Recently, the Lord opened up an opportunity for me to share/lead at the weekly Prayer Meeting that I attend. Without going over too much history - I will just say that I went for a long season of having no open doors for teaching/leading. The desire and love for leading came upon me as a surprise... and it was only a short season before I was called to lay that down. I went for years feeling as if the Lord had placed me on a shelf and forgot about me... I went for years feeling like I was being asked to lay down my 'ministry' and be willing to never do it again... after some time, I was ready - I did lay it down, and I moved on and moved closer to the Lord. So - when He began to call me forth to do a little something here and a little something there... I was almost hesitant, because I had, after all, laid it down. So - several months ago, I had the chance to share at this same meeting and I went about preparing and organizing my thoughts the way I was comfortable with and accustomed to. Even as I was preparing I wondered if this approach was old wine skins and too safe... however I pressed through and delivered the message that the Lord had put on my heart. It was fine... it actually went great... but even as I closed in prayer, I heard the Lord say to my spirit, "That was great... and it was really cute how you did it that way - but next time, you will not be released to over-prepare or write it all down in article-form!" Boy?! Don't you just have a love-hate relationship with the Lord when He so clearly calls you out on the carpet?! I love to write... and I am in the process of working on a project that will hopefully end up in some sort of book form so I was comfortable in writing out my message word for word and delivering it that way. Even back in the day, when I would give a lecture at our Bible Study meetings, I would write it all out and use my photographic memory to enable me to not read the entire thing, while still having it all written out before me. Hmmm?! So - 'next time' was this time!? And Stretching was what He required of me!
I had in my mind what I wanted to talk about... It is a life message that the Lord has given me and I was confident that He knew that this was the direction I was going with! The night before the meeting, the Lord told me that even though I had not written it all out - I had a lot of preplanning done in my mind and He was about to change my topic?! What!? Now, don't get me wrong - He is not all about 'winging' it and not preparing... as a teacher of the Word - we must be prepared and prayed up... however, for me - I find security in that - and He is calling me to a place of relying only on Him! So - luckily, in His Grace - He simply wanted me to talk on Declaring and Decreeing - something He had been speaking to me about for weeks!
I started to wonder what certain words truly meant. When I think of a "Decree" or a "Proclamation" or to "Declare", I think of legal documents! So - I broke out my good ol' Webster's Dictionary and looked up a few key words.
1 : to make known formally, officially, or explicitly; 2 obsolete : to make clear; 3 : to make evident : SHOW; 4 : to state emphatically : AFFIRM
1 : an order usually having the force of law; 2 a : a religious ordinance enacted by council or titular head b : a foreordaining will; 3 a : a judicial decision of the Roman emperor b : a judicial decision especially in an equity or probate court
1 a : to declare publicly, typically insistently, proudly, or defiantly and in either speech or writing : ANNOUNCE b : to give outward indication of : SHOW
While rule by decree is easily susceptible to the whims and corruption of the person in power, it is also highly efficient: a law can take weeks or months to pass in a legislature, but only seconds to create by a leader ruling by decree. This is what makes it valuable in emergency situations.
Most recently, in January of this year, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez was given the power to rule by decree for 18 months. Chávez, who was beginning a fresh six-year term, says the legislation will be the start of a new era of "maximum revolution" during which he will consolidate their transformation into a socialist society. His critics, however, are calling it a radical lurch toward authoritarianism by a leader with unchecked power. This has led to the recent riots in Venezuela due to Hugo taking over the media/TV stations! Of course, our Ruler is the King of kings and Lord of lords... and we have been given His Authority to make and follow through by ruling by decree!
We know that there are several times in Scripture where decrees and proclamations are discussed... the books of Deut and Leviticus both are full of this language as they are establishing the Law. We know that in the book of Jonah, the prophet was called to go to Ninevah and make a decree – a proclamation to the city… he refused at first and we are all familiar with that story! When the Lord came to him a second time, Jonah 3:3-10 shows that the Decree was heeded and the Lord had compassion and did not bring the destruction he had threatened to bring upon the people of Ninevah! So - his call to make a decree was able to save an entire city! Esther decreed a fast among her people and the entire race was saved... Sometimes we are called to decree a private matter, and sometimes, we may be called to proclaim and stand up for the nations!
Before we can Decree and Declare - we must have it settled in our thinking... it is not enough to THINK about God's Promises and His Word - but there is Power in releasing it out loud... speaking it forth and standing firm upon it!
Bill Johnson, in a teaching entitled How to Pray and Decree, says “When you pray and the Lord releases the provision for you – your roll is simply to receive what He’s done and give Him thanks… but when you pray and He responds with a Promise instead of the answer, then your roll has shifted from one who stands silently and watches the salvation of the Lord, into becoming a co-laborer – where you learn to take that which God has put in your heart and make prophetic decrees declaring God’s intention for your life."
Last week, I shared that God spoke a Word about a New Sound and in that Word, He said to WRITE IT DOWN and He would join in with us in the proclamation! I think when He said that, ...I think that he meant it! So, I encourage you to write out a decree... is there something that you have been praying about and have yet to see the answer... or something that you are needing from God and are waiting for the answer to come? One thing that Bill Johnson said that really struck me was that sometimes God drops something into your heart, but the power - the release to action, comes when you speak it out!!!
Below is an example of a Decree that I wrote out... read it out loud with me... speak it out in faith... and then I encourage you to rewrite it... make your own decree... speak it out by faith, and then watch and see! I love the definition of Declare that says it means "to make evident"... "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not (yet) seen." (Heb 11:1)
My SAMPLE of a Decree/Proclamation for Gary:
WHEREAS, the Lord values the worth, healing & restoration of Gary; and;
WHEREAS, ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) is particularly damaging and slowly taking the life, joy, peace, and the will to live from him; and;
WHEREAS, it is the will of the Most High God to bring about Divine Healing and Miraculous Deliverance and a full restoration to Gary and his family, to his wife, his children, his mother, and extended family and friends, and to establish a powerful testimony that the love of God is sure, and the will of God is healing and wholeness; and:
WHEREAS, the Lord Whom Gary serves is a God of healing and mercy, a God of answered prayers and victories unlimited, a God Who loves him and his family and only wants what is best for them, and;
WHEREAS, this testimony of miraculous healing will go forth around the earth and bring Glory to the Father and will also help to find a cure both in the spiritual and in the physical realms for others bound and suffering from this illness,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED That we, the prayer warriors of this Tuesday Intercessory Prayer Meeting - and the readers of this blog, do hereby proclaim and decree that this day in June 2007 as the day of Gary’s Divine Healing and Deliverance! We notify the enemy of his soul this day that he must loose Gary and release him into the healing hands of Jesus Christ – Who is Lord of All, and by whose stripes, Gary is healed!
As I shared this on Tuesday - the Lord would not allow me to write it out beforehand and have it all organized... but it was good... we had a great discussion and enjoyed the idea of writing our own decrees! Later during worship, I heard the Lord say, "It has been Decreed, ...I will hasten my Word to perform it!" (Jeremiah 1:12) Amen!!!
Declare & Decree - Be Bold, Speak Forth by faith...
draw a line in the sand & make it be known
that you have been given all Authority,
in Jesus' Name!