I. Where does it come from
A. A wave of (pop–New Age spirituality ) has washed over the US.
One of the most attractive ideas is positive thinking and speaking as a means to creating positive life circumstances.
Every generation in the past century has had a breakout self-help book that sells a million copies and Makes its way through a few million Christian wallets.
Law of Attraction, in a nutshell. I can think and speak the things that I want if my life into my life.
B. The Christian form of this comes from the bibles emphasis on how powerful words are
Proverbs 18:21 NLT - The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.
We love the first part and ignore the second. We want power over life. The word of God says right here we have it.
In the New Testament the first five verses in James 3 reinforce the great power that is in our words.
James 3:1–12 NLT - Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly. Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire. And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself. People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
The Bible clearly teaches that words are more powerful than you think. From the first page of the Bible, words play a massive role. God spoke the world into existence by the power of his word.
John 1:1–3 NLT - In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
C. This is where many get off track.
They rightly see in Scripture that God creates realities with his words and that we are created in the image of God, but they fail to make the distinction between the word of God and the word of humans.
Here’s the catch: human words do have the power to create.
What they create (in their sub-creation way) is sub-realities.
James’s emphasis on our the power of words comes into focus when we hear Paul’s admonishment in Ephesians 4:15.
Ephesians 4:14–15 NLT - Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
To speak “the truth in love.” This is the true power of words.
II. Does it work
A. There is a measurable difference in healing of the body
A positive mindset when sick, does help the body heal.
Speaking positive words in this situation helps the mind rest and then the body is better able to rest and heal.
When you are trying to bring about change in your life focusing on what you want helps navigate you there.
One of the reasons it feels like it works is because of Recognition. I realize what I said I really wanted and spoke that for my life and I received it. Those things happen all the time but we miss them. That’s why a prayer journal is so important. If helps us recognize answered prayer.
D. The horror story..
We have an adversary who hears us speak. If it is bad for us they want to make it true for us.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) - For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
Proverbs 23:6-7 (KJV) - Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Proverbs 23:6-7 (NLT) - Don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. 7 They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
What about name it, claim it or speak it into existence… You mean
Speak those things that are not as though the are… (See Romans 4:17)
Romans 4:16-22 (KJV) - Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 4:16-22 (NLT) - So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. 17 That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”[d] This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. 18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[e] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.
See how easy it is to take scripture out of context to spiritualize something that feels right?
A. We know that Christ purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life.
John 10:10 NLT - The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
James 4:2-3 (NLT) - You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
We can ask God for anything, but we can’t leverage His love for us or our position in Christ to make him give us what we want.
He wants to give us good things and he does as long as they lead you to a rich and satisfying life.
B. Words have power Use them wisely
Encourage. Words of affirmation. What can the people you love become with the help of your encouragement??
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Grace: Grace is to give what isn’t deserved. It doesn’t matter how they speak to you because you have the word of life to break through to true reality. It is what you speak back.
Colossians 4:6 (NIV) - Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
Comfort: We are called to comfort. God leads us through things so we can comfort others. To share how God was faithful to us.
Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) - The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.
Communion with God. Pray= asking, praising, questioning… We are made to communicate with Him.
Psalm 119:171-173 (NLT) - Let praise flow from my lips, for you have taught me your decrees. 172 Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right. 173 Give me a helping hand, for I have chosen to follow your commandments.
C. Words of life
Jesus, the very Word of God (Logos), is the Word by which God created all reality in the beginning (Colossians 1:16; John 1:1–3), and that selfsame Word came in the flesh to recreate reality.
How? On the cross both God’s truth and God’s love were upheld. The truth: humanity is sinful and is deserving of death. Love: God so loved humanity that he was willing to send his Son, the Word made flesh, to be sacrificed for our atonement. This is the gospel. This is the healing of our words.
Your mouth should be filled with words of life. That breakdown the false realities and show the true reality if Jesus.
God’s words are powerful they show us the true reality.
Jack Black had a movie where he got hit in the head and he saw the beauty on the inside of the person into beauty on the outside. There are 2 sides. He realizes the beauty within is real beauty Yay! The truth is much deeper. Deeper is not a good word. Let’s say more complex. We want a beautiful woman so people can see us with and adored by a beautiful woman. A lot of our wanting speaking things into existence have a more complex motive. Motives that only God can judge. And we need to trust Him in what’s best for us. He has given us the words of life, His son, and His word so that we can live in reality.