The Power in Your Words By Joel Osteen

      The Power in Your Words By Joel Osteen

            Jose Lima starred as a pitcher for the Houston Astros for several years in the late 1990s. Jose is an outgoing, energetic, likable young ballplayer who usually exudes a positive attitude. But when the Astros built their new ballpark, now known as Minute Maid Park, Jose was upset. The fence in left field was much closer than the fence at the Astrodome. In fact, Minute Maid Park has one of the shortest distances from home plate to the left-field fence of any ballpark in Major League Baseball. The hitters love it, but the short left field makes it tougher on the pitchers, especially when they are working against right-handed batters who tend to hit to left field.

     The first time Jose Lima stepped onto the new diamond, he walked out to the pitcher’s mound, and when he looked into the outfield, he immediately noticed the close proximity of that left-field fence. “I’ll never be able to pitch in here,” he said.

     The next season, despite the enthusiasm of the fans and the excitement of playing in that brand-new ballpark, Jose had the worst year of his career. He plummeted from being a twenty-game winner to being a sixteen-game loser in back-to-back seasonsNever in the history of the Astros franchise had any pitcher experienced such a pronounced negative turnaround.

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

     What happened to Jose? The same thing that happens to many of us every day–—we get what we say. Our words become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you allow your thoughts to defeat you and then give birth to negative ideas through your words, your actions will follow suit. That’s why we need to be extremely careful about what we think and especially careful about what we sayOur words have tremendous power, and whether we want to or not, we will give life to what we’re saying, either good or bad.

    Sadly, many people are living discouraged lives because of their words. They say things such as: 

• “Nothing good ever happens to me.”

• “I’ll never be successful.”

• “I don’t have what it takes. I can’t do it.”

• “I’ll never get out of this mess.

     Some people even call themselves names! “What an idiot! You never can do anything right.” They don’t realize it, but their own words are paving the way for failure.

     Words are similar to seeds. By speaking them aloud, they are planted in our subconscious minds, and they take on a life of their own; they take root, grow, and produce fruit of the same kind. If we speak positive words, our lives will move in that direction. Similarly, negative words will produce poor results. We can’t speak words of defeat and failure yet expect to live in victory. We will reap exactly what we sow.

     The Bible compares the tongue to the rudder of a huge ship. Although that rudder is small, it controls the direction of the entire ship, and, in a similar manner, your tongue will control the direction of your life. If you habitually speak words of failure, you are going to move in the direction of a defeated, discouraged life. If your conversation regularly includes phrases such as “I can’t. I’m not able to. I don’t have what it takes,” or other negative comments, you are setting yourself up for defeat. Those negative words will keep you from being the person God wants you to be.

     I heard about a doctor who understood the power of words. One prescription he gave to all his patients was for them to say at least once every hour, “I’m getting better and better every day, in every way.” The doctor’s patients experienced amazing results, much better than the patients treated by many of his colleagues.

     When you say something often enough, with enthusiasm and passion, before long your subconscious mind begins to act on what you are saying, doing whatever is necessary to bring those thoughts and words to pass. Sadly, most people insist on saying negative things over their lives. They continually denigrate themselves with their own words. They don’t realize that their own words will decimate their confidence and destroy their self-esteem. In fact, if you are struggling with low self-esteem, you need to go overboard in speaking positive, faith-filled words of victory about your life. Get up each morning and look in the mirror and say, “I am valuable. I am loved. God has a great plan for my life. I have favor wherever I go. God’s blessings are chasing me down and overtaking me. Everything I touch prospers and succeeds. I’m excited about my future!” Start speaking those kinds of words, and before long, you will rise to a new level of well-being, success, and victory. There truly is power in your words.

     We have to be particularly careful about what we say during times of adversity or hardship, when things aren’t going our way. How you respond in the adversities of life and what you say in the midst of your difficulties will have a great impact on how long you stay in those situations. As a rule, the more positive your thoughts and words, the stronger you will be and the sooner you will get over whatever ails you. Admittedly, when times get tough, our human nature tends to want to complain, to talk about the problem, to tell everybody who will listen how badly life is treating us. But such conversations are self-defeating. To get through a tough time quicker and with better results, we must learn to speak as positively as possible.

     Too often, we make the mistake of adopting negative attitudes and complaining.

“I knew my marriage wasn’t going to work out.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever get out of debt.”

“I guess I’ll just have to put up with this health problem for the rest of my life.”

     When you start talking like that, you become your own worst enemy. If there’s ever a time you must guard what you say, it’s in times of trouble. When you feel overwhelmed, when you’re stressed out, when everything in the world has come against you, when that left-field fence looms largely over your shoulder, that’s when you need to be on high alert. That’s when you are the most vulnerable and the most likely to slip into a negative attitude, speaking negative comments. Your subconscious mind picks up your words, treats them as true, valid statements, and then sets about trying to fulfill them. When that happens, you have nobody else to blame but yourself; you’ve been undermined by your own thoughts and words.

Guard What You Say

     If you’re in a storm today, now more than ever you need to guard what you say and not allow any negative, destructive words to come out of your mouth. Scripture says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue; and you will eat the fruit thereof.” In other words, you create an environment for either good or evil with your words, and you are going to have to live in that world you’ve createdIf you’re always murmuring, complaining, and talking about how bad life is treating you, you’re going to live in a pretty miserable, depressing world. You may be tempted to merely use your words to describe negative situations, but God wants us to use our words to change our negative Situations. Don’t talk about the problem, talk about the solution.

     The Bible clearly tells us to speak to our mountains. Maybe your mountain is a sickness; perhaps your mountain is a troubled relationship; maybe your mountain is a floundering business. Whatever your mountain is, you must do more than think about it, more than pray about it; you must speak to that obstacle. The Bible says, “Let the weak say I’m strong. Let the oppressed say I’m free. Let the sick say I’m healed. Let the poor say I’m well off.”

     Start calling yourself healed, happy, whole, blessed, and prosperous. Stop talking to God about how big your mountains are, and start talking to your mountains about how big your God is!

     I love what David did when he faced the giant Goliath. He didn’t murmur and complain and say, “God, why do I always have these huge problems?” No, he changed his whole atmosphere through the words that came out of his mouth. He didn’t dwell on the fact that Goliath was three times his size. Nor did he dwell on the fact that Goliath was a skilled warrior and he was just a shepherd boy. No, he didn’t focus on the magnitude of the obstacle before him. He chose instead to focus on the greatness of his God.

     When Goliath saw how young and small David was, he began to laugh. He jeered, “Am I a dog that you’d come at me with a stick?”

     But David looked him right in the eyes, and with great determination, he said, “Listen, Goliath, you come against me with a sword and a shield, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Israel.”

     Now, those are words of faith! Notice, too, that he spoke the words aloud. He didn’t merely think them; he didn’t simply pray them. He spoke directly to the mountain of a man in front of him, and said, “I will defeat you and feed your flesh to the birds of the air this very day” And with God’s help, he did exactly that!

     Those are the kinds of words you must learn to speak in your everyday circumstances, and especially in times of crisis and adversity. When you’re facing obstacles in your path, you must boldly say, “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. No weapon formed against me is going to prosper. God always causes me to triumph.” Quit worrying and complaining about the obstacle, and start speaking to it. Quit complaining about poverty and lack and start declaring, “God supplies all of my needs in abundance.” Quit nagging that friend or family member who is not serving God and start declaring, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Quit complaining that nothing good ever happens to you and start declaring, “Everything I touch prospers and succeeds.” We must stop cursing the darkness. Let’s start commanding the light to come.

     Friend, there is a miracle in your mouth. If you want to change your world, start by changing your words. When times get tough, don’t give in to murmuring, disputing, and complaining. Speak to those problems. If you’ll learn how to speak the right words and keep the right attitude, God will turn that situation around.

     You may be thinking, This sounds too good to be true, Joel. I know it’s true! I saw the power of our thoughts and words turn an impossible situation in my own family into a modern-day medical miracle. Come on, let me tell you about it.

Speaking Life-Changing Words

     In 1981, my mother was diagnosed with cancer and given just a few weeks to live. I’ll never forget what a shock that news was to our family. I had never seen my mother sick one day in all my life. She was extremely healthy and active. She loved being outdoors, working in the yard, working in her flowerbeds.

     I was away at college when the doctor’s report came. My brother, Paul, called me and said, “Joel, Mother is very, very sick.”

     “What do you mean, Paul? Does she have the flu or something like that?”

     “No, Joel,” Paul replied. “She’s losing weight. Her skin is yellow, and she’s extremely weak; something is seriously wrong with her.”

     Mother was hospitalized for twenty-one days, while the doctors ran test after test. They sent her lab work all over the country, hoping to find some key to help her. Finally, they came back with the dreaded report that she had metastatic cancer of the liver. They called my dad out into the hallway and said, “Pastor, we hate to tell you this, but your wife has only a few weeks to live. Not months, weeks . . .

     Medical science had reached the limits of what they could do. The best and brightest doctors in the world had exhausted their efforts, so they basically sent our mom home to die.

     We expressed our sincere appreciation to the doctors and hospital staff for their hard work, but we refused to accept their opinions. I’m grateful for doctors, hospitals, medicine, and science, but the medical professionals can present only what their medical charts tell them. Thank God, you and I can appeal to a higher Authority. We can always have another report. Gods report says, “I will restore health to you and heal your wounds.”

     We serve a supernatural God. He is not limited to the laws of nature. He can do what human beings cannot do. He can make a way in our lives where it looks as if there is no way. That’s what we prayed that He would do in Mother’s life.

     And my mother never gave up. She refused to speak words of defeat. She didn’t complain about how sick or weak she felt, or how awful her life was, or how hopeless her situation looked. She chose to put God’s words in her mind and in her mouth.

     She started speaking faith-filled words. She started calling in health and calling in healing. All during the day we’d hear her going through the house speaking aloud, “I will live and not die, and I will declare the works of the Lord.” She was like a walking Bible!

     I’d say, “Mother, how are you doing?”

     She’d say; “Joel, I’m strong in the Lord and the power of His might.” She pored over her Bible and found about thirty or forty favorite passages of Scripture concerning healing. She wrote them down, and every day, she’d read over them and boldly declare them aloud. We’d see her walking up and down the driveway, saying, “With long life, He satisfies me and shows me His salvation.”

     Mother mixed her words with God’s Words, and something powerful began to happen. Her circumstances began to change. Not overnight, but little by little, she began to feel better. She got her appetite back and started gaining weight. Slowly but surely, her strength returned.

     What was happening? God was watching over His Word to perform it. God was restoring health to her and healing her of her wounds. A few weeks went by and Mother got a little better. A few months went by, and she was even better. A few years went by, and she just kept on confessing God’s Word. Today, it has been more than twenty years since we received the report that Mother had just a few weeks to live, and as I write these words, Mother is totally free from that cancer, healed by the power of God’s Word!

     And she is still confessing God’s Word. She gets up every morning and reviews those same Scriptures on the subject of healing. She still speaks those words of faith, victory, and health over her life. She won’t leave the house until she does it. Beyond that, she loves to remind “Mr. Death” that he has no hold on her life. Every time my mother passes a graveyard, she literally shouts out loud, “With long life He satisfies me and shows me His salvation!” The first time she did that when I was riding in the car with her, I nearly’ jumped out of my seat!

     But Mother refuses to give the enemy a foothold.

Boldly Confess God’s Word

     Mother used her words to change her world, and you can do the same thing. Maybe you are facing a “hopeless” situation. Don’t give up. God is a miracle-working God. He knows what you’re going through, and He will not let you down. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. If you will trust in Him and start speaking words of faith, your circumstances will begin to change.

     Of course, we don’t have to be in life-threatening situations to use God’s Word. We can speak God’s Word in our everyday lives. Parents, you ought to speak God’s Word over your children every day before they go to school. Just say, “Father, You promised me in Psalm 91 that You will give Your angels charge over us and that no evil would come near our household. So I thank You that my children are supernaturally protected, and You are guiding them and watching after them. Father, You said that we’re the head and not the tail, and You will surround us with favor. So I thank You that my children are blessed, and they will excel at whatever they put their hands to do.”

     Speaking God’s Word over your children can make an enormous difference in their lives. I know my mother prayed over my siblings and me every day before we went to school. She prayed specifically that we’d never break any bones. She raised five healthy very active children. We all played sports and did a lot of crazy things, but to this day, as far as I know, not one of us has ever broken a bone.

     Just as it is imperative that we see ourselves as God sees us and think about ourselves as God regards us, it is equally important that we say about ourselves what God says about us. Our words are vital in bringing our dreams to past. It’s not enough to simply see it by faith or in your imagination. You have to begin speaking words of faith over your life. Your words have enormous creative power. The moment you speak something out, you give birth to it. This is a spiritual principle, and it works whether what you are saying is good or bad, positive or negative.

     In that regard, many times we are our own worst enemies. We blame everybody and everything else, but the truth is, we are profoundly influenced by what we say about ourselves. Scripture says, “We are snared by the words of our mouth.”

     “Nothing good ever happens to me. My dreams never come to pass. I knew I wouldn’t get promoted.” Statements such as these will literally prevent you from moving ahead in life. That’s why you must learn to guard your tongue and speak only faith-filled words over your life. This is one of the most important principles you can ever grab hold of. Simply put, your words can either make you or break you.

     God never commanded us to repeatedly verbalize our pain and suffering. He didn’t instruct us to go around discussing our negative situations, airing our “dirty laundry” with all our friends and neighbors. Instead, God told us to speak constantly of His goodness, to speak of His promises in the morning at the breakfast table, in the evenings around the dinner table, at night before bedtime, continually dwelling on the good things of God.

     You could experience a new sense of joy in your home, if you’d simply stop talking about the negative things in your life and begin talking about God’s Word.

     If you are always talking about your problems, don’t be surprised if you live in perpetual defeat. If you’re in the habit of saying, “Nothing good ever happens to me,” guess what? Nothing good is going to happen to you! You must stop talking about the problem and start talking about the solution. Quit speaking words of defeat, and start speaking words of victory. Don’t use your words to describe your situation; use your words to change your situation.

     Every morning, when I get out of bed, I say, “Father, I thank You that I am strong in the Lord and the power of Your might. I am well able to do what You have called me to do.” I quote several other passages of Scripture regarding God’s favor in my life. What am I doing? I am starting off my day on a positive note, aligning my thoughts and words with His.

     Set the tone for the entire day as soon as you get out of bed. If you wait until you have read the morning newspaper, you’ll start your day with all sorts of sad, dreary news. Try starting your day with some good news by speaking God’s Word over your life! Don’t wait till you’ve checked the stock report, or you’ll be up one day and down the next. The moment you wake up, begin to give new life to your dreams by speaking words of faith and victory

     Understand, avoiding negative talk is not enough. That’s similar to a football team having a good defense but no offense. If your team is constantly playing defense, you stand little chance of scoring. You must get the ball and move it down the field; you must get on the offense. You have to be aggressive.

     Similarly, you must start boldly confessing God’s Word, using your words to move forward in life, to bring to life the great things God has in store for you. The Scripture says, “With the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” This same principle is true in other areas. When you believe God’s Word and begin to speak it, mixing it with your faith, you are actually confirming that truth and making it valid in your own life.

     If you are facing sickness today, you should confirm God’s Word concerning healing. Say something such as, “Father, I thank You that You promised me in Psalms that I will live and not die and I will declare the works of the Lord.” As you boldly declare it, you are confirming that truth in your own life.

     If you are struggling financially, instead of talking about the problem, you need to boldly declare, “Everything I put my hands to prospers and succeeds!”

     Friend, when you make those kinds of bold declarations, all heaven comes to attention to back up God’s Word.

     God has not given us hundreds of promises simply for us to read and enjoy God has given us His promises so we might boldly declare them to bring us victory, health, hope, and abundant life.

     In 1997, Victoria and I had the opportunity to develop the last full power television station available in Houston, channel 55. It was a tremendous opportunity but also an enormous undertaking. All we had was a construction permit, basically a piece of paper giving us the right to build the station. We didn’t have a studio, we didn’t have a transmitter or a tower to put it on; oh, and we had no programming! We were starting totally from scratch. And we had less than a year to get the station on the air or we’d lose the license. We really needed God’s supernatural wisdom to deal with the day-to-day details of building a television station.

     I decided to do what my mother did, and every morning when I read my Bible, I wrote down any verse or passage of Scripture that had to do with wisdom or guidance. After a couple of weeks, I had recorded twenty or thirty passages, and every day, before we would leave the house, Victoria and I would read those Scriptures and boldly declare them.

     One of my favorite passages was: “For the Lord grants wisdom! His every word is a treasure of knowledge and understanding. He grants good sense to the godly–—his saints. He is their shield, protecting them and guarding their pathway. He shows how to distinguish right from wrong, how to make the right decision every time.” We’d say, “Father, we thank You that we have Your supernatural wisdom, and we do have the ability to make the right decision every time. Father, You said the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, so we thank You that You are guiding and directing our steps.” And I cannot tell you how many times during the development of that television station God supernaturally protected us and kept us from making mistakes.

     For instance, I was just about to pick up the phone and order an extremely expensive and critical piece of equipment, probably the most important piece of equipment in a television station. Just before I did, a man called me out of the clear blue, and we discussed numerous issues. Toward the end of our conversation, he said something that gave me insight and totally changed the decision I was about to make.

     What was happening? God was using that man to help guide us; God was protecting us from making a poor decision, and He was giving us good sense to make the correct decision. God was watching over His Word to perform it.

     God wants to do something similar for you, but you can’t be lazy. Search the Scriptures and highlight those that particularly apply to your life situation. Write them down and get in the habit of declaring them.

     God has already done everything He’s going to do. The ball is now in your court. If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you’re going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family.

Speaking a Blessing

     As parents, we can profoundly influence the direction of our children’s lives by the words we say to them. I believe as husbands and wives we can set the direction for our entire family. As a business owner, you can help set the direction for your employees. With our words, we have the ability to help mold and shape the future of anyone over whom we have influence.

     And each of us has influence over somebody. You may not consider yourself a leader, but you have a sphere of influence nonetheless–—somebody or some group that looks up to you. Even if you’re a teenager, somebody values your opinion. It is vital that we speak “good things” into the lives of those over whom we have influence. That doesn’t mean we will never disagree with them or have to confront and correct them. But the general tenor of our words to them and about them should be positive.

     A well-meaning mother was constantly nagging her teenage son. “You’re so lazy; you’re never going to amount to anything! If you don’t shape up, you’re never going to get into college. You’ll probably wind up getting into trouble.”

     Those kinds of negative words will destroy a person quicker than you can imagine. You cannot speak negatively about someone on one hand, then turn around and expect that person to be blessed. If you want your son or daughter to be productive and successful, you need to begin declaring words of life over your children rather than predictions of doom and despair. The Scripture reminds us that with our words we can bless people or we can curse them.

     In the Old Testament, the people clearly understood the power of the blessing. As the family patriarch approached senility or death, the oldest sons gathered alongside their father. The father would then lay his hands on each son’s head and speak loving, faith-filled words over them about their future. These pronouncements comprised what was known ever after as “the blessing.” The family realized that these were more than Dad’s dying wishes; these words carried spiritual authority and had the ability to bring success, prosperity, and health into their future.

     Many times, children even fought over the father’s blessing. They’ weren’t fighting over money that they might inherit. Nor were they arguing over the family business. No, they were fighting over faith-filled words. They realized that if they received the father’s blessing, wealth and success would be a natural by-product. Beyond that, they deeply desired the blessing from somebody they loved and respected.

     One of the most amazing biblical records concerning the power of the blessing comes out of the lives of Jacob and Esau, the two sons of Isaac. Jacob wanted his father’s blessing–—not just any blessing, but the blessing that rightfully belonged to the firstborn son in the family. Isaac was old, near death, and he was practically blind. One day he called in his son Esau and said, “Esau, go kill some game, and prepare me a meal and I will give you the blessing that belongs to the first­born son.” But Jacob’s mother, Rebekah, overheard this conversation. Rebekah loved Jacob more than she loved Esau, so she told Jacob to put on Esau’s clothes in an attempt to trick Isaac into giving him the blessing. Then she prepared one of Isaac’s favorite meals.

     While Esau was out in the field hunting, she said to Jacob, “Go to your father and present him this food. And he’ll give you the blessing that really belongs to your brother.”

     Jacob recognized the seriousness of this duplicity. He said, “But Mother, what if he finds out that I’m lying, and he curses me instead of blesses me? I’ll be cursed for the rest of my life!”

     Think about that. Jacob understood that he was risking his entire future on this gambit. He recognized that the words his father spoke over him would impact him, for either good or evil, the rest of his life.

Declare God’s Favor

     Whether we realize it or not, our words affect our children’s future for either good or evil. Our words have the same kind of power that Isaac’s words had. We need to speak loving words of approval and acceptance, words that encourage, inspire, and motivate our children to reach for new heights. When we do that, we are speaking blessings into their lives. We are speaking abundance and increase. We’re declaring God’s favor in their lives.

    But too often, we slip into being harsh and critical with our children, constantly finding fault in something our children are doing. “Why can’t you make better grades? You didn’t mow the lawn right. Go clean your room–—it looks like a pigpen! You can’t do anything right, can you?”

     Such negative words will cause our children to lose the sense of value God has placed within them. As parents, we do have a responsibility before God and society to train our children, to discipline them when they disobey, to lovingly correct them when they make wrong choices. But we should not constantly harp on our kids. If you continually speak words that discourage and dishearten, before long you will destroy your child’s self-image. And with your negative words, you will open a door, allowing the enemy to bring all kinds of insecurity and inferiority into your child’s life. Millions of adults today are still suffering as a result of the negative words their parents spoke over them as children.

     Remember, if you make the mistake of constantly speaking negative words over your children, you are cursing their futureMoreover, God will hold you responsible for destroying their destiny. With authority comes responsibility, and you have the responsibility as the spiritual authority over your child to make sure that he feels loved, accepted, and approved. You have the responsibility to bless your children.

     Beyond that, most children get their concepts of who God is and what He is like from their fathers. If their father is mean, critical, and harsh, inevitably the children will grow up with a distorted view of God. If the father is loving, kind, compassionate, and just, the child will better understand God’s character.

     One of the reasons I talk so much about the goodness of God is because I saw it modeled by my dad. Nobody could have represented God any better to us Osteen kids than my dad did. Even when we made mistakes or got off track, while Daddy was firm, he was also lov­ing and kind. He nurtured us back to the right course. He never beat us into line; he loved us into line. Although he was very busy, he always took time for us. He encouraged us to do great things, to fulfill our dreams. He used to say, “Joel, don’t do what I want you to do. Do what you want to do. Follow your own dreams.”

     Daddy believed in my brother and sisters and me. He told us we were great, even when we knew we weren’t. He referred to us as blessings when we knew we weren’t acting as blessings. Sometimes we’d make him mad, and he’d say, “I’m about to beat a little blessing to death!”

     Mother and Daddy raised five children in our home. When we were growing up, we didn’t have children’s church programs such as many churches now have. We all met in the same auditorium. My little sister, April, and I used to sit on the front row of that little feed store that held about two hundred people. We’d play tic-tac-toe the whole service. (I’m confessing to let you know there’s still hope for your children. I didn’t pay attention, and God made me a pastor. Who knows what God is going to do with your children!)

     Daddy would be up on the platform, and Mother would have all five of us kids lined up in a row. She’d have her hands raised in the air, worshiping God with her eyes completely closed. Yet she had an incredible ability, even with her eyes closed, to know when we kids were cutting up. That amazed me. I think that was my first experience with the supernatural power of God! I’d watch Mother to make sure that her eyes were closed before I’d do something to aggravate my brother, Paul. Without missing a beat, Mother would slowly bring one hand down, very gracefully grab my arm, and pinch the fire out of me! I wanted to scream, but I knew better. And then she’d lift that arm back up and continue worshiping the Lord.

     I used to think, Mama, you have a gift. That’s supernatural!

     I’m joking (a little), but the point is my siblings and I were not perfect kids. We made plenty of mistakes. But my parents never focused on our weaknesses or on the problems. They always focused on the solutions. They constantly told us we were the best kids in the world. And we grew up secure, knowing that our parents not only loved each other, but they loved us and believed in us. They were going to stand behind us through thick and thin. We knew they were never going to criticize or condemn us, but would always believe the best in us.

     Because I grew up with acceptance and approval from my parents, now, as a father myself, I’m practicing the same sort of thing with my children. I’m speaking words of blessing into their lives that will be passed down to another generation. And I know my children will pass down the goodness of God to their children, and on and on.

     One of the first things I do when I see my little boy Jonathan, in the morning is to say “Jonathan, you’re the best.” I’m constantly telling him, “Jonathan, you are God’s gift to Mother and me. We love you. We’re proud of you. We’ll always stand behind you.” I tell our daughter, Alexandra, the same sort of things.

     Before they go to bed, I tell both of our children, “Daddy will always be your best friend.” Victoria and I constantly tell them, “There’s nothing you can’t do. You have a bright future in front of you. You’re surrounded by God’s favor. Everything you touch is going to prosper.”

     Victoria and I believe that we have an opportunity and a responsibility to speak God’s blessings into our children now, while they are young. Why should we wait till they are teenagers, or in their twenties and about to get married, to begin praying for God’s blessings in their lives? No, we’re declaring God’s blessings over them all the days of their lives. And we are convinced that our words will impact our children long after they are grown and have children of their own.

     What are you passing down to the next generation? It’s not enough to think it; you must vocalize it. A blessing is not a blessing until it is spoken. Your children need to hear you say words such as, “I love you. I believe in you. I think you’re great. There’s nobody else like you. You are one of a kind.” They need to hear your approval. They need to feel your love. They need your blessing.

     Your children may be grown and gone, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking up the phone to call and encourage them, to tell them you are proud of them. Maybe you didn’t do well at blessing your children as they were growing up. It’s not too late. Start to do it now.

Words Can’t Be Taken Back

     Jacob stood before his nearly blind father, Isaac, pretending to be his brother, Esau. Although Isaac’s eyesight was dim, his intellect was not. He questioned, “Esau, is that really you?”

     “Yes, Father; it’s me,” Jacob lied.

     Isaac wasn’t convinced, so he called his son closer to him. Only when he smelled Esau’s clothes that Jacob was wearing was he finally convinced. He then gave Jacob the blessing that really belonged to his older brother. He said something like this: “May you always have an abundance of grain and an abundance of wine. May nations bow low before you and people always serve you. May you be the lord over your brothers. May anyone that curses you be cursed, and anyone that blesses you be blessed.” Notice, in Isaac’s blessing he declared great things concerning Jacob’s future, and a study of history will show that those things came to pass.

     On the other hand, shortly after Jacob left the room, Esau came in. He said, “Dad, sit up; I’ve got the meal I’ve prepared for you.”

     Now Isaac was confused. He said, “Who are you?”

     “Dad, I’m Esau, your firstborn son.” At that point, the Bible records that Isaac began to shake violently. He realized that he had been duped. He explained to Esau how his brother, Jacob, had come in and deceitfully tricked him out of his blessing.

     Now, here’s an amazing aspect of this awful story of treachery. Esau began to cry with a loud voice, saying, “Father, can’t you still give me the blessing that belongs to the firstborn?”

     Isaac’s answer was insightful and powerful: “No, the words have already gone forth, and I cannot take them back. I said that Jacob will be blessed, and he will always be blessed.”

     Do you see the power of our words? Do you see the power of speaking blessings over your children? Isaac said, “Once the words go forth, I can’t take them back.” He gave Esau a lesser blessing, but it was not nearly as significant as the one he had given to Jacob.

     We need to be extremely careful about what we allow to come out of our mouths. The next time you’re tempted to talk down to somebody, to belittle your child or degrade him, remember, you can’t ever get those words back. Once you speak them, they take on a life of their own.

     Use your words to speak blessings over people. Quit criticizing your child and start declaring great things in store for her future.

     We should never speak negative destructive words toward anybody, especially toward people over whom we have authority or influence. Just because you have your own business or supervise a large number of employees doesn’t give you the right to talk down to them and make them feel badly about themselves. Quite the contrary! God is going to hold you accountable for what you say to those individuals under your authority, and He is going to judge you by a stricter standard. You should go out of your way to speak positive words that build up and encourage.

     Similarly, it is important for a husband to understand that his words have tremendous power in his wife’s life. He needs to bless her with his words. She’s given her life to love and care for him, to partner with him, to create a family together, to nurture his children. If he is always finding fault in something she’s doing, always putting her down, he will reap horrendous problems in his marriage and in his life. Moreover, many women today are depressed and feel emotionally abused because their husbands do not bless them with their words. One of the leading causes of emotional breakdowns among married women is the fact that women do not feel valued. One of the main reasons for that deficiency is because husbands are willfully or unwittingly withholding the words of approval women so desperately desire. If you want to see God do wonders in your marriage, start praising your spouse. Start appreciating and encouraging her.

     “Oh, my wife knows I love her,” one elderly fellow said. “I don’t need to tell her. I told her back when we got married forty-two years ago.

     No, she needs to hear it again and again. Every single day, a husband should tell his wife, “I love you. I appreciate you. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.” A wife should do the same for her husband. Your relationship would improve immensely if you’d simply start speaking kind, positive words, blessing your spouse instead of cursing him or her.

Declare God’s Goodness

     You must start declaring God’s goodness in your life. Start boldly declaring, “God’s face is smiling toward me, and He longs to be good to me.” That is not bragging. That is how God says we’re going to be blessed when we start declaring His goodness.

     Allow me to make some declarations in your life:

• I declare that you are blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom, and you have clear direction for your life.

• I declare that you are blessed with creativity, with courage, with ability, and with abundance.

• I declare that you are blessed with a strong will and with self-control and self-discipline.

• I declare that you are blessed with a great family, with good friends, with good health, and with faith, favor, and fulfillment.

• I declare that you are blessed with success, with supernatural strength, with promotion, and with divine protection.

• I declare that you are blessed with an obedient heart and with a positive outlook on life.

• I declare that any curse that has ever been spoken over you, any negative evil word that has ever come against you, is broken right now.

• I declare that you are blessed in the city. You are blessed in the country. You are blessed when you go in. You are blessed when you come out.

• I declare that everything you put your hands to do is going to prosper and succeed.

• I declare that you are blessed!

     I encourage you to receive these words and meditate on them; let them sink down deeply into your heart and mind and become a reality in your life. Practice doing something similar with your family. Learn to speak blessings over your life, your friends, your future. Remember, a blessing is not a blessing until it is spokenIf you’ll do your part and start boldly speaking blessings over your life and the lives of those around you, God will provide everything you need to live the life of abundance He wants you to have.

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