Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Power of Speaking God's Word

I want to continue my thoughts today on the power of God's Word in our lives.

Hebrews 4:12 says -
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thought and attitudes of the heart. NIV

The KJV says quick and powerful. We talked the other day about the word for quick - zao - meaning breathing and living. The word for powerful is energes meaning effective, powerful, active and effectual. That is the Greek word that we get our word energy from. The Word of God is effective. This supports the verse in Isaiah(Is 55:11) that says, "so is my word that goes out from my moth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." When God speaks His Word, His living, breathing, active, and effective Word, into our hearts, He sends it for a purpose that He will see is accomplished! It will not return empty or void. When God says it, it is done!

The part about the double edged sword is what I want to get to today. On one side this double edged sword fights the devil. The enemy cowers when we SPEAK the word of God. He knows he cannot begin to battle that power.... It was the spoken Word of God that created the universe and the spoken Word of God that cast the enemy from the portals of heaven to where he is now. The spoken word of God is powerful when fighting the enemy. That is why it is so important to not only read and meditate on God's word but to speak it out loud. The enemy cannot read our minds. He shivers on what he hears out of our mouths the Word of God. (To study my statement, "The enemy cannot read our minds", please check out the following links)

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/can-satan-the-devil-read-our-thoughts.html

http://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-power.html

http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-Q-13.htm

http://www.epm.org/articles/readmind.html

The other edge of the sword is where the power of meditating and reading God's Word comes in. From one side we fight the enemy- from the other side we clean ourselves up. We talked about that the other day. God's Word penetrates to our soul and spirit and circumcises our heart, as the Bible says. That just means it helps us to crucify our flesh. When we meditate on God's Word, we are able to live and walk in the Spirit, rather than the flesh. We are cleansed and sanctified through His Word. When we live according to the Spirit of God rather than according to our flesh, we are again making the enemy powerLESS in our life. He can only operate with our permission. We give the enemy permission to work in our lives when we live lives contrary to God's spirit. (Ephesians 4:27)

So - when you read God's Word, put your name in there and speak it out loud. For instance if God dropped Isaiah 61 and in your heart. You can read verse 7: "instead of their shame my people - YOUR NAME- will receive a double portion and instead of disgrace YOUR NAME will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. For I, the lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them(YOU NAME) and make an everlasting covenant with them! Tell the devil out loud what God's word says. Shout it at him. Then meditate on it every day.
Throughout the Bible we are told to:

  • meditate on God's Word (think about and repeat over and over again to ourselves)
  • pray God's Word (the only way we can be sure to pray according to the will of God)
  • speak God's Word (like Jesus did when He was tempted to be discouraged - spoke it out loud to Satan)

If you are struggling with battles in your life, remember this: God sees time so much different than we do. He is infinite and we see time through our finite beings. Time for God is just like this line below:

________________________________________________

He looks down and sees the beginning as well as the ending, and all the points in between. He sees your good times and your rough times, but ultimately He sees your rejoicing in heaven for eternity. That is how He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). That is why placing our trust in Him is so vital. -Trusting Him when we are tired and worn out. -Trusting Him when we feel all is going down the tubes. -Trusting Him when we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Simple trust. He has promised you victory - so tomorrow, if it brings worse news than yesterday, you can trust in Him.

Psalm 25. The whole chapter deals with asking Him to show His ways and teach His paths. It is my wife's favorite chapter in the whole Bible. Listen to what David says:

Psalm 25

To you, O LORD , I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD , teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD , your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD . 8 Good and upright is the LORD ; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. 11 For the sake of your name, O LORD , forgive my iniquity, though it is great. 12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD ? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. 13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them. 15 My eyes are ever on the LORD , for only he will release my feet from the snare. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish. 18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. 19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! 20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
NIV

So, I encourage each of you today to take up a warrior mentality. Be an enemy of Satan. Take up the Sword of the Spirit, clothe yourself in the armor God has provided (Ephesians 6) and battle the enemy of your soul through the power of the Holy Spirit. Read God's Word. Meditate on God's Word and Speak God's Word out loud.

I love each of you and am thankful for the opportunity to be your pastor.

PS I have added a poll to todays blog at the top and to the right. Please take the time to vote. Thank you.

Pastor Rusty






9 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The enemy cannot read our minds." According to Paul, we are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Furthermore, one of the greatest problems with Christianity in today's world is finding our identity. A lot of this has to do with what goes through the mind. If the enemy is a liar, why do we have a hard time finding our identity? Why does the great Christian apologetic, C.S. Lewis, dedicate an entire book (The Screwtape Letters) to how the enemy deals with the human's mind? Why does Paul feel the need to admonish us to take every thought captive? Granted, there are three forces in this spiritual war: Satan, self, & God. I have to wonder, though, how one can say that "the enemy cannot read our minds." If such a statement has any credence, it demands more thorough explanation than what has been presented in this blog. We face a supernatural enemy. To say that he cannot read our minds is only wishful thinking. If you maintain this position, please grant us a continuance in your thinking.

Pastor Rusty said...

Dear Anonymous, thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinion. I believe strongly that the satan does not have the power or authority to read our minds. Paul encourages us to take captive every thought because of satans nature, and our nature. The battle we face is against the enemy, who attacks through our minds and thoughts by placing thoughts, imaginations, etc into our minds, at least tempting us with said thoughts.

Since you mentioned C.S. Lewis, who I LOVE, I would like to have you read the comments of a couple of writers/theologians that I respect and hear what they have to say about this subject. They sum up my thoughts and feelings pretty well on this subject.

John McArthur was asked:

Can, and does Satan read ones mind?

His answer

No, I don’t think Satan can read your mind. Because I do not think Satan is omniscient. He's too dumb. He's fallen, and, sin curses the intellect, even an angelic intellect. And, I don't think He was ever omniscient, anyway. Omniscience belongs only to God. I don't think Satan can read your mind. But, I do think Satan can pretty well peg what you are thinking by how you are acting and how you are talking. And, he can pretty well analyze the pattern of your living. And, he pretty well knows what affects you in what way and how you respond and react to things. So, he can pretty well pinpoint your weaknesses, but I do not think he can read your mind. There is nothing in scripture to indicate that Satan can read your mind.


Then Randy Alcorn tackles this question:

Can satan/demons read our minds?
answered by Randy Alcorn
(All names and identifying information have been changed to protect the individual)

(Individual asking the question) "I have read many of your books and they have truly blessed me. One concept I have read has bothered me as I have been unable to validate it in scripture. That is the concept that satan cannot know our thoughts and heart in contrast to God who knows all. Further that satan can hear our spoken prayers but not our silent prayers...
I cannot find anything like this in scripture and had some thoughts on the subject, namely,

1. Since God has infinite power, authority and capability, he could have created satan, Michael, cherubs and other heavenly hosts to have any abilities he wanted them to have. It doesn't seem we are told much about this. Seems like he could have created satan to have the ability to read our minds and hearts if he had so desired.

2. Since the ability to prevent satan from knowing our thoughts is such a strategic advantage for a Christian, seems like it would have been specifically identified for us, it would rank way up there in the "armor of God" or would have been taught by Jesus.

3. Seems like in order to manipulate us the way he does, satan would have to have an "inside track" on our thinking, (i.e. read our minds) to know what tricks to throw at us, to know our weaknesses, etc.
I would appreciate your thoughts on this if you have time.
Yours in Christ,"

Randy Alcorn's answer:

On the demon mind-reading issue, here's my opinion. First, we know demons aren't omniscient, since they're just angels, created finite beings, and angels don't know a lot of things, including the time of Christ's return (Mark 13:32). We're told that God alone can know the future (Is. 46:9-10). Demons are personal beings who are self-contained and are limited in space and time, not omnipresent and therefore presumably not able to drift in and out of people at will. On the other hand 2 Cor. 10 and other passages suggest demons can influence our thinking. But can they read our thoughts? Well, we know Jesus knew people's thoughts (Mt. 9:4; 12:25; Mark 2:8; Luke 6:8; 11:17). God knows people's thoughts (Gen. 6:5, Ps. 139, etc.). But nowhere are we told Satan or demons know people's thoughts.
That would just be a deduction, an argument from silence, except that in Daniel 2:27-28 Daniel says to Nebuchadnnezzar that no one speaking by any power but God could tell the king what he dreamed--that included "enchanters, magicians and astrologers" who could appeal to demonic sources. But apparently these demons could not read the king's mind even to ascertain what he had dreamed, much less interpret it. So this is probably the primary Scripture that has direct bearing on the issue.
Of course, demons are in an excellent position to deduce what's on our minds since they can see us from the outside. They know exactly what we're reading, watching on T.V., they overhear our conversations, see our physical responses, hear even our "private" words, and are no doubt skilled at reading our expressions. They see us when other people can't, any time they wish. Now as far as putting thoughts in our mind or exercising powers of persuasion, I don't know how that works--perhaps there is a form of telepathy whereby they send a message, plant an idea, without being able to read exactly what we're thinking. I agree there's demonic activity involved in distracting us during prayer, but I think they don't have to be able to read our minds to do this. If we've had an argument with our spouse, if our child is sick, if we're tired and under deadline, he can observe all that and somehow whisper his distractions. (The world and the flesh also provide their own distractions, even apart from the devil--and the flesh definitely does know what we're thinking.) By hearing us and seeing what we're taking into our minds, demons have a good idea the best things to pick up on in tempting us. That's a critical reminder for us and our children that what we read and watch and look at and listen to provides either the Holy Spirit and righteous angels, on the one hand, or demons on the other hand, ammo in their efforts to wage war in our minds. If I have an enemy attacking me, it doesn't make much sense to hand him a loaded shotgun.
I do think a clear understanding of exactly what we're thinking is limited to the omniscient God who created us, died for us and indwells us. He is the Judge, the only one who knows all, sees all. I find that comforting. It also let's me breathe a bit of a sigh of relief to know that the enemy of my soul doesn't have unlimited access to my mind. He can bang on the door and yell in the window and shout his accusations, but he can't invade the premises of my mind (which is connected with my brain, part of my body that's God's temple) because the Holy Spirit is in residence. But of course, we must be on the alert to wage war that demolishes Satan's arguments, and we must not be unaware of his strategies. We don't want to overestimate the power of demons in our lives, but neither do we want to underestimate it.
One other application of this notion is when we feel we're under demonic attack, as I did recently. When a hopeless sense of dread and foreboding fell on me I called upon the blood of Christ to cover and protect me. I used to do this silently, but now I speak aloud. God hears me either way, but I want the demons to hear too, and the righteous warriors. Jesus responded aloud to Satan during the temptation. He quoted Scripture so the devil could hear it, perhaps also for the benefit of the holy angels. When we resist the devil, it may not always appropriate to speak aloud (or to speak loudly anyway, e.g. at a restaurant or in church or at work), but as a rule I think it has merit. By verbalizing we give shape and expression to the weapons of spiritual warfare. A.W. Tozer entitled one of his editorials (and it became the title of one of his books), "I talk back to the devil."


Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and opinion. I will do my best to address this a little more tomorrow. God bless you!

Rusty L. Blann

Anonymous said...

Your explanation is agreeable. My only wish was that you would have provided some sort of explanation (either yours or citing a source) in your original post.

Not to sound argumentative, but one can say that interpreting external movements could be rendered a form of mind reading (I reference MacArthur's statements). Granted, it is not in its purest form, but then again, I've never known the enemy to be very pure.

Thanks for your response.

Treasure Seeker said...

I find it an interesting, yet misleading concept that Satan - a created being can read minds. I just did a search with several Bible commentaries and Lexicons. I did not find anywhere that Satan was able to know a man's thoughts. I do see where the enemy "wars" against our minds and tempts us with thoughts. But nowhere could I find him with the ability to read minds.

I believe that according to God's Word, the Supreme and Only God is the only One who can know a man's thoughts.

I also believe that any belief we have regarding spiritual beings should come straight from God's Word.

We, as humans, have a tendency to give God characteristics to the enemy. We must remember that Lucifer is a created being.

Satan is our enemy and our instructions for warring against him are given in Ephesians 6 and 2 Corinthians 10. There are other scriptures as well, but those are commonly known and used.

We do see in Hebrews 4:12 that God's Word can discern our thoughts- like Rusty's blog mentioned. If the enemy could read our minds, I think that God would have given us that knowledge somewhere in His Word.

That is my thought on the subject.But this whole discussion takes away from the purpose of today's blog and that is the POWER OF GOD's WORD and that when we speak His Word the enemy, a created being, cannot stand against it.

God alone is Omnipotent.
God alone is Omniscient.
God alone is Omnipresent.

That is my thought on the subject.

Treasure Seeker said...

I personally have found that speaking and praying God's Word is a great tool for warring against the enemy.
There have been times I didn't know how to pray or exactly what to pray in a certain situation. I would go to God's Word and begin to speak it aloud. I don't base my beliefs on experiences, but from my personal experience, God is faithful to His Word.
When our daughter was sick, God gave me a promise that the Power of His Word backs up the Promises of His Word.
Thanks for great insight into spiritual warfare!
I pray all who read this blog learn to fight the enemy with the sword of the spirit - using it as a double edged sword!

Pastor Rusty said...

Anonymous, in response to your comment, "My only wish was that you would have provided some sort of explanation (either yours or citing a source) in your original post", please note that I have added a few links for people to study this subject. I didn't add it originally because I just didn't forsee anyone taking issue with it. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Blessings!

Clayton and Laurie said...

I have to be in agreement with Pastor's standing on whether or not Satan can read our minds.

God is all knowing.

Satan knows HOW people think and he knows the WEAKNESS of human beings. This is how he’s able to tempt us. He does not know our inner thoughts...

Otherwise, he would not have wasted his time tempting Job [Job 1:6-12], or Jesus (when He was a man) [Matthew 4:1-11].

SATAN HAS THE POWER TO DECEIVE THOSE WHO DO NOT FOLLOW GOD.

God's Word speaks for itself on this subject:

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. " (1Corinthians 2:9-11, NIV)


For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:12-13, NIV)

Pastor, I have personally seen how SPEAKING GOD'S WORD has caused the enemy to flee. "SATAN GET THEE BEHIND ME". There is power in Gods Word. In order to claim it, you have to read it and know it.

Good blog message Pastor!

Laurie

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on the scripture reference 2 Cor 10:5. I am not attacking or slamming but I do feel that we need to be careful in how we use scripture. The reference here was in regards to the Corinthians following after false apostles and their teachings which was leading the people not to listen to what Paul was saying in correction as well as teaching. The reference from Paul was to the thoughts that these false teachers were placing in their minds. I do not believe Satan can know our thoughts, however God can. Paul is warning the Corinthians and we can apply this to ourselves that we need to fear the God that knows our every thought and nothing is hidden from Him. We will have to account for our thoughts as well as for our words and deeds. This is why Paul admonishes the Corinthians, as well as us, to bring into captivity every thought.

PB

Anonymous said...

Sorry I am so late on reading the blog. I know that there is POWER in speaking the word of God....everyday there are circumstances I face that I am reminded of a certain scripture and at many times I have to speak it aloud....to overcome situations....to overcome Satan. I do not believe Satan can read our minds because no where in scripture does it state that but he will do everything in his power to try to catch you off guard. Satan can pretty much tell what you are thinking by how you are conducting yourself and what comes out of your mouth I believe is a mirror to your heart.
When I was a little girl I woke up every single morning to my dad reading his bible and praying.(and it was very early) I remember once asking him why he read out loud because he woke me every morning. He would tell me that Satan needed to know first thing everymorning where he stood everyday....he said Satan can't hear it if you don't speak it.
Great blog pastor!!!
Andrea