Death and Life are in the Power of the Tongue
vs. 21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”
We have all had problems with our tongues getting us into trouble, but the tongue can also bring blessings into our lives. Just like a tree can produce fruit, you can produce fruit in your life by the power of your tongue. Life and death and blessing and cursing are in the power of the tongue. This verse is telling us we have the same creative abilities God has.
If you want to find out how God operates, start with Genesis 1. You’ll find out God SAID, “Let there be.” God’s Word had creative ability. This is such a simple foundational truth for the Kingdom of God. Do you want to find out how the new birth was created in you? Read Romans 10:9-10 and you will find out “you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved.”
The very way you entered into the Christian life is how the Christian life is maintained. It’s by the power of believing God’s Word in your heart and speaking it with your mouth that causes it to come to pass. The creative ability which is in God is also in you. The Holy Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead lives inside you. Therefore, if the Holy Spirit lives insideyou, then it’s His desire to teach you and show you God’s way.
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them about faith, Jesus told them to “have the faith of God.” In other words, have the God-kind of faith. He went on to explain by telling them, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:23
Whether it’s the confession of the Word of God or praying the Word of God, believing in the heart and speaking with the mouth are the two things coming together which causes a creative power to come into being.
The power of speaking the Word of God is true from the Old Testament to the New Testament. We find that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Romans 10:17. The word for “Word” is rhema, the spoken Word. Therefore, when we speak the word, a creative ability is within us.
Many times we have caused good and bad circumstances because of the words we have spoken. James compares the tongue to a bit in a horse’s mouth or a rudder on a ship. James 3:3-4 “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.” As a bit in a horse’s mouth and a rudder on a ship are small compared to the object they are controlling, so is the tongue in comparison. The tongue is a very small member, but it can set the whole course of nature on fire.
The Tongue Has the Power to Bless or Curse
The fire in a fireplace starts with one match. The match is very small, but that’s how the fire begins. The tongue has the power to bless or curse. The tongue has the ability to open up the door for you to bring sickness into your life from Satan or bring healing into your life from God the Father.
In Proverbs 18:21, we found out life and death are in the power of the tongue, and the tongue has a creative power and the one who loves it and understands the power of the tongue will eat the fruit of it.
There are four areas you have power in your life by what you say with your tongue.
1. Romans 10:9-10 tells us we have salvation by the power of the tongue. When we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord, we are saved. We can’t speak just anything out of our mouth and expect it to come to pass. We must speak and believe what is promised in the Word of God.
We don’t say things just because they are written in the Bible, we have to hide the Word of God in our hearts and out of the abundance of the heart we speak. When we speak the Word of God in faith, things begin to happen.
2. Forgiveness and restoration of fellowship are from God. In 1 John 1:9 the word “confession” is used. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” The word for “confess is homologeo. Homo means “same.” Logeo means “to speak.” Hologoeo means “to speak the same thing.”
When it comes to salvation, God says you’re a sinner. God says you need to be saved. We often want to fight with God. “I’m not a sinner. I don’t need to be saved.” God just wants you to say the same thing. “I am a sinner. I need a Savior. Therefore, I confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” Salvation comes.
In 1 John 1:9, when we confess our sins, we say the same thing about our sins. As Christians, we can sin. But we often want to say, “Oh, it wasn’t that bad.” God said, “Yes, it was.” “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” We want to hide it and say, “No, I really didn’t sin.” God says, “Yes, you did.” And all God wants us to do is line up with Him and say the same thing.
3. The third area where we have the power of confession is our daily confession of faith, and this brings to pass so many things in our life. This is where faith comes into our everyday life. It’s not just faith hidden in the heart. It’s faith that comes through the words we speak. One of the fastest ways to tell where a person is in their life is by listening to the words of their mouth. You can be around Christians and hear just as many bad things as the world has to say.
I was talking to someone who had visited a person in the hospital. The person they visited was a Christian but when they started talking, all they talked about was how the devil was after them. The one visiting finally asked, “Is Jesus doing anything in your life?” Sometimes we can get so taken up by what the devil’s doing we forget Jesus Christ has conquered the devil, and we forget to quote the Word of God that “greater is He that’s in us than he that’s in the world.”
The sad thing is, most of the time we know these things, we just don’t say them. Even after we have known the word of faith for so long, sometimes we begin to think, “But if I say it and I don’t see it, then it must be a lie.” If it’s promised in the Word and you say it, it’s the truth and it will change the lie that has come against your body.
Symptoms are a lie. The Word is the truth. Therefore, a lie will never change the truth, the truth will change a lie. If you speak the lie, it will never change the Word. You can say you’re sick all day long, but the Bible still says, “With his stripes you were healed (1 Peter 2:24).” A negative confession will not change the Word, but confessing what the Word says about your situation will change things for the better. Your symptoms will change. Speaking the truth has the power to change anything Satan has tried to put on you.
4. We have the power to rebuke. We not only have the power to confess the Word towards the Lord, but we also have the power to rebuke symptoms, circumstances, and satanic oppression. This is the other side of confession.
Before man landed on the moon, we wondered what the dark side of the moon looked like. Because of the gravitational pull of the earth, the same side of the moon always faces the earth. For years there were all kinds of theories about what the other side of the moon looked like. Finally, a rocket with astronauts was sent up. Before they landed on the moon, they shot a number of flares to light up the dark side. When the flares hit the dark side of the moon, they discovered it looked just like the other side of the moon. All the speculations over the years were answered as they found out it was no different than the side that had been visible. It took the light to expose what was in the darkness.
Death, Also, Has Power in the Tongue
There’s another side of confession Christians are often afraid to consider. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. We often don’t like the part of speaking death, so we just quote life. There is a time to quote death. It’s fine to speak life into our body and death to the sickness. God not only gave us the power to loose, He gave us the power to bind. Sometimes we find it difficult to do that part. When the Bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue, there are some things around us that need to die. It’s time we start using the words of our mouth against the things Satan tries to put on us.
Often when we are sick, we only pray to God for healing. We need to speak to the sickness and command it to die. Jesus never prayed for the sick. He rebuked sickness. It’s all right to pray for sickness. James 5:14 tells us, “if there are any sick among you, let them call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him.” The prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up.”
Jesus healed the sick by rebuking the sickness. Jesus told us there is a time to speak to the fig tree and curse it. There is a time to curse the works of Satan.
When we see the works of the devil, anger rises up inside. Then we feel guilty for anger rising up. There is a godly anger that needs to rise up in us. Jesus experienced a godly anger when He went into the temple and saw the money changers. He was angry at the works of the devil. There is a right time to be angry and sin not. But out of that anger, let the power of confession come out and speak death to the works of Satan and life into the situation. Not only should we speak life into people’s bodies but death toward the sickness by the power of our rebuke. There is the power of rebuke.