I used to get irritated at worship leaders because they would have me repeat the same phrases over and over in song. I would think, “Can’t we move on and sing something else?” Eventually, I heard this from the Lord, “This is the only way I can get you to give Me something to work with through your words. I want to train you to say these things without music.”
One of the greatest revelations for breakthrough, fruitfulness, and victory is found in Proverbs 18:21. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Those who love the truth that life is in the power of the tongue will eat the positive fruit of their past words.
Here are five of my favorite revelations about the power of speaking life.
- Words set the course of our lives – “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue . . .” (James 3:3-5). We get directed toward what we speak. If we regularly speak about how hard things are, we will direct our lives toward difficulty. Wise people use their words to direct their lives toward God’s promises and the dreams He has put in our hearts.
- Our words are meant to change circumstances, not just describe them – “(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” (Romans 4:17). “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3:10). When we say “I am strong”, it is a great step towards living in strength instead of weakness.
- The measure of grace and faith we experience is largely dependent on our words – “Faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17). “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). When we declare who God says we are, what He says we can do, and what He says we have, we impart grace and increased faith into our own lives as we hear these truths. They will grow in the proportion we speak life.
- We are called to be students of our own words – “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). I enjoy hearing what I say about circumstances, others, or me. For instance, “I don’t remember names well.” As I analyze statements like this, I realize this is a belief based on past experience, not on God’s promises for me. As I discern these lies, then I am ready to build new belief systems based on positive declarations.
- We won’t have something just by saying something, but saying something is necessary to having something – “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:2-3). If something is going to happen, something must be spoken. Where do we want to be in five years from now? We will need to speak something higher than we are experiencing to get there.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.