The Devil has never had an original idea in his life. Ever since before the creation of man, the Devil has been imitating God in a bid to be God himself. Even when it comes to the creative, life-giving power of God’s Word, the Devil tries to copy it.
But what is that creative Word that the Devil imitates?
The Word of God is creative in that it creates out of nothing. God’s Word is not merely powerful. It is power. When God says something, it just happens. If you or I say, “Let there be light”, nothing happens. But when God says it, light is created. When Jesus wanted to calm the storm (Mark 4:35-41), all he did was say a word, “Peace, be still!” and it was calm. In a certain sense, we might say that when God speaks a word, it is magic. The word itself has power to bring into being that which it signifies.
But my words and your words are just signs that point to some other reality. They don’t create anything. The word of the Devil is the same.
The Devil sees God’s ability to create by merely speaking a Word and counterfeits it. In Thailand, Buddhists go to the temple and chant in the ancient language of Pali. There are small signs posted at the temple where people can kneel down and recite the words of this “prayer” that are on the sign. Thai people don’t speak Pali. They speak Thai. They may have been told the gist of the words that they are reciting, but they don’t understand them. And it doesn’t really matter. They believe that the power and effectiveness of this prayer, or chant, is in the words themselves. These are magical words that have the power to bring the desired blessings by the mere recitation of them. They need not be joined to understanding in order to have their power. And no higher being needs to hear and respond to them. This is the logic behind the so-called power of spells and curses as well. It is thought that the mere saying of the words has the ability to create what is desired. But this is a hoax. An artifice. A cheap knock-off of the genuine article.
Yes, the Devil is active, and does attack and oppress people. And he can, and sometimes does, act in such as way as to make people think that that the words of a spell or a curse actually do something. But this is merely a case of slight of hand. It is no different than if I were standing with you alone in a dark room and said, “Let there be light” and the lights turned on seemingly by themselves. I could tell you that my word has the power to turn on lights when the reality is that someone discreetly flipped the switch at my signal. It might have the appearance of power, but that is all.
There is no such thing as magical words, or a creative word, apart from God’s Word. The Devil can try to copy it but God alone has the power.
Curses, hexes, spells, and every other message in this world must rely upon human wisdom, human ingenuity, and perhaps the deceptive power of the Devil, to get people to accept it, and feel its influence. But the message of the Gospel is the power of God to create new life. The Word of God, spoken, read, sung, preached - has the power to change lives because it IS the creative power of God that brings into being what God desires to bring into being.
And we need not fear any other word because the Word who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).