Ever notice how words can totally change how you feel? One minute you’re walking along with a spring in your step and the next minute someone says something to you that makes your stomach drop and your heart sink. I just had one of those moments. Happy to deflated in approximately twenty seconds. Funny timing given the fact that I was thinking of writing a blog on this topic.

God really knows what He’s talking about when He says, ‘the power of life and death is in the tongue’. Makes me want to use my words more carefully.

The wonderful thing of course, is that just as much as we have the ability to destroy someone’s confidence with what we say, we’ve got the power to catapult them into greatness as we call out gold from them. We have the power to speak game-changing words over one another.

The Bible records many game-changing conversations and one of my absolute favourites is the conversation between Queen Esther and her uncle Mordecai (Esther 4). In ancient times women were valued for only one thing – their beauty. There really was no expectation of, or use for a woman other than this. And Esther had fully bought into the world’s estimation and expectation of her. When her uncle came to her and told her of the trouble that the Jews faced and told her to go to the King for their rescue, Esther’s response was (I paraphrase) ‘Are you kidding? Don’t you know just how insignificant I am?’ And in response Mordecai began to speak words that shifted her thinking. Game-changing words. Words of courage and destiny. He spoke now all too familiar words quoted by many a christian: ‘Who knows whether you were brought into the kingdom for such a time as this?’ In that moment everything changed for Esther. A woman who thought very little of herself suddenly got revelation that she was created for more than just to sit and look pretty, that she was created with greatness in mind, that she was created for incredible destiny. And because she got fresh revelation of who she was, the course of a nation was changed.

I want to be like Mordecai to those around me. I want to be a woman who speaks words that are game-changing for my hearers. A woman who points people to their destiny and pours courage into them to do the seemingly impossible. I love how reading of Mordecai provokes me to speak words of life over others. But there’s more in this story than just inspiration for how I am to live. Incredibly, Mordecai is not just a model for us, but is a picture to us of what the Holy Spirit is like. Contrary to popular belief, the Holy Spirit is not busy running around convicting christians of their sin (John 16 is quite clear that this is one of His roles towards the unbeliever) but rather, as we see in Romans 8, the Spirit is busy speaking new identity and greatness over the believer. He loves telling us of our new-creation identity. He loves pouring courage into us to empower us to live lives of great adventure and influence. If we tune in our ears to listen, we’ll hear Him speaking game-changing words over us. I wonder whether the course of nations will change as we draw in to listen?

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Recently I was reading Darren Wilson’s book ‘Igniting Furious Love’ and came across a paragraph which made me stop reading and start praying instead. Ever had one of those moments? The paragraph was in a chapter on evangelism by Heidi Baker. She responds to the suggestion that people we come across may not be hungry for Jesus and says, “‘What if nobody is hungry?’ you ask. If you get into the presence, into the intimate presence of God, if you get into the holy place, if you’re connected with Jesus, in love with Jesus, breathing, eating, dreaming with Jesus – then fresh bread, the bread of presence is in your hands and even the rich cannot resist fresh, fresh bread.” And that got me thinking. So many of us get caught up in the latest strategy for evangelism. We listen to multiple sermons on how to reach the lost and how to be more effective at preaching the Gospel. But i think Heidi Baker may be onto something here! The reality is, even if you feel full, if you walk into a bakery where fresh bread is being made, the wonderful aroma is enough to make you start salivating. Just a moment ago you were thinking about how full you felt, but in the presence of the smell of fresh bread even the most self-controlled individual begins to melt. I feel provoked to be someone who carries fresh bread. It’s not good enough for me to describe bread to people – that will not ignite hunger – i have to be carrying the real deal so that the fragrance will create hunger in them, even where hunger was previously thought to be absent. Sharing the gospel is not about me following some tick-list of things to say and do, but is about coming to the bread of life, soaking up His presence, learning to carry and host His presence, so that i become the fragrance of Jesus to a lost world – the aroma of fresh bread really is irresistible.

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