THE MESSAGE NOW
A weekly magazine of Express Image Glory Ministries
Vol. 1, No. 20 – Monday, 21st November, 2016
(Judges.12:1-6, 8:1-3, Acts.15:36-41, Prov. 10:19, 15:1, Ruth.1:16-17, Deut.23:3, 2 Sam.13:5)
The Unassailing Power of Words
If guns, bullets, missiles and the likes are the weapons of war, words no doubt are the triggers that turn-on those weapons into their operative gear. Words can, at any time and at any stage, effectively eventualise glory or ruin. Words have influencing power. There is no fuel of human friction as the oxygen of words.
Patrick Rothfuss, in – The name of the Wind, opined: ‘Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts’.
Permit me from this outset to hold this strong view that we are where we are today because of our own words expressed to ourselves or the words of others expressed towards and against us. The joyful trouble about the surest character of words is that words never die except when they are extinguished by a more superior word. Whether positive expression or words spoken out of ill-will, words have the potency to linger through endless generations. The true-account below is a living attestation to the foregoing statement.
In 1963, a seventeen-year-old young man was returning from his college on a faithful afternoon. As he drew near to a beach, there was the wailing of a woman. The woman had taken her son out on a walk on the beach. That walk soon became a bitter experience for the woman. As the two had their fun on the beach,: suddenly, torrent of water surged through the sand and within a twinkle of an eye her son was off-shore.
The young college student by the name Bill on arriving at the scene, threw off his jacket and off he jumped into the icy/cold, salty water. After much struggle and painstaking effort, he succeeded. The woman’s son was saved and revived. On her resignation to great relief, the woman had but few words for Bill’s uncommon kind gesture of extreme goodwill. With tears of joy running down her cheeks, the woman said quite loudly ‘for restoring hope and life to my almost lonely soul, you shall be the hope and the President of this country some day’.
Thirty years after this pronouncement, that young college student Bill Clinton indeed became the President of that country called America. I hear you say, what an amazing story! Hmmm! it is more than amazing because of the resonating message. The resonating message being the power of the undying word. Is it not staggering to note that a word spoken in 1963 remained alive through the many years until it finally took its effect in January 1993? Is it not even more staggering that the word spoken as far back as 1833 might still be alive in 2016?
If Bill Clinton’s story is a positive one and such that is admirable, having been influenced by gracious words, I invite you to wait and read about the dark side of ill words. The records of history inform us that about 6 million Jews died by the hands of Adolf Hitler.
In fact, the entire world was heading towards a monumental cataclysm were it not for God and God’s gracious strength expressed through Britain’s Winston Churchill’s resilience as well as America’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s outstanding support. It probably will astound you to know that Hitler’s massacre of the Jews (among other reasons) was sparked off by the words of Henry Ford Sr expressed in his book, The Eternal Jew, published in the early 1920s.
Henry Ford’s writing had such powerful and enthralling influence on Hitler that he literally idolized not only Ford himself, but also his book. The power of words expressed through writings, sound or even pictures can sometimes be so enslaving that they can end up occupying the master-controling seat in our minds.
The capturing grip of words on the mind of man has been better expressed by Diane Setterfield, in – The Thirteenth Tale. Therein, D. Setterfield argued sharply that, ‘There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Wind themselves around your limbs like spider silk, and when you are so enthralled you cannot move, they pierce your skin, enter your blood, numb your thoughts. Inside you they work their magic’.
Without any later hindsight to apologies, the words of Henry Ford deeply numbed Hitler’s thoughts to such extent that he became sensitive to no good thing. Paralysed by Ford’s writing, appeal to pity was non-existing in Hitler’s lexicon. The few words left in his lexicon were: appeal to force, retaliation and massacre.
I ask, my dear Christian brother, sister and friend, what books do you read? What sort of music do you have a penchant for? What movies and TV programmes appeal to you the most. Hear me sirs and madams, those books, music, movies and programmes will eventually shape your line of thinking and/or your response/reaction to all things. Why?
Words are living entities sometimes quietly submerged in our subconscious beings or thoughts. When they are reawakened by events, they then spring back to life and become the catalyst of the greatest good or the most horrific debacle better unimagined.
No wonder Richard Kadrey quipped aloud, in – Kill the Dead: ‘It doesn’t matter if you and everyone else in the room are thinking it. You don’t say the words. Words are weapons. They blast big bloody holes in the world. And words are bricks. Say something out loud and it starts turning solid. Say it loud enough and it becomes a wall you can’t get through’.
Indeed, to Kadrey’s quip, Jodi Picoult added in – Salem Falls, ‘Words are like eggs dropped from great heights; you can no more call them back than ignore the mess they leave when they fall’.
The influencing power of words cannot be over-emphasised. Words are so powerfully indispensable that even our father, the Great God of heaven and earth made no success in creation without a spoken word.
What then is the task ahead of you that the power of words cannot achieve? What words are being spoken over your life and destiny? Do you take the time to find this out from God in prayer?
Words can transform lives and destinies. Through words, salvation is gained (see Rom.10:9-10). Ruth, in one of today’s texts changed her destiny (and indeed) divine ordination through spoken word.
Every Bible scholar does understand that a Moabite has no part or inheritance in the commonwealth of Israel and of God even to the tenth generation and forever (see Deut.23:3). However, Ruth’s word of faith reordered that divine order. The damaging effect of toxic words on a most defended city of friendship can be so devastating that just the process of amending can wait till infinity. On the contrary, soothing words are the specially glittering golds among the gravels. The greatest bitter rivalry of countless years can be easily erased by a moment of right words in action.
Thus Suzy Kassem admonishes in Rise Up and Salute the Sun: ‘We cannot control the way people interpret our ideas or thoughts, but we can control the words and tones we choose to convey them. Peace is built on understanding, and wars are built on misunderstandings. Never underestimate the power of a single word, and never recklessly throw around words. One wrong word, or misinterpreted word, can change the meaning of an entire sentence and start a war. And one right word, or one kind word, can grant you the heavens and open doors’.
May I ask, are you silent when evil words are spoken over you, your children, ministry, marriage or even career? Draw a lesson from the true-account below. A young Nigerian politician at the time (Dr Chuba Okadigbo) openly belittled Dr Nnamdi Azikwe.
In anger, Dr Azikwe said, ‘ it is common knowledge that in our culture, the young must respect the old. Since you have forbidden this good path of our culture, you shall certainly be great, but just before you ascend the throne of greatness, you shall be cut off. You shall equally die unwept and unsong’. Information gathered tells us that a pastor persuaded Dr Okadigbo to go back and apologise to Dr Azikwe but he refused. He rather denounced Dr Azikwe as an ‘old ranting fool’.
Years and countless moments rolled on and those ill words lingered on too. At the peak of his political career as the Senate President in year 2000 when he should have received the number 1 human President on earth (at the time, Bill Clinton) in Nigeria, he was disgracefully and uncelebratedly impeached. Three years later in the seemingly possible attainment of his Vice Presidentship, he bowed to death and remains both nationally and regionally unsong till now.
Dearly beloved, avoid evil words. Pray and cancel evil words. Do not hurt older persons (1 Peter.5:5). Do not offend anointed servants of God; it can be dastardly costly. Much more important and seriously too, fear God and keep His commandments.
Permit me again to end this article on a rather stronger note. Hear me dearly beloved, your next after now, I mean your tomorrow after today, shall be determined by your own words and your response to the words of others expressed towards or against you today and tomorrow.
Hymn: Thy Word Have I Hid In My Heart
O God my father, deliver me from every imprisonment brought upon me because of my own words against myself.
O God, deliver me from every evil word spoken against my life, family and destiny by men and satan.
O God, recover for me by force every good thing snatched from my hands.
O God, what is my true name before you.
O God, let your word graciously influence my life and destiny from this day.
I shall not die before my time or unsung.
Every evil decree martialed against me be reversed now.
O God, by the blood of Jesus, rescue me from any snare of words.
Prophesy good and glorious things over your life and destiny now.
In a flash, the Lord just showed me a broom; decree against evil brooms sweeping off your prayers and blessings.
Holy Ghost broom, sweep away the effect of evil words from my life and destiny.