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The Power of the Spoken Word

by Patricia Dailey,
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center

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The Power of the Spoken Word

by Patricia Dailey
Senior Pastor, Bethel Revival Center
43 Norwood St.
Everett, MA 02149

Nevertheless . . .

Numbers 13:26-29
And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.

Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan [italics mine].

Moses sent twelve spies to spy out the land of Canaan, that land which God had promised unto the Jews, a land flowing with milk and honey. He sent out a spy from each tribe to see what the land was really like: whether good or bad, fat or lean, whether it had any wood; and what the people were like: strong or weak, few or many, dwelling in tents or in strongholds.

The spies brought back a cluster of grapes that was so great it took two men to carry it. Yes, the land was flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord had said.

Now, all twelve spies saw the same thing when they went up to spy out the land. Yet, even though they all saw the same thing, ten of them brought back an evil report.

Encourage Faith, Not Doubt

An evil report is negative: tearing down and speaking doubt, while a good report is positive: building up and speaking faith.

When someone is cast down and discouraged, we should be careful with our words. We don't want to speak words of doubt that can cause someone to become fearful and unhappy.

Galatians 6:7
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

If we sow doubt, we will reap doubt; but if we sow faith, we will reap faith. We need to encourage one another in our faith by speaking positive words.

Yes, our words should be positive words of faith: words that encourage, not words of doubt that will only bring fear and unhappiness. If we speak positive words of faith, we can bring a harvest of joy, success, and happiness to the hearer.

When someone is going through what seems like a real dark period of time in their life, that's not a time to do like Job's three friends did when they came to comfort him. Instead of comforting him, they tore him down with their words. They didn't build him up with words of kindness and faith, words that would encourage him to go on in the Lord. Instead, they tore him down with their words and accused him of sinning.

According to the Scriptures, Job was not a sinner. He was an upright man of God, a man whom God had really blessed. These things wouldn't have happened to him except that God permitted it to be so.

Things happen to us as God's people only if God permits it to be so. He can move to stop many things from coming our way. But if He sees fit for us to go through something difficult, we will find we come through it with great faith in Him.

Have Faith, Not Fear

Now, back in Numbers we saw where the ten spies brought back an evil report, telling about the giants they saw in the land.

In David's day, King Saul and his army were shaken because of just one giant. That giant, Goliath, came out twice a day to defy the armies of the living God. David had an experience with God. He had seen God move in miraculous ways as he watched over the sheep. God enabled him to take a lamb out of the lion's mouth and to smite the lion. Another time, God enabled him to smite a bear who was after one of the lambs. Yes, David had truly seen and experienced what God was able to do.

And sometimes we know what God can do, sometimes we have seen what God can do, but we soon forget. When our trials are heavy, or when things are not going too good for us, we soon forget what God has done, soon forget the miracles we have seen with our own eyes.

The children of Israel soon forgot what God had done for them in bringing them out of Egypt and in opening up the Red Sea for them to cross over on dry ground. They forgot how He had caused the water to come down on the Egyptians to destroy them.

They could have faced the giants in the land if they had faith to believe that God was with them and would fight the battle. Those giants could have fallen, just like old Goliath fell before David.

Sometimes we let the giants in our lives stand in the way. We become very fearful, like Saul and his army did. But realize that the things which seem like giants in our lives can be slain through faith, trusting and believing in God, letting Him fight the battle.

The Majority Is Not Always Right

Numbers 13:30-33
And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.

And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.

Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it! Caleb was speaking faith. His words should have built up the people, should have encouraged them.

But instead of listening to what Caleb had to say — and we find that Joshua, too, spoke faith — they listened to the ten.

So many times people believe the majority. But it's usually the minority who are right and the majority who are wrong.

We shouldn't go by numbers; we should go by faith, believing God. This is what we've got to do. It is pleasing to God when He sees His children really believing Him, trusting Him, leaning on Him, relying on Him, putting their confidence in Him. We can move the hand of God when we place our faith in Him.

Numbers 14:6-10a
And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones.

Caleb and Joshua wholly followed the Lord. They spoke words of faith to the people, words to encourage, but the people would not listen to them. Instead, they listened to the ten whose words discouraged them, whose words caused them to weep all night and to murmur against Moses and Aaron.

Just a few words can weaken and discourage.

So, Caleb had a good report, but the people chose to believe the evil report. And isn't this the way it is many times? We believe the lies of the devil and his evil report instead of really believing the truth of God's Word. The devil comes along to put lies into our ears, and we believe those lies quicker than we will believe God.

Forsaking Our Own Mercy

Jonah 2:8
They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

This is just exactly what happens. We're forsaking our own mercy when we believe the lies of the devil. Oh, how he lies to God's people to try to get them to believe him instead of believing God.

We should never want the devil to use us in planting doubts, and reaping a harvest of fear and unhappiness. We don't want to do this. We want God's people to be blessed and encouraged by our words: speaking faith and encouraging them to believe God, encouraging them to believe that He is not slack concerning His promises, and encouraging them to stand on His promises.

God Is Present
Whether You Sense Him or Not

God is always present in the storms. It can be so dark — the waves can be beating so fierce, you can feel there is no hope — but yet, God is there in the midst of the storm. You might not feel His presence; you might not hear from Him . . . yet He is there.

Sometimes, in the midst of the storm, you cannot hear God at all. At times like that we have to walk by faith and not by what we see or hear, for the walk of God's children is a walk of faith.

We believe that Jesus is coming back one day to receive us unto Himself, that where He is, there will we also be. We believe this.

I sure hope none of you are doubting this. If you can believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, shedding His blood for the remission of sins, and that He has drawn you unto Himself, that He has cleansed your heart from sin — if you can believe that — why can't you believe that God is with you even in the darkest hour, in the hour when it seems like there's no hope, that all hope is gone?

When Paul was out there on the sea heading for Rome, a horrible tempest arose. It was very dark, day and night. They couldn't eat because of the rocking and rolling of the ship. The storm was about to wreck the ship, and it seemed like all hope was gone.

But right in the midst of the storm, the Lord stood by Paul to encourage him, letting him know that no lives would be lost. And, just as He said, none of those souls were lost when the ship wrecked.

Now, this doesn't mean that we'll always hear from God in the midst of the storms. He might want us to hold our faith in Him that He will bring us through even when we don't hear from Him. He will bring us through. It doesn't matter what it looks like, doesn't matter what it feels like, doesn't matter what it sounds like: He will bring us through.

Faith Says: I'll Make It!

I'm giving you a good report: He is going to bring us through! Faith says He's going to bring us through. It doesn't matter whether we're few or many (1 Samuel 14:6), God is a God of miracles, and He will bring us through any storm that we might have to go through.

Don't you let the devil lie to you. He likes to plague the mind, putting pressures on the mind and causing it to be affected by his lies. If you let him, he'll convince you that God is not going to move. You'll forsake your own mercy and will miss the blessing of God.

God has spoken, and what He has spoken He will surely bring to pass.

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

Thank God for those who can stand and declare that they believe God. In the face of the storm, like Paul, they can declare, "Be of good cheer. I believe God. God is going to bring you through the storm that you face."

Beware of the Devil's Tactics

The devil works to discourage and bring one into depression. That is not of God. God said He didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Yes, the devil likes to rob our mind of encouragement and faith. He strives to put us down and to destroy our minds.

Have you had a disappointment? You know whether you've been disappointed or not. As the result of being disappointed, you get discouraged and despondent.

Depression is not of God. God has given us peace of mind, not depression.

Sure, things will happen in this life. As long as we're in this life and upon the face of the earth, we can expect there will be disappointments after disappointments after disappointments. But we do not have to let those disappointments discourage and defeat us.

The devil will be there to try to oppose you, try to fight against you, but you've got to get in there and fight the good fight of faith. Don't allow the devil to rob you. If you allow him to discourage you and depress you, you'll always be down. Don't allow him to do it!

Praise, Prayer and the Word of God

I'm wanting to encourage you what to do. You can come out of that discouragement. You can rise above that depression. Begin to praise God. Begin to worship God. Shout with the voice of triumph, and that old wall will come down, just like the walls of Jericho came down.

The walls of depression can come down. Begin to worship God. Get down to prayer and get built up in the Word of God.

When something comes along to try and discourage me, God also comes along with something from His Word that is encouraging.

Don't allow the devil to put you down. When you find yourself sinking into despondency, get to praising God. Begin to pray and read God's Word. This is what will keep you up. And this is where you'll find the grace that you need. Yes, you can find encouragement in God's Word. In fact, you can always find a lot of encouragement in God's Word.

Guard Against Bitterness

I don't like to see anybody disappointed, but there will be times of disappointment. We cannot get out of it. People will disappoint us. They can promise us something and then not do it. We can have our hopes and expectations up, only to be disappointed. They may promise to give us something but turn around and give it to someone else. That's what disappointment is: a let down. Our hopes were up, and because it didn't materialize, then we were let down.

Please do not let any hard feelings take root or lodging in your heart over disappointments. If you do, it will only lead to bitterness, resentment and an unforgiving spirit. Pay heed, or you will have to suffer the consequences.

Right Words at the Right Time

Let me ask you a question, have you been experiencing a disappointment?

Proverbs 25:11
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

Words that are fitly spoken are valuable. They are to be treasured. When a person is going through something and someone speaks words that are fitly spoken, those words give hope. They are valuable and will be treasured.

Proverbs 15:23
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

Speaking encouraging words that are needed at the time are words which are spoken in due season. You'd be surprised how a few words spoken in due season can be a blessing to one who is going through something. God knows just exactly what a person needs. He can send someone along to give them just the words that will be an encouragement.

We've got to be very cautious about how we give out knowledge from God's Word. We shouldn't bring out Scriptures that would make a person feel they have sin in their life (when we don't know for sure that they do), like Job's comforters did.

Job 16:1-5
Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.

But I would strengthen you with my mouth. Job wouldn't have lashed out with words to condemn. If they traded places, he would have strengthened them with words. Yes, he would have spoken something that could relieve the grief of those who were going through what he was going through.

But his friends didn't speak words to strengthen and relieve him in his trial. And a lot of times people speak vain words that do nothing to help one who is going through a hard time.

It's words that are fitly spoken that will encourage one who needs to be encouraged.

Ecclesiastes 12:11
The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

As goads . . . A goad is a pole with a sharp thing on the end that is used when driving livestock to get them moving along. And the words of the wise are to prod, to stir, to inspire the hearer to go on with the Lord.

And as nails fastened . . . When spoken words are inspired, they are fixed in the mind of the hearer. The person hearing them will not soon forget those encouraging words. Years later, they will remember those words and how they found encouragement in the midst of a difficult time.

No Evil Reports

Numbers 32:7-9
And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them? Thus did your fathers, when I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they went up unto the valley of Eshcol, and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, that they should not go into the land which the LORD had given them.

The whole congregation lifted up their voices and cried, weeping all night, just because of the words which these ten men spoke when they brought back an evil report. They spoke words of doubt, causing the people to be discouraged.

Each year in the wilderness would count for one of the forty days the twelve spies were in the land of promise. Everyone above twenty, but for Caleb and Joshua, would perish in that wilderness, all because of the evil report of the ten spies and what it did to that people.

The people had an opportunity to go up there and take the land, but they chose to listen to the ten who brought back the evil report of doubt and unbelief.

Be an Encourager

We don't want to be in the place where our words bring discouragement. We want to be encouragers, ever speaking faith. We need to be very careful with our words. We ask the Lord to really use us. Well, here is one way: using our words in speaking faith instead of doubt.

We want to stand on the promises of God in faith believing. As we do this, and as others hear how God has moved to fulfil His Word in our lives, it will encourage them to also stand and believe Him in the midst of the horrible storm they are facing.

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