“[God] speaks of future events with as much certainty as though they were already past” (Romans 4:17 TLB).
Sometimes speaking in faith appears totally foolish, totally arrogant, and totally out of touch with reality to people who don’t understand faith. Abraham knew about this. God came to Abram one day and said, “Abram, I’m going to change your name from Abram to Abraham.” Abraham means “the father of a great nation.”
There was only one problem: Abraham was 99 years old, and his wife was past the age for bearing children. He was probably ruthlessly ridiculed for his name. But God says that we don’t live in the world of human reality. We live in the world of spiritual reality, and we see it not as it is but as it can be, as it should be, as God wants it to be.
Romans 4:17 says that God “speaks of future events with as much certainty as though they were already past” (TLB). That’s called speaking in faith — you announce it in order to experience it.
My primary spiritual gift is the gift of faith. I don’t tell it like it is. I tell it like it could be, like it ought to be, like God wants it to be.
There are teachers out there, some of them well-known, whose ministry is actually just telling it like it is about the world. And there are a lot of things in the world that are pretty bad. So they criticize this and disparage that, and they tend to be fairly negative because there are a lot of reasons to be negative. They say, “I just tell it like it is.”
That’s one way to do it. But there’s a better way. Don’t tell it like it is. Tell it like it could be! Telling it like it is has never changed anybody. It only makes people defensive.
For example, you could say to someone, “You’re a lousy father. You don’t spend any time with your kids because your career is more important.” But when you label somebody, you reinforce it. Instead, you could say, “I see in you the potential for greatness. If you would let Jesus Christ take control of your life, you wouldn’t be perfect, but you could become a godly man of character that your kids admire.” That’s the kind of talk that motivates change!
You don’t have to tell it like it is. Tell it like it could be, like it should be, like God wants it to be. Speak it in advance and in faith.
Talk It Over
- How does your everyday language reveal if you are a person of faith?
- Who needs you to speak into his or her life with faith and say what could be?
- What will you do today to motivate change in that person’s life through your words?