THE POWER OF THE WORD
Rev. W. John Murray
The Murray Course in Divine Science
Society of the Healing Christ
New York, 1927.
If you will refer to Lesson II of this series you will recall that we emphasized the fact that it is the power of word formation, or articulate speech, that raises man to his supreme elevation over all creatures. We endeavored to make clear the fact that it is man alone in the scale of mundane creation that has the power of forming words.
The term “word” in Greek is “logos.” Christ is introduced in the Gospel of St. John as the Logos. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” are the opening words of this great gospel.
Throughout the Bible the term “Word” is referred to in a mystical sense. We have seen in Lesson VI that God made himself known to Moses as “Jehovah.” This word means “I am that I am.” “Say,” the Voice said to Moses, “that I AM hath sent you.”
In the opening chapter of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, “the book of beginnings,” the story of Creation is set forth in a simple but majestic manner. Its various stages are prefaced with the words “And God said”–let there be light, let there be a firmament, let us make man, etc. In all the acts of Creation the Voice speaks commandingly, calling into being the spiritual universe, in all its forms and species, and at the last, Man. So that all of Creation was brought into manifestation by God’s Word. The Word was the instrument of the Creator’s power.
Not only in the beginning, but in every instance where God is recorded as appearing to man, the appearance is not a personal appearance but is concealed behind the word of the Voice calling out to man. “Thus saith the Lord” is a phrase the counterpart of “And God said.” Whether an angel appears with a message, whether the message is communicated in a vision or spoken from the mouth of prophet or beast, it is always recorded as “And God said,” or “Thus saith the Lord.” In the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers almost every chapter begins with “And the Lord said unto Moses,” or “And the Lord spake,” or a similar expression. Hence we have what is called “the word of God,” and we see that the word is the expression of creative power. The supreme word, the great word, was the name God gave Himself, “Jehovah” or “I AM.”
“In the beginning was the Word,” says St. John, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
It is for the purpose of bringing men back to beginnings that John opens his gospel in this way, uniting the Christ with the act of Creation. He is the Word, the Voice, speaking through the man Jesus. And John goes on to say, to prove that Jesus was the Christ, “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” there appearing of the Spiritual following after thousands of years in which the physical and corporeal had usurped the place of reality.
And so Jesus, over and over, speaks of the word. “He that keepeth my word;” or “My word shall not pass away;” or “Be ye doers of the word;” or “The sower soweth the word,” or “My words are spirit and they are life,” and so on. “The words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life,” he said.
The power of a single word is enormous. It expresses thought, and it is dynamic for good or the opposite. The word sinks into the consciousness of the person spoken to and creates a train of causation the extent and importance of which we can never know. Words carry joy or grief, praise or censure, power or infirmity, peace or unrest, order or disorder. How often, for instance, Jesus utters the word “Peace.” “Peace be unto you.” “My peace I give you.” Whether blessing a room with his presence or calming a storm he uses the word “peace” and even in reading it we get a glimpse of its power and majesty.
To man only is given this power of the word, the creative instrument used by the Almighty. How careful, therefore, we should be of our words, and how important is the warning that we shall be held accountable for every idle word spoken. “By thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
The word was always, and is now, the active agent of creation. We have the privilege of using with God this instrument of power, this agent of creation, so that we may co-operate with the Father in His constant creative process in ourselves and others. The Divine Mind forms the idea, the mind of man receives it and puts it into expression, thus enabling God to work through man as He desires to do. Man’s inspirations, his intuitions, his burning thoughts, impelling him to constructive expression of ideas, are given forth in words. He sends out the word of an ideal to others. As he receives it, as his mind responds to it, he puts it out, either with selfish or with noble purposes. How base the use of the idea in the one instrance, how godlike in the others!
The New Testament and the Old, the Proverbs especially, are full of references to words as instruments of power.
If we need to realize the effect of words we have but to think of the many that we have received in the Old Thought, such words as “fear,” “wrath,” “sin,” “disease,” and “death.” These words hold our thought within darkened bounds and create a consciousness that produces melancholy and despair.
Suggestions are carried out through words. Characters are moulded by words. Words like “I am,” “I can,” “I will,” have made great men out of weaklings. One word, uttered every day with conviction, can produce any given result–a word, for instance, such as “courage,” “strength,” “forward.” In the military life the power of the word is well understood, from the password to the word of command. Think of the effect, on an army of men, of a word like “attack,” or “retreat!” Spoken at the right moment, how much it means to the final result. And it is powerful in proportion to the degree that the forces it acts upon are orderly.
In Lesson IV we gave a list of constructive words and of destructive words, which we called positive and negative. From these it will be seen that words are creative. We speak the word that expresses the thought demanding expression and at once we start a chain of force movement. As God spoke Creation into existence so man speaks his own self-creation into existence. He conceives the man he wants to be: strong, well, healthy, vigorous, prosperous and successful, and he speaks the word. The word goes forth to accomplish the end aimed at and the creative process sets into externalization. He repeats and re-repeats the word. He issues the command to himself and all of the subtle, hidden self-powers set to work in intelligent obedience and with ordered discipline to carry it out fully.
Divine Science is in no particular so marked as in the use of the affirmative word. The followers of M. Coue, the French pharmacist who received ovations wherever he went throughout the United States teaching his jingling affirmation: “Every day in every way I am getting better and better,” used with marked benefit this form of affirmation. But in this expression there is no reference to Divine power. It amounts simply to auto-suggestions. The power involved in it comes from below, and not from above. In Divine Science we refer all power to the Source of Power and we work consciously with the Divine Source to bring about the changes that we desire. This was the method of Jesus. Take the Lord’s Prayer as an example of affirmation. Phrase after phrase is affirmative. “Our Father, which art in heaven,” “Thy kingdom come,” “Thy will be done,” and so on. Our affirmations should always proceed from the Spirit and be made conjointly with the power of the Spirit. We should always be conscious that we are inlets to the Spirit and outlets from the Spirit. Thus when we make an affirmation it should be done consciously as an expression of the creative process. There is power in auto-suggestion, it is true, but to work through the Higher Power is the aim of the Divine Scientist, for in this way we express all the power of Omnipotence.
The name of God, “I AM,” is a word that has more power than any other word. It is one of the Mosaic commandments from God that this name shall not be taken in vain. What does this mean? Is it a commandment against profanity, as we have been taught? Is it not rather that the name “I AM,” shall not be taken for vain purposes? From the very infancy of life we syllable over and over “I am,” indicating being or proposed action. Listen to the man or woman who uses idle words and observe the constant repetition of “I am” in vain talk of vain purposes. Do not all the idle words cluster about “I am,” as the frivolous chatter goes on about what the speaker is doing and going to do, dilating upon his or her acts, thoughts and aims?
The use of the radio at the present time has brought out some wonderful facts about the lasting and penetrating power of the spoken word. Words are spoken into a transmitter and projected into the ether. The distance they are to carry is determined by the wave-length of the sending station. A French army officer, speaking at the Westinghouse plant at Syracuse, is enabled by radio to talk directly to his regiment in France, assembled to hear him speak from another continent, three thousand miles away, and his voice is heard by his comrades in arms as clearly as if he were in the same room with them. Recently a radio message, spoken ten years ago, was caught by a receiving machine. It had been held in the ether for all this time, traveling on no one knows where or in what orbit. The conclusion has been reached that words once spoken are held forever in the receiving ether. Does not this fact, discovered only recently by scientists, fill us with awe with respect to the importance of the spoken word, and does it not give a new meaning to the statement that we shall be held accountable for our every idle word?
See, then, what strength and power are combined in the conjunction of the word “I am” with the word “strong,” for instance, or “well,” or “happy,” or “better,” or “rich,” or “prosperous,” or “successful.” The creative power of the word is intensified to the highest degree by the intelligent use of the “I am.” It is using the name of the Creator with the creative process you are putting forth, and instantly induces Divine co-operation in power.
Hence the value of the affirmative word. “The word of God in us is quick and powerful.” This is the thought we must always hold as to words, that they are constructive, corrective, creative, dynamic. Take the word, therefore, that you need most, and apply it with “I am,” remembering the creative power of God seeking to express itself through the creative power in you, and keep alive the conviction that you are uniting for your purpose, by the power of the word, all the creative force of the Omnipotent.
One of the strongest affirmations you can make is this: “I speak the word of health (or abundance) and my word shall not return to me void but shall accomplish that for which I utter it.” Here is the power of the word used consciously, and the will of God concurs with yours in the expression. In this way you use your own power and reinforce it with that of the Omnipotent, which brings all power to you, with all its invisible forces aiding your own.
Apply to your daily work words like the following: “This thing I will do to perfection, to glorify God. I work in joy and gladness.” It will sweeten the labor you have to perform. It will vitalize the work you do. The word “perfection” is descriptive of the Omnipotent and symbolizes His method. You “glorify” him in the work you do. You express Him in joy and gladness. You make your work a part of the creative process. You consciously better your work day by day, in output and in character. Everything helps you, and your joy will be full because you invest the labor of your hands or brain with joy and gladness. Weariness and fatigue will disappear and when the day is done you can count it as a white stone in your pathway.
When you arise in the morning make immediately this affirmation: “I arise, O Lord, to do Thy will. Thy will is perfect, working in me unchanging peace, power and perfection.” Here you speak the word of “peace,” the word of “power” and the word of “perfection.” All three remain with you. In this manner all your acts of the day are consecrated.
When you have said this with power several times make this affirmation: “The Spirit of the Lord goes before me this day, making my way easy and successful.”
Then in the evening look back over the events of the day and you will be surprised to observe how the Spirit of the Lord, going before you, has made your way easy and successful. “The cares that infest the day” have failed to appear. What seemed difficult in contemplation has proved to be easy. Obstacles have been met and overcome by a wave of your hand or a smile. Opposition that you looked for has been converted into co-operation. The stream of happiness murmurs its music in your ear. You take into your evening reflections the joy and gladness that have been accumulating under your orders all day.
Then at night read or recite the 23rd Psalm, and add this from the 103d Psalm: “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgiveth all thy iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destructive; who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies; who satisfied thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
PRACTICE IN DIVINE SCIENCE
Methods Recommended for Putting Into Daily Application
May calmly wait
While hurrying Fate
Meets his demand with full supply.”
“I AM perfect, even as my Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 18:20)
(Memorize and Repeat Often)
Entire 8th chapter of Romans.
Health, Prosperity, Protection
The order and Harmony of the Christ Consciousness, established in me throughout all eternity, is expressing itself now as perfect Health.
The vitalizing energy of the Holy Spirit is circulating freely through every artery of my being, strengthening and invigorating me.
That Omnipresent Opulence which is God is now expressing Itself in and through me in terms of Unlimited Abundance.
The Lord, the everlasting Truth Sustains me; Divine Love alone governs me, and I reflect its government, in Peace, Power, Purity, Prosperity, Perfection of Mind and Body.
2. How have the messages of God to men been expressed? What is the significance of the term “Word”?
3. What does St. John declare of the “Word”?
4. How is the capacity of man to share creative power with the Creator shown?
5. Should we take seriously the declaration that we are to be held accountable for every idle word we utter?
6. What is the word we most frequently use?
7. What is the value of the word affirmation?
8. What is the effect of morning, noon and night affirmations?
9. Can we be too careful in the use of our words?
The Murray Course in Divine Science
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