Devotional,  Encouragement,  Fighting Fear

Words Have Power {Day 19}

{Come on. This middle school picture of me is hilarious. ; ) }

{Day 19}

“And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.”

~ James 3:4&5 NLT (emphasis added)


“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

~ Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT


I used to call myself a dumb blonde.

I know.

Not the politest way to talk to myself.

But this was my silly way to excuse away any mistakes I’d make.

And do you know what the saddest part was? I’d follow my self-degrading statement by saying something along the lines of, “Well, if anything bad is going to happen, guess who it’ll happen too?”

Of course, I’d point at myself with a dim-witted chuckle, thinking this was funny.

But it wasn’t.

What an awful habit I fell into, especially when I knew the truth. I’m not really dumb.

God created me (Psalm 139:13-16).

He shares His wisdom when I study His Word (James 1:5, Psalm 119:98).

He reminds me that I’m a child of the King (John 1:12).

And you know what? These promises apply to you, too. Maybe for some of you this isn’t an area you struggle with, but there’s a different sentence you need to eliminate. Oh, how our habits can be hurtful. My grand speech, where I used self-disparaging humor for comedic relief seemed harmless enough, until the day I was diagnosed with cancer.

Then what do you think I said?

Mentally, I berated myself for eating nonorganic food, or worried too much (which I had researched that stress triggers many sicknesses), or maybe there was some sin I needed forgiveness for that I never let go of, and this caused my cancer? To me, pushing the blame on my shoulders felt believable because I had been telling the world repeatedly how this dumb blonde messes everything up.

I wish I could go back and teach the 25-year-old Dabney to never say such discouraging words, knowing now that we speak what we believe.

It’s true.

Our words either produce a productive life, or destructive existence. Maybe as you’re reading this you find yourself in a similar pattern? If so, here is my warning to you.

Your words have power.

Science backs this notion that we believe what we say (1). Even our harmless jokes can have a portion of truth. And, just like we talked about how words spoken over us have the power of life or death on Day 4 of this devotional, in the same way, the words we express yield impactful results.

Think for a moment. Where do our words come from? Our thought life, right? Pause and consider what you say regularly?

I hope you tell others that you’re healing.

That you’ll beat this sickness.

And that you’ll bounce back stronger than before!

In fact, one of the reasons the enemy plants negative thoughts into our minds is because he hopes his whispers will slip out. Man, he wants us to discourage any belief that God would ever intervene in some capacity.

Why else would the Lord have to repeatedly tell us to guard our tongue (Proverbs 21:23)? He even paints the picture of how our mouth mimics a rudder that guides our ship in the direction it should go.

If our speech steers us like the Bible says,

then where do you want your health to end up?

Take a deep breath in, and count to five as you breath out.

Now personalize your situation with this prayer (I’m using Deuteronomy 31:8 to speak God’s promise, but you can use a different verse, if you’d like):


“Lord, my situation is in your control.

Thank You for reminding me that my words have the power to guide my life.

I’m repeating a promise You gave me in Deuteronomy.

That You go before me.

You’re with me.

You’ll never leave me.

I have nothing to fear.

I will not be discouraged.

Today, I will speak life over my situation, believing You’re guiding me.”


I pray we all find more promises in God’s Word to write out as a prompt. And maybe this is a good day to ask someone we trust to remind us when unflattering words tumble out of our mouths. For the sake of our health, I pray we all learn a new grand speech that redirects our words to speak life into our soul, and see if our body doesn’t follow where our positive rudder guides us to go.



What sentences do you need to stop saying?



Pray and ask God how you should reword these statements:



(1)“As we think, we change the physical nature of our brain. As we consciously direct our thinking, we can wire out toxic patterns of thinking and replace them with healthy thoughts.”

~ Dr. Caroline Leaf, Switch on Your Brain


“It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonors him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonors him.”

~ Matthew 11:15 AMP


“And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself.”

~ James 3:6 GNT


“He who guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from distress.”

~ Proverbs 21:23 BSB


“It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’

Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak,”

~ 2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV


Can I just say that my face lights up when I read your emails you send me. Thank you! You, dear friend, keep me writing. There is this spirit of rejection that tells me I’m not good enough; no one wants to read what you have to say, and besides who do I really think I can help?

Man. The enemy is sneaky.

Of all people, you’d think I’d be able to detect this new trick of his. I’m learning to silence these lies. I hope you’re also starting to spot his whisper, and silence it, too. ; )

My prayer continues to be that someone feels encouraged after reading.

God bless you guys. I pray that you have a lovely day!

In His hands (glory!),


PS To subscribe to the blog to receive future posts, click here. To send me the biggest virtual hug, click on this underlined link to leave a review on Amazon of When God Intervenes. Best. Gift. Ever. (I know. That was a shameless plug. But I’ve been told that reviews help guide others to the book. I’d love to encourage as many recovering patients as I can and spread a little hope. As always, I’m thankful for you guys. xoxo)

The book:

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