“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3
This verse takes me back to Ebenezer Baptist Church where on a Sunday morning my young mind was blown. Our Sunday school teacher was teaching us how God created the universe and a young Coach Chè was immediately struck with awe, “you mean He just spoke those word, He didn’t even use His hands and the entire universe was created?” That revelation planted a seed in me that would later lead me to pursue a degree in Communications, I needed to know more about the power of words.
Words carry immeasurable significance, Proverbs 18:21 says “Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” they’re powerful, they can create and destroy, build and burn down, save and condemn. God created and upholds us by His word. As Christians, we know this truth, but often we are not diligent in harnessing this power.
Years later I’m a senior in high school, the plan has already been set for college and I’m speaking to a classmate. I can’t recall the exact words I said, but I know that it was self-deprecating and began with “I am…”. This classmate was not having any of that and immediately corrected me saying, “Don’t use God’s name in vain.” Of course, I was quick to point out that I didn’t say, God,, Jesus, Abba, Yahweh, Allah none of that but she was quick too and stated that when God spoke to Moses at the burning bush sending him to Israel, Moses asks God who am I to tell them has sent me, like if they ask me for a name what do I say. God’s offer this perplexing response: “Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh,” a Hebrew phrase translated as “I am who I am” or “I am that I am” or “I will be who (or: what) I will be.”
So, by her reasoning, when I used “I am” and followed it with something negative, I was speaking negatively about God, thus using His name in vain. Touché, again, my mind was blown and a lifelong lesson learned.
The Promise and the Pledge Found in His Name
You’ve probably heard of speaking positive affirmations, or the not so secret, Secret Law of Attraction which all state that by consciously feeding your success with an affirming statement will help you feel empowered and soon your actions will follow. Speak what you seek! This is absolutely true, the confessions of our mouths will bring life to the things we speak. So, when my classmate lovingly corrected the way that I spoke she was essentially reaffirming that my words have power.
But do we truly believe this? Matthew 16:13-20 Jesus challenged His disciples to examine the foundation of their belief. He asked them “Who do you say that I am?”
He didn’t ask who do you believe that I am but specifically what are you saying about me. Actions can easily be justified when they don’t match up with what we’ve claimed to believe, but the words we speak are a bit harder to justify. What we speak helps us to better understand what we really believe and what we believe is the foundation for what we practice. You’ve heard it, practice what you preach.
The disciples first tell Jesus what the people are saying about Him, then it’s their turn to tell Jesus what they believe and who they say He is Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Peter’s claim served as the foundation for everything God would build in this world and it was the foundation that Peter would build his life upon. All of Peter’s actions would be influenced by this foundational belief.
So far we know that words are powerful, and what we believe sets our foundation, but still, in order for our actions to line up, we have to speak it.
If we are willing to confess these statements as truth, the promise and pledge is that we’ll have the foundational rock on which our lives can thrive.
Faith + Fitness
Okay, let’s tie this all together. Using God’s promise to power your workout begins with training your mind before you train your body. Faith it ’til you make it. Our faith compels us not to speak doubt but only things that the word of God declares to be true. Equipped with the truth we are set free to be all that God has called us to be.
So, never should we say “I can’t” because the truth is “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13
We won’t say or believe that we lack in anything because “The Lord is my Shephard, I lack nothing.” Proverbs 23:1
We do not fear, because “God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
We are not weak, for “The Lord is the strength of my life.” Psalm 27:1
Nor will we believe that the devil has any power over our lives because “Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
We know not defeat and “thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 2:14
We’re not worried about nothing because we can “cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
Never are you alone in any of this because His promise is “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
What we declare with our mouths will eventually give life to what we see. As we set out to start this week, let’s ask ourselves these questions: What is our foundation? What do we say? What do we believe?
I challenge you to use God’s promise and pledge to create an empowering statement (feel free to use the verses of above to craft your life-giving truth statement) to remind yourself daily that our Heavenly Father has made us complete providing everything that we need and that as a child of God you have inherited such a power that can create a universe.