Faith Factor 11 – Shield of Faith

We have already seen how powerful faith is as a means of our salvation, as the only thing that pleases God and as the key to the door of God’s Storehouse of Grace.

The Bible also presents faith as a vital weapon in our warfare with the enemy. It is not an offensive weapon, but a powerful protective tool, to diffuse the attacks made against us. It is used as a spiritual shield, the Shield of Faith.

Faith as a Shield

Paul the Apostle listed a spiritual armoury for Christians, including a belt, shoes, sword, helmet and the shield, which is faith.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16

Notice that the shield is a defensive weapon, but that the shield of faith not only protects what is behind it, but actually neutralises the weapons used against the Christian. The devil and his servants use ‘fiery darts’ which are potentially very dangerous. Those darts are extinguished by faith.

Fiery Darts

The Bible tells us that the devil is an ‘accuser of the brethren’ (Revelation 12:10), that he has various ‘devices‘ or strategies he uses against us (2Corinthians 2:11), that he is a liar (John 8:44), and that he uses fear against us (Hebrew 2:14,15).

The fiery darts could involve accusations, such as “You are not a very good Christian!” Or they could be lies which bring fear into our heart, such as “You will die of a horrible disease”. The devil can craft fiery darts which will hurt us at our most vulnerable points, uniquely impacting us, even though the same accusation or lie might not affect others the same way.

Many people’s faith is destroyed or held back by the many lies that challenge them. The devil says the Bible cannot be relied on and is unscientific. The devil says God is not real and religion is a human trick to sooth troubled minds. The devil says you are not good enough and will fail in your attempts to please God. The devil says he has power to hurt you with pain, sickness and death. The devil says that serving God will be bad for you. The devil says you can become great, without God, using your own abilities. And he says much more that seduces, terrifies, deceives or traps people.

Quenching Fiery Darts

Faith enables us to quench those fiery darts, because faith in God and God’s Word puts truth in our hands and protects our heart from the lies, fears and deceptions.

Remember that faith, based on the definitional verse I have used through this series, Hebrews 11:6, is a confidence that God is who He says He is in the Bible, and that God will reward you for trusting in Him and His Word.

So, when the devil lies to you that “You are not a very good Christian” you can extinguish that accusation with faith. You can declare that only God is good (Matthew 19:17). You can declare that there is nothing good in man (Romans 7:18). You can then declare that you are saved by your faith in Christ, not your goodness (Ephesians 2:8,9). So now it does not matter that you are ‘not a very good Christian’, because it is not up to you to make yourself good. You can then thank God that He loves you and has saved you from your sin. You can rest in the confidence that it is God who saves you, not you saving yourself. You can thank Him that He accepts and forgives you, just the way you are. You can confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour and that you rely only on Him.

By doing these things the fiery dart loses its sting and has no effect on you.

Quenching Fear

When the devil tries to fill you with fear, such as that you will die of some disease, you can neutralise that fiery dart of fear with the shield of faith.

You can remember that God’s plans for you are for good, not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). You can remember the promises in Psalm 91, that you will be kept safe under God’s wings and protected from the dangers that happen to others. You can remember God’s promises to protect you from all the diseases which came upon the Egyptians (Exodus 15:26). You can declare that you trust God to heal you by the stripes of Jesus, even if you were to be sick (1Peter 2:24). You can declare that even if you were to die, that would lead you to better things, not worse things (Philippians 1:21). You can then declare, as Job did, that even if God killed you, you could no better than to fully trust Him (Job 13:15).

You can confront the enemy’s fears by saying, “I will not fear what the enemy can do to me” (Psalm 118:6). Then you can boldly claim that you will not die, but live, and glorify God (Psalm 118:17).

You can do what David did and say, “When I am afraid I put my trust in God” (Psalm 56:3).

Standing on God’s promises and resisting fear enable you to put out the fearful thoughts and torments which the enemy tries to being into your heart and mind.

Describing the Shield

While we are not told what the shield looks like or how it is designed, we know, since it is a shield of faith, that it has two major components.

The shield rings with confidence that God is who He says He is. The shield captures the dimensions of God Himself. Those who have faith “believe that He is” – they believe that God exists, just the way the Bible says He does. So that gives them a Huge shield.

The shield is also glowing with confidence that God ‘will’ bless. It is quick to action because it rejoices in the confidence that God is every willing to bring blessing. God Can do what needs to be done, and the shield of faith is confident that God WILL do it too!

Thus wielding the shield automatically prompts confidence, inspiring the holder to ‘come boldly to God’s throne (storehouse) of grace to receive grace whenever it is needed’.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, so we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth was such a man of faith that he is even described as the Apostle of Faith. One story from his remarkable life shows the amazing rest and confidence that can be enjoyed by someone who is strong in faith and who wears the shield of faith all the time.

One night Wigglesworth was woken by the shaking of his bed. He opened his eyes and saw the devil himself standing at the end of his bed, looking as menacing as he could. Wigglesworth said, “Oh, it’s only you.” Then he rolled over and went back to sleep.

I encourage you to become men and women of faith, who so wield the shield of faith that you, too, are unable to be intimidated or shaken, no matter what may come your way.

Ghost Driver 2

Five years after their last meeting the young man, now not so young, once again caught a glimpse of the Ghost Driver carriage. He saw it speeding along a high road, with the whip cracking and the horses galloping, and the very faint impression of several ethereal drivers urging it along.

Later that same day he came across it again, standing in the shade of a cluster of trees beside a country road. The young woman was sitting quietly in the shade.

He approached her and then stood quiet and motionless.

She saw him approach but did not greet him. They were both unsure how to proceed.

Finally he broke the silence. “I see you still have your carriage and your drivers.”

She nodded as she gazed at her feet. He shuffled with uncertainty.

Help At Last

“I think I can help you”, he announced at last. She did not react.

“I have found the secret to being rid of these Ghost Drivers.” His voice quickly became enthusiastic. He had waited a long time to pass on this vital information. “I know how you get them and how to get rid of them.” She did not respond, so he continued, as if to assure her. “It has been done, you know. Many people have become free from a life like yours.”

She turned her head away, as if not wanting to hear more. He moved so she could see him.

“Don’t you want to be free?” She waited, still, before springing up and walking to the carriage. He followed. Beside the rig she nodded her head to indicate that he should look inside.

Another Passenger

He peered into the carriage and saw a small baby, sleeping in a basket.

“It’s too late”, she muttered as she walked away. He looked again at the baby and then followed her.

“You can be FREE!” He asserted. She turned and raged at him as she indicated toward the baby. “I cannot be free of HER!”

“You can both be free! Can’t you see I am telling you that you don’t have to be trapped by these ghosts?”

She returned to the place where she had been sitting and slumped herself back onto the grass. “He left me. He said he could not take it anymore. He left me and the baby. Now what am I to do?” She asked as one who does not expect an answer.

Try Freedom

“You could try Freedom”, he suggested. She did not react, so he took that as permission to explain.

“There is a man I found who knows of these Ghost Drivers. He has dealt with them before. And he knows where they come from. They are passed to us, as familiar acquaintances of our parents, or they come and introduce themselves to us. If we welcome them, or if we do not resist them, they claim a part of us. We agree by our invitation or acquiescence.” She did not respond to any of this.

“Over time they make demands of us, urging us to give over more and more of our life to their control. If we give in to their suggestions, such as to be angry, bitter, jealous, resentful, proud, selfish, or many other things, then their grip on our life becomes much stronger. Eventually they have their claws dug deep into our flesh and they drive us at their whim.” She put her face in her hands.

All of this gave her no hope, but only described her destruction.

Grow a New Life Within

“Our only hope is to grow a new life within. Since our old life has become a slave and must die to be rid of its masters, we need a new life spawned within us, from God. That new life lives in freedom from the things that drive our flesh.” She did not move.

“Once there are two lives within us we can then die to our flesh and deal with all those selfish, evil, hurtful and destructive things we once invited into our life. While our old flesh man dies, we are not hurt, but liberated. Our new man is all the more free to live a wonderful new life.” He finished this explanation on a high note, excited by the prospects. She, however, was unmoved.

“You make it sound too easy. But I know the tyranny of my masters. They will not give me up without much pain. I cannot face the humiliation and I won’t admit I was wrong. I won’t give up my claim for revenge against my husband, or my resentment of my parents, or my jealousy of my school friends. I won’t give up my pride in my own ability to survive and to succeed without God’s help. I cannot afford to give up such things without enduring unbearable pain and shame.”

“You will live in such slavery and doom yourself and your daughter to a life of misery?” He was astonished.

Cumalongnow!

With that, a loud “Cumalongnow!” rang from unseen voices and she dashed into the carriage which began to speed away. Her flight was so quick and determined that he hardly had time to see through the dust the gestures from spite, arrogance, defiance and the like, raging from atop the carriage. He also could not see the tortured look of despair in a face that knew the truth, but could not bear to face it.

Our young friend was saddened but not daunted. His new understanding of these things put him to recognising others of his acquaintance who had Ghosts driving their lives at times. Some only heard a “Cumalongnow!” on the rarest of occasions, while some were stirred by unseen voices almost every day.

He began to visit these people and to share with them the truth he now understood. Some, but not all, were open to his message. Some, too, gained complete freedom from masters that spoiled their life and marriage. Many a family thanked him repeatedly for the healing he brought, not only to the enslaved, but to the experience of them all.

From time to time he stopped to pray for a woman and a little girl, whirling around the countryside in uncontrolled urges and furies. What tragedy lay in store for them yet?

Getting the Picture?

The things that drive you are part of your life by your agreement. You agree to contracts either by your signature (you requested the good or service) or by your acquiescence (you did not object to the imposition forced upon you).

When fear sweeps over you, giving you a sample of its wares, you either buy in or your reject the goods as unsuitable for the life you wish to live. If anger sweeps over you, giving you a taste of its finest qualities, you either subscribe or you throw the sample away. This is how it works for all those things you have integrated into your life.

Of course, when you are very young you are more vulnerable and less likely to know what is going on. But even then, you knew by the way it made you feel, that the things you welcomed into your life were not things that made you noble and special, but things that made you evil and dirty.

More Control

Once those things have become travelling companions in your life they will seek permission to take greater and greater control of your life. They will suggest, “It’s a good time to be angry. I’d be really angry if I were you.” If you accept the suggestion you give over that much more of your will and life to the invaders, until they become Ghost Drivers of your life.

Freedom comes from reversing those invitations and contracts which we established with the evil influences. However it is most effectively done when we die to our old life, including all its contracts, and live out of the new life born in us by the Holy Spirit when we are saved.

If you missed the first part of this allegory you will find it at: http://chrisfieldblog.com/ministry/ghost-driver

Rejection 10 – Emotional Independence

As a ‘love receptor’ we are not designed to be an independent and isolated entity. We are designed to be in intimate fellowship with the most powerful source of love in all eternity.

However, when we experience rejection and people cut off the love supply to us, we are often left to fend for ourselves emotionally, and thus we become emotionally independent.

On Our Own

Humans are designed as social creatures. We are designed for fellowship. We are designed to be close to God and each other. We are designed for family life and marriage. We are designed for rich social interaction. We are not designed to be on our own, or left to fend for ourselves.

However, when we suffer rejection we are cut off from the sense of incorporation, value, acceptance and relationship which we are designed for. We also fear other people, since they will potentially bring further pain upon us.

Being on our own, cut off to some degree from those we are designed to connect with emotionally, means we are forced to find meaning, support, comfort and a range of emotional and personal benefits, from ourself, not those who we want to love us.

Degrees of Independence

While we each experience rejection uniquely and personally, we have different degrees of impact and different degrees of independence that springs from what we have been through. Some people become arrogantly and fiercely independent. Others become independent enough to survive, but continually seek to be dependent.

Our personality also influences how we respond to the feeling of being cut off. Some are survivors, some become aggressors, some crumple, and others hide their pain away and smile through it all.

I am lumping all the variations and shades of possibility into this one summary lesson on emotional independence, so it may apply to you in varying degrees.

Withdrawal

Emotional independence is a withdrawal from needing others. Many may come to this because they are forced to, in that those they want to be emotionally dependent on have cut them off or hurt them in some way. Others may withdraw out of spite or hurt feelings, cutting off the possibilities that are offered to them.

The withdrawal exacerbates the problem, because it forces the isolated person to rely even more on their own independence, keeping them from the relationships which may potentially fill the void they feel within.

I am a Rock

1960’s artists, Simon and Garfunkel, produced a song titled “I am a Rock” in 1966, speaking of the emotional independence response which I am describing here. The lyrics of the song are quite telling.

I am a rock, I am an island. I’ve built walls, A fortress deep and mighty, That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain. Its laughter and its loving I disdain.
I am a rock, I am an island.
Don’t talk of love, But I’ve heard the words before; It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock, I am an island.
I have my books And my poetry to protect me; I am shielded in my armour,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb. I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock, I am an island. And a rock feels no pain; And an island never cries.”

Unable to Relate

Emotional independence is more than a posture of protection. It signals a lost capacity. It involves an inability to relate confidently with others. If the rejected person felt whole and confident they would have no need to withdraw from others and isolate themself.

The fortress of protection signals their own inner brokenness. They are not only unable to relate but become unable to need others. Even though they desperately want to need others, they are trapped in a place where they cannot risk needing them. Thus they are unable to need them.

This independence locks them in their isolation.

Unreachable

If you have ever tried to encourage emotionally independent people you will know that they are virtually unreachable. No amount of suggestion, encouragement, prompting and setting up opportunities for them will get them to give up their defensive posture.

I have seen some people commit enormous energy and time into trying to rescue someone who had become an island to themself, yet without success.

Still Functioning

One of the sad situations I see at times is that of people who have become emotionally independent yet who try to establish relationships. They want to find friends and a spouse, so they socialise and encounter people.

Their encounters, however, lack the emotional freedom which should be normal. They are emotionally independent, despite their inner pain, and so they end up relating mechanically, by learned formulas, or with control or other processes to corner the person they want to relate to.

Their emotional independence disables them from generating a simple, pleasant relationship with others. They are still functioning in life, but it just doesn’t work out for them the way you would expect. They are emotionally compromised and their emotional independence blocks the most powerful glue to quality relationship.

Be Sure to Need God

If you are emotionally independent, for whatever reason, please be careful to need God. You do desperately need Him, but you might find that you cannot let go and be honest with Him and build quality relationship with Him.

If you are trapped there and can’t do anything about it, then the later lessons on the Love of God should be very helpful. Maybe you could look into and pray about discovery of God’s wonderful love, in preparation for that lesson yet to come.

I am Your Opportunity

Every opportunity you receive is double-edged. It is an opportunity for gain or loss, to achieve breakthrough or be overcome, to succeed or fail. If you respond to the opportunity properly it becomes an open door to better things. If you respond poorly it becomes the iron door of a prison cell that traps you.

So, you need to see your challenges in a fresh way, and take care not to respond in a way that will enslave you or limit you for the future. One way to address your challenges and see them in a new light is to ‘personify’ them.

Stop seeing each challenge or problem as an inanimate, isolated entity on its own, but as an assignment sent to create new opportunity for you. To help you retune your thinking as I suggest, read the following situation I have created, to see how your challenges can inform you, “I am your Opportunity”.

The New Man at Church

Imagine a man turning up in a church and introducing himself to the pastor, “I am your Opportunity“. Over the next year the man provides the pastor with many challenges, due to problems created in various ways by this man’s presence in the church. When the pastor talks with the man to work out what is going on the man repeats, “I am your opportunity”.

Confused, the pastor asks the man to explain. The answer goes like this.

“God has great plans for this church and for your future ministry. However, God requires that you and the congregation grow in several key areas. So, the Lord sent me here to provide the opportunity for growth in each of those areas.”

Trouble Maker

The pastor responds, “But you made nothing but trouble”.

“No,” the man replies, “I have created opportunity. You and the congregation have made the trouble.”

“But you upset the leader of our Bible study group and he quit!”

“I spoke up in the meetings and asked the study leader to explain his theological inconsistency. He claimed to be Biblical, but his values were clearly just a dressed-up version of the local culture. When I challenged him about this he chose to become upset, rather than have a teachable spirit and an open heart. I was his opportunity to move forward, because God needs him to be ready for leadership in a revival that is coming.”

“Then, what about the man who thinks you are stealing his wife?”

“The woman needs much care and healing. Her husband has been neglecting her for years. When I took time to listen to her she became emotionally drawn to me and this has deeply angered her husband. He is stung by his own failure, but, rather than admit his own need, he is directing his anger toward me as a trouble-maker. I have done nothing wrong in action or in heart. I am not stealing the man’s wife. God plans for this couple to move into pastoral ministry, but they must first heal their marriage, and that means the man must humble himself.”

Who is Wrong Here?

“Parents are upset that you are giving wrong advice to their children.”

“Several youth have come to me for advice and I have given them Biblical counsel, including their need to honour their parents. However, several parents do not want their children to find godly wisdom, but simply to help the parents look good according to the local community values. Some youth give me more respect than they do to their parents. This is what is upsetting them.”

The man went on to counsel the pastor. “Pastor, the fact that people are upset at you does not mean you are wrong. People rejected and accused Jesus, Paul, Moses and the apostles. Your congregation are upset by me, just as God planned. They are being given many opportunities, in preparation for some powerful responsibilities and blessings soon to come.”

“If people reject opportunity they make a clear choice to seek something else.”

Are you the trouble maker?

So, friends, consider the troubles you are facing. Who is the trouble maker? You probably think that some other person is the problem or the trouble maker, since their presence has contributed to the upheaval. But that does not make them the trouble maker.

In the church example I have just given you the new man at church was not the cause of the trouble, but the wrong attitudes in the existing congregation with the true trouble makers.

Elijah was accused by King Ahab of being a trouble maker. Elijah had declared there would be no rain until he said so. This caused a severe drought, as God wanted. However, the wicked King Ahab did not humble himself or repent of his idol worship.

When Elijah finally met with King Ahab again Ahab revealed that he saw Elijah as the problem and the trouble maker. A severe drought was clearly a serious problem and that problem had been created at Elijah’s word. So it could be said that Elijah was the source of the problem.

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Are you the one who is troubling Israel?” 1Kings 18:17

However, Elijah saw the big picture, from God’s perspective. The localised drought problem was a divine judgement on a nation which had rejected God. So the problem was not caused by Elijah, but by King Ahab and the nation which had fallen into idol worship.

“And Elijah answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father’s house have done it, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and have followed Baalim.” 1Kings 18:18

Identify the Real Problem

Issues will arise in your family, marriage, career, community and so on, and those issues may be created by you. Yet, like King Ahab, you may point the finger at someone else and say that they are the problem.

Consider what the real problem is in these following simple examples of upset people. What needs to change inside these people so they can experience the same situation but not be upset?

“He makes me so upset. He comes in and shows off his wealth and I feel so humiliated!”

“I tried three times to give my opinion, but everyone was talking too much to listen.”

“The others all have the money for the mission trip, but I’m only half way there!”

“They are going to lay off half the staff and I’m desperately anxious about losing my job!”

“How did that guy get such a beautiful wife? My wife never looked that good.”

“My kids think he is the fount of wisdom, and they never take me seriously.”

Opportunity Knocks

Every situation you face is an opportunity knocking at the door of your heart. You can respond in a way that opens up greater growth and Christlike-ness, or you can respond in a way that makes you a slave to destructive things.

Consider the following examples …

A man and woman meet at a conference and both notice how attracted they are to each other. This is their opportunity to affirm their godly character and stand by their marriage vows, or to elevate their fleshly desires over their commitments, marriage, family and future.

A person becomes sick and receives prayer. They are challenged to trust their problem to God. The problem is then their opportunity to develop faith and endurance, or to pander to their fears.

Someone ends up cleaning up the mess from a group gathering, while the others go off to do something interesting. This is an opportunity to build the servant spirit and to bless others by attending to the menial task, or to become resentful, rejected and poisoned in spirit.

Biblical Notice

We are told in the Bible that negative things are our opportunities. We are to respond positively, since these things lead to the growth and development we need in our lives.

“… we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” Romans 5:3,4

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

Meet Your Opportunities

Take a moment to list the areas where you feel challenged at present, through your home, work, family, friendships, finances, health and associates. Think of the people, circumstances and internal challenges which are putting pressure on you at this time. As you reflect on each one, imagine they are speaking to you with the following challenge…

“I am your opportunity to respond with humility, faith, grace, wisdom, godly character, freedom, fruit of the Spirit, ministry anointing, consistency, patience, endurance, hope, love, contentment, praise and thankfulness, peace and the expression of Christ formed within you.

Alternatively I am your opportunity to respond with pride, fear, selfishness, hardness, foolishness, vengeance, irresponsibility, slavery, fleshly reactions, human manipulations, madness, exasperation, faithlessness, abandonment of responsibility, covetousness, resentment, bitterness toward God, agitation and the character of the old sinful nature.”

Now, make your decision about how you are going to respond.

Faith Factor 10 – Word of Faith

One of the more controversial aspects of modern faith teaching is the emphasis on words. Some Christians have come to the conclusion that if they speak the right things often enough they can create the result that they want. Others say that this is pure shamanism and New Age mysticism.

However, despite any distortions to the truth about our words, the Bible does make clear connection between our speech and our faith. So this look at the Word of Faith is an important Faith Factor.

Expressing Faith

We saw in previous Faith Factors that faith is supposed to be supported by evidence in the believer. Jesus told Jairus to “only believe” (Mark 5:36) when he heard that his daughter was dead. To keep on believing, Jairus allowed Jesus to continue the journey to his home, instead of giving up hope.

On that same journey a woman who had continuous bleeding expressed her faith by pressing through the crowd to touch Jesus’ garment. She was instantly healed (Mark 5:27-29).

Others let a man down through the roof, as testimony to their faith (Mark 2:1-12). In fact the Faith Chapter, Hebrews 11, lists the many things people did to express and confirm the faith they felt within.

One of those forms of expression is found in our words.

Confession

The link between words and faith is so significant that it gets a clear title of its own. It is called the “Word of Faith”.

“But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” Romans 10:8

In Romans 10 we have several expressions which show that faith is linked to the words in our mouth.

“But the righteousness which is of faith speaks like this, Say not in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who will descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what does it say? The word is near you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:6-10

Faith is linked to our Confession of what we believe in our heart. It involves words in our mouth. It is a word of faith.

Blab it and Grab It!

Some have come up with the idea that the power is in the words, so they can Blab it and Grab it. This is not what the Bible teaches. The word of faith is a message preached to us, which produces faith in our heart. That faith is not in our faith, nor in our words. That faith is clearly anchored in the person and the work of God. We believe that God is who He is and that He will reward us for diligently seeking Him (Hebrews 11:6).

When we speak with our lips we are simply giving expression to the faith in our heart which produces in us the confidence in the substance, becoming to us the very evidence of the things we hope for.

So the, just as praise and rest are expressions of our faith, so too our words are a further confirmation of what we believe in our heart.

Every Day in Every Way

A psychological trick which was popularised several decades ago involved the shamanistic process of speaking affirming words to ourselves so we can change our internal perceptions, and thus what springs from them.

Some people have confused these two concepts. The popularised mantra, “Every day in every way I am getting better and better”, was an attempt at mind over matter. It had nothing to do with faith in God and rather put the faith in the words spoken.

Some well-meaning Christians then began to talk about the “power of our words”, mixing Biblical truth with the popularised New Age ideas.

Christian expressions of faith have nothing to do with mantras or self-hypnosis. The power is not in the words, although they do become an integral part of the faith process. The words become one of the fruits or works of our faith, but they are not some faith trick, or spiritual power tool in our arsenal.

Mouth and Heart

Faith requires that the words of our mouth match the faith that is in our heart. The words do not control the heart, or manipulate our inner reality. The words of our mouth express what is in our heart. If you want to work on either one, then I strongly suggest you work on the heart.

God looks at the heart. The issues of life spring from our heart. When a person speaks nicely with their mouth, they can have ugly and hateful things in their heart. The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. God gives us a new heart.

Words are the shallow lapping of water on the shore of our heart’s ocean depths. Don’t get fooled into worshipping your words. Get into the business of gaining a new heart and keeping your heart with all diligence.

Yet your heart and mouth are linked, as we have seen from Romans 10. Your mouth is meant to express the faith that is growing in your heart.

And you words do then have a powerful role.

Seal it with Your Lips

When you believe something in your heart, but keep it secret, you do not achieve the same seal upon your believing that you have once you have made public your secret heart beliefs. Therefore confession seals your faith and takes on a powerful quality in your salvation.

Jesus warned us that our confession of faith in Him will have awesome effects in the spirit realm.

“Whoever therefore will confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whoever will deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:32,33

That is also why Romans teaches us that our confession seals our salvation.

“That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9,10

Confessing Victory

Along with being at Rest in the midst of your trials, and praising God for the victory that has not yet been seen, it is also totally fitting that you speak words of faith.

Declare the victory outcome you believe for. Put yourself on the line, by speaking out what is in your heart. You won’t be blabbing it and grabbing it, since you have already grabbed it in your heart. Your words simply seal your faith, rather than creating an outcome. Use your words as a powerful and fitting testimony to what is unseen in your heart.

Consistent with God

As you speak, be sure to speak consistently with God’s Word. The Greek word for this in the New Testament writings is homologia, meaning “the same speech”. We are to speak ‘as one’ with what God has said in His Word. Thus our language is ‘homologia’, the same speech as God’s speech.

This term is used about our faith professions, in the book of Hebrews. The picture created there is that Christ, as our Heavenly High Priest, takes our professions into God’s presence, to attest to our confidence in Him. Thus our words take on an important role in our faith program.

“Wherefore, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus” Hebrews 3:1

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” Hebrews 4:14

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:23

Declare Your Faith

Aware of the cautions I have given here, I urge you to make more use of your lips. I challenge you to declare, confess, testify to and express your faith and confidence in God, with your mouth.

Speak out what you are believing for, even if only among those who will support you, or even privately, to God, if you think there is no-one who will not mock you.

Let the words of your mouth and the meditations of your heart be acceptable in God’s sight, because they are charged with faith and are part of your whole lifestyle of confident expectation that God is the awesome God of creation and the Bible and that He is intimately and personally attentive to you and ready to powerfully reward you as you place your trust in Him and speak out your confidence to Him.