Do you have something in your life that you know needs to change? Maybe God has convicted you of a recurring sin, but you can’t seem to break free. You may have a family member or friend who needs to be saved. Perhaps you struggle with fear or anxiety, but you can’t seem to overcome no matter how hard you pray. On January first, God showed me something I needed to change. He gave me this verse for the year:
“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV 84).
To be honest, I was a little taken aback. God had allowed me to write a Bible study, start a blog, speak at ladies’ events, and lead a home Bible study. I was ready to take on the world. I expected a verse for the year about doing great things for God in ministry. He gave me a verse about love instead.
So, I have been reading and studying everything I can about love. In the process, God has been showing me the areas in my life where I still fall short. As I sat down to work on this post, I was reminded of the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Guilty.
For instance, I want to eat healthy, but I continue to consume half a box of Cheezits at midnight. I want to get up earlier for quiet time, but I keep hitting the snooze button. I want to be closer to God, but I keep choosing to watch NCIS instead.
Then the Lord showed me this: If I want to see Him work in certain areas of my life, I need to stop talking about the problem. Whoa! Hold the phone! Did He just say that? Um, yes. Yes, He did. So I came up with a new definition of insanity: praying for God to change a situation while continuing to complain about the current one.
How to Bring Real Change to Your Life
For instance, I want God to heal me of migraines, but I keep complaining about “my” migraines. (Notice, when I say, “my,” I have claimed possession of them.) I want to see God work in my family, but I continue to talk about the situations that need to change. I want to be more patient, but I make statements such as, “I just don’t have the patience for that.” I want to be the most loving person that people around me know, but I continue to say unloving things to and about others. Yuck.
God began to really open my eyes to the problem with my mouth. All this time I’ve been studying and praying and hoping and believing, but somehow my mouth hasn’t caught up with my belief.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
The Power of Words
I think we often fail to realize the power of words. God created the world with the spoken word, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). The power of life and death is in the tongue–spiritual life is communion with God; spiritual death is separation from God. So by my words, I choose whether or not to be close to God and in communion with Him–not by my prayers or my striving to be good, but by my words. The Bible teaches that we have what we say we have. Now, don’t go getting all self-righteous and upset. I’m not talking about a name-it, claim-it theology. I’m simply talking about agreeing out loud with God and His Word.
“‘I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed. you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to here” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you'” (Matthew 17:19-20, emphasis mine).
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us, And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Wow! Those are God’s Words, not mine. Now, you may ask, “How do we know what is in His will?” Well, if it agrees with His Word, you can be sure it’s in His will. God wants me to be healthy. He wants me to spend more time with Him. He wants me to be more patient. He wants me to be more loving. He wants my family members to be saved. These are the prayers I can pray in faith, but I also need to SAY it. I need to confess aloud what I am praying and believing God for. I need to stop rehearsing my failures and nursing my fears.
The Power of God’s Word
When I begin to let my mouth line up with God’s Word, change happens. Real change. Let me show you the power of God’s Word.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).
“The Lord said to me, ‘You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled” (Jeremiah 1:12).
“For the word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12).
The bottom line is this: I want to love more. I want to see God work in my life and bring change to my heart. I want to see God work in my family, my friends, my church, my nation. So I will not only pray, but I will guard my tongue from complaining and negativity. If I want to see God bring real change to my life, then I need to stop complaining and start confessing His Word over my situation.
I have seen God turn some situations around lately that have absolutely amazed me. The changes came when I began to not just pray, but see the answers in my heart and speak them with my mouth. Has God answered every prayer in my time and in my way? No, but the more I focus on Him and His Word, the more I learn to trust His heart and His timing for me.
How about you? Do you have some areas in your life that you know need real change, but you have prayed and still not seen an answer? Let me encourage you to get out your Bible and find some verses that pertain to your situation. Begin to speak that Word out loud and confess God’s truth over your situation. Guard your tongue from speaking the opposite of what you’re believing. Then wait in faith for God to bring the change.