Recently my wife, Kaye, and I have been dialoging on the importance of the words we allow ourselves to speak. This morning we were in a service where Mike and Susan Warnke were teaching. Mike ministered on the same subject that Kaye and I have been talking about. I may be dense sometimes, but I eventually get the message. It is important that we watch what we say, not only for our good, but for the good of those around us. Let me share some of what we have been meditating on in regards to this subject.
HOW DO WE CONQUEROR THREE DYNAMICS
The call to be a conqueror is a theme in Revelation (2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 12:11; 15:2; 21:7).
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser (Greek: diablos or Devil) of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him (the Devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. (Revelation 12:10-11)
We don’t have time to go in depth today on all three dynamics. So I will only mention two of them and we will look at the third dynamic with a little more depth. I recommend that you take the time to study the other two dynamics out, they are very important.
The first dynamic I want us to look at for a moment is the Blood of the Lamb. The basis of our victory is the fact of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. Jesus gained victory over Satan on the cross and paid our sin debt, removing his “legal right” to torment and accuse us.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come…21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
But even though Jesus won the victory on our behalf, it is possible for us to live our lives without ever experiencing the benefit of that victory - if we don’t do our part. What is our part? We must know about what Jesus has done, we must have confidence in what His work has accomplished, and then we must enforce Jesus’ victory by using the authority Jesus has given us against Satan.
The second dynamic I want to look at for a moment is that they loved not their lives even unto death. That statement has several practical applications, but the one I want to emphasize today is that we must set our hearts to obey Jesus’ will regardless of what it costs. We must absolutely pursue 100-fold obedience to love God with a spirit of abandonment to Him.
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me… (John 14:21)
Notice I did not say we must attain 100% obedience. But we must live a life in pursue of it.
The third dynamic is the one that I want to spend a little more time examining. This Scriptures states that they conquerored by the Word of their testimony. Our testimony here refers to the words that we speak, as a result of the truth we believe in our hearts, about who Jesus is, what He did on the cross, who we are in Him, and what we believe God thinks about others. We enforce Jesus’ victory in our life and in the lives of others by a confession that refuses Satan’s lies.
6 I pray that…your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake. (Philemon 6, NAS)
Faith does not come primarily by asking for it. Faith comes by “hearing” the Word. The way our heart “hears” the best and most is when the Word comes from our own lips and the lips of those closest to us.
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Our words are verbal containers that can release either life or death. They are powerful in causing faith or fear to grow in ourselves and in others. Simply by speaking, we can help people come into agreement with God’s truth about them.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it (speak in accordance to the precepts of God’s Word) will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)
If our words agree with Satan’s accusations, then we open ourselves up to his increased activity in our life.. The Devil accuses the truth in us and to us. Many have “faith” in the Devil’s lying words. Beloved, in a very real and substantial way, the war of words determines who has dominion in our heart, and thus in our life. Whose words have you allowed to take root in your heart? In the heart of those around you?
Jesus resisted Satan’s attacks against Him by speaking God’s Word (Mt. 4:4-10.) They didn’t have pocket editions of the Bible when Jesus was ministering in Galilee 2000 years ago. He was able to combat Satan’s attack because He had taken the time to memorize and meditate on the written Word to the point that when He needed it - it was there. If the Son of God needed to memorize Scripture in order to be able to combat His adversary, do you think we need to follow His example and do the same?
If Jesus needed to spend hours meditating and praying the Word so that His heart was established in it. Do you think that possibly we should follow His example and hide God’s Word in our hearts, so that when the enemy comes against us, we have the spiritual ammunition on hand to defeat him? Probably so!
And if our hearts and mouths are filled with the Word of God, not only do we reap the benefit, but we are prepared to be vessels that God can use us to allow the power of His Word to change others as well. When we speak His Word to others we are decreeing or “prophesying” Jesus’ Word to others.
We are called to speak encouragement to those around us. That means as we speak God’s Word to their situations, we are imparting truth and expose lies in them.
EMBRACING A LIFESTYLE OF ENCOURAGEMENT
Encouragement imparts courage into the hearts of others. Part of the ability for “them” to overcome is in “our” lips. We start with our family and with those we are most familiar.
13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13)
It is our sacred responsibility to encourage those God sets us with. One way we consider one another is by asking the Lord for insight into how He feels towards them (our family, friends, etc.). It is not enough to think it, we must speak the obvious, knowing the Devil obscures it.
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)
We can set our heart to live as a son of encouragement to help encourage change in the lives of those around us.
36 …Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)… (Acts 4:36)
ESTABLISHING A CULTURE OF HONOR
We, as members of the Body of Christ, are called to exemplify the strongest culture of honor. God’s love is comprehended most effectively as we connect together. Part of our inheritance is in the hands of others. Part of their inheritance depends on us. Our love grows for others as we tell them of their virtue, greatness and destiny, especially while they are still in seasons of weakness.
The Apostle Paul, praying under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes,
18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth (width) and length and height and depth, 19 and to know (experience) the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)
Beloved, a culture of honor in your heart is the seedbed that grows blessing in the lives of others. We must teach and demonstrate a culture of honor in our sphere of responsibility (spiritual and natural families, in the workplace, etc.). We can gain many things from other ministries and movements who have part of what we lack simply by blessing them. We do not have to agree on everything they say or do. John Wimber, the founder and leader of the Vineyard movement, used to teach us that we have to learn to eat off the plates of others.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor…14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice…16 Live in harmony with one another…Never be wise in your own sight…18 … so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:10-18)
In honor giving preference (v. 10) is translated: “out do one another in showing honor.” We bless the part of their life and ministry that is good without pointing out what they lack.
My wife, Kaye, is a diversity facilitator. She trains educators on how to appreciate and accept diversity in the classroom. Not all students come from the same background or learn as well from the same training tools or methods as others. Educators have to appreciate students various backgrounds and learning styles, if they want to effectively reach all students.
In the same way as educators are called to honor and bless diversity in our culture, we, as believers, are called to honor and bless diversity in people and ministries that have a different focus than ours. We should work to understand God’s specific ministry assignment to them.
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls… (Romans 14:4)
Beloved, we must learn to see from God’s perspective. Ask Jesus about other ministries, “Who are they to You?”
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer… (Romans 14:10-13)
May we all commit to hiding God’s Word in our hearts, meditating on it day and night (Joshua 1:8), speaking it to God, to ourselves and to others. May we all commit to being encouragers, vessels of honor, distributing honor and God’s truth to everyone we come into contact with.