I started smoking when I was nine years old and smoked for many years. I liked it! So when I decided to stop, it was really difficult for me.
Every time I tried to quit, I'd last a few hours and then I'd be running around, digging cigarette butts out of the trash or looking for cigarettes in my coat pockets – anywhere I could think to look for them!
I didn't have success until I got a revelation: I was burying myself in defeat with negative confessions.
I had to stop talking myself out of my victory.
It's true. I finally realized that I was causing myself to fail through the negative things I was saying about myself. For a long time I would say, "I just know I could never quit smoking. And if I did, I'd probably gain a lot of weight."
Thankfully, God was able to get through to me eventually and help me see that if I didn't change my confession, I wouldn't change. Then, He began to put desires in my heart to start speaking what I wanted, not what I had.
I started saying things like, "I can't stand to smoke! These things stink and they're expensive. I don't smoke anymore!"
At first, I felt silly doing this because I would make these declarations while I was smoking. However, within about a week of changing my confession, I realized I now had the grace of God to quit smoking.
What I learned from this is, I cannot rise above my own confession.
God taught me to talk like Him.
Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue…" And Hebrews 4:14 says that Jesus is our great High Priest and we should "hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]" (The Amplified Bible).
The word confession means "to say the same thing as." As the High Priest of our confession, Jesus can only do what we're saying that agrees with His Word. So it's vital for us as Christians to learn how to speak the Word of God and not just say things based on our feelings or what other people have said about us.
Now, I believe we'll have greater success with this if we concentrate on what we should be doing with our mouth, rather than focusing on all the things we shouldn't say. It's self-defeating to go around saying things like, "I shouldn't do that… I'd better not do this…"
I want to encourage you to really listen to yourself and locate yourself. Where's your heart? The Bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (see Luke 6:45). We need to stop saying, "Oh, I didn't mean that. I was just kidding." And we need to start being accountable for the words we speak.
The truth is, the things we say come from something that is formed in our heart. So you can determine where your heart is by listening to yourself. You can hear bitterness and jealousy…insecurity and unhappiness.
How do you talk while you're going through a hard time? Or when you don't get what you want? Remember that what you say reveals the real you!
Changing the way you talk will change your heart.
Do you need a change of heart? All of us do. We all have room to grow in our relationship with God. And the way to make progress is to speak His language. When you do, it looks like this:
• Bless everything you can possibly bless. The Bible says we have the power to bless or curse with the words of our mouth. (See James 3:8-10.)
• Be thankful and say so! (See Psalm 100:4.) Don't just think about how much you appreciate someone – tell them!
• Be an encourager. Make an effort to give someone an encouraging word every day.
• Tell the truth!
• Speak the Word of God. Recite and memorize verses that deal with things you want to change or overcome – anger, unforgiveness, insecurity…
• Don't talk too much. Be quick to hear and slow to speak.
God wants you to pray and ask Him to help you use your mouth to say the right things. When you do, it will change your life!