A Word about the Word of Faith
“Word of Faith teaching holds that God wants his people to prosper in all areas of life, including finances, health, marriage, and relationships. Word of Faith teaches that God’s blessing empowers his people to achieve the Bible’s promises. Thus, suffering does not come from God, but from Satan.”
The Zoe Version:
The atonement (Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection) makes available to the believer the forgiveness of sins, but also healing, protection, provision and abundance. The believer can access the blessings of these promises in the material world by faith.
Faith is not a magic wand, nor is God a genie. It is possible for spiritually faithful people to experience moments and seasons of significant difficulty. They may also pray without seeing a result that matches their expectations.
At the same time, people who live by faith can pray with confidence and be witnesses to an overall pattern of God’s faithfulness documented in their lives.
Why Pay Attention to Words?
Big Idea: Words continue to live beyond the time they are spoken, heard or thought.
We are held accountable for our words.
The problem with careless words is that they take on lives of their own and produce unintended consequences.
God pays attention to what we say, so we should pay attention to what we say.
There are many applications of this principle, but the emphasis of this series will be on the relationship between words, faith and results.
The Heart-Word Connection
We are accountable for our words not only in terms of judgment, but also in terms of results.
Jesus explains this principle using an analogy.
Analogies use the familiar to explain the unfamiliar:
- : Tree–>Fruit (Matthew 12:33)
- : Heart–>Speech (Matthew 12:34)
The heart produces speech as a tree produces fruit.
The emphasis is not on words spoken consciously, but on words spoken unconsciously.
Your mouth is not the driving force for words. Your heart is.
You can say things with your mouth as the driver, but those words do not have the force of words propelled from your mouth by your heart.
- Baseball pitchers
How Does God’s Word Get in Our Hearts?
Scriptural Meditation: Reading, Talking, Listening, Pondering, Reflecting Day and Night
- Psalm 1:1-3
- Joshua 1:8
- Deuteronomy 6:6–9
The Heart as a Thinking Center
While meditation is multifaced, it is primarily a mental exercise.
- The popular understanding of the word of faith focuses on speech.
- People with insight about the word of faith focus on thought.
People who see results from Word of faith teaching know that thinking is more foundational than speaking.
While we acknowledge the reality of suffering, we don’t dwell on it within the context of our faith.
Setting Our Hearts on Things Above
As we discussed last week, we are ambassadors. We reside on earth but must think according to our status in heaven.
- Philippians 3:20
- A citizen is a legal entity with certain rights, benefits and privileges.
- 2 Corinthians 5:20
- To speak on Christ’s behalf is to speak His words.
- To speak like God, you must think like God.
- Thinking like God is not about being God, but about taking on His perspective (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- Just because God’s thoughts our higher does not mean that we should not dwell on them: Colossians 3:1–2
Acknowledge the reality of disappointment, but don’t dwell on it while you’re believing God.
The good fight of faith is about getting your heart to agree with God.
© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2022