Words have weight.
They wield the kind of power that can either make your day—a compliment on your writing, a short note of encouragement—or break it—an overheard insult, thinly veiled condescension.
This phrase, "words have weight," became so apparent to me at a church small group meeting in April. Now, the hallmark of my small group is the deep discussion and quote-worthy statements that we generate. On this particular occasion, we were discussing the power of our tongue from James 3 when our co-leader, Abby, made a powerful assertion.
"Well, if our words have weight, I'd rather carry armor than extra baggage," she said.
Going in deeper, Abby explained that God's Word can protect us by filling us up with truth, while the devil feeds our souls lies, creating spiritual baggage that drags us down and away from God.
Two months later, as I was driving down the road thinking about what it means to wear words as armor and not baggage, I thought of a follow-up statement to Abby's quote from April:
"If words have weight, I'd rather be anchored to God's Word than chained to the lies of the enemy."
The reason that Satan's lies feel like chains or spiritual baggage is because of his purpose: he wants to steal our faith and to destroy our hope. His goal is to oppress us and hide us from the freedom of Christ.
But I would rather be anchored to God's Word (no surprise there!) and carry the weight of His Word because it acts as armor. His Word protects me because it tells me—it IS—the truth: I know that I am created, chosen, and called by God. I know that I am loved and wanted. I know that my life has value and a purpose. I know that I am not worthy of God's unconditional love and free grace, but He gives them to me anyways.
Jesus himself knew that the power of God's word is its truth. In the garden of Gethsemane on the night before he was to be crucified, Jesus poured out his heart praying that God the Father might protect Jesus' disciples from the evil one. Jesus said, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but […] sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:15,17).
Did you catch that? Jesus didn't ask for bodily protection for his disciples, or even to protect them by bringing them to heaven. Jesus prayed that his disciples would be protected through the Word of God!
God's Word is the trump card, it is trustworthy and true. And what's more, Jesus is the very Word of God—in the gospel of John, Jesus says, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life."
And that sounds great! I mean, wouldn't we all like to live under the knowledge that we are forgiven and free? I'd guess that we can all answer with a resounding YES!
But when we look at how we live our lives, don't we tend to subscribe to the lies that say:
"You will never be enough."
"You are unlovable."
"You are not capable of doing good."
In a later conversation, Abby shared that we can't believe two contradictory statements because only one can ever be true. Instead, we must make a choice to believe one and to reject the other.
So, I could believe the lie that I am unnecessary to the world or that I am unloved by my friends. Or, I can look back to the Bible, the Word of God, which "is trustworthy and true," and read that I am part of "a chosen priesthood," that God works in all things "according to his purpose," and that God lavishes us with his great love, "that we might be called children of God" (Rev. 22:6; 1 Pet. 2:9; 1 John 3:1).
I believe that God's Word is the truth because it is the light that exposes everything else. It strips away half-truths and remnants of deception. The truth will set you free because it establishes a foundation, rock-solid, to build your life upon.
When you believe that truth is strong and you live in that identity, any word not coming from God rolls off like a raindrop on an umbrella.
So, this is your choice: whose word do you choose to believe in? Will you choose the lies that weigh you down, or the truth that protects you and sets you free?