Being a writer, I am particularly sensitive to the power of our words.
In just the third verse of the Bible, God spoke and there was light.
Our words have the power to build, or to destroy. To cast destiny, or to tear down creativity and identity.
What we can express and understand in this world is captured in the words we form and use, and thus in many ways, they construct our reality.
What we tell ourselves about ourselves, works in the same way. We all describe ourselves internally, and attach clauses to these descriptions.
I am a quiet person, we say, which means I will never be company president.
I’m sensitive, we admit, so I will avoid conflict at all costs.
We shape and limit ourselves with our thoughts and our words.
We can bring great healing to our minds and souls, by reading scripture and attaching its truths to our thoughts and self-descriptions. By replacing our clauses with scriptures.
I am a quiet person, we could say, and I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
They do not have to be cause and effect. We can remove our mirror mentalities, and replace our ideas with the words of the Lord.
I’m sensitive, we admit, but the LORD is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Words shape our thoughts and our thoughts shape our lives.
We must allow for Jesus to renew our minds, and not attribute limitations to our personalities or character.
All that to say, words are both powerful and important. And the names we give one another, and ourselves, are shaping.
The City of Limón in Costa Rica is beautiful. Beautiful, but hurting. Built on a history of racial exclusion, slavery, earthquakes and disease outbreaks, the city is a place of high crime, drug use, and very limited political and financial support.
We as Christ For the City International work in Limón with youth of all ages, intervening in situations where the schools, having exhausted all their efforts for intervention, are desperate for help.
And we are working in the realm of claiming names. In the ministry of power and words.
Our Director, who is a part of the government, was able – at a municipal level – to declare Limón as The Province of Life. We have claimed the city,not labeling it based on its racist, slave-driven history, but based on its future, for the Lord. The Province of Life, for Jesus gives Life, and Life to the Full (John 10:10).
Using this slogan we are working to impact Limón on a spiritual level, interceding and restoring. This is a proclamation of great magnitude and scope. Will you pray and declare with us?
Recently here at the Central Office in Omaha, we had the opportunity to sit down with a good friend of ours, who operates a ministry out of Hollywood,Los Angeles.
The history of Hollywood is fascinating. In 1887, a man named Harvey Wilcox and his wife, Daeida, officially registered their 160 acres of land as ‘Hollywood’. Their vision for the property was to create a utopian type community for devout Christians who wanted to live moral lives free from alcohol and other vices. Money was raised to build churches, a school, and a library on the property. By 1900, 500 people called Hollywood their home, which was connected to the much larger L.A by a single-track streetcar.
Eventually, the community was incorporated into L.A, and is now known for its glamour, wealth, style, and immorality, far from its Christian heritage.
President and Creative Director of the Greenhouse Arts and Media, Shun Lee, believes that the name “Los Angeles” meaning “The Angels” is no mistake.
Angels are God’s messengers, and huge volumes of messages and communications come out of Hollywood, to all the world. It is his vision to claim back that name, and Hollywood’s Christian roots, for Jesus; to have the messages coming out of Hollywood be filled with truth, life, and the Holy Spirit.
Words, names and messages are extremely powerful. They have power, either infused by the Lord, or laced with the power of destruction and illusion.
What can you re-name today for the Lord? Your home, your city, yourself?