Turn to Proverbs 18:21. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat the fruit thereof.” When most of us hear that passage of scripture and the words “speak life,” we automatically go on shut-down mode, because we feel like we have heard it all. But I’m not here this morning to talk about name-it and claim-it. I’m here to talk about speaking life.
Death and life are in the power of your tongue. Most times we misquote this verse and talk about the power of death and life are in the tongue, but death and life have no power in and of themselves. The power lies in your tongue’s ability to produce or create death or life.
Jesus defeated death on the cross. The Word says that He has the keys to death and hell, so Jesus has already defeated death. Death no longer needs to be defeated for the child of God. If you are born again, you have the Spirit of God living in you. When you die, this physical body dies, but your spiritual body remains alive. So, death has no power over you, because “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
The difficult part about that is that we still have to live in this body of flesh and blood. We still have to deal with carnality and our own selves at times. Death and life are in the power of what you speak; so, we have to learn to speak life!
James 3:4 says, “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.” Verse 5: “Even so, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!”
Picture a cruise ship and how large that ship is compared to how small the rudder is that steers it. It’s the same thing with our body. Our tongue is such a small member, but what we say has the ability to produce death or life. Let’s lay a foundation.
Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God.” God existed in the beginning. He is eternal. My faith tells me that I don’t have to know where He came from. I just have to know He exists. There are all kinds of theologies regarding where God came from, and where the earth came from. If you want to believe in evolution, more power to you, but you’re wrong! I have enough sense to know that I did not come from a monkey. I don’t have to have a degree in Science to figure that out.
So, “In the beginning God,” but we also see that “God created.” Something was established in the very first verse of the Bible that God is a Creator. It is God’s nature to create. How did God form the world? Look at Genesis 1:3. “Then God said, ‘Let there be.’”
Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.” So, just as God framed the worlds by His word, we also have the same ability within us to frame our world, or how we live, by our words; because we were created in the image and the likeness of God.
God is a speaking Spirit, and spirits can speak. Evil spirits can speak. When we look at the ministry of Jesus, spirits were constantly crying out, “Son of God, have you come to torment us before our time?” So, we have to be careful what spirit we give access to. Be cautious what spirit you allow your ears to listen to, because not every spirit that is talking to you and trying to give you advice is God. You have to have discernment.
If you are talking to someone that has a hateful spirit, and they are trying to give you advice, they are going to give you hateful advice. If someone who has a vindictive spirit is trying to give you advice, they are going to give you advice that is vindictive. We have to be careful which spirit we give access into our lives.
When man was created, man was created as a spirit being with a voice. We were created in the image of God. Look at Genesis 2:19. I’m still laying the groundwork for this message. “Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.”
God formed man, then God formed birds and cattle; but God didn’t name them. He brought them to Adam to see what Adam would call them. Why? Adam had the same ability with his words to create that God had, because he was created in the image and the likeness of God. Remember, you have the ability to produce death or life, based on what you say.
The reason many of you have so many issues is because of what you have called your life for so many years now. What you have spoken over yourself, whether you have realized it or not, the words of your mouth produce what you are living. Speak life!
What is it that Forrest Gump said? “Stupid is as stupid does.” If you are always telling your children that they will never amount to anything, guess what your children are going to amount to? What are you speaking over your own family?
I know there isn’t anyone in the Maranatha Fellowship that says this kind of stuff, but I hear parents say to their children, “I can’t stand you. You are getting on my nerves. Leave me alone. Go away!” Then we wonder when they turn 14-15 why they try and find love anywhere they can find it. It is because of what has been spoken over them from birth!
What are you speaking over your children? What are you speaking over your family? What are you speaking over your job? What are you speaking over your marriage? Whatever you call these things, however you name them, that is what they are going to be, because your words have creative power.
God didn’t speak just to be heard. All God had to do was think it, and it happened; but He was setting a principle in place that was going to be established from that time forward. God understood the authority of words. God could have thought the world into existence, but He spoke it into existence because He was setting a principle in order.
The voice is the vehicle of the spirit. Matthew 12:34 says, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever is in you is what will come out of you. Whatever is in your heart is going to come out of your mouth. If filthy language isn’t in you, it can’t come out of you.
When some people get in certain situations, profane words come out of their mouths. Other people can be in the same situation, and the first word that comes out of their mouth is “Jesus!” because Jesus is in them. Whatever is in you will come out.
Hate won’t come out unless hate is in. Anger won’t come out of you unless anger is already in you. So, even though it is important what we say, it’s more a matter of the heart than the voice. The voice is the vehicle of the spirit, but it’s a heart issue.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The word “keep” means “to guard.” If you don’t guard your heart, whatever you let in it will come out of it. The issues of life should be coming out of our hearts, but many times issues of death come out because we haven’t guarded our hearts. We have to be consciously aware of what we take into our spirits; because, whatever we feed ourselves, that is what we will become.
What happens many times in our churches is what happens when we take our children to the candy store every week. We feed them junk, but then when we want to get people into spiritual matters, we wonder why they can’t step into moves of the Spirit. It’s because they haven’t been taught how. All they have had is junk food. Then we wonder why our churches are powerless when it comes to spiritual things. Guard your heart! What you take in comes out.
What if, as the people of God, we would make a conscious effort regarding what we take into our spirits? Instead of watching soap operas and reading romance novels all week long but spending that time in prayer, what do you think would happen when we would assemble together as a people?
If we would spend as much time reading the Word of God as we do Reader’s Digest, if we would spend as much time listening to music that glorifies God and lifts up the name of Jesus as we do worldly music, what do you think would happen when we come together?
We’re supposed to have issues of life coming out of us, but because we put death in us all week long, it takes us 30 minutes to get through 3 songs of praise and worship before we get to a place where we can start blessing God! It takes us 30 minutes to get all that junk out before we can enter into His presence with praise and worship.
Guard your heart! You have to be careful whom you give your heart to. People run around all the time saying, “I’m in love! I’m in love!” Ninety percent of the time you’re in lust! Don’t give your heart to just anybody. Don’t give your heart away. If you open your heart up to just anyone or anything, it could be crushed in a moment. Guard your heart!
Watch what goes into your spirit. God is trying to do awesome things in His church and among His people, but we keep polluting the moving of the Spirit because of the junk we take into ourselves. You can’t sit and watch pornography on your computer day in and day out and expect the anointing of God to flow in your life. You can’t listen to worldly women sing and dance suggestively, then expect to come in here and experience the presence of God. It’s not going to happen!
The people of God have to stand for holiness, guard our hearts, and guard what you let on the inside of you; and what one generation does not deal with, the next generation will have to two-fold. Guard your heart, because out of it will come the issues of life.
Proverbs 6:2 says, “You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.” How many of you have said something you know you shouldn’t have said, and it got you in all kinds of trouble? How many times have we said something, but before it came out of our mouths, we had that check? The issue is that we as believers are supposed to set an example. We are supposed to be showing people Jesus, but we are snared by the words of our mouth.
How many times have you tried to talk to someone about Jesus and had this reply, “Oh, you church folk are nothing but hypocrites!” It’s because the words of our mouth ensnare us. The Bible says that “in the multitudes of words, sin will not be lacking.” The more you talk, the better chance you have of saying something you shouldn’t.
The Bible says that we will be judged, that we will have to give an account of every idle word we speak. Idle words mean useless words, and we all know people that talk just to hear themselves talk.
Our fourth child talks all the time. It doesn’t matter where we’re going or what we’re doing. He will talk through it. So, I have something I do with him, especially when we’re all in the van and his mouth doesn’t stop. I will make this hand gesture and say, “Zachariah, what does this mean?” He says, “Blah, blah, blah!” That is the way it is with some people. It’s nothing but blah, blah, blah, blah, and one day we will have to give an account of every idle word we say. That is serious!
It is good to come to church and shout about the blood and shout about being redeemed, and we should do that; but the fact of the matter is we also have to learn how to get hold of our tongue. Many of us are saved but are living a horrible life, because we have not learned how to say the right things.
You can be saved, but sick, if you don’t get control of your tongue. You can be saved and be depressed, because you keep speaking depression over yourself. Matthew 12:37 says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” What, then, is coming out of your mouth?
We hear people all the time talk about some affliction that is going on in their body. Well, you just claimed that for yourself! My diabetes is acting up. You just took ownership of it. That is what God means when He tells us to speak the Word over our lives. If you keep saying, “I can’t take any more,” then guess what? You won’t be able to take any more. If you keep telling yourself that you’re sick and don’t know how much more you can endure, guess what? You won’t be able to endure much more. Speak life!
Proverbs 8:7 says, “For my mouth will speak truth.” What is truth? In John 17:17, Jesus tells us what truth is. “Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth.” So if you want to know what your mouth should be speaking, this is truth. The Word of God is truth. Let God be true and every man a liar! God is not a man that He should lie. If God said it, it will happen. It will come to pass. We have to learn how to speak the Word of God over our lives, and that what we say lines up with what has already been said.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” That is God speaking.
Many times the reason it doesn’t look like we are accomplishing anything in our lives is because we miss a key word. “So shall My word not return to Me void.” The reason it looks like you’re not prospering or accomplishing anything in your life is because what you are speaking is not returning back to where it came from, because what is coming out of our mouths is not lining up with what God has already said. If you want to see the Word of God accomplish something in your life, you have to start sending it back to where it came from (God).
If God’s Word says you’re healed, but you keep saying you’re sick, the Word is never going to accomplish anything in your life. If God’s Word says you are supposed to be blessed, but you keep talking about how broke you are, you are never going to experience the blessings in your life, because you are not returning it back to the One it came from. “So shall My word not return to Me void.” What comes out of our mouths has to line up with what has already been said. There has to be agreement.
The Bible says that “God’s word is forever settled in Heaven.” God’s word is established. God’s word is His ultimate authority. God’s word is settled in Heaven, so what we speak has to line up with the Word of God. It’s a heart issue. We have to believe it, and we have to say it!
We can say we believe such and such, but our actual words can state otherwise. How many times have you asked for prayer; then as soon as someone is finished praying with you, you go right back into saying how bad your life is?
If you come to the altar for prayer, someone prays with you, anoints you and agrees with you, when they are done praying and say AMEN, believe it! What is the purpose of praying if you’re going to talk yourself out of what God is trying to walk you into? If someone agrees with you in prayer, let it be done. Doesn’t the Bible say that if we agree (in prayer) touching anything, it shall be done? There are some things we can’t pray ON you if you are not willing to receive it yourself!
We think this oil we use has some kind of magical powers, that if we just slap some of it on your head everything will be great. No! You have to come into agreement with what is being prayed over you. Don’t go back to your seat or go home still talking about your problem. If we pray and you don’t believe it, you are never going to receive it.
We are living in a day and time, as a people of God, where we have to KNOW what the Word of God says, and we have to STAND on what the Word of God says.
If you sit around and listen to Fox News and CNN all the time, you are going to stay depressed. All you have to do is turn on any local news station and hear about someone who has been killed, robbed, or that another meth lab has been busted. If you take that stuff into your spirit day after day, you are going to be one depressed person; but sometimes you have to turn off all of that mess, get into the Word of God, begin reading and get a word from the Lord, then watch how God’s Word changes your situation.
Look at Romans 10:9. You can’t get saved unless you say it. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” You cannot get saved without a confession. If you can’t get into the Kingdom without a confession of your faith, you won’t get anything IN the Kingdom without the confession of your faith. We have to speak the Word of God.
Ephesians 6:17 says, “The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.” This is your sword (the Bible). This is your weapon. If you do not have this, you do not have anything to fight with! You can lay in the floor, you can dance, you can shout; but if you do not have this (the Bible), you will never have victory in your life.
Many people want to come to the altar and fall out under the anointing, but many times they leave the same way they came in. The Bible says, “Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You.” If you want to stop sinning, get in the Word!
This Word will keep you. This Word will hold you. This Word will give you insight. You will get answers from this Word. If you do not know this Word, you will never live victoriously in your Christian walk. The Word of God is your weapon, because this is the sword the Spirit uses. If you don’t have the Word of God, you don’t have a sword. You may be in the fight of your life right now, and you have to get a sword. You have to get a weapon. You have to get something to fight with.
Every time Jesus was tempted by Satan, He said, “It is written!” If you are battling the enemy right now, you have to come back with, “It is written!” The enemy may try and give you a bad doctor’s report, but you have to hold onto, “It is written!” By His stripes, I AM healed! When we begin to use the Word of God, it gives the Spirit of God something to work with.
Psalm 103:20 says that the angels harken to the voice of His word. It doesn’t say they harken to His voice. It says they harken to the voice of His word, and God says His word will not return to Him void. What does that mean? When we start speaking the Word, the angels will heed the voice of God.
Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days. His prayers and his fasting gave the angels an arsenal to bring the answer to where he was. If Daniel had stopped praying and fasting, the answer would not have come. That is why we have to learn how to speak life over every situation.
Joel 3:10 says, “Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’” It doesn’t say that you have to FEEL strong, and it doesn’t say you have to LOOK strong. When you are weak, say I AM STRONG! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so! Why? When you say so, you are activating something in the Spirit realm, and you are speaking something that has already been established.
I know this may be hard for some of you to grasp, but if we just come to church, run and shout, and never learn to speak God’s Word; we can run out the door shouting, run down Kanawha Terrace shouting, but still be defeated. Speaking the Word of God brings life into your situation, but what we want to do is have somebody lay hands on us and get rid of it. Many times, God wants US to actually do something, say something. I can’t say enough about how important speaking life into your situation is.
If all you do is speak doubt, unbelief, and are constantly telling people how bad your life is, why would someone want to believe in Jesus? If all people ever hear out of your mouth, as a believer, is how horrible your life is, why would they want to live a Christian life? They will think they can do better all by themselves.
If we would rise up in faith, get the Word of God in us, get it rooted and grounded on the inside of us, then no matter what the report is, we choose to believe the report of the Lord. Whatever report you choose to believe is the report you are going to speak. Are you going to put more faith in the situation, or put more faith in the Word of God? Our situations change, but the Word of God never changes!
In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were surrounded by the enemy. Verse 21 says, “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and [those] who should praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the army and they said, ‘Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.’”
Verse 22: “Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, and they were defeated.” They began to say, “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever.”
As they came in one mind and one accord and began speaking what had already been established in the heavenlies, God began to turn their enemy against itself. They didn’t have to fight the battle. All they had to do was SAY what God had already established, and they didn’t have to fight.
If you start speaking the Word of God, if your mouth and speech will begin to line up with what God has said, you won’t have to fight nearly as many battles as you are fighting right now in your own strength or power. When you begin to return the Word of God back to where it came from, you give access to the Holy Spirit to begin fighting on your behalf, because you now have activated your sword.
You have to activate your sword. It isn’t going to fight on its own. You have to get a word from God, stand on that word, and come hell or high water, “I will believe the report of the Lord!” Let your speech line up with what Heaven has already declared, and watch God change your situation. Speak life!
Remember, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Whatever you allow to come out of your mouth, your life will bear the fruit of what you say.
It’s easy sometimes to line up with the label the world has tried to put on us. We’re oppressed. We’re depressed, but it doesn’t matter what is going on in the environment around you. What matters is what is IN you! If we could only get hold of that. If, as a body of believers, we would all start speaking the same thing in unity with the Word of God, we would see a move of the Spirit like we have never seen before.
We need to start speaking words of encouragement over those who are down, and start telling them they don’t have to stay discouraged. Don’t ever come into agreement with someone else’s self-pity. That may sound harsh, but self-pity won’t get you anywhere. There is freedom in Jesus!
The Word of God changes people. The Word of God changes situations. Give people the Word. We have to be people of faith that speak the Word of God. Job said in the Book of Job, “You shall decree a thing, and it SHALL be established.” Speak life!
Get the Word of God in you, because when the evil days come, this Word will be the only thing that will keep you. It will be the only thing that you will be able to stand on. It will be the only thing that will hold you up. There will be times when you are going to be all alone, but “If God be for you, who can be against you?” Speak life!
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