Negative faith is just as effective as positive faith.
Words have great power. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue” it says in Proverbs. Jesus said “According to your faith, so be it unto you.” I have long maintained this is true whether the faith is positive or negative.
Consider this story:
The men went back to Moses, Aaron, and the entire Israelite community in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh. They brought back a report for them and the whole community, and they showed them the fruit of the land. They reported to Moses: “We went into the land where you sent us. Indeed it is flowing with milk and honey, and here is some of its fruit.
However, the people living in the land are strong, and the cities are large and fortified. We also saw the descendants of Anaku there. The Amalekites are living in the land of the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live by the sea and along the Jordan.”
Then Caleb quieted the people in the presence of Moses and said, “We must go up and take possession of the land because we can certainly conquer it! ”
But the men who had gone up with him responded, “We can’t go up against the people because they are stronger than we are! ” So they gave a negative report to the Israelites about the land they had scouted: “The land we passed through to explore is one that devours its inhabitants, and all the people we saw in it are men of great size. We even saw the Nephilim, there — the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim! To ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and we must have seemed the same to them.”
These men had been sent out to know the land into which God was directing them to go. They saw great glorious things, but they fixed their eyes on possible problems.
We don’t realize how consequential our speech can be.
- How many accomplishments have been stillborn?
- How many people have been discouraged and given up because of the negative statements of those closest to them?
- How much progress has been lost?
- How much opportunity has been thwarted?
- How many dreams have slowly deflated?
The negative faith expressed in this quotation had severe results. A whole nation had to wait 40 years to receive the gift God was giving. Only two men in that generation ended up able to receive the gift. All the adults died off, while a new generation grew to take their place.
Here was a gift! Yet these people had no courage to accept it, believing more in their own weakness than in the power of God.
How powerful are our words! They reflect our thinking. They reflect the condition and orientation of our hearts. We should be careful what we speak, lest we increase the spoken word into reality in our lives. Speak it enough and you’ll begin to believe it.
You don’t have to just hear and focus on lies others speak. This is true if you say, or think, your own lies. The lies often relate to:
- How you are worthless
- How you are certain to fail
- How others are better than you
- How you cannot be loved
- How God could never forgive you.
The deeper goes our faith in such things, the more likely they’ll be true for you, in practical outcome. They are not true, but you will live as though they are, miss the truth, and experience the results of such belief. (Actually the powerful faith of unbelief.)
There is a humorous phrase I often say in fun conversation: “Just because I am paranoid does not mean I am not being followed.” That’s a backwards way of saying “I am not being paranoid, but probably am actually being followed.” Paranoia is a fear about something likely a lie, but we are so convinced of it that our days are stunted by fear.
So what do you do if you are continually around someone who often speaks words of negative faith? Listen to God. Listen to His Word. Look at reality, remembering that reality is often unseen.
Speak words of truth often to yourself. Love that person enough to speak earnest words of truth to them, and let the negative pronouncements be what they are: negative faith to which you will not subscribe. Let them fall to the ground.
Live in positive faith based on the truth God has given you, even when it seems impossibly out of reach.