I get into trouble sometimes not so much because of what I do or don’t do, but more because of what I have said or maybe haven’t said. It would seem that my brain works slower than my mouth and my mouth always rises to the occasion and has a response whether or not a response is requested or required.
When I was 5 years old or so, our family was living in Brooklyn, New York. One day the phone rang and I answered it. My mom was “indisposed” in the restroom and wanted me to tell whoever it was on the line to call later. I did tell the person to call later but not before I told them that mama was in the restroom and was in there a long time. I continued divulging facts she certainly would have preferred to be kept quiet and said that she sometimes took a long time and I couldn’t tell when she would get out. In the background, I heard my mom calling out, “No! No! No! Stop!” But my mouth kept moving! I then politely told the caller to call back later and hung up. My life’s course was altered that day when mom emerged and my life flashed before my eyes! (A lot of it was spent talking…) I wasn’t allowed to answer the phone for a very long time after that incident.
From the time we learn how to speak, our words begin to shape the course of our lives. Initially, we can do little more than say, “yes” or “no” but our vocabularies quickly take shape and as they do, our lives follow our words.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” is the standard conversation-opener between a visiting adult and child. Our answers to this and other questions like it begin to give direction to us and by the time we graduate high school many of us have already decided the field of study we will pursue later in life. It all began with the question, “What do you want to be?”
While it may seem that words are innocuous in and of themselves, their effect can cause anything from joy to panic. I saw this while living in Burundi – rumors would circulate from day to day regarding an invasion of the city by rebel forces. I can’t count how many times I went to bed knowing that the next day the entire city would be razed to the ground. While we did see a lot of violence in the city, rebel forces never overran it. The fighting would take place in different areas of the city from time to time, giving us a great deal of uncertainty, but we managed to survive.
Our God is a God of words. He is an Author, He has written and created many works over many a millennia. Genesis 1 & 2 tell us about His creation of the world and how He spoke, and the world just was. He had something in mind and said it, and it was.
Psalm 33:6 AMP “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.”
What I find most interesting about the Creation, as I’ve pondered it, is that when it came to creating mankind, a discussion took place. We weren’t created without God putting some thought into us:
Genesis 1:26 NKJ “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The only part of creation when the Father said more than “let there be” was when He made mankind. There was purpose to our creation that wasn’t there for the rest of the world – and He made us to be like Him, in His image so we could represent Him. How powerful are God’s Words! And since we are created “in His image,” how powerful are our words? They are more powerful than we think.
Was it possible to see the words God spoke when He created our world? No, but we can see what His words created. In the same way, we can’t see our words, but we can see what they create, whether negatively in agreement with this world, or positively in agreement with God and His Word.
Hebrews 11:3 AMP “By faith we understand that the worlds [during successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.”
We have accepted Christ into our hearts by faith. We couldn’t see Him when we accepted Him, but that experience was real and is now evidenced by what He has done in our lives. He heals us, delivers us, gives us joy; and while we might not see Him with our eyes, we see what He does.
Our own words have not brought us much success when we say what we “feel.” Society tells us what to do and say to fit in and it still says we aren’t good enough. Friends might be well intentioned in their words but they still fail us. Popular words follow the latest and greatest trends and change every day. But God’s Word never changes.
Psalm 119:89 AMP “Forever, O Lord, Your Word is settled in heaven [stands firm as the heavens].”
God is still writing today; He is still writing books in heaven. And He is listening:
Malachi 3:16-18 AMP “Then those who feared the Lord talked often to one another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name. And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, Me peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him.”
While we think what we say is not important, God is listening. Not only are our words powerful either positively or negatively, God pays attention to our words and is recording them. What are we saying to one another? What kind of book is written of my words? It indicates here in Malachi that as we who fear the Lord speak to one another, God records it and not only that – our words distinguish us from those who don’t serve Him.
As this world’s condition grows increasingly worse, the opportunity for God’s people grows greater as we display and declare how great and how sure our Father’s promises are. In the face of the world’s disappointing condition, here we are, secure, strong, and moving forward.
Psalm 37:25 NLT “Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.”
How can we possibly believe this statement from Psalms? What if the dollar crashes? What if health care goes south? What if war breaks out?
Which words are more powerful? Certainly not the promises we hear over the news or from political figures around the world. I’ve chosen to trust God’s Words over those of the world that have disappointed me every time.
Some have said to me that they would love to read the Bible if they could only understand it. To this, I answer, “How much of what goes on in this world do we really understand?”
- Do we understand the stock market fully? Yet we follow it and appreciate what we do understand.
- Do we understand space and all of the galaxies out there? Yet we look at them through expensive telescopes.
- Do we understand politics fully? Yet we follow it nonetheless.
- Do we understand math or grammar? I thought I would throw that in for all of you who are numerically and grammatically challenged.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 NKJ “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
God Himself Authored this Book – He needs no forward, no introduction, He doesn’t need other “intellectuals” to back His writing. He backs it Himself, and His authority is enough.
If you want to hear God’s Words that He used while breathing the world into existence then you must go to His Word. Nothing else compares even remotely.
There are many good books that give us lessons from great examples and mentors such as: Luis Pasteur, William Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, the list goes on. However, there is only one book with heavenly mentors – and that’s the Bible.
God put His entire weight of authority behind the writings of these men and women found in the Bible. If Jesus saw it fit to speak their words, shouldn’t we?
Nothing can stamp out God’s Word. People might try to ban the Bible, burn them, outlaw them, but when history as we know it has ended, there His Word will be going on; eternal, alive, active, and still speaking! Imagine, in eternity, the familiar verse we have taken for granted, John 3:16, “For God so loved the world…” Still speaking and working; how much of that “simple” verse do we take for granted?