Whether we realize it or not, words can be weapons. And most of us have found ourselves embroiled at some time in a war of words, even if we would never fight with our fists. Words can be more powerful than a boxing punch and cut more deeply than any knife. When used as weapons, words are able to mutilate and destroy.
David said of a former friend, “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Ps. 55:21).
On the other hand, words can be uplifting and bring encouragement. We use them to obtain God’s promises and overcome Satan. In the Gospel of Matthew, we see how Jesus defeated the Devil with words.
MATTHEW 4:3–11 (NIV)
3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.
6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’ ”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he quoted Scripture to Jesus out of context. The Devil hasn’t changed. He still uses the same tactics today. He’ll sit on our shoulders and talk in our ears. And when this happens, we have to fight the Devil the same way Jesus did—with words.
Every time the Devil spoke, Jesus countered with the Word of God. And Jesus kept talking until He had the last word. Likewise, anytime the Devil whispers in our ears, we have to keep talking until we outtalk him.
Have you ever watched kids argue? Their arguments can seem endless because each child tries to get the last word. It’s a common belief that whoever gets the last word wins.
During Jesus’ temptation in the desert, Satan didn’t leave the first time Jesus spoke. But Jesus kept talking until He outtalked the Devil. Jesus knew the Word of God better than the Devil did. Each time the Devil presented a temptation, Jesus came back with God’s Word.
We can’t outtalk the Devil if we don’t know what the Bible says. That’s why we must renew our minds by reading and studying the Word. Only then will we be able to prevail when the Devil tempts us.
We must combat the Devil with words. We cannot triumph over him with our mouths closed. If we don’t say anything, he wins by default.
If a person is sued in civil court and fails to appear before the judge on the scheduled trial date, the plaintiff wins by default. The individual wasn’t there to defend himself, so the court awards the victory to the plaintiff.
The same is true with the Devil. If we don’t open our mouths and speak the Word of God, he’ll win in that situation. Knowing what the Bible says isn’t enough; we must say what we know.
It’s imperative that we make a habit of speaking God’s Word aloud every day. When we get out of bed in the morning, we should declare, “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24 NKJV). Next, we should confess, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV).
Speaking God’s Word creates an environment that starts our day off right. As we do this, we are building fortresses around ourselves that the Devil will have a hard time penetrating.
Speaking God’s Word is not a luxury for us; it is a necessity. Unfortunately, some people speak the Word only when they’re in trouble. But we need to be making faith confessions long before we experience symptoms of sickness, financial need, or any other problem.
When we speak God’s Word, we are activating, or releasing, His power to work on our behalf. Romans 8:11 says, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Holy Spirit Who lives in us gives strength and energy to our bodies. This happens when we open our mouths and speak the Word.
Second Corinthians 4:13 (NIV) says, “It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak.” I like to personalize Scripture any time I read it by inserting my name in the verse. Here I would say, “With that same spirit of faith Ken believes and therefore Ken speaks.”
Many of us are familiar with Mark 11:23. Here it is from the New King James Version: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
Notice that Jesus used the word say in this verse three times and the word believe only once. This shows us that we need to place more emphasis on speaking the Word. Most Christians have the believing part down. Where we lack is in the speaking forth of our faith. This verse also indicates that we will have what we say—not what we hope for or what we think about.
Since God’s power is activated when we speak His Word, let’s be bold about it. Let’s not speak His Word in a whisper; let’s declare it emphatically and with conviction, regardless of our circumstances or how we feel.
When the Enemy taunts us, let’s respond to him with God’s Word. When people slander us, let’s determine to keep speaking the Word. When circumstances look too big to overcome, let’s keep speaking the Word. God’s Word is always the last word. And the one who has the last word wins.
The Power of Words
It’s been said that we spend onefifth of our life talking and that the average person speaks between 25,000 and 30,000 words a day. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. . . .” Our words are like seeds that bear either good or bad fruit.
• Words can motivate another to accomplish the impossible or hold someone in bondage.
• Words can bring peace or ignite strife.
• Words can build up or tear down.
• Words can produce joy or sorrow.
• Words can show appreciation or demonstrate disgust.
• Words enable us to receive God’s promises or keep us from enjoying them.
Through our words we hold the power to change others’ lives for better or for worse. Therefore, let us choose our words wisely.