God’s Word gives life to whatever it is applied to because it is the very source of life itself.
All throughout its pages the Bible confirms the truth of the life in God’s words. Speaking to the children of Israel about what sustained them in the wilderness, Moses assured that it wasn’t the manna God provided, but the sustenance of their lives is “every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deut. 8:3). Teaching His disciples about the very source of life, Jesus left no room for doubt. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” He instructed (John 6:63). Paul encouraged young Timothy to remain close to the Scripture, which is beaming with life. “All scripture is inspired [given life] by God,” he wrote (2 Tim. 3:16). To the Hebrews, Paul reiterated a similar point: “Indeed, the word of God is living and active” (Heb. 4:12).
That God’s Word contains life is a key to understanding its miracle-working and transformational power today. To put it simply, God’s Word gives life to whatever it is applied to because it is the very source of life itself.
Life Is in the Tongue
Proverbs famously teaches that our tongues also have the power to give this life: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue …” (Prov. 18:21). Obviously this verse doesn’t mean that we can lick things to life with our tongues! No, as it’s often used throughout the Bible, tongue here is used to mean words. We all know the power of our words to either wound or to build up. Many relationships have been destroyed simply because of the power of death that can come from idle or negative words. We also know the encouragement and confidence that can be given through a single positive affirmation.
Of course nothing is more powerful for transformation, encouragement, faith building or the activation of miracles than speaking the ultimate source of life—the Word of God itself. And throughout the Bible, this is precisely how God instructed His Word to be used. Let’s explore some of these examples now.
Success from Speaking God’s Word
God made it clear to Joshua that prosperity and success are dependent upon a practice of keeping God’s Word in his mouth, or in other words, a habit of speaking it.
After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, the time had come for the children of Israel to finally possess the land God promised. But now that their original leader, Moses, had passed, the next up, Joshua, needed confidence to take over. In His commission, here’s what the Lord told Joshua would be the secret sauce to his success: “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night … For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful” (Josh. 1:8).
Throughout the Old Testament, the “book of the law” is synonymous with God’s Word. And so here God made it clear to Joshua that prosperity and success are dependent upon a practice of keeping God’s Word in his mouth, or in other words, a habit of speaking it.
Refreshment from Speaking God’s Word
In most books an introduction prepares readers for what is ahead and instructs them in how to use the book. The first chapter of Psalms serves as the book’s introduction, and the first few verses prepare us well for how to use the words that come after.
“Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,” the author boasts. “But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night” (Ps. 1:1–2). Again, “law” is used to mean God’s Word, on which the psalmist instructed people to “meditate day and night.”
Those who speak God’s Word on a regular basis will experience the refreshment that streams provide sun-scorched trees that are desperate for water.
Those of us in contemporary Christianity might not immediately recognize what is meant here by meditating on God’s Word. Or perhaps we mistake it for modern meditation, which is often nothing more than intently thinking about something. The Jewish practice of meditation, however, didn’t only consist of thinking and memorizing; it involved a very emotional process of speaking.
The author affirmed that happiness is promised to those who find delight in God’s Word and who speak it day and night. “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither” (Ps. 1:3). This is a beautiful illustration of refreshment. Whereas you and I might think of trees in a lush forest, the original reader knew mostly of trees in the midst of a desert. This makes the illustration all the more powerful. Those who speak God’s Word on a regular basis will experience the refreshment that streams provide sun-scorched trees that are desperate for water.
Miracles from Speaking God’s Word
The New Testament provides numerous examples of the spoken Word to transfer death or life. Jesus’ words to fig tree, for example, caused it to wither up and die (Mk. 11:14). And to His disciples, he taught about the power of words to move mountains. “Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ … it will be done for you” (Mk. 11:23).
The disciples obviously took Jesus’ teachings to heart; they routinely employed the practice of speaking to activate miracles.
The disciples obviously took Jesus’ teachings to heart; they routinely employed the practice of speaking to activate miracles. In the Book of Acts alone, all the miracles detailed by Peter and Paul were accompanied by a declaration founded on the truth of God’s Word.
The first instance of this is observed in the account of Peter healing a lame man. Notice he didn’t pray, “God, please heal this man.” Instead, the man was healed after Peter’s declaration, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk” (Acts 3:6). (I explore all the other instances in my book, Activating the Power of God’s Word.)
Activate the Power of God’s Word
As we’ve explored in these examples, the single secret to success, refreshment and miracles isn’t all that complicated—it’s simply activated by speaking God’s Word.
Whether spoken directly from His mouth or spoken through you and me, God’s Word works.
In which one of these areas do you need help? If it’s success, meditate upon Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Nehemiah 8:10 makes a fitting declaration
for refreshment: “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” If it’s healing you desire, speaking God’s Words through Peter might be just the cure: “Because he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross … by his wounds I am healed” (1 Pet. 2:24).
Finally, remember that whether spoken directly from His mouth or spoken through you and me, God’s Word works. It sustains all things; it gives life to all things. And it will sustain and give life to whatever you apply it to today.
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