Decree Day Two
Yesterday we began the discussion on decrees or declarations. We continue on today with the goal of walking you through building your own. This can and will be a history-altering event for you.
The connection between confession or declaring and eternity is mind-boggling.
Jesus made an acute claim: everyone who acknowledged or confessed their commitment to Him as their King, in front of other people, Christ would, before His Father, acknowledge them as full-fledged children of His Father (Matthew 10:32-33). This would mean the Father's children would have the right to every promise Jesus had the right to.
Another Scripture states that when we commit in our hearts to believe and fully follow Jesus as our King, the result will be a complete, right relationship with God, or what the Bible calls righteousness. However, when the commitment of the heart becomes an expression on the lips declaring Jesus the Lord and King of any area of our lives, then the result will be salvation, or we will "be delivered safely.”
Confessing or declaring our confidence and conviction in Jesus' ruling, by His word, in our lives results in being delivered safely through all of life's difficulties (Romans 10:9-10).
Establishing Christ's rule through His word in our lives and on the earth changes not only our hearts but the very circumstances of life itself.
Making a declaration of commitment to something Jesus has said is like declaring, "I know how things look now, but this word from Jesus is how it is going to be in the future.”
Men and women of faith receive the word of God as being the truth that becomes reality tomorrow if they remain faithful to Jesus' Lordship.
Commitment to what God said led Noah to build a boat wherein his family was delivered safely through a great flood.
Commitment to what God said led Abraham to go to a foreign land and claim it for his family, and then centuries later, his family nation was delivered safely into that land.
Commitment to what God said led barren Sarah to claim an offspring of promise as her own, and eventually her barren womb came to life and God delivered Isaac safely into her arms.
Commitment to what God said led Moses to abandon the treasures of Egypt and claim a slave people as delivered by Yahweh. Eventually that nation was delivered safely into the land God promised Israel.
The Bible is filled with characters who did not passively believe but verbally claimed God's promises, and those promises became tomorrow's reality. When God calls us to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is is heaven," He is calling us not to make a request but to make a declaration (Matthew 6:10). Yahweh told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that the land they were living in would be given to their children; they believed and claimed it for their children in every decision they made and confession of their mouth (Genesis 15:18-21; 17; 24:7). Eventually, their children came to the border of that land, and Yahweh told them to go claim it by placing their feet upon it and declaring the ground as belonging to Yahweh and then to them by promise (Deuteronomy 11:24).
We who are committed to following Jesus as King are meant to live not by what we see, but by faith in God's word. Faith includes the confession of the mouth; faith involves the mouth’s proclaiming its allegiance to the word of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7).
An old pilot recounted a story to me of when he was taking flying lessons. He related how the first time he flew in the fog, it was counter-intuitive. He wanted to believe his body, which was telling him the plane was in a different position than the instrument panel was warning. He wanted to go by his feeling. All he could see was fog; he did not feel the plane was flying perfectly level, nor did he think it was headed in the right direction.
His instructor told him to ignore everything except the instrument panel. He told me that it took him a few times flying in the fog or at night to begin to get comfortable trusting the gauges.
We are to live our lives gauged by the word of God, not feeling. To bring the word of God into our world, we will need to begin to express verbally our commitment to the word, until the word becomes more true to us than what we feel. When the word becomes a stronger force than our feeling, then the word of God will be unleashed as a force in our world.
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” He answered, “It is written: man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4 CSB
Even Jesus followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus fasted to quiet His body, so He could be closer and more attentive to His Father. If Jesus did, should we?
While on His fast, the devil came and sought to tempt Jesus, beginning with food. It wasn't that it would have been a sin for Jesus to eat. Rather, it would have been a sin for Jesus to use His privileges as Son of God to provide food for His body, when He needed the spiritual food of following the Holy Spirit's leading.
Jesus takes on the devil's tempting Him with the food of Scripture by quoting from the Old Testament: "Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
No doubt people are able to physically exist because they eat food. The point Jesus is making to Himself and the devil is that food is not the only substance people need to ingest to exist fully. Jesus claims every word which comes out of the mouth of God is necessary to sustain real life, ultimate life, life in and with God.
Jesus is defeating the devil not just by believing God's words are helpful, but by confessing His Father's words are necessary for life. Jesus confesses food for the body to be completely inadequate to sustain real life.
Anyone only devoted to natural food for life is dying while they live. Those who live from every word which proceeds from God's mouth are allowing God to build a life they will be delivered safely through. Thriving life enjoys natural food and every word from God's mouth.
When Jesus was tempted, He did not only pray and ask for help; Jesus also declared God’s word in the face of the devil. The declaration of God's word defeated temptation and unleashed a life to be formed by God's word.
Yesterday we began collecting verses about a subject the Holy Spirit is inspiring you to focus on. Your goal was to collect between five to seven passages. I pray you are well on your way. Remember you can use a concordance to gather those passages. (See Day Six’s chapter for tips on finding these passages.)
Another way to find passages is to interview people in your small group(s) or other friends who are Jesus-followers. Once you have five to seven of the best verses, the goal is to drink in the promise of each verse. Drink it deeply into your spirit until you are ready to write a personal comment on each verse.
Today you are seeking to write out a commentary or comment on every verse you have collected.
Yesterday I listed:
and then an
Let me walk you through how I made comments on those verses.
For the verse:
Exodus 15:26 “I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you” (NIV).
“Father, Your will is not to afflict with disease but to be my personal Healer ..."
For the verse:
Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear My name, the Son of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.”
You rise with healing in Your wings to set my sick life free to dance.
You can see how it works. Take the verse and then make a personal comment on what you think that verse means to you, as the Holy Spirit begins to apply it to your life.
Don't worry if you do not understand the full meaning of the passage. The more you read, the more you will understand, and you can go back later and adjust phrases as you want. The important thing is you are seeking to identify and comprehend what promise Jesus is speaking into your heart.
So jump in and begin the life-changing, history-shaping work of writing a personal decree. Begin by taking the verses you have gathered and writing a personal comment on what you think those verses mean to you, as the Holy Spirit teaches you what Jesus said and what He meant (John 14:26).
Daily Journal Thoughts
On your "Prayer and Fasting Commitments” page, write down the date.
Then write out your commitment. It might sound something like this:
“Jesus, I seek by Your grace and by the leading of the Holy Spirit to write out a comment on each Scripture You have given me on ____________ [fill in the subject].”
Next, go to the "Daily Journal" and write the date at the top of the page.
Begin with a prayer for God's help. Then write out your comment for each verse. If you are not ready, you can leave the page blank until you are. If you have not gathered all your Scriptures, just write a comment on the Scriptures you have gathered.
You might take the rest of the fast to finish this page— no problem. Let the word of God sink deep into your heart and mind.
Most followers never take the time to do this with God's promises. This is why many are so often blown here and there by circumstances and feelings. To accomplish this task is a huge step.
As you do this, your life will begin to change and Jesus will begin to shape your future. This is difficult, not because the task is hard, but because there is a war in our flesh to resist it.
Remember Jesus’ words, “Man does not live by bread alone but by every word proceeding from God's mouth."