Intentional Living - Steven Davis

Words Are Powerful

by Steven Davis

Dr. Randy is wrapping up the year with a series entitled Your Word for 2018. This is a good time to take a real look at your life and select a word that you want to represent your whole year. This word will be a brand or a trademark of everything you do in the next 12 months. It’s your goal for the new year.

If you need help selecting that word, I suggest that you spend some time with Dr. Randy while he’s teaching this series. Once it hits the archives, you can listen to it anytime.

Why is this important? Well, words are powerful. They can tear down, or they can build up. They can wound, or they can heal. They can cause you to stumble, or they can help you to overcome. So why are words so powerful? Let’s go way back, to the beginning.

Verse 3 of Genesis chapter 1 says: “Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” For 27 verses, God spoke all of creation into existence. Just words. But something wondrous happened on the fifth day in verse 22. He not only spoke the aquatic creatures into existence, He blessed them.

On the sixth day He spoke humanity into existence, and not only blessed us, but gave us dominion over His Creation: “Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground’” (Gen. 1:28).

Words are powerful. Need another example?

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7 NIV). If God could speak all of creation into existence with just a few words, imagine what He could do with an entire song.

So on day six, God spoke to us. And being made in His image, the words we speak also have a power of their own. Consider the folks who were building the Tower of Babel.

“At first everyone spoke the same language, but after some of them moved from the east and settled in Babylonia, they said: ‘Let’s build a city with a tower that reaches to the sky! We’ll use hard bricks and tar instead of stone and mortar. We’ll become famous, and we won’t be scattered all over the world.’ But when the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower, he said: ‘These people are working together because they all speak the same language. This is just the beginning. Soon they will be able to do anything they want. Come on! Let’s go down and confuse them by making them speak different languages—then they won’t be able to understand each other.’ So the people had to stop building the city, because the Lord confused their language and scattered them all over the earth. That’s how the city of Babel got its name.” (Genesis 11:1-9 CEV)

When pride drives our words, we can get into a heap of trouble. Therefore it makes great sense to speak humbly. Jesus said: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one” (Matt 5:34-37 NLT).

Being a firm believer that sarcasm is a spiritual gift, my sense of humor sometimes gets me into trouble—or at least difficulty. It seems to be my lot in life to maintain a running commentary on the inequities, absurdities and imperfections of humanity around me. Maybe my word for 2018 should be quiet.

Actually I want my word to be consistent. I really do love Jesus, and I love His people, but sometimes I love me more. Sometimes my thoughts betray my actions. Sometimes my actions betray my words. I want to live like Jesus wants me to 24/7, day and night, in crowds and alone, at work, at rest, at home and at church. Yeah… consistent.

As I said before, be sure to catch Dr. Randy’s program this week, then in the archives after that. Spend some time asking God what your word for 2018 should be.