Can We Really Speak Things Into Existence?

By Ryan Rice

The Apostle Paul wrote to his young protege Timothy saying, “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). As disciples of Christ, what we learn from the Scriptures, we must pass on this truth. Well, it should come as no surprise the evil one, Satan, tries to muddy the waters with teaching that undermines the authority of the Scripture and the Sovereignty of God. One pesky teaching that has permeated the church is the Word of Faith doctrine.

What is Word of Faith?

Word of Faith theology sets man to be a little god and gives such authority where a man can shape their reality by the very words they speak. For example, “I spoke that into existence” or “Name it and claim it.” This teaching is so popular that to say anything contrary means going against the grain, and some even deem this orthodox teaching.

We must affirm what the Bible teaches in regard to our words. Without a doubt, our speech matters to the Lord. When we traverse the Scriptures, we find the mention of the tongue frequently. Just a quick look through proverbs, one can see the wisdom given in regard to our speech. Proverbs 10:20 says, “The tongue of the righteous is pure silver; the heart of the wicked is of little value.” Proverbs 18:6 says,  “A fool’s lips lead to strife, and his mouth provokes a beating.” One thing an honest reading of the Scripture will show us is that the tongue is connected to the heart. Essentially, what one speaks out of their mouth comes out of the very abundance of the heart.

The Lord Jesus even said, “A good person produces good things from his storeroom of good, and an evil person produces evil things from his storeroom of evil” (Matthew 12:35). He says, “I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will have to account for every careless word they speak. For by your words, you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (12:36). We can even read this further illustrated in James 3:5-6, “So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how a small fire sets ablaze a large forest. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” We readily sin with our words, which is why we should be slow to speak and quick to listen.

God vs. Man

Yet, we still haven’t answered the question, can we create our realities with our words? Can we speak certain things into existence, such as health, wealth, or anything else we imagine? Well, the answer is simple; no, we cannot. This teaching is from the new age cultist and depends not on the Sovereign God of the Universe but metaphysical laws that control all things. In short, it is deism on steroids.

In the Word of Faith view, God created, put metaphysical laws in place, sits back, and watches the world turn. So, man, to see things happen, must tap into these metaphysical laws, by the force of faith to see things happen. In The Laws of Prosperity, Kenneth Copeland stated, “I have learned the powerful force of the spiritual world that creates circumstances around us is controlled by the words of the mouth. This force comes from inside us.”

The key verse Word of Faith teachers run to is Proverbs 18:21, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Yet, if we read the proverb before, we can see what wisdom the Scripture is pointing us to. “From the fruit of a person’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is filled with the product of his lips” (Proverbs 18:20). Our words matter, and we should use them wisely, but nowhere does the Scripture teach we are creating our realities with our words. The Scripture makes clear the distinctions between the finite and the infinite. See, God is God, and we are not. He has created and has that authority. Rest in following Scripture’s commands, praying, and seeking to use our words to glorify God and edify others.

Published January 15, 2023

Ryan Rice

Ryan Rice Sr. (@ryanricesr) is husband to Seané, father of Ryan Jr., Brayden, Reagen, and Bailey, and has been in ministry since 2007. He’s currently the lead pastor of Connect Church of Algiers in New Orleans, Louisiana, which they planted in 2014.