Have you ever wondered how some people seem to reach higher levels with their faith than others? As a pastor for more than forty years, this is one observation that has repeated itself over and over–two people sitting in the same services year after year, hearing the same Word, and being taught the same principles. One of those people continually rises to new levels in life while the other seems to stay in the same place year after year.
Hebrews 10:38 tells us, the just shall live by his faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. This life of faith is meant to take you from glory to glory, experiencing increase in every area of your life. In the midst of chaos and confusion in the world, your life should resemble peace, victory, and prosperity. It begins with your WORDS.
Mark 11:22-23, And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Notice who receives the promise of having what they say…the one who believes. A few weeks ago we spent several days at Parris Island when my youngest grandson, Blake, graduated from basic training in the Marine Corps. There was a sign that stretched out across the road in one of the main thoroughfares that said, “WE MAKE MARINES.” Then on the water tower, this same quote is painted on it with huge letters. There is no doubt that this quote is their mission and purpose. Everything about that island and the people therein are single-minded in what they do, making marines.
When I returned home, I kept thinking about that sign and my experience while there and suddenly it rose up out of me, WE BUILD BELIEVERS. When I turned my life over to the Lord and surrendered to His plan for my life, everything about my life has been about building believers. There is nothing that thrills me more than to see someone get born again, filled with the Spirit, catch the spirit of faith, and watch their life soar as a result of the Word of God.
Here is where building begins…your words, and there is no way around it. Your words are building blocks for your future, and with your words, you can establish better outcomes for your life. In Charles Capps’ book, God’s Creative Power for Healing, he quoted an article from the August 1991 Reader’s Digest. In it, a study was done of more than 2,800 men and women, ages 65 and older who were all in comparable health. They were asked to rate their health as excellent, good, fair, or poor. A person simply answering this question was a remarkable predictor of who will live or die over the next four years. They found that someone who rated their health as poor was four to five times more likely to die in the next four years than those who rated their health excellent.
Why is that? Because people who have an image of themselves being in poor health will talk about poor health, and they live out the reality of the image they have of themselves. The same thing is true for any other aspect of life. If you have an image of yourself being poor, then you will talk about being poor, and your life will resemble your words. God gave you an imagination, and it is far more powerful than anyone realizes.
I have a friend in Brazil who is a very successful pastor. There is a spirit of excellence about him that is tangible, but this is not where he started out in life. His father abandoned him and his family, so his mother raised him and his siblings as a single parent. While she did all she could to provide for them, they still lived in abject poverty. She would cut pictures out of magazines of banquet tables, fine china, men and women dressed in really nice clothes, and anything else that resembled a prosperous life and attach them to their wall. When she served them dinner at night, she would tell them, “now kids, this is what we’re eating tonight, but this (pointing to the images on the wall) is where you are going.” While living in abject poverty, an image was being built in him with pictures and words, and eventually he found himself sitting at those banquet tables with prosperity all around him.
From time to time you see things pop up in the news of someone being disgruntled regarding a minister having an airplane. Then they use that story to attack anyone who preaches on prosperity. What they fail to understand is that the airplane began with words and as an image on the inside. Have you ever heard the story of Jerry Savelle getting his airplane that he named Willy? It is a powerful testimony, but it all began with an image and his words.
Friend, what do you desire to see in your life? Get an image of that for yourself and use your words to take you there. Don’t be one of the ones talking about poor health. Boldly declare Psalm 118:17 over yourself, I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. Don’t talk about the recession or state of the economy. Get an image of yourself prospering regardless of the state of the rest of the world like Psalm 1:3 says and declare this over yourself, I shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth fruit in my season; my leaf shall not wither; and whatever I do shall prosper.
God’s Word works! As you continually declare it over your life and build that image on the inside of you, you will see it come to pass.