If you are not saying it…you are not creating it. Really? Yes! If we believe what the Bible teaches we have to deal with the words we speak. Our tongue is like a rudder and we are the ship that is steered. We speak into existence God’s will for our lives by our words…for our finances and other areas as well. Let the following proverb impact you as you read it:
From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him (Proverbs 12:14).
To understand the truth presented here we must see the Bible is directly comparing the hours we work and the paycheck we receive for this work, with the results that come from our spoken words. Or stated another way…as surely as you plant corn in the ground and it grows and produces a crop, it is equally as sure that your faith filled words will reward you with good things. The prophet Joel instructed the weak to “say” they are strong. Say it. Out loud.
I have to admit though, in spite of all these scriptures, it still feels awkward to say “My debts are paid off,” when I have a payment schedule in my desk drawer for loan payments. And yet, somehow when I say those words, faith rises up in my heart that the mountain of debt can and will be removed from my life. It is a spiritual principle, and it is not always easy to understand how it works. But it does work. I have to say it like this…I am not denying reality, I am changing it.
Is this line of blogging causing your mind to tilt? It doesn’t make intellectual sense but it does make spiritual sense. How about this scripture in Romans, chapter 4, that describes God and how He does things on the earth.
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:16-17).
This scripture teaches that God Himself calls things “that are not as though they were.” It sounds a lot like what God did in Genesis when He created the heavens, the earth, light, man, etc. Could this mean that He wants us to also speak creative, faith-filled words? Yes, I believe it does. When He is challenging us to speak out words of faith He is challenging us to co-create with him in our lives and in our areas of responsibility. I heard one person say it like this…”If you are not saying it you are not creating it.” This is how God operates.
Does it seem weird to speak to things? Well what about Jesus cursing the fig tree in the gospel of Mark? He spoke to the fig tree. He didn’t pull it up. He didn’t ask His disciples to cut it down. No, his words were enough to cause it to die by the time he returned that same way. Jesus continued on after finding the dead fig tree to teach about faith. He underlined again the importance of faith-filled words and how battles are won and victories gained by using them.
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:22-24).
We are to say to the mountain, “Throw yourself into the sea.” Mountains are the things (including financial lack) that stand in the way of us fulfilling God’s will for our lives. Jesus told us to speak (out loud) to the mountains in our lives.
You may remember that Jesus called Simon by the name “Peter.” He called Peter a rock when it looked like he was anything but a solid guy that could be involved in building the kingdom of God. I believe when Jesus said those words, it actually released the power that helped make Peter into “the rock” that he would become. This is how God operates. We see it again in Amos.
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7).
Why does he reveal is plans to the prophets? So they can prophesy it. Say it. Speak it into existence. God has the prophets say it because they are his representatives on earth today and he is not currently physically here to say it himself. So we audibly speak His will for life, and become the prophet of our own life.
Many Bible figures used the biblical truth of “declaring out loud an expected end” when directing their current situation and circumstances to change. It is Biblical and it worked for them. David had the following words to say at his encounter with Goliath:
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45-47).
This was not a silent prayer to God. In fact, he did not direct these words to God at all. David said these words to Goliath, his enemy. “I will strike you down and cut off your head”. That’s bold. He was declaring faith-filled words about what God wanted to do. The events he spoke of had not actually happened as yet. However, as we know they did come to pass.
Remember from my blog a couple of weeks ago...”The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:20-21). Goliath was a giant enemy. David spoke death to him and consequently life to himself. Many times we have giant enemies in our finances that we need to speak to with faith filled words. Sometimes we don’t know what to do when facing financial challenges, but this is something practical we can do. Declare the end from the beginning. Declare the removal of debt. Declare God’s provision.
Does it really matter what we say about our finances? This is a very good and logical question. I will attempt to answer this question in a concise, biblical manner. Let’s look at some scriptures that teach about the words we speak and how they apply to all areas of our lives, including our finances.
God puts a lot of importance on what we say. There are many scriptures that mention this. The scripture that we commonly use to lead people to faith in Jesus Christ, Romans 10:9, indicates that we should not only believe in our hearts but also confess with our mouths to come into salvation. Even though we believe in our hearts, which is something that happens in the “unseen” world, it seems it is spiritually significant to speak the words out loud into the “seen” world in which we live. The words we speak are at the very core of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the beginning of the Bible, we find Genesis teaching that God created the world in six days by His words. He said, “Let there be light,” and there literally was light created. As we study these scriptures, it appears that God’s very words were the creative force that brought the world into existence.
Later, God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. God started calling Abraham “the father of many” when he was not even the father of a son. He was not the father of anyone! Worse yet, by changing his name, God made Abraham call himself “the father of many” every time he introduced himself to someone or someone asked his name. Can you picture Abraham feeling a little embarrassed as he, a man without a son or daughter, spoke the words, “My name is ‘Father of Many?” Yet Abraham’s faith-filled words eventually bore the fruit of making him the father of many.
If God worked in Abraham’s life by directing him to speak words declaring his destiny, we have to ask the question, “Does God want us to do this today?” As you read through these upcoming blogs, I believe your answer will be a resounding “yes.”
In one of my first blogs I told the story of the veteran missionary who told his wife and children that they would always be poor because of their call to missions. Here is his story quoted from my earlier blog:
With tears in his eyes the veteran missionary looked at me. He had gathered his children and grandchildren around him at the front of the church building. I had just finished teaching that God wanted to be the God of “more than enough” for his children. Generally as I proclaim the message of biblical prosperity, people respond and ask for prayer to be free from poverty. But I realized God was doing something different as this man approached me with his extended family gathered around him.
Here was a precious man of God and his wife who had spent much of their lives on the mission field. As they approached me, he gathered his sons and daughters and put his arms around them. He wanted me to pray for his whole family. He shared that early in his life he felt called to the mission field and he had told his wife and family that they would “always be poor” because they were called to be missionaries. He went on to share about their experience of never having enough. When they were on the mission field and when they were home, they never seemed to have enough…always barely scraping by. And now he saw the same lack in the lives of his children. He wanted me to pray for them and break the power of these words he had spoken over his family. He wanted his family to meet and know God as El Shaddai, the God of more than enough.
Knowing the power of our own words, I asked him to pray first and cancel his words of financial lack over himself and his family. He stood in his place of God-given leadership authority over his family and renounced his words of “always being poor”. Then I followed in a prayer of financial blessing for the family as God met them in a beautiful time of prayer and restoration.
Our words are so important. This man’s words bore the fruit of poverty and lack in his family even for years after they were back from the mission field. He felt the Lord prompting him to retract those words. The spiritual principle here is simply stated in Proverbs 18.
From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:20-21).
When we speak faith filled words about our finances, we are not deny a financial reality, we are speaking words that change that reality.
Government officials are sometimes called the city Fathers. Fathers want their sons to succeed. It seems appropriate that those in political offices would work for the good and prosperity of the city. The following is the prayer that William Penn offered for the city of Philadelphia. It is still inscribed on the outside wall of City Hall in Philadelphia.
And Thou Philadelphia the virgin settlement of this province named before thou wert born, what care, what service, what travail have there been to bring thee forth and preserve thee from such as would abuse and defile thee. O that thou mayest be kept from the evil that would overwhelm thee, that faithful to the God of thy mercies in the life of righteousness, thou mayest be preserved to the end. My soul prays to God for thee that thou mayest stand in the day of trial, that thye children may be blest of the Lord and thy people saved by His power.
This was a prayer for the prosperity of the city. In 2008 as a sitting, elected school board member in our local school district, I had the opportunity to pray a prayer of blessing and prosperity over a new Middle School building we were opening. This same prayer was then mounted on the wall inside the main lobby of the building.
An intercessor friend of mine recently met with the mayor of a large US city of six million people. The input he gave him was to say a blessing over the city each morning as per Proverbs 11:11, “Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” Many times local citizens will say negative things about their city, but a prosperous person will speak blessing over his city.
Historically, Christianity has brought much prosperity to society. Alvin Schmidt points out that before Christianity the Greek/Roman viewpoint of physical labor was very low. It was only suitable for slaves and the lower classes. The Christian view of labor and work as honorable and God-pleasing was in direct conflict with the Greek/Roman idea. This view set them apart in honoring work, but also they prospered economically because of their strong work ethic. Before Christians brought dignity to work and labor, there was not much of a middle class. People were either rich or poor and the poor were slaves. But with the spread of Christianity the economic phenomenon of the middle class arose which is now present in all Western societies.1
Francis Schaeffer points out one of the practical results of Christianity as transforming the workplace during the time of the Reformation; with the result that all the vocations in life came to have dignity. The vocation of honest merchant or housewife had as much value as the King, a radical thought for leaders in this time in history and a welcome relief to the followers of the day2.
However it does take time for a whole city to prosper, A business man I know is fond of saying, “If you are lost 30 miles into the woods you have to walk 30 miles to get out.” How does this help us? If we, or the population of a whole city, have been thinking one way for a many years it will take some time to reverse this. It is possible, but it is not easy and it does not happen by accident. Not only will it take time, but it will take like minded individuals collectively believing for the city or region to experience prosperity. In future blogs we will see how this happens biblically.
- Schmidt, Alvin J. How Christianity changed the world : formerly titled Under the influence. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004.
- Schaeffer, Francis A. How should we then live? : the rise and decline of western thought and culture. Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2005.
We have been talking about Joseph being a blessed to be a blessing to those around him. He prospered in Potiphar’s household. Just when it seemed like Joseph had advanced as far as he could with Potiphar, God allowed something to happen that sent Joseph to prison; only to see the prison blessed and become a better place.
But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did (Genesis 39:20-23).
Was the prison a better place to work as a guard or even be a prisoner when Joseph was in charge? Somehow I think it was. The rest of the story is that Joseph’s prosperous soul and advancing mindset soon opened up the door for him to lead Egypt during a very challenging time of natural disaster. The whole nation was blessed by Joseph’s leadership. Joseph personally prospered and so those in Potiphar’s household, the prison and eventually all of Egypt prospered. We must change our thinking first and eventually the finances of our whole city and region can prosper as well.
It is amazing how historically, Christianity has brought much prosperity to society. We will look at this more closely in the next blog.
God’s presence brings a sense of blessing to individuals and to the place where they live. If we examine the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament we find something interesting.
The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house for three months, and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had (1 Chronicles 13:14).
The Ark, which represented God’s presence, brought prosperity wherever it went. So if God’s people prosper, then the cities in which they live can prosper too.
Joseph’s prosperity affected the places he lived. Earlier in the blog we looked at the life of Joseph and saw that he had a prosperous soul. He often encountered opposition, but he always found a way to prosper. In addition, whatever physical location Joseph was in seemed to prosper as well; first Potiphar’s household, then the prison where Joseph stayed and finally the whole nation of Egypt. Let’s take a closer look: his brothers sold him as a slave to a traveling caravan when he was a teenager. From there he was traded off as a slave to an Egyptian official named Potiphar. This presented a huge challenge, but not for long, as we read in Genesis.
The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate (Genesis 39:2-6).
Potiphar saw the blessing in Joseph’s life and it convinced him to put his whole household in Joseph’s hands. He saw that everything he put under Joseph’s authority multiplied and prospered. Potiphar entrusted everything he had to Joseph’s care. Eventually, he did not even know how much money he had anymore. God’s blessing on Joseph was making Potiphar rich. That is the Biblical truth.