(Originally published on March 21, 2012)

What are you listening to?

Is it helping, or hurting, you? Recently, John Maxwell’s “Minute with Maxwell” featured “Self-Talk,” and his description caused me to pause and think about the spiritual aspect of what he was describing.  His point was that the most important voice you hear is your own, because it speaks from your belief system. As I meditated on this, I began to realize the inherent spiritual truths.

I was trained by Pastor William Sciscoe, a great man of faith. Pastor diligently trained us in the realm of faith. My understanding became such that I could teach on the subject; however, I could not exercise it. I knew God had the power to save, heal, do the miraculous, etc. I had even witnessed several miracles occurring. I knew the scripture. I had taught about the mustard seed of Matthew 13. This was a subject into which I had put much study. So, why could I understand it, but not exercise it?

Thankfully, God supplied the answer. There are two English words that aptly describe my dilemma – “Can” and “Will.” I had no doubt that God could do the miracle, but I just did not believe that He would do it. Why should He? Why would He listen to my prayer? What right did I have to even ask?

You see what I mean? My self-talk talked me right out of my miracle! I had convinced myself that God did not care about my need. I am so insignificant, why would he even listen? I could not even make it through a day without messing something up, so why should He reward my incompetence?I was the equivalent of a car with no gas in it. The ability was there – but no energy to put the ‘energy in motion.’ I had effectively poked holes in my gas tank. Even if I would be refilled with His spirit, in short order the strength would leak out.

After God showed me the problem with my self-talk, He also directed me to study what the Bible states about my relationship with Him. I rediscovered that the Bible is full of references to being His friend, being His child, being joint-heirs with Christ, etc. These are all powerful relationships, and each have built-in expectations. If I am His child, He is obligated to meet my needs – look at the parable of the prodigal, and how the father treated the wayward son. This whole parable is proof that Jesus has allowed me to have certain expectations about how He will treat me even if I become the prodigal.

While ministering in the U.S. a couple of years ago, I witnessed God perform several significant, miraculous healings at one church. One in particular was for a gentleman who needed a healing in his back, as he could not bend without experiencing much pain. After prayer, I watched as he was able to freely bend it with no ill effects at all. It was noticeable that God had touched him! After the meeting (about an hour later), I asked the gentleman about his back. His answer was that he had no pain. I then asked if that meant that God had healed him. I’ll never forget his answer: “Well, I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. We’ll see what he says.” Although I cannot verify the results of his doctor visit, I can speculate with a good amount of certainty that this man had talked himself out of a miracle.

Proverbs 23:7a (KJV)  states, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”

Our self-talk is important. It literally determines whether we will have spiritual success or failure. God’s word is full of reasons to speak positively to ourselves. Consider John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Are you doing greater things? What are you missing because of the words you say to yourself? If Jesus had this much confidence in you and I, shouldn’t we act accordingly? (KJV)

I challenge you to join me in a reevaluation of our relationship with Christ. If there are areas that need fixing, we need to do so; however, we also need to be confident in our understanding of the rights and privileges inherent in the relationship. When we truly understand who we are in Him, our self-talk will reflect that knowledge, and we will begin to expect that which God desires us to expect in our lives!