Chapter 11 – Overcoming by Our Words
In the previous chapter we read of Israel’s great failure to trust Yahweh when He instructed them to go forth to take possession of the land of Canaan. What I want to emphasize in this chapter is a matter of great importance that the Lord has impressed upon me over the years. What the Spirit has declared to me could be summarized in this way:
It is unavoidable that doubts and unbelief will attack our minds. We will all be faced with trials and beset by fear. There are times when thoughts of unbelief, fear and even rebellion will be present in our hearts, but the transgression only arises as we give voice to these thoughts.
Yahweh would not have prohibited the Israelites from entering the land of Canaan simply because they were troubled in their hearts by fear and unbelief. It was when they allowed these thoughts to manifest in the form of speech that was offensive to God that the transgression came in, and they incurred judgment.
Let me explain this matter more fully. The mind is one of the main battlegrounds where our warfare is waged against sin. It is therefore unavoidable that there will at times be many unworthy thoughts present in our mind. Satan also has access to our minds, and he can suggest things to us that either stir up sin in our members, or that are contrary to what God would have us to do and think. It is not sin for us to have these thoughts present in our mind. It is only sin when we entertain these thoughts when we should be casting them down. This sin is further compounded when we allow these thoughts to manifest in words and actions.
II Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…
It was not sin for the Israelites to find that there were thoughts of fear and unbelief in their minds. It became sin when they did not rule over these thoughts. Instead, they embraced the fear and unbelief and then gave voice to it. When we voice those thoughts that are contrary to the will and truth of God, then we have set our course and have revealed that we prefer a lie to the truth. God will judge us for preferring a lie over the truth.
II Thessalonians 2:10-12
Because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
As we look at the Israelites, we can discern how they fell under the judgment spoken of in these verses from the apostle Paul. The Israelites did not embrace a love of the truth. This was evident in their despising the manna that Yahweh sent them. This manna, as we have seen, is a symbol of Christ, Who is Truth. Because they did not love the truth God allowed them to believe that which was a lie. When Yahweh was testifying that they were well able to take possession of the land, the enemy, and their sinful flesh, were presenting another message. This false message said that they would be killed by their enemies, and their wives and children would be preyed upon. Because they did not love truth, they were given over to a lie. That these same people took pleasure in wickedness was evident when they made the golden calf in the wilderness and began to commit indecent acts as they reveled in its presence.
If we take pleasure in wickedness, we will not be anxious to embrace the inheritance that Yahweh has set before us. Many men and women prefer the pleasures of sin rather than a promise of a life of righteousness and peace. It is true that all men and women are plagued by these unrighteous desires to some degree, but not all people give themselves over to them. Some are ashamed at these unworthy thoughts, and they struggle to cast them down.
The Israelites, other than Joshua and Caleb, did not cast down these unrighteous thoughts. They embraced lies and then spoke them forth. There is tremendous power in our speech, much more so than most men and women realize. Our entire course in life is set by the words that proceed forth from our mouths. This is why when we come to Christ we not only must believe the truth concerning salvation in His blood, but we must confess it. Things become a part of us as they are spoken.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”– that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Yahshua as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
Thoughts become concrete and substantial as they are voiced. This is why Yahweh judged Israel for speaking words of fear and unbelief. To them the lie had become more concrete than His promises to them. They placed more weight on the false report of their senses, and the fear in their heart than upon that which Yahweh swore to them.
Those who would walk in victory over their addictions must guard their confession. It is absolutely necessary to keep words of unbelief in check and to not speak them forth. The Bible declares the following about the power of the spoken word.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue…
God has created man in His own image. Yahweh is a creative God, and the method of His creation is the spoken word. Yahweh literally spoke, and the world came into being.
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 has also granted this creative ability to man. Our world is also framed by the words we speak. If we speak words of unbelief, we will experience a life of defeat. If we speak words of faith, we will experience a life of victory.
We can observe the power of man’s speech in two different events from the life of Peter. When Yahshua ascended He gave power and authority to His disciples. They were to be in the world, even as He was. This extended even to the disciples being granted supernatural power in their speech.
And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering the temple… Peter said, “I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Yahshua Christ the Nazarene — walk!” And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
We see in this a clear example of the words of man producing life where there was death. A man who was crippled from birth was able to receive life into his legs and go forth walking and leaping. We also can observe similar examples of the power of death in the words of man. In the book of Acts we read of a husband and wife who were practicing lying and deception against the Holy Spirit. Peter once more was used to speak forth the words of God and this time they resulted in death.
Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
We see then that by means of a spoken word either life or death can result. What is not commonly understood by Christians is that this principle is always at work. Our words are a creative force. We do not always see the result in such an immediate and spectacular fashion, but our words always have an effect. I have at times shuddered as I have listened to Christians speak unguarded words that have arisen from an impure source. Rather than confessing the truth that Yahweh has declared to them, they speak forth all the fear and unbelief that is in their soul. I have observed these same ones crippled in their spiritual walk as it has become exceedingly difficult for them to embrace the promises of God. It is therefore necessary that all those who are seeking to rule over sin and addictive desires be careful to control that which comes out of their mouth. If you are confessing that your addiction is too strong for you, then it will be.
It is not my intent in this book to campaign against worldly programs for those who struggle with addictions, but I feel it is necessary to declare something here. Many people in and out of the church are led to participate in 12 step programs that are not the product of the Spirit of Christ. I have sat in on many of these meetings. As the meetings open, every person introduces themselves and a common declaration is made by those in attendance. They say, “My name is _____ and I am an alcoholic.” If they are a drug addict, they simply substitute this for the word alcoholic.
Satan understands the power in our words, and he has accomplished a great victory in bringing untold millions of men and women to make a confession of their continued bondage to sin in this way. Such a confession is contrary to the truth of God. The apostle Paul wrote the following to the Christians at Corinth.
I Corinthians 6:9-11
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Yahshua Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But this is not who Christians are. Our confession is always in the past tense regarding our slavery to sin. “Such WERE some of you.” Christians are not these things now, though they may have been in the past. Christ breaks every bondage. He has set the captives free. You were washed. You were sanctified (set apart as holy to God). You were justified in the name of Christ.
To continue to declare that you are an addict or an alcoholic after being born anew of the Spirit of Christ is a false confession. It is the same as if the Israelites had gotten out into the wilderness, and had seen Pharaoh and his armies drowned in the sea, but they continued to confess that they were Pharaoh’s slaves. How preposterous! Neither are the children of God slaves to sin anymore. We must put on a new mindset, and we must begin to confess those things that God declares concerning our identity in Christ.
Those who spoke in agreement with Yahweh’s promises to them were able to enter the land and defeat the enemies that dwelt therein. Those who confessed their weakness and inability, and who failed to reckon on the presence of God in them, failed to enter and overcome all adversaries.
“Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.”
Caleb made the good confession. He spoke no words of unbelief. He was careful to insure that his words were in accordance with Yahweh’s promises, and he and his descendants reaped the rewards. No enemy could stand before them. Caleb continued to make a good confession during the entire forty years that he waited in the wilderness for his generation to die. As he maintained a good confession he grew strong. We read the following concerning him.
“Now behold, Yahweh has let me live, just as He spoke, these forty-five years, from the time that Yahweh spoke this word to Moses, when Israel walked in the wilderness; and now behold, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so my strength is now, for war and for going out and coming in.”
Caleb’s strength for warfare had not diminished even when he was 85 years old. When the Israelites went into the land, Caleb put many who were much younger to shame. He had spent forty years making a positive confession of Yahweh’s power to defeat His enemies. He was completely transformed by the words he spoke, and the result was that he did greater exploits than any other man when he entered the land.
Yahweh had promised Caleb that he would be able to choose any part of the land he desired when Israel entered in, for he had believed God. There was a very choice part of the land. It was hill country and had streams and fields and was very fertile. It was consequently also very well defended, and the greatest of the giants dwelt in this area. Yet Caleb went to Joshua and said this was the very portion he desired. He said that if Joshua would allow him to have it that he would slay the giants that dwelt there. The Anakim lived there, and these were the giants of old.
Now then, give me this hill country about which Yahweh spoke on that day, for you heard on that day that Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps Yahweh will be with me, and I will drive them out as Yahweh has spoken.” So Joshua blessed him and gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for an inheritance. Therefore, Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite until this day, because he followed Yahweh God of Israel fully. Now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba; for Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim. Then the land had rest from war.
Caleb was surely tested by fear as other men, but he refused to allow fear to rule in his mind. He cast down the fear in his mind, and he embraced faith in God. When this one area of land had been unconquered due to the great fortresses there and the tremendous size of the giants, Caleb was not daunted. It is interesting to note that this same city of Hebron was later to be the place where David, the man after God’s heart, would be made king. David manifested the same heart as Caleb. David slew the giant Goliath, and he did so by the power of his confession.
I Samuel 17:45-47
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yahweh of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day Yahweh will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that Yahweh does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is Yahweh’s and He will give you into our hands.”
As you see the giants that reside in your flesh, let this also be the manner of your confession. Boldly proclaim that this enemy that stands before you in defiance of God will be laid at your feet. Declare that you will remove its head, which is a symbol of cutting off its authority over your life. Oh that Yahweh might have many such men and women of faith in this hour who will arise to destroy the works of Satan and bring in the Kingdom of God!
As you destroy the enemies in the land you encourage the hearts of those who doubt. If you are valiant as was Caleb, Yahshua may even allow you to choose to fight an enemy that others have been unwilling to fight. In doing so you will encourage the hearts of those who have been tormented by this enemy. Your victory will enable them to stand and defeat that which has stood in defiance before them.
I have some family members who have been taken captive by the giant of fear. The Lord spoke to me a few years back and told me that if I would face this giant and overcome it, that my victory would serve to loose those I love from this evil tyrant. Let us therefore be valiant. Let us feed upon the Word of God and become strong. Let us cast down every thought that exalts itself against the true knowledge of God.
Our words have power in them. By them the enemy is defeated, By our words we win the victory.
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”
Guard your lips, for the power of life and death are in the tongue.