Speaking faith and life

When did you last do an audit of the words you speak? Are you speaking “faith and life” or “fear and death”?

Late last year we were facing another challenging medical situation with our daughter, Victoria. I found myself going down that path of fear. I was spending time with God, a lot actually due to a broken wrist slowing me down! In these times I was primarily looking for reassurance and comfort. I was not speaking faith into Victoria’s situation.

Something changed in the Be Still moment

But then something changed.

During one of those quiet times with God, I was sitting on a seat in the park, asking Him for a word for our family for this year, 2024. Yes, another Be Still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) moment. He drew my attention to an image that was directly in front of me - two rectangular sandstone blocks, with a narrow gap in between.


Beyond the gap, the grass ran down to the wide open expanse of the lake. As I looked at this image, God gave me these words, “I am the Way Maker.” 

Don’t we all love the Way Maker song

"Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are"

What a powerful declaration of Who God is.

God's Word speaks life

God gave me three scriptures to go with the image:

“This is what the LORD says - he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,” Isaiah 43:16 NIV

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19 NIV

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

Three life-giving scriptures, asking of us, Do we have the faith to believe that God made a way through the sea? Do we trust that He is making a way in the wasteland? Do we have the courage to keep walking on the narrow road that leads to life?

God in His graciousness had given me a way to speak faith and life into Victoria’s situation. 

God encourages each one

A bit more on this story about the way maker word ….

At the beginning of each year when I get a word for our family, I make an A4 poster, laminate it and give a copy to each family member, so they can have it ready on hand for encouragement throughout the year.  I'm under no illusion as to what has happened to these posters in the past - I've seen them peeking out from under a pile of papers on desks!

But this year was different - perhaps because it had the photo of the sandstone blocks and the way through. This year some chose to put the poster on the wall above their desks, some on the wall near their beds. But all put it in a visible, easily accessible place. I need that extra bit of encouragement so I have two posters - one near my desk, and one near my side of the bed! 

The Way Maker makes a way

Since the beginning of January, there have been at least 8 significant crossroads for people in our family, and each time, we have called on this word from God, declaring, “God you are the way maker, we are trusting that you will make a way through this - Your will be done, in Jesus Name.” 

God knew that each person in our family was going to need to speak ‘faith and life’ into situations this year, and that each would need His encouragement to do so. God always knows!

In each circumstance God has clearly made a way, showing us that He is sovereign, powerful, gracious and kind. Often too in these situations, it has felt like God has been asking us these questions, Do you trust Me in this situation? Do you have the patience to wait? Will you humble yourself and acknowledge that I am Lord of All? Oh God so wants us to mature!

Maturing in our faith

James speaks to us about this maturing process, 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 NIV

I’m not always a fan of the maturing process, even though it always yields good fruit - I just have to remind myself of that. Joyce Meyer says, 

“The Bible talks about purification, sanctification, sacrifice and suffering. These are not popular words; nevertheless, if we are to be Christlike in character, we must sometimes go through difficult circumstances to learn His ways. I struggled with this process for a long time, but I finally realised that God was not going to do things my way. He placed people and situations in my life that caused me to want to quit this whole process, and He did not want an argument from me. He only wanted to hear, “Yes, Lord. Your will be done.”" The Everyday Life Bible, Joyce Meyer, Page 2060

It is only the beginning of March, so it is going to be very interesting to see what the remainder of the year brings with a word like “I am the Way Maker”

The power of the tongue

So getting back to the words we are speaking, are they “faith and life” or “fear and death”? Further on in James Chapter 3, we read about the power of the tongue. Verse 5 says,

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze!” (James 3:5 AMPC)

Funnily enough, I was listening to my husband doing his Sunday morning radio program on Rhema 99.7FM yesterday morning, and I heard him sharing on this scripture too. God must really want to say something about the power of the tongue this week.

I know there are times when I have said things, mainly to my family, that I have regretted as soon as they have come out of my mouth. 

The tongue can spark a fire

It's an interesting analogy that James draws with the tongue and the starting of a forest fire. I have certainly experienced the power of my tongue starting a war of words in our home, and it hasn’t been pretty. I have regretted the words as soon as they have come out, but like that spark in the forest - once it is out, it is very difficult to contain! Of course in hindsight, I know it definitely would have been better to leave the room, or at the very least take a long pause and count to 10 (or maybe 100)!

Warren W. Wiersbe, in his commentary on James, Be Mature, Growing up in Christ, reminds us that Jesus experienced the wrath of the tongue,

“Fire burns and hurts, and our words can burn and hurt. One of the sorrows our Lord had to bear when He was here on earth was the way His enemies talked about Him. They called Him a “man gluttonous and a winebibber” (Matthew 11:29) because He graciously accepted invitations to dine with people the Pharisee did not like. When He performed miracles, they said He was in league with Satan. Even when He was dying on the cross, His enemies could not let Him alone but threw vicious taunts into His face.” Be Mature - Growing up in Christ, Warren W. Wierbse, Page 102

Can we tame the tongue?

So can we tame the tongue? Yes we can. But not by ourselves. We need God’s help. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can develop the fruit listed in Galatians. We can display that fruit through our speech and communications:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Imagine if every word we spoke came from the place of love, loving Jesus and loving people, with our selfish desires nowhere to be seen (or heard!).

Imagine if our words brought peace into a situation, rather than adding fuel to it.

Imagine if the way we communicated was always from a place of forbearance, exuding patience and never with that, ‘Will you just hurry up’ tone.

Imagine if we had self-control and chose not to speak on occasions and let the Holy Spirit bring conviction.

The Holy Spirit can help us

The good news is that with the help of the Holy Spirit, these things can become a reality in our lives. It probably won’t happen overnight (that certainly hasn’t been my experience), but rather little by little as we let the Holy Spirit do transformative work in our lives - the consecration process.

Here are a couple of specific scriptures that have helped me in this area - 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:14 NKJV

Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Psalm 141:3 NIV

I have found both these Psalms are wonderful prayers to pray regularly, especially before any tricky conversations.

Are you speaking "faith and life"?

So back to those two questions I started with, When did you last do an audit of the words you speak? Are you speaking “faith and life” or “fear and death”?  

If, in considering the answers to these questions, you feel the Holy Spirit is nudging you to make some changes, so you can speak more "faith and life" into your life or those around you, then let's pray and ask Him for that help.

Holy Spirit, we thank you that you are a gift in our lives to help us become more like Jesus. Please help me to mature so that Your fruit, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, are very evident in my life, especially in the words I speak and how I communicate. Thank you that you will help me so that the words I speak will be acceptable to you. Thank you that you will put a guard over my mouth in those moments when I want to say something that is going to inflame a situation or hurt someone. Thank you for your graciousness towards me, and that you will continue to help me, even when I get it wrong. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen.

Looking for more encouragement?

Are you looking for more resources to help you draw closer to God, please check out my other blog posts and podcasts.

Providing the full protection

Saturday morning was damp and humid, perfect mosquito conditions. Sometimes walking in this place can feel like mosquito feeding time! However, this morning I realised no mosquito had come near me. My thoughts moved to the insect repellent I had put on before walking. I have two types of repellent I use, a spray from one brand, and a roll-on from a different brand. Today I applied the roll-on and it was definitely providing the full protection and I was grateful.

God's protection

Oh, my brain suddenly started going off, thinking about all the parallels between putting on the protection against mosquitos and putting on the protection God gives us to keep us safe from the enemy in the spiritual battles we face each day. Ephesians 6 is one of the chapters in the Bible where the Apostle Paul gives us some very clear directions about putting on the armour of God. He says,

“Put on God’s whole armour [the armour of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 AMPC

Is the protection effective?

The armour that God supplies is the best! No questions there. 

But with the mosquito repellent, from my revelation on Saturday, I know that there are different levels of protection. I wonder if it is the application method (ie roll-on vs spray) or the repellent content that makes the difference? or both? Perhaps I might have to do a test on that! But in the interim, I will make sure that I am prepared and have the roll-on repellent with me for future walks. 

Protection preparation

So that brings up another question, how prepared are we when it comes to protection on our spiritual walk? How many times have you heard someone say "we are in a spiritual battle"? What does that mean to you? The Apostle Paul explains about the spiritual battle,

“For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly [supernatural) sphere.” Ephesians 6:12 AMPC

The spiritual battle is real

Just as mosquitos and the impact of their bite is very real, so are the spiritual enemies of God. This week someone shared with me about a dream they had where a demon came into their room and said “I am real”. This person’s response was to go to God’s word and seek after the truth. The truth in God's word is one of the pieces of armour God has given us - “the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17). 

We need to know about the spiritual armour we have access to and be daily putting it on.  Joyce Meyer says,

It is important for us to see that we cannot fight darkness with darkness. I believe the best way to resist and overcome our powerful spiritual enemy is not by venting our anger and frustration in some fleshly manner. Rather, we need to put on our spiritual armour as described in Ephesians 6:13-17 and yield ourselves to the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within us as we pray (see Ephesians 6:18).The Everyday Bible - Joyce Meyer, p1945

Gaps in the protection lead to distraction

Sometimes I am in a hurry to get going on my walk. I forget to apply the repellent to my neck. When I have my hair up the back of my neck can be vulnerable to mosquito bites. I can hear them buzzing around my neck and I spend my walk continually shooing and slapping them away. They become a distraction, impacting on the purpose of my walk, which often is to have conversations with God - talking and lots of listening.

And so too it can be for us if we are not putting on the full armour of God daily. Each part of God’s armour has its purpose. We don’t want any chinks in the armour where the enemy can come in and distract us.

The Message Bible says, 

“Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way prayer is essential for ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

We are called to pray for one another, as each one of us is in this spiritual battle - some days it is just more evident than others. The Passion Translation says,

“Pray passionately in the Spirit, as you constantly intercede with every form of prayer at all times. Pray the blessings of God upon all his believers.” Ephesians 6:18 The Passion Translation.

The indispensable weapon

A final word about God’s Word, the indispensable weapon. One of the first books I bought when I became a Christian, aside from a New King James Bible, was The Spiritual Warrior’s Prayer Guide by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock. It helped me to understand the spiritual battle we are in and the armour God has given us. They say,

The only piece of the spiritual warrior’s armour which is both offensive and defensive is named last on Paul’s list: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17). William Gurnal aptly describes this piece of armour: “the sword is the weapon continually used by soldiers to defend themselves and to rout their enemies. Thus it illustrates the most excellent use of God’s Word, by which the believer both defends himself and cuts down his enemies. The Spiritual Warrior’s Prayer Guide - Using God’s Word in prayer and spiritual warfare; Quin Sherrer & Ruthanne Garlock p41.

Build up your storehouse of scripture

So I encourage you to build up your storehouse of scripture. Meditate on it day and night. Ask God for Scriptures and Rhema words you can wield into the atmosphere. They both protect and attack - reminding the enemy of the authority you have in Jesus Name. They are God-breathed words that build faith as you declare them over yourself, your family, your community and nation. 

One of the scriptures I regularly declare over our family is: 

No weapon formed against you (any member of our family) shall prosper” Isaiah 54:17 NIV

We live in a spiritual world, so let's not be naive and apathetic, but rather be equipped and prepared for each day, putting on the full protection that God has given us.  So we can do all God has called us to do without distraction!

Looking for more encouragement?

Are you looking for more resources to help you draw closer to God, please check out my other blog posts and podcasts.