Series: Upside Down. James Dewhurst March 29, 2020

Upside Down


One definition for the word “Confession” found in the dictionary is: A profession of belief!

The truth is, we all make mistakes from time to time in what we say! This is probably why the Bible has 170 different verses that reference our lips, our tongue, our mouth, and our words. The reason our words matter so much to God is that they reveal the condition of our hearts and also set in motion things we will reap down the road.

Matthew 12:34-37

34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (ESV)

Hebrews 11:1

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)

Proverbs 18:21

21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (ESV)

We speak into existence today the life we will be living tomorrow!

What you speak over yourself has way more power than what others speak about you!

James 3:2-10

2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,and set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (ESV)

When life becomes difficult, our temptation is always to prophesy doom instead of hope!

There is a discipline that needs to come to our dialogue in difficult times!

Proverbs 21:23

23 Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (ESV)

3,500 years ago, negative words sparked a fire among millions of Israelites in the desert that became costly. After God delivered Israel from Egypt, the plan was for them to journey through the desert and enter into the Promised Land. When they got to the border, the plan broke down:

Numbers 14:1-4

1 Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to one another, “Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” (ESV)

+A journey that was supposed to take only 11 days, ended up lasting 40 years, because of words!

+An entire generation of Israelites never made it out of their desert, because what they spoke created the boundaries for what they did. Their words became their walls!!!

+The negative confessions of 10 frustrated people, changed the destiny of millions!

+The words we are speaking right now, in this difficult time, will affect way more than us!

+Are we speaking words that create faith or projecting words that create fear?

Joshua was an eye witness to the border debacle 40 years earlier under Moses, and he remembered this lesson. So, as he led the Israelites into the Promised Land and reached the border of the fortified city of Canaan, he issued a gag order in:

Isaiah 40:31

31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (ESV)

Joshua 6:1-20

1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” 6 So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD.” 7 And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the LORD.” 8 And just as Joshua had commanded the people, the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the LORD went forward, blowing the trumpets, with the ark of the covenant of the LORD following them. 9 The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.” 11 So he caused the ark of the LORD to circle the city, going about it once. And they came into the camp and spent the night in the camp. 12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days. 15 On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times. It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times. 16 And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city. 17 And the city and all that is within it shall be devoted to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall live, because she hid the messengers whom we sent. 18 But you, keep yourselves from the things devoted to destruction, lest when you have devoted them you take any of the devoted things and make the camp of Israel a thing for destruction and bring trouble upon it. 19 But all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the LORD; they shall go into the treasury of the LORD.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city. (ESV)

Joshua was one smart guy! As they approached the fortified city of Canaan and saw the size of their great walls, Joshua knew that if he let people talk, they would immediately start speaking words of doubt, so he gave them a 6-day moratorium.

Too many times we talk ourselves out of victory instead of talking ourselves into it!

On the seventh day, after they walked around the city seven times, Joshua then allowed them to speak in v.16 “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!”

The moment they shouted victory, the walls in front of them came tumbling down!

We need to learn some seventh day speech!

Until you can shout… Stay Silent!

Walls don’t fall by complaining them down. They fall by proclaiming them down!

Negative words will never create a positive life!

Church – This is a season for us to declare good things and watch them happen!

Jesus boldly declared in:

Matthew 17:20

20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (ESV)

Faith is located in our hearts and our mouths!

(We confess what we believe!)

Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

(Our declaration determines our destination!)

-We speak words of Criticism, and tear down the very things we wish were better!

-We speak words of Complaint, and discourage the things we wish would change!

-We speak words of Doubt and create confusion and instability in our own families!

Matthew 17:20

20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (ESV)

The Bible teaches us about two different types of words in life:

1. Destructive Words!

The Bible instructs us in: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what helps build others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

James 5:9 “Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”

James 1:6-8 (NIV) “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

Negative Words from 10 faithless spies, cost a whole generation their Promised Land!

Our words are either prophesying hope or doom, faith or fear, victimization or victory.

2. Constructive Words!

John 6:63 “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[a] and life.”

This is not a time for lifeless words. This is a time for spirit-filled words!

We need to speak words that inspire faith and confidence in the world that’s around us!

-The victim says, “I am afraid.” Victory says, “I walk by faith, not to sight” (2 Cor 5:7)

-The victim says, “I have a problem.” Victory says, “I have an opportunity” (Phil 4:13)

-The victim says, “I am poor.” Victory says, “My God will supply my needs” (Ph 4:19)

-The victim says, “I am sick.” Victory says, “By His stripes, I am healed” (1 Peter 2:24)

-The victim says, “I am weak.” Victory says, “His grace is sufficient” (2 Corinth 12:9)

-The victim says, “I give up.” Victory says, “I press on towards the goal” (Ph 3:14)

-The victim says, “The odds are against us.” Victory says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31)

-The victim says, “We are defeated.” Victory says, “We are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Rom 8:37)

The words you and I are speaking today set a harvest in motion for tomorrow!

Let us all pray David’s prayer in Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.”

Need Prayer?