Thursday, January 7, 2010

... and there was light

Genesis 1:3

And there was light. Seems so matter-of-fact, doesn't it? God said it, and it happened.

Two questions.

First, what would happen in your life if you had this ability?

Second, what would happen in your life if you really believed this about God?

First topic. Our words have power. When we speak, things change. Maybe it's not so obvious as "let there be light, and there was light," but what about other words? What about these:

"I'm proud of you."
"You are beautiful."
"I love you."
"I hate you."
"You are a failure."

Do these words have power? Better believe it. When you speak things change. We see this most clearly with the hurtful words. Even if you don't mean those words, they change things. Even if you're just speaking out of the woundedness of your heart, those words change things, create wounds in other hearts. A friend of mine says, "Hurt people hurt people." Our words most often carry that hurt and inflict it on others.

But it's also true of the words that build people up. Have you ever known someone whose words were consistently positive, upbuilding, helpful, loving? As long as there is sincerity behind those positive words, you want to be with that person. You want to spend more time with them, because it's a healing thing, a life-giving thing.

So maybe we do have this ability, more than we know. Our words change things. The Bible says it a little differently -- "Whatever you sow, you will also reap" (see Galatians 6:7). When we plant bitter, hurtful words, we will reap a terrible harvest later. When we plant deceit, when we plant arrogance, when we plant duplicity, the harvest is coming. Similarly, when we plant truth, compassion, gentleness, integrity, the harvest is coming. Count on it. It starts with our words.

But what about God's words? This brings us to the second topic. What would happen if we really believed that God was as good as his word? So look at some of the words God speaks in scripture. Do we believe these words?

"Do not be afraid."
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name."
"You are mine."
"I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil."
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you."
"In this world you will have trouble; but take heart, I have overcome the world."
"I go to prepare a place for you."
"I no longer call you servants but friends."

What would it mean to believe, down at the core of our being, that these words are true, and directed to us? What would change today if you knew that God called you his friend? If you knew beyond any doubt that God has good plans for you?

This business of speaking is powerful stuff. God says, "Let there be light" and the light appears. We say, "I love you" and the words call forth love in response. God speaks to us and says, "Do not be afraid." Are we willing to listen and let the words shape us and call forth a God-given confidence in the face of trouble?

Lord, let your light shine in us!

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