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Our Word is Our Wand
Dr. Allen Barber
February 9, 2012

Matthew 5:33-37 ESV

"Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil. 

Deuteronomy 23:21-23 ESV 

21 "If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. 23 You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.

How good is your word?  Do you keep your word to God and others?  While that may not seem important, on the contrary it is vitally important to our relationship with God that we follow through on our promises.  Too many Christians fail to keep their promises to one another, to their spouses and children and to God. As the saying goes, "Loose lips sinks ships." God holds us responsible for everything we say and especially our promises. 

Jesus said that every idle word we utter we shall have to give an account for on the day of judgment (Yes, Christians are going to stand the judgment the same as unbelievers with the exception we shall be examined for our works after becoming a believer while the lost shall be examined for their lack of righteousness). Is failing to keep our word an idle word?  Yes it is!

A great number of saints lack power "with God" because they are careless with their words.  If your confessions are not working, check-up on your word!  What have your promised God and others and did not complete the transaction? 

In the Matthew passage above Jesus draws a contrast between the Law and Grace. Under the law there were many oaths the people of Israel were required to make as an obligation of obedience; however, Jesus said do not make oaths or promises, simply give a yes or a no, "yes I will do such and such or no I will not."  Actually an oath or pledge to back up our word can indicate that we doubt our own word.  This is why Jesus said in Mark 11: 23 that if we want our confession to come to pass, then we must believe "our own words."  Why make confession or pray if you do not believe what you say will come to pass?  If your prayer and your word is based upon the Word and will of God, then you can rest assured it will come to pass.

Now, do not misunderstand what I am saying.  I am not saying we should never make promises. A promise may not be the same as an oath. An oath usually adds something to the promise as a token or evidence that we intend to keep our word. For example, we may say, "Lord, if you will do this for me, then I promise to be obedient in that area of my life and as evidence of my promise, I will give up this or that. Just make sure that God is requiring you to give up whatever you think is necessary to strengthen your promise and that it is not bargaining with God. God does not respond to bargaining!  Bargaining with God sometimes puts us under the law whereby we become yoked to the rule we have setup in our lives; and you know what, God will allow the law we have established to impact our lives for good or bad.  This is a principle I learned the hard way in the school of hard knocks.

Let me give you an example of what I am stressing in this article.  Several years ago, I was suffering from several physical symptoms all at the same time. Since I am a believer in the Blood Covenant for healing, I never consult with a doctor or take medicine until I have taken the matter before the Lord.  After speaking with God about my serious symptoms (high blood pressure, chest pain, numbness in left arm and left side of my neck, liver symptoms, bladder and kidney symptoms, pain in lower legs, etc.), He revealed to me an area of my life (actually two areas) where I had gone back on my word at least three times; the sickness was for discipline and correction.  (Sorry about that Ken Copeland). Since I had been disobedient in these areas, I first asked forgiveness for breaking my word to God (this was a matter between God and me and no one else), then I wrote the promise to keep my word in my spiritual diary (that was in 2005). I tend to keep my promises or word when I write them down.  

Lately, I have been tempted in those areas and began to wonder if maybe I had placed myself under the law, that is, was my promise to abstain from something really necessary in order to be obedient in those areas. I knew the answer was in the Word of God and that I need not pray about it, so I asked the Holy Spirit (I talked to Him not prayed to Him) to direct me to the place in the Word of God for the answer. I learned this when God placed me in a spiritual wilderness for 10 years (1992-2002). God always speaks to me (rhema word) from the written Word of God.  I had been reading and studying Deuteronomy and Monday night I had gone to bed late, in fact it was about 12:30 A.M., so I wanted to read a passage in the Bible before going to sleep.  I usually read the ESV, but that night I reached for my NKJV and opened it and the first passage I saw was Deuteronomy 23:21-23:

21 "If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. 23 You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.

I knew immediately that the Holy Spirit had given me the answer for the Word bore witness in my spirit.  Now, I do not believe in "chance guidance" - opening the word and believing the first thing you see is the will of God in certain matters. No, the revelation of God comes by prayer and diligent study, not "chance guidance."  However, occasionally when we are seriously seeking God, He may guide us by "first opening" to a passage of Scripture and letting us know the first thing our eyes see is His will for us. This rarely happens to me, but has on a few occasions and I knew this was one of them. 

The Holy Spirit made it clear to me from the Deuteronomy passage (Did you know that Jesus quoted this book more than any book of the O.T.?) that I had voluntarily given God my Word if He would heal my body of these serious symptoms, I would never again break my word to Him. Within a few days all the symptoms vanished and my health was restored. Satan was trying to get me to break my word to God thereby sinning and placing myself in a serious situation with God. Satan is a liar and he wants us to lie to God, for lying to God was the essence of Eve's sin in the garden of Eden. She believed God had lied to her, so she in turn believed the lie of the devil and in so doing plunged the human race into sin;  for this reason, God hates lying. Then he must be very upset with the United States, for lying has become a way of life in this nation.

The great joy in my experience was in knowing that the God of heaven was personally aware of my situation. In seeking Him, the Holy Spirit led me to the Word and gave me the answer.  Have you considered how very wonderful it is to know that the Almighty eternal God speaks to puny man?  Not only was I grateful for the answer, but it strengthened my faith in the Word of God, in God Himself and my personal salvation, for God does not speak to lost people except to lead them to salvation. 

The matter is settled and I will not allow the devil to tempt me to break my word to God. Even though Deuteronomy is the 5th book of the Law, it has been called the "love book" because unlike the other books of the Law, it shows how the Law works through love.  God was telling me how much He loved me and how very important it was for me to keep my word to Him. 

Do you keep your word?  Is your word your wand?

If things aren't going well with you, check up on your word.  You may find that failing to keep your word, even in little things, has become a way of life and is robbing you of victory and power in your life.

May our great and wonderful God bless you today.