when everyone else said it wasn’t possible.
Words are a tool God has given us as a species that can communicate in the same way our Creator does - through the power of the tongue. God spoke, and there was creation. God spoke and there was life. God spoke and from his breath and words came man made in his image. For the follower of Jesus Christ, we are given the Holy Spirit of God.
The same Spirit that raised Lazarus and Jesus Christ himself from the dead resides in us. John 14:12 says that with the Holy Spirit we can do the same things Jesus did and even greater things. How did Jesus exercise his power? He spoke!
The words we speak aloud either invite life or death. Recent scientific research has shown that the physiological makeup of our brain and our body is directed by our minds - our thought processes.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of the bestselling book, Switch on Your Brain: the Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking and Health wrote, “Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Moment by moment, every day, you are changing the structure of your brain through your thinking. When we hope, it is an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive and normal direction.”
This takes the scripture in Romans 12:2 to a whole new literal level: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..."
You are not a product of your biology. At least, you don’t have to be if you don’t choose to be. The decisions of whomever you blame for your circumstances do not decide your destiny. They make you predisposed to certain behaviors and directions in life, but you decide the ultimate outcome and it begins with the thoughts you think and the words you speak.
This is a difficult thing for many people to accept because it puts the responsibility back where it ought to be: in the hands of each individual. No more blaming the rapist, the abuser, the neglectful teacher, the absentee father, the hurtful husband or the nagging wife. No more pointing fingers at the doctors who couldn’t heal you of cancer, or the boss who refused to give you the break you deserved, the social workers who missed every obvious sign you were being abused, or the foster parents who never really wanted you, or the pastor or looked the other way when you asked for help.
Every hurtful act is exactly that: hurtful. Taking responsibility back doesn’t neglect or negate the behavior of those who have sinned against us. It merely leaves vengeance to the Lord, and we then decide how we’re going to respond. We decide how we're going to let (yes, let) the actions of others impact us. It is in this crucial response we determine the next step of our life. We choose life, or we choose death.
This is, in no way, a small matter or an easy process. I’m writing this because I’ve only recently discovered the power and truth to words and I am desperate to see it come to fruition. I have not seen the full effect, but God's Word proves true, and He cannot lie.
Words will not change your circumstances or mine, but they’ll change our perspective to our circumstances. Words used to speak the truth in the Bible, while giving the illusion of control, actually give up control to the One who has it already, and leaves us at His disposal.
When our circumstances tell us things are hopeless, we can look to the Word of God and proclaim the truth out loud - “suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character and character produces hope. Hope doesn’t put us to shame.” But I feel shame, we think. Set aside feelings and speak the truth. When our circumstances tell us there’s no way we can do what God is asking us to do. Speak truth: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
To proclaim, yell, stand on the truth written in God’s Word, who cannot lie, there is power. There is victory. The key is closing our eyes to what we can see with our earthly eye and speaking and standing on what is promised. The beauty of this is that God’s word leaps beyond our circumstances, so our circumstances do not get to dictate what is truth.
Unless we let them. The power is in our hands.
The difficult part of this is our circumstances remain ever apparent and we have to make the conscious, moment-by-moment decision to reject what we see and stand on what we believe. In the midst of suffering, this is almost impossible. And yet, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26, NLT).
Stand. Speak. Declare the truth like a child with a megaphone. Life is full of seasons, circumstances will always change, but the Creator, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, will never change. They are the same, yesterday, today and forever, and nothing we face today will ever diminish or dissolve what Jesus did on the cross.
It doesn't have to feel true, or even make sense. It just has to be truth.