The word of God is real. Author and pastor Karen Proctor has experienced it in her life, and she's seen it work in the lives of others. In Say It Ain't
So!, she offers evidence of the importance of knowing, believing, and applying the word of God to our lives each and every day.
Using her experiences as a pastor, along with Biblical stories and quotations, Proctor stresses the central role the word of God plays in Christians'
lives. She explains how God backs up every bit of his written and spoken word and that we need to believe, obey, and speak it. There is nothing magical about it, yet there is great substance behind every word. These words have been tried and proven throughout history and are relevant in present-day society.
In Say It Ain't So!, Proctor encourages Christians to stand on the word of God, and your faith will be intensified even when it seems all odds are stacked up against you in any situation.
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Say It Ain't So!
Power in the Word
By Karen Proctor
iUniverse LLCCopyright © 2014 Karen Proctor
All rights reserved.
TURNING GLOOM INTO SUNSHINE
But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. —Deuteronomy 30:14
To be human is to be faced with various issues that may seem impossible to handle. Nevertheless, just say, "Say it ain't so." One Saturday afternoon, my son and I were driving to a Bible bookstore, and I was admittedly feeling a little disgusted and discouraged. During that trip, I clearly heard the words "Say it ain't so" ring in my ear. I quickly reached for pen and paper when we got to the store, careful to capture those four seemingly simple words. To this day, I cannot articulate what I felt when I heard those words. I do remember that I had a lot on my plate during that time. In addition to being a single mom of a teenage son and working a full-time job, I had also become the sole caretaker for my ill mother. In the midst of all of this, I was pastoring a church and trying my best to hold my life all together without letting the seams of my dress rip apart. Perhaps, during my sense of being overwhelmed, God sent me a word.
One word from the Lord can change a gloomy situation. Whatever problems, dilemmas, or issues you may be facing today, reverse them by speaking the word of God through your situation. We understand that the words we speak are very powerful and can tremendously influence our lives. You are a very powerful being, made in the likeness and image of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as stated in Genesis 1:26: "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that crept upon the earth." Wow! You are that powerful—can you believe it? Can you imagine that you get the chance to speak things into existence just like God did and have dominion over the earth? Yes, you!
Immediately after hearing what I know was the Spirit of God speak to my spirit, I began to think about the power of God's word and not about my problems. I became strengthened. I regained my focus, the spirit of heaviness dissipated from me, and I spoke positively in spite of what I was going through. In fact, I got a revelation for my Sunday morning message. Suffice it to say, the word of God became a breath of fresh air. The following Sunday morning, my message was titled "Say It Ain't So." As I ministered, I plainly explained to the people how powerful and effective the word of God is above all else, including life's little struggles.
We must have faith in whatever God has said because his word is magnified above his name, as stated in Psalm 138:2: "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name." In a sense, the word of God is what He specializes in. It is what he is known for, and God's promises do not fail. The word of God is sure, and we can rely on it, even in the most difficult of times.
I am glad I was able to speak into the lives of others, even while experiencing personal difficulty in my own life. For example, one of the church members sent me an e-mail regarding a conversation between her and her sister, who was a regular visitor. The e-mail stated, "My sister told me the message was just for her. My sister said you are the bomb. God is using you. I told my sister, 'Say it ain't so,' because she has lost it. Thank God you are helping her. I told you that you are a blessing to me too."
Even when we think we are at a breaking point, the ever-present hand of God transforms it into a turning point. He will turn your mess into a message to help others in their times of need. Naturally, I could not see how I could bless someone else by speaking into their lives when my very own life felt tumultuous. God will always get the honor and glory, even when times are tough. As Genesis 50:20 states, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Jesus taught us not to worry because he is concerned about every minute detail of our lives as explained through Matthew 6:26–28:
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.
Trusting God can be difficult when you cannot see your way. Still, you must trust him. He takes care of all creation, and you are number one on his list.
On the day this word came to me, I was feeling disgusted. Looking back on that ride, those feelings were my only focus. The very minute the Holy Spirit whispered those words to me, I immediately began to tune in to the Spirit of God and out of my flesh. The fact that I was burdened did not negate the fact that God loved me enough to speak to me. This reminded me that I had the choice to speak life to the gloom I was experiencing. In that moment, I was reminded that we all have a choice to speak as people created in the image of our creator. Therefore, I could speak peace to my storm. Did the facts in my life change instantly? No, but I got the peace of God that surpasses all understanding, and the seams did not fall out of my dress. I stood as a servant of the Most High God, and you can too. Thus, I have written this book to encourage you on your journey. Psalm 42:5 asks, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance."
Rather than focusing on what is wrong, meditate on the word of God, his goodness, and his ability to cure whatever seems to be oppressing you. Join in with the psalmist and praise God for his goodness. Praise him for deliverance from depression, doom, and gloom.CHAPTER 2
THE ART OF THE SPOKEN WORD
It's with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. —Romans 10:10
One of the many abilities God has given to mankind is that of the spoken word. Talking is among the highest forms of communication. It allows people to dialogue with each other. And just as we dialogue with each other, we can do the same with the Lord. He speaks, and we listen. We speak, and he listens. Somewhere in between, there is feedback. Psalm 115:6 speaks of the false gods: "They have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell." We serve the one true living God, and when we Christians speak by faith, something happens. The Lord literately responds to people one way or the other. He's always on call. He's not a stranger who does not hear or ignore and not respond to His own.
Can you ever recall a time that you said something, it happened just as you said, and then you later regretted having ever said it? You can't take back what you say. God's words do not return unto him void; instead, words form and create. Isaiah 55:11 reads, "So shall my Word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." Words do what you tell them to do. For instance, the Lord said, "Let there be light," and light burst out of darkness at the command of the Lord. Lazarus, the friend of Jesus, lay dead in a grave for four days. Jesus was commissioned by the sister of Lazarus to come as she was distraught over the death of her brother. Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus. At the Word of the Lord, the body of Lazarus came out of its dead state and took on new life. Those are only a few examples, but there are many more examples of the Lord speaking things into existence.
I can vividly recall one night many years ago when I suddenly awoke to the Lord asking me whether I remembered the game of hangman. Of course, I remembered the game. I played it as a child. My schoolmates and I would come up with a word not known by one player whose role it was to guess the word. However, a clue was given by writing one letter of the word on a sheet of paper, and lines were drawn as to indicate where the other letters should be placed. The objective of the game was to guess all the letters that would make up the word, but each time a player guessed the wrong letter, a stick figure would be one step closer to being hung on a galley. In retrospect, it is a morbid game for children to play. But in the same way, we so easily kill plans and dreams and abort our destiny with ill-spoken words. The Lord said to me, "Be careful with the words you speak, as they can kill and destroy each time they are spoken out of place." I sat up in bed, mesmerized by what I had just heard and how it related to my life. I was reminded that the same principle used in the game of hangman was applicable to my life as an adult. Ill-spoken words kill, and positive words build.
I am so blown away, and even now I write: Where did we get this game? It had truth to it, even though children should not play games involving hanging. I truly believe that the message the Lord wanted to convey to me is that each and every person should be held accountable for every idle word spoken. "But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" Matthew 12:36. Each and every time a person chooses to speak a negative or idle word, a reality is being formed by the very word he or she speaks. Negative words produce negative results. People will be held accountable for what they produce, whether it's good or bad. Matthew 12:37 warns us, "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Christians are to be fruitful, called to be the salt that seasons the earth, and the light that illuminates the dark world. You can never go wrong by speaking what God has already spoken.
When the Lord gave me revelation using the game hangman, I strongly believe that he wanted me to know how damaging negative words can impact our lives. Also, He wanted to teach me how powerful the spoken word is, especially when uttered from the mouth of an anointed vessel of the Lord. I shall never forget that morning when I was awakened by the Lord as he gave me the illustration using the game of hangman. There is power in the word.
I have come to the conclusion that by being a prophetic spokesperson for the Lord, my words are very weighty. For instance, I am reminded of a gentleman and his wife who used to come to a monthly prayer meeting I held. He and his wife were going through some difficult times in their marriage, and she had left home. They were not members of my church; however, they frequented the monthly prayer meetings. The gentleman called me one day to tell me of their problems and of his wife leaving. He was worried and upset, and he wanted prayer. Instead of praying with him, I told him that before the sun went down that day, his wife would return. I hung up the phone and went on with my business. Hours later, the gentleman called back and stated that his wife had returned home and wanted to work things out. Never say things like this if the Lord has not deposited them into you to say. You don't want to be the person to hang a man with your words.
Words can energize and revolutionize. Regardless of what your reality may be, do your best to carefully choose your words. Remember that the world was framed by words. Words are powerful and should not be tossed around lightly. The more an individual uses words out of order, the more disorder becomes his or her reality. By the same token, a positive word creates positive results. I have heard and witnessed many testimonies about people who have spoken that they would become this, that, or the other according to their faith. What they spoke became established and ultimately their reality, and I am sure you have witnessed this too. Using the word of God is always helpful when you do not know what to speak in a given situation. It is not a matter of name it and claim it, nor is it to be compared with the New Age guise of positive thinking. Rather, it is about children of God believing in the word of God. Ultimately, it comes to pass. As Hebrews 4:12 states, "For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Our task as Christians is to make a great and lasting impact for the sake of the kingdom of God. This requires much on our part. We have been given the ability to speak change no matter what the odds or struggle may be. Saying it is not so is to say what it shall be according to the word of God, and by your faith it shall be. The Holy Spirit did not whisper "Say it ain't so" to make me feel better for the moment, but to remind me of who I am and of the power of God that resides within me. It was as if to say, "Pick up your bootstraps, and get marching forward with the tasks ahead." The Holy Spirit wanted to remind me that God's word has piercing power: It's authoritative, prevailing, intrusive, and penetrating. It is alive and not dead, not for times past only, but is for here, now, and eternity. It is active, ready, and operative. It is a tool meant to be used to cut straight through the vein and pulse of anything not like God. It goes straight into the core, fiber, and existence of the being and distinguishes the thought and reason behind a given situation. The art of the spoken word has been passed on to the believer to use as weaponry against the enemy.CHAPTER 3
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. —2 Corinthians 10:3–4
I can vividly remember children lashing out at each other with mean words as if to win a battle. The child who appeared to be losing would say, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." Is that really true? Words do harm, and if we are not careful in how we respond to what is spoken to or about us, recovery may never take place. As I began to write this chapter, out of nowhere, I scribbled, "Word fight." What is a word fight? Simply put, it is fighting with words. Using the word of the Lord destroys the plan of Satan and his imps. The Lord through the Prophet Jeremiah described the Word as fire and hammer: "Is not my Word like a fire? Says the Lord; and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" Jeremiah 23:29.
Looking over my life, I can recall occasion after occasion during which I would encounter situations that seemed all too difficult for me to handle alone. Sometimes, I would think, Lord, what did You make me out of? I would whisper this inside, sometimes laughing because whatever my lot was, I used the word of God to burn up and hammer away attacks. This may sound easy, but then again, for some, it may sound hard to use the word of God as weaponry in battle.
Try to picture this: Satan tried to manipulate and test Jesus as he was praying and fasting in the wilderness as outlined in Luke 4:3–13. If Jesus was tested and tempted, what do you think you are in for? However, Jesus stood his ground with Satan. Satan was no match for Jesus. Jesus is all-knowing and all-powerful. He is the word. Each time Satan came at Jesus, testing him and trying to tempt Him, Jesus came back at Satan with the word. This scene was more than a kid's match of being mean and name-calling. The enemy tempted Jesus for a season, and his plan is to do the same to you too. He will continue to harass you in different seasons of your life. Let us take a quick look at how Jesus stood his ground with Satan using the word of God:
And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread." But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.'"
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."
Excerpted from Say It Ain't So! by Karen Proctor. Copyright © 2014 Karen Proctor. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Turning Gloom into Sunshine, 1,
The Art of the Spoken Word, 7,
Word Fight, 13,
Speak Those Things Be Not as Though They Were, 19,
Deliverance through the Word, 29,
Health Issues, 37,
Don't Play the Victim, 47,
The Dream Will Come to Pass, 55,
What God Started, He Will Finish, 65,
Personal Dreams, 69,
Decree and Declare, 73,
Final Authority, 77,
Directions for the Road, 85,
Author's Afterthoughts, 91,
About the Author, 93,