I do not believe we can live in victory unless we realize there is power in what we say.
As believers, we need to be trained to understand the soul, which is made up of the intellect, will and emotions. Since it is full of "self" and does not want to submit to the Holy Spirit, it must be purified (see 2 Tim. 2:2).
Because we are free moral agents our own minds tell us what we think, but our thoughts are not necessarily God's thoughts. Our wills dictate what we want, despite what He desires for us. And our emotions govern our feelings, but our hearts should instead be subject to Him.
As the soul is purified it is trained to carry God's thoughts, desires and feelings, and then we become mouthpieces for Him. I do not believe we can live in victory unless we realize there is power in what we say.
We usually talk about the "mountains" in our lives, but God's Word instructs us to talk to them, as Jesus did in Mark 11:22-23. In saying that we are to speak to the mountain, commanding it to be lifted up and thrown into the sea, Jesus was making a radical statement that merits further study. It is obvious that we are not to hurl our wills at the challenges in our lives; we must respond to them with the Word of God.
In Luke 4, when Satan was trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, the Lord responded to every trial by speaking Scripture. He repeatedly said to Satan, "It is written," and quoted verses that met the lies and deceptions of the devil head-on.
We have a tendency to try this for a while, but when we do not see quick results we stop speaking the Word to our problems and begin once again to speak our feelings. Persistence is a vital link to obtaining victory. We must know what we believe and be determined to stick with it to the end.
To make sure we maintain balance in this teaching, let me say that speaking the Word is powerful and absolutely necessary in overcoming any problem or negative situation. However, it is not the only doctrine in God's Word.
For example, obedience is extremely important. If a person thinks he can live in disobedience but speak to his mountains, he will be sadly mistaken, as Jesus clearly stated in Mark 11:22-26:
"And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.
"For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
"And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop.
"But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings" (Amplified Bible).
Multitudes of people who have accepted Christ as their personal Savior fall into the deception of trying to operate in one of God's principles while completely ignoring another.
We must take the time to learn the Word of God and know the Father's heart. Although many things are clearly defined in Scripture, other spiritual matters require that we make decisions about them even when they are not spelled out in black and white.
It takes time to know God as well as our own hearts. Learn to cooperate with the Holy Spirit and see God's will accomplished in your life.
Remember, words are containers of power and they bind us. Our hearts must be right before the Lord, for it is out of the of the heart that the mouth speaks—for good or evil.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. She has written more than 70 books, including the popular Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind, and her most recent, The Confident Woman (all FaithWords). She is also the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. To read past columns in Charisma by Joyce Meyer, log on at www.charismamag.com/meyer.