Episode Eight: Actions Series #2: The Power of the Spoken Word, Part 2: Potent Speech or Hocus-Pocus?
This is Part Two of the topic The Power of the Spoken Word. Last episode – subtitled “Are Words Spiritually Powerful?”, we acquainted ourselves with a range of views about the spiritual potency of speech, including opinions about whether the occult and subcategories like witchcraft are real.
Today, we will explore this topic further by discerning whether the fruit of our lips are curses, positive affirmations or a form of assertive acquisitiveness, and whether there is anything wrong with any of the three. Subtitled “Potent Speech or Hocus-Pocus”, we will conclude our topic by identifying a desirable approach to the assessment of what speech is desirable or appropriate, praying for the enablement to walk in new ways.
Our theme song is ”Authority” by Karen Clark Sheard, from her album entitled “It’s Not Over”.
[Picking up from where we left off in the last episode:]
The Two Poles and In-between……..
There is such a thing. Magic is but another face of the occult. So called magic is not always a pragmatic deception – think professional illusionists here – nor is it cartoonish mumbo-jumbo – cue the caricature of a hag muttering above a boiling cauldron in a dark cave in a forest somewhere. The occult is really a thing……
….….A good thing that:
- The Lord God is the Supreme Authority (Isaiah 44: 6-8)
- The devil is subordinate and subject to God (Job 2:1)
- The dark forces were and are defeated, humiliated by the blood of Jesus (Colossians 2: 15)
- The devil is evil, despite being able to masquerade as an ‘angel of light’ (2 Corinthians 2: 11-14)
- We as Christians have been given armor against ALL possible evil attacks (Ephesians 6: 11-18)
- We as Christians have authority over ALL of the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19)
- This power entrusted to us as Christians is irresistible against evil (James 4:7, Acts 19: 11-19)
The Fruit of Our Lips
We are now well in the realm of the metaphysical: the spiritual, the inexplicable (by scientific explanations such as the laws of physics): yes, there is a spiritual realm in which other rules apply. And yes, the occult is in force there, but wooh!!, there is a more powerful countering force at play.
Applying this to our global topic of “The Power of the Spoken Word”, our pronouncements take on an entirely different complexion:
- Inspired – or deceived – by diabolical forces, we can utter predictions, negative pronouncements, curses, dark desires that those dark powers and principalities will gladly arrange to come to pass in the speaker’s life. Exactly what you didn’t want – but feared would happen because of the enemy’s exploitation and manipulation of the speaker’s doubts – will begin to happen. This occurs most easily where:
- Known or unbeknownst to the speaker, s/he is deemed the ‘property’ of those forces because of ancestral vows, direct initiations, consultations with witch doctors, etc
- The speaker has knowingly dabbled with or practiced the occult
- The speaker has unknowingly given dark powers access into their life – reading/watching demonic material, professing/participating in occultic activity – seances, ouji boards, tarot cards, astral travel, etc.
Where in contrast, the speaker is in a right relationship with the Lord, the speaker’s words will have this effect:
- Authority over powers and principalities, including those responsible for making bad things happen
- Authority and capacity to do exactly what Lord Jesus did when He was down here on Earth still
- You are be among the captives Lord Jesus came to set free
- You will have authority over powerful principalities
- Authority to set captive free, just like Jesus Your Lord
- The powers and forces were defeated and made a spectacle of, so there is no need to be awed or intimidated by them
This is another reason cursing and negative speech is ill-advised Psalms 109: 17, Proverbs 18:21 . Negative pronouncements can operate like a concession to which you have given your assent, giving malevolent forces permission to unleash their worst upon you:
- “I will never accomplish my dreams.”
- “I’m always sick, it never ends…”
- “I just can’t catch a break – everything always goes badly for me….”
- “I’m [explicit epithet]
- “This job is killing me slowly….”
Statements like these can operate as curses, and curses are real Proverbs 26:2, Mark 11:12-14, 20-24
x Positive Affirmation
There are those who subscribe to the belief that a religion-neutral/secular form of positive affirmation works because of the benevolent ‘universe’, positive thinking, the positive effects of mental assertiveness, or perhaps an impersonal ‘higher power’.
The problem with this is that there is no halfway house in the spiritual realm: there is no such thing as a spiritual vacuum Matthew 12: 43-45. Whatever is there is either for and loyal to the Lord, or diabolical and rebellious – though still subordinate – to Him. Either it is of, for, in the ‘camp’ of the Lord God – unambiguously identified, intended – or it’s the other guys, the dark side. ‘The universe’ divorced from the Lord as He has chosen to reveal Himself may seem neutral, benevolent even, but it’s a front for the forces of evil (masquerading as the light).
Therefore, beware of vaguely benevolent statements invoking or giving credit to ‘the Universe’
You may remember “The Secret”, the 2006 best seller that promoted ‘the law of attraction’ as the means of attaining one’s desires. A fevered topic of conversation at the time. It seems it was not obvious to its passionate advocates that despite the secular context and terms by which it was expressed, was occultic. It promoted transactions based on laws of attraction claimed to be rooted in the allegedly impersonal rules and energies of a supposedly benevolently just universe.
Given the reality of the spiritual dimension, it would not be surprising to find that some of the testimonials of the time were sincere, but at what price? There is no spiritual vacuum, and there is no impersonal divine force. There is God, and there are other subordinate powers, entities including angels, demons and principalities making the spiritual dimension a lively place. The fact that those subordinate powers are distinguished into loyally submissive, and rebelliously exiled groups, and that the latter easily present an appealing facade to entice the unwary, means that any approach or belief system that promotes a framework that departs from biblical truth may get results for a while, but those results being from a source that is in truth evil, will ultimately be regretted.
x Assertive Acquisitiveness
The thing about believing words can be embued with spiritual power is that this can be distorted or abused. This is so even when the claim to spiritual effectiveness derives from the one trustworthy source i.e. biblical doctrine. Distorted beliefs, lopsided teaching and an undue emphasis on the fee-good blessings of God – after all God delights to give good gifts to his children Matthew 7:9-11….What has come to be called the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ is a version of the Good News, that emphasizes the truth that Lord Jesus came to give us life more abundantly John 10:10 – but in a way that downplays the accompanying truth that suffering and lack is also a valid part of the life of a believer according to God’s Will. There is an almost exclusive focus on a message that suggests that the due of a believer is material wealth, prosperity and good times always Luke 12:15.
It is in that context that the belief that all a believer needs to do is assert a claim to riches, health, favor etc by assertively declared words, and it will be theirs, becomes unsound. Devoid of an understanding of the prerequisite requirements of holiness, submission to God’s Will, humility and the faith and patience of Job in times of adversity – that will come – that belief becomes unscriptural. The claims begin to resemble magic words, and God is sought for the blessings He can give – like a spiritual ATM – an objectional practice.
A Respectful, Balanced Approach
So, what is the right approach? Are our words powerful? Can we utter them to effective purpose? May they have supernatural effect?
The answer is a qualified yes. Our words – prayers and confessions are powerful and effective where:
- There is an unambiguous – as in a clear allegiance and trust in the Lord God Almighty as He chose to reveal Himself in the Bible. Where there is no such allegiance, the practice becomes ‘spiritual assertiveness’ trusting in some obscured, masquerading, or poorly understood contrary force, which ultimately is as misguided and occultic as witchcraft and such practices that make no bones about being of the ‘dark arts’
- The allegiance must represent a loyal trust and dependence on God ALONE and no other sources i.e. you can’t have a spiritual smorgasbord, you can’t mix and match
- The good things in life are understood to be blessings that are a BYPRODUCT of righteous living – i.e. a daily walk trusting in the salvation of Jesus Christ, the Grace of God, that is available to whomever will receive it, and the ability to rise above sinful tendencies that this brings/endows
- We understand that faith in Christ does not guarantee wealth, health and enjoyment all the time, but that we also have the right to seek the blessings of God ACCORDING TO HIS WILL and to resist the evil diabolical forces may wish to harm us. Thus if an angry or careless person curses you, rather than being perturbed or frightened, you need simply reject the curse by saying e.g. “I reject that in Jesus Name”; perhaps even “I render those words null and void in the Name of Jesus, and I command them to return unfulfilled their sender.” Follow that up by being peacefully confident that you will remain unscathed, and you’re good.
- It is utterly appropriate to make claims such as the following, and to expect them, by faith – by the Grace of God – to manifest:
- I am fearfully and wondrously made, created in the image of God, I am a subject of God’s favor Psalms 139: 14, Psalms 23:6
- I am covered by the precious blood of Jesus – no weapon fashioned against me, physical or spiritually, may prevail 1 John 1:7, Isaiah 54:17, 1 John 4:4
- I am washed by the blood of the Lamb, so no undeserved curse may come to rest upon my life or destiny 1 John 1: 7-9, Proverbs 26: 2
- You are Jehovah-Rapha, my healer: I resist every illness and disease. I take refuge under Your wings. Though the arrow of harm may fly by day, and the pestilence stalk by night, it shall not find me – I shall only observe its rampage with my eyes from my place of safety Exodus 15:26, Psalm 91:4, Psalm 91: 5-8
- I command every trace, every symptom of disease to flee from my body and spirit RIGHT NOW, in Jesus Mighty Name! Psalm 103: 2-3, Isaiah 53: 4-5
- My God has provided me with all I need, for life and holiness ( ). He knows my needs before I ask. This [specific need] will be met and provided for by my bountiful Lord, in Jesus Name. 2 Peter 1: 3
This is cause for joy, and for a sense of relief….our heavenly Father, the Creator of all things, who is the Owner of the cattle on a thousand hills Psalm 50: 10 is looking out for you and shielding you! He delights to give good gifts to His children Matthew 7: 11 and before you even ask, He knows what you need Matthew 6: 8. He doesn’t need us to ask before He knows, and our asking is more of a relationship builder, than the provision of information. He wants us to ask Matthew 7: 7, and to ask according to His will James 4: 2. To not be avaricious or materialistic, and to beware of idolizing money Luke 12:15; Matthew 6: 24.
This is also your cue to stop ALL dark and careless speech. Start confessing instead God’s good Will for your life. A good place to start is with His promises of general application (to those who put their trust in Him):
- My Lord Jesus came to give me life, and life more abundantly at that John 10:10. From today onward, I will begin to live in the truth of this.
- My God is watching over me for good, not for harm, to give me a hope and a good future, and expected end Jeremiah 29:11
- I repent of, refute and reject every curse, including any that I may have uttered knowingly or unknowingly over my life.
If you find that old habits die hard, pray about it. Ask God to renew your mind, and to reveal to you appropriate expectations for your life going forward. Ask Him what His will is for your life, now that you have renounced the what was likely warped direction of the past.
In the meantime, look around you with new eyes. Recognize, count your blessings, and rejoice thankfully for the good things that you will begin to see all around you. Affirm those things.
Resist every old habit, scenario or thought that presents itself to you, or threatens or tries to draw you in to old ways. Refuse this sharply. Don’t give the temptation to backtrack even a sliver of attention.
Incorporate affirmations into your daily practice. Ideally when you are first starting your day, write out and affirm daily positive and uplifting scriptural statements about yourself:
“I am fearfully and wondrously made.”
“I am the Head, and will never be the Tail.”
“I am loved by an Everlasting Love.”
“I am protected and blessed – no weapon fashioned against me may prevail.”
“I will live and not die, but live to declare the Lord’s glory in the land of the living.”
Let us pray:
Father, by Your Word, the universe came into being: You SPOKE, and whatever You called, came into being. Made in Your image, You have endowed us with abilities that are reflective of You: You gave us the power of intelligent speech, including unparalled power in the utterances of the tongue.
You gave us the power of choice – to choose good or evil, and to speak well or ill. To unleash curses with our moths or frustrate manifesting evil by speaking and believing Your precious promises.
Loving Father, guide us in Your truth. Inspire us to use the good power of our tongues positively for good.
Deliver and restore those who are lost, who are searching in the wrong place or yearning for the wrong things, in the wrong way, whether they are doing so knowingly or unaware of their peril.
Please let this podcast reach the ears of every person who needs to hear the truth of Your Word faithfully here represented.
In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.