I ran full speed out of the waiting area back toward the Megabus parked in bay 10, just to find it wasn’t my bus. It was another bus that pulled into bay 10 after my bus departed toward Memphis about 20 minutes earlier. My heart pounded. How in the world had I forgotten to pick-up my luggage? How would I get my bag back? Would it be enough to call the Megabus sales representative, report a missing bag, and hope someone returns it? My parents sat patiently in the car and I knew this would be a very hard situation to explain. I hopped in the car, and like a baby I started balling! My mom told me to calm down and explain what happened. I told her. Silence. “So are we going to Memphis?” she asked. I didn’t know. I’d already done something foolish, I didn’t want to follow it with a foolish decision. My mom asked again, “Are we going to Memphis?” I asked my dad, he said “Let’s go.” I pulled up the trip status online and saw we had exactly 5 hours to get to Memphis to catch the bus at its estimated time of arrival. We couldn’t take any breaks, so after my dad gassed up we were in it for the long haul. It was officially time for some positive thinking.
My dad asked if we could listen to Bill Winston’s sermon series “The Law of Confession” and of course I obliged. So we listened. And listened…to three sermons dealing with the power of our words. In this series Bill Winston challenges the idea that positive thinking alone can do any great work. He argues that positive thinking, although biblical, will not produce supernatural results or manifest things that are not, into being. It positions you to receive but stops short of delivery. Death and life are said to be in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), so thinking positively is only the first step to bringing good things to life and putting evil things to death. Winston finally urges us, as believers, to graduate from simply thinking greatly, to speaking greatly. It is then, and only then that we will experience greatness.
If Jesus is our perfect example, there’s no better case study than Him. He tells the lame man to ‘Rise, take up your bed a walk’ (John 5:8). He tells Jairus that his daughter is not dead but sleeping (Matthew 9:24). He rebukes the wind saying ‘Peace be still’ (Mark 4:39). He commands Lazarus to come forth (John 11:43). He curses the fig tree saying, ‘May no one eat fruit from you again’ and then teaches the disciples that whoever says to the mountain ‘go throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt, it will be done for him (Mark 11). Even in the Old Testament we see the world being framed by the word of God and based on His command the sun still rises daily. Fish still swim in the waters beneath the firmament while birds still fly in the waters above the firmament. Man still has dominion over the earth and toils to eat from the ground he walks on. All of this was established by the mouth of God and He’s given us the same power, by creating us in His image, to speak things that are not as though they are; and they will be, for His glory.
Are you one who speaks negatively? Is if for comedic relief? Or disguised as being a realist? How far has that gotten you? Can you admit that you haven’t seen much greatness in your life and that it may have something to do with your language?
We were about 5 minutes for the bus stop and my mom turned to me and asked “Well, are you going to confess this thing?” I said “I was thinking the same thing mom.” With all my heart and mind I said aloud, “we will arrive on time and find my bag at this stop. It will be in good condition and all of my things will be accounted for. In Jesus’ name, amen.” I hopped out the car and ran to the bus that arrived from St. Louis. After looking around frantically, I saw my red luggage, among others, laying flat on the ground. I said as many “excuse mes” as I could, grabbed my bag, and ran back to the car. Was it the law of confession or pure luck? I’ll let you be the judge.