Week 9 Principles of Intercession – Class Notes – 11-13-16
“What hinders a Christian from receiving answers to prayer,” continued.
YOUR WORDS: DON’T TALK YOURSELF OUT OF IT!
(1) Watch your mouth! What you say after you pray is important. If you pray in faith but then talk in doubt (to yourself or to others, chat, comment, talk, mention, discuss in conversation), you’re still in doubt and undoing the faith you prayed with.
Many believers aren’t consciously aware of how powerfully creative and destructive ordinary speech can be, or they don’t take it seriously.
In Genesis 1, “God said… ” over, and over. He used spoken words to create everything that exists, not just ideas, imagination, thoughts – but spoken words.
The 10 Commandments – did you learn them as a child? How many do you remember? Why are they important still? Because they are God’s standards, engraved by God himself on tablets of stone, and given by him to Moses. God’s standards, expressed in words.
They were important enough that God promised they would be engraved on our hearts by the Holy Spirit. They did not expire – Jesus said that the law would not pass away until every jot and tittle were fulfilled – and he fulfilled it, but he did not cancel it out.
Numbers Chapters 13-14 describe the 12 spies going into the promised land. This was not long after they left Egypt (a matter of months), so they should have remembered very well all the miracles done there, the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the drowning of the Egyptians, the manna from heaven, not to mention God’s very presence with them in the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. All these supernatural events should have still been fresh in their minds.
The promised land ahead of them contained trade routes where travelers and traders were always coming and going, so it would not be suspicious for these 12 men to travel through the country. They went all the way up to Lebanon and Syria, then returned. But along the way they saw the sons of Anak (the giants) at Hebron, and 10 of them became afraid. Suddenly they thought that those large men were greater, more powerful, bigger than the creator God, Jehovah.
Those 10 said, (13:31) “We can’t…” and the other two – Caleb and Joshua – said, “We can…” (13:30). Which ones were right? They both were.
The 10 negative speakers stirred up the people enough that they wanted to choose a different leader and return to Egypt (14:4). This situation was so dangerous that the Lord destroyed them right away (14:37). He would have destroyed everyone except Caleb and Joshua and Moses, except for Moses’ intercession (14:11 ff). Instead, they were made to travel around and around in the wilderness for 40 years. All those above 20 years old died in the wilderness, and only those under 20 were allowed to go into the promised land, plus Caleb and Joshua.
Spoken words are powerfully creative, for good and for bad.
Prov. 18:21 says – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”
James (see chapters 3-4) was written to believers, and stresses the importance of our spoken words. James 3:10 says blessing and cursing come from the same mouth – and that should not be.
Why do negative words come out of our mouth? Because they are in our hearts (minds, memories, experiences, etc.)
Matt. 15:18-19 – “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:”
(2) HOW TO PREVENT IT? So, how do you prevent talking yourself out of answers? That is, how do you prevent negative, destructive words from infiltrating your speaking, your chatting, your “sharing,” your everyday speech?
You have to be intentional about it.
(a) Guard your heart and thoughts, since whatever comes out of your mouth was in your heart first (Matt. 15:18-19, above).
(b) Guard your tongue. Prov. 30:32 says, if you think evil, clap a hand over your mouth! Don’t let those words come out of your mouth. Do NOT say, “my arthritis,” or “my headache” – those may be attacking you but they are not yours, they are the enemy’s. Do not accept or claim them as your own.
(c) Fill your mind and heart with God’s things, God’s words, not the world’s things or the enemy’s words.
Phil. 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
John 14:26 – “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Note – the Holy Spirit can’t “re-mind” you of something Jesus said if you didn’t put it in your mind it to begin with…
Whatever is in your heart WILL come out of your mouth, eventually. Be sure it’s words of faith, not unbelief or doubt.