If you have heard much teaching on the subject of faith, you’ve probably heard how important your words are.
It’s important to understand that Bible faith is made up of two components, believing with the heart and saying with the mouth. All faith teachers emphasize the importance of the words you speak. As I began to learn about faith many years ago, the question that always came to my mind was, does it really matter what you say? Is it as important as these preachers are making it sound or are they going to the extreme? After all, God knows our hearts, He knows what we really believe, isn’t that the most important thing? How can what I say in private to another person or group of people be that important?
After studying God’s Word on the subject I am satisfied I have found the answer to these questions. I want to give you some of the scriptural evidence that I have found that proves it really does matter what you say.
First of all Jesus said in Matt 12:26-37: But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
That sounds pretty serious. According to Jesus it does matter what we say. “Idle” means nonproductive. We should say what we mean and mean what we say. Or, let your yes be yes and your no be no. In order to speak faith words, we need to have faith in the words we speak. Nothing destroys faith in our words like foolish talking, lying, being deceitful and saying things we don’t mean. It may seem harmless enough at the time, but habitually speaking idle words can hinder our faith when we need to believe God and stand on His Word in our lives.
James 3:4-5 compares the tongue to the rudder on a ship. It may be a small part of the ship, but it is very important. If you were given a tour of a ship by the captain and you pointed to the rudder and asked, “what does that do?” He wouldn’t say, “Oh nothing, it’s just a rudder for steering the ship, but it really doesn’t matter which way it’s turned, God knows our hearts on this ship and when we sail we get where we’re going because our hearts are right and our motives are pure.” You can have pure motives, but if the rudder is turned in the wrong direction, you are going to sail in the wrong direction. Your life is going to go in the direction of your words. If you want to turn your life around, turn your words around and get them to work for you instead of against you.
Heb 11:3 says, By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
God created the worlds by words. Did it matter when He said, “Let there be light.”? That’s a simple, short phrase, but we are still feeling the results of it. Did it matter when Jesus spoke to the storm in Mark chapter 4? In verse 39 when the boat was about to sink Jesus said, “Peace, be still”. A very short phrase, very powerful results! It seemed necessary that something be said for the miracle to happen. The disciples said something also, they said, “Master Master, we are perishing!” That didn’t seem to produce the miracle they needed. Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith. So unbelief can be heard long before it is seen.
Did it matter when you said, “Jesus forgive me of my sins and be the Lord of my life”? That’s a simple statement, but it released the greatest miracle of all. Could you have had the same results by going to the altar and bowing your head in silence and expecting God to do the rest?
Do some of our words count and others mean nothing. If so, how do we know which words are on the record and which ones aren’t? Mark 11:23 makes it clear that every word we speak when we believe it in our hearts is powerful enough to move a mountain. What do you need to change in your life and what are you saying about it?
I love the example of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood in Mark chapter 5. In verse 27 it says, “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” She was healed by that touch. Jesus stopped and turned around to find out who touched Him and in verse 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you whole…” We see all the elements of faith at work in this example. She heard about Jesus in verse 27 and we know faith comes by hearing. Then she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” This is what separated her from the multitudes.
Many people had heard about Jesus in that day, but how many people said, “I shall be made well?” The Amplified Bible says, “She kept saying…” Before she touched Him she said and kept saying, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” What you keep saying matters! She didn’t keep saying, I’m sick, I’m sick, I’m sick, lay hands on me. She was ready for the touch of faith. She had been speaking long before she received her healing.
One of the best examples of the benefits of faith’s confession and the high cost of unbelief is in Numbers 13-14. In my opinion, this incident in the life of the nation of Israel, highlights the importance of the words we speak more than any other in the Bible.
It was God’s will that they go in and take the promised land, the land of Canaan, just on the other side of the Jordan River. He had promised this land to Abraham and his descendants over 400 years before. They all knew the promises, they had grown up knowing that it was God’s will to give them that land. They had heard God’s Word on the matter.
Moses sent twelve spies to go in and check out the land before they invaded. Among these were Joshua and Caleb, they are the only ones who are named, the only ones remembered and the only ones who believed. Upon returning from their mission, the twelve began to give their report.
Numbers 13 verse 27-28: Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there.
Verse 31-33: But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we…saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”
Numbers 14:1-2 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!
Notice the highlighted words, “said”, “said”, “saying”, “cried”, “wept” and “complained”. All they did that day was talk. They were just being honest with each other. Did it really matter what they said? Can’t we just talk this over? The problem was, their words disagreed with God’s Word and it did matter what they said, in fact it’s the only thing that mattered that day. Hebrews 3:19 calls what they did unbelief and it cost them their destiny. It says, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” If you want to see (or hear) unbelief, just read the scriptures above again. They were being factual and honest about what they saw. It appeared they were out numbered and out gunned. The problem is, when what you see disagrees with what God said, it is unbelief for you to say it.
Numbers 13:30: Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
Numbers 14:7-9 Joshua and Caleb, spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey. ’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”
Finally God said, in Numbers 14:28, Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you… We know that Joshua and Caleb were the only ones from that generation who were allowed to go in to the promised land 40 years later.
Joshua and Caleb got what they said, the rest of Israel got what they said and you and I get what we say. There are more scriptures and Bible examples too numerous to mention in this newsletter that also prove this point. After seeing for myself what the Bible had to say on the importance of the words we speak, not only was I convinced the faith teachers were right about confession, I became a faith teacher myself! I have seen first hand not only how faith in God’s Word has changed my life, but also how it’s made a difference in the lives of people around the world that God has allowed me to minister to.
I have two CD series that go in to more detail on the subject of Faith and Confession. They are “Dare to Believe” and “Faith Speaks“. You can order by phone, by mail or visit www.gregfritz.org for a list of all of our CD series. We also offer some free materials and free downloads of some of my most popular messages.