Years ago, I read a true story about a now-famous comedian who was so broke at one point that he was living in his car. In his darkest hour, he began making positive confessions over his life. He began telling himself over and over that his gifts and talents were in great demand, and that he had more job offers than he could handle. Today, this man is wealthy and famous, and he gives much of the credit to the positive statements he made over his life over the years.
As I read this man's incredible story, I thought to myself, "If it's true that confessing positive things over this man's life helped to make him successful, how much more could Christians achieve if they took God at His Word, and confessed His promises over their lives?" I prayed and sought the Lord about His perspective in these matters, and He led me to an abundance of wonderful, godly teaching about these principles.
One of the passages in the Bible that has inspired me most in this area is the account of the woman with the issue of blood. Scripture says that she had suffered from her affliction for twelve years, and that even though she had seen many physicians for help, and had spent all her money, she was getting worse instead of better. Even so, when she heard the reports about Jesus, she determined to press through the suffocating crowds to touch His clothes, believing that she would be healed. The Bible reveals that "she kept saying to herself, 'If I only touch His garment, I shall be restored to health.'" (Matthew 9:21 AMP) What was she doing? She was confessing to herself what God had spoken to her heart. She believed she had a promise from God, and she was not only holding it in her heart, but she was speaking it out of her mouth. Her own mind was probably telling her, "What's the use?" But she didn't let her negative thoughts or her negative circumstances stop her. Each time she felt fear rise in her heart, she spoke her promise from God to herself, and she was able to keep moving forward. And each step she took brought her closer to the fulfillment of that promise. As she reached out in faith for a miracle, she was rewarded by a faithful God. Scripture tells us: "Jesus turned around and, seeing her, He said, 'Take courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well.' And at once the woman was restored to health." (Matthew 9:22 AMP)
Fifteen years ago, my son, John, asked me to write some devotionals for his web site. As I took a step of faith and began writing, I constantly wrestled with thoughts like - "No one's going to want to read this stuff. This is just a waste of time." The only way I was able to move forward into the rewards and blessings that God had waiting for me, was by searching out, and speaking to myself, Biblical promises that spoke to my heart and encouraged me. Whenever fear rose up against me, I would say things like - "Everything I lay my hand to prospers and succeeds. I will eat the fruit of my labor; blessings and prosperity will be mine. I find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man." (Deuteronomy 30:9, Psalm 128:2, Proverbs 3:4) I wasn't sure exactly what God had in store for me, but I held on to His promise that He had plans to prosper me, and to do me good. (Jeremiah 29:11) I even prayed for Holy-Spirit-inspired confessions that were specific to my needs and circumstances. I began telling myself, "My devotionals, and my ministry efforts, are in great and growing demand." And now I reach thousands of people on a regular basis for the glory of God.
The Bible talks about David being in so much trouble at one point, that his own men considered stoning him. How did he respond? "David encouraged himself in the Lord his God." (1 Samuel 30:6 KJV) There may be times in our lives when everything and everyone around us will be so discouraging that we will be tempted to lose hope. Those are the times that we must encourage ourselves with God's truth - His Word, His promises, and those blessings to come that the Lord has spoken to our hearts. What negative circumstances do you have pressing upon you today? Whatever they are, I urge you to speak words of life, blessing, and success to yourself - and press on through to the victory that belongs to you in Christ!
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to speak positive, God-inspired confessions over my life, and to refrain from speaking negatively about myself. Help me to develop a working knowledge of Your Word and promises, so that I may walk in Your truth at all times. Whenever doubt or discouragement come against me, remind me that being passive can prove to be very costly to me. Thank You that as I seek to obey You in this area, I will continually make progress for Your glory!
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