I recently listened to an audio teaching by Steve and Wendy Backlund about making declarations, entitled “Why We Make Declarations.” Part of taking authority in prayer involves making declarations, or speaking God’s promises out loud.
Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
Those things we confess are those things we speak out with our mouths. I think declarations can be summarized in Romans 4:17, about what was written about Abraham – (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
We are to call ourselves who we really are—our identity in Christ—before we are in the experience of who we are. That’s what declarations are. Our words influence our lives.
We may not be living in a certain experience yet, but we are to call ourselves into that first, before we start living the experience. This pertains to speaking to the mountains in our lives or into generational issues we could be living with. We can be held captive by the words running around in our heads—the negative words that have been spoken over us—but we need to replace them with God’s word.
Steve Backlund also wrote an interesting book entitled, You’re Crazy If You Don’t Talk to Yourself. It’s about declarations and the fact that we all make declarations all the time. An awful lot of what we say is negative. Think of all the cliché statements that so easily roll off the tongue when talking with someone: “Life is crazy busy! I don’t have time for anything!” or “Things are never going to change” or “[So-and-so] is at it again; surprise, surprise!” What do you say when you make a mistake? Maybe it’s easy to be hard on yourself and say something negative like, “Well, I’m stupid.” Instead of something more positive, such as, “I’m a smart person having a stupid experience.”
A common way to pray involves begging God to change something rather than declaring something to change. In the teaching on declaration that I recently heard, Steve used an example of a police officer vs. a judge. We wouldn’t think much of a police officer who called the judge every time he pulled someone over for speeding, asking the judge to hand someone a ticket. The judge is enforcing the law, but the policeman is upholding the law. In the same way, we often ask God to do things that He has already told us to do—things that He has authorized us to take authority over. Remember that God believes in all of His children more than we believe in ourselves.
God isn’t the only one who wants our tongue—the enemy does, too. When we speak, we are giving either God or the enemy something to work with. We have the delegated authority to bless or to curse. . Proverbs 18:21 says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” We eat the fruit of whatever we declare. We can declare death or life over relationships, communities or businesses.
Proverbs 11:11 – By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
Consider the amount of negativity spoken over cities, towns and communities. The power of a Christian blessing is huge, but so is the power of a negative declaration
Think of the news. How many of the stories broadcast are negative? I’d say that many of them are. We can easily be hooked into having a negative perception of an issue from what we hear or see on the news, and even as Christians, actually act as the mouth of the wicked over our nations or communities because of what we speak, when it’s the blessings of the upright that exalt the city.
Words should always launch us, not limit us. Life is in the power of the tongue. For a city to be won over to Christ through blessing should be easy. Blessing is more powerful than a curse. We have been commissioned by God and have authority to speak blessings.
James 3:3-6 – Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. 5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.
See how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
If we bridle our tongue, we bridle our lives. We accelerate our own personal growth if we and learn to bridle our tongues.
Whatever we speak sets our life on course. Just as a rudder moves a ship in one direction, when we make declarations, we move into the direction of our words, and it guides our life for the future.
Words are not empty; words are part of the strategy of advancing our lives. Words of life and truth destroy strongholds and self-limiting beliefs based on past experience.
What we declare affects legacy; our words affect everything. Scripture says, “Faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17). When we keep speaking it, we eventually believe it. Faith comes by repetitious hearing.
We may start with praying things that we don’t agree with in our soul yet. If soul doesn’t line up with spirit, conflict results.
You may even feel resistance when you start speaking God’s truth over a circumstance. His truth, the ultimate truth, may initially feel untrue because the negativity of a circumstance may have become very strong in your mind through repetitious negative declarations. For example, after years of saying, “Nothing will ever change for me,” it’s to be expected that you would feel some dissonance if you started saying instead, “Things are going to start changing for me for the better.” We may become so caught up in the negativity of a situation that we can hardly bring ourselves to say something positive about it because the repetition of the negative has solidified our perception of the situation.
The more you try to speak something that feels untrue, (the resistance of speaking something true or positive) the more important it is to speak those words of truth.
Remember that sometimes we need to speak and hear something positive over and over and over again to overcome the negative because the negative has been spoken so much. Sometimes it takes a while to receive the positive.
Another reason why we can experience this resistance in the spirit during the process of overcoming is because we are often compelled to speak the negative, which is the negative trying to use our words. When we speak words, the enemy gets to use them if they are negative. On the other hand, God can and will use our words when we speak the positive.
Declarations are seeds for the future. Whatever we speak and declare will determine our future. Positive declarations have power in the spirit. Wendy, Steve’s wife, brought up on the audio teaching that the Word of God is a sword, and a sword is supposed to be something you kill something with. What a good point. When circumstances appear to be opposite to the word of God, we are supposed to lop its head off and kill it.
According to Genesis 1-8 and Hebrews 11:3, our words and declarations frame our future by what we speak and declare. We are made in God’s image, and God spoke the world into being—the world was chaos before that. When God spoke, the chaos turned to order. In the same way, the chaos in our lives ends when we start speaking and declaring God’s word.
John 6:63 – Jesus said the words spoken to you are spirit and are life. They are not just for the communication of thoughts and ideas. The word of God shall not return to Him void until it does what it’s supposed to do (Isaiah 55:11). His word is not just seeds for salvation, but for everything we speak in life – determining our future and the future of others. We need to speak the truth no matter how opposite we are feeling.
Romans 10:9,10 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, you will be saved. When the heart believes, we are saved by the confession of our mouth. Confession needs to be made to incorporate and appropriate every aspect of what Jesus won for us. Confession involves feeling the power of our words. Whatever Jesus won for us: protection, healing, power, provision—it all starts with a heart belief sealed with a confession.
Now, an impure conscience results when your soul and your spirit don’t line up. People have authority when they speak, and spirit, mind and emotions are in unity. Sometimes we are speaking things we know are true, but our hearts don’t believe it yet, and so it doesn’t have the same authority and weight as when we speak when everything is in alignment.
As we know from Romans 12:1-2, we are transformed by the renewing of our mind, and hearing good news is a major key for having transformation in our lives. The most important thing we can do is preach to ourselves. We were sent to ourselves first. Steve Backlund explained that he was always listening to the accuser, and God told him to send good news to himself first. David encouraged himself when he was depressed and down.
Romans 10:13-15,17 – hearing precedes believing. If you and I are going to believe something different, we must hear something different. In Judges 6:12, Gideon was told that the Lord was with him, a valiant warrior.
This is why most Christians feel that the Christian life is so hard. They are trying to be something they don’t believe they are, almost as though they have to act a certain way instead of being that way. Transformation happens when we line up with what God says we are. This is why non-Christians often think Christians are so fake: because Christians don’t believe what they say they are either! We act things out through the head that we may not truly believe in the heart, so the accusation that Christians are fake can actually be true because many Christians are not living a life of positive declarations over their lives.
Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers
Grace is the empowerment to do God’s will. When we impart grace to ourselves and to others, we are empowering them in the spirit to do God’s will.
Matthew 12:36-27 – “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Condemned means “no longer usable.” When we confess something negative about ourselves or others, we are condemning ourselves or others to be not useful by the Lord.
Joseph Garlington is quoted as saying that “If something happened, then something was spoken.” This can be either positive or negative. We aren’t talking mind over matter – we are talking about faith over matter in exercising our authority in Christ. Declarations are not something we should try – it should become a lifestyle.
Mark 11:23 – “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”
The future is in the mouths of intentional speakers.
Matthew 12:34 – ...Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
I want to end by clarifying that by making positive declarations, I don’t mean that you should deny the circumstances. It’s not about never speaking out the negative. It’s about declaring what the conclusion will be: negative or positive. The facts might say that you are sick need healing, but the truth—what you should focus on declaring—is what Jesus Christ has said and done about the conclusion of the matter.
A good example of this is the story of David vs. Goliath – David made a declaration that he was going to cut off Goliath’s head. But he only had a slingshot. He didn’t even have a sword. Nevertheless, he declared the future even though he didn’t have the means to do it.
This all comes back to our identity in Christ, and breaking our personal identity based on past experience. We are the righteousness of Christ, and we have a new DNA. We aren’t negating the current facts when we proclaim that we have a new DNA in Christ—we are just proclaiming God’s truth on the matter, which will ultimately affect the conclusion for the good. In the spirit realm, healing and provision and grace and favor are already ours, and while some things take time, we can rest assured that positive declarations in line with God’s word will impact our lives tremendously.
“Why We Make Declarations” by Steve and Wendy Backlund
· Recorded by Bethel Media – Phone: 530-351-7500 Website: www.ibethel.org
· Reproduced by Igniting Hope Ministries - www.ignitinghope.com
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Sharon Curtis-Gerlach, Divine Exchange, Inc.