Thought for the Week - 1st DecemberPastor Gareth Watkins
Following on from last week, in our church we have been having lots of discussions about proclamations, covering them in our sermon and our Bible studies.
People are slow to take up proclamations. They will take up the negatives and thoughts of the world very quickly, but not the thoughts written by God in His Word centuries ago. The consequence is an issue in their life. That negativity can run in your life for months and years; for example upset, unforgiveness, hurt and anger. But God gives you proclamations, and you can be different because of what God does in your life.
Do you have trouble in your life?
Are you facing a particular problem?
Do you to change a sinful situation?
Do you feel under assault from an enemy that hates you?
Do you want to change your nature?
If any of these things are you in any way, you must learn to use the scriptures as a weapon. Proclamation is using the scriptures that God has given us in the Bible as a weapon against the enemy that is against you. The enemy has been against you since you were born, and he’s against you as you go on into eternity. He will take you down the wrong road, to that pit where he lives. We need to learn to use the scriptures as a weapon, and learn how to stand firm when you have the tide of life buffering you around.
It’s our God given right to use the scriptures that He has given us.
If we look at Christ in the wilderness, look at the way He dealt with the enemy when he said to Him “turn these stones into bread” and “you’re hungry”. The devil comes to Jesus and tries to tempt Him, about who He is, His ability, and God’s position with Him. In every instance, Christ used scripture against the enemy time and time again and said “you shall not tempt the Lord your God”. He used scripture after scripture. He knew the scriptures and quoted them as a weapon against that enemy that was going to take Him down.
If He’d fallen at that time, the consequences of Christ falling at that time, would’ve meant He would no longer have been the Christ and we no longer would’ve been able to find our way to salvation. The consequences of Christ falling in that moment would’ve been felt by us all, for God would’ve had to found a new way.
The scriptures for us are very powerful tool. All the great men and women of God found their way to know and use the scriptures, to help them to stand firm, to conquer an enemy within, and to take spiritual ground along the journey. We need to use these scriptures that the great men and women of God have used so well.
Last week I wrote of two proclamations. This week,
The pressures of life build, it starts with one thing and then another thing. How do we cope with this life? We start to say the scriptures that God has given us against the pressures.
For example, in Isaiah 54:17 we can read: “no weapon that’s fashioned against me will prosper” and “any tongue which come against me in judgement you will condemn” and “my righteousness is from God”.
When all the voices are raging around you, and the problems are piling on, start proclaiming that no weapon fashioned against you shall prosper! No tongue that speaks badly against you shall thrive. God knows and He will condemn it. Your righteousness is from Him alone.
In Psalm 118: 17 we read: “I shall not die, but I will live”. We may think we’re going to collapse and things may feel dire, but your God says you shall not die but you will live. And you will declare the works of the Lord.
This is an encouragement. Pull the Word of God into your being. It has tremendous power that speaks into all situations!
Another type of proclamation can be found in Isaiah 55: 10-11 where we read:
The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
This is a proclamation that can be for the church. This word from God will not return void, but will accomplish what God pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it. Imagine speaking into your church every single Sunday:
God you have said in your word that your word will accomplish that you have pleased it to do. That the word you speak will accomplish the thing for which you sent it. That the word will not return to you void.
That’s the prayer that comes out of that verse for the whole church.
We don’t want to be in a church where there’s just words – with dry sermons and dry old bones. We want a word that’s alive with the power of a life-changing God. That scripture is telling us that the word that comes from God will not return to Him void. It will not be hopeless and it will not be lost. It will accomplish what God pleases.
What does God please? God wants to see life changing transformations. He wants to see the powers of darkness pushed back. He wants to see new life, new fruitfulness and new developments, all coming from God.
We need to start to pray that the word that comes from the pulpit and the testimonies that come, will be God, from His mouth, and will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what God wants. That is what that scripture says. It’s for you to bring that scripture into your church, make it alive, and start to pray it so that it will start to happen in your church.
There are hundreds of proclamations for all kinds of circumstances.
There are proclamations for the Jews. We are waiting for our Lord to restore the Jews and bring them back into the right place where God wants them to be. We are told to pray for that what God wants to happen. And so we must pray for the nation of Israel.
There are different types of proclamations. Some ourselves, some for our church, some for our nation, and some for other things like the nation of Israel.
We’re not always concerned about the things that we should be, because the things of this word pull us to one side. And we don’t do the thing that God wants us to do. Does His return void? His word isn’t given if we’re not doing it and walking in it – the word doesn’t even go out.
If you want to live in a live church, we need to be in a church where His word will go out from our mouths and not return void, and that word will accomplish that what He sent it to do. We need to be in a church where sermons come that feed us. We need to be in a church where there’s life in the sermons and we see God moving amongst us.
Every circumstance has a proclamation you can find – against the pressure, and against the problem. You have to pick up that scripture and you have to use it.
Sometimes we need to proclaim loudly – you don’t whisper against your enemy! Sometimes we need to shout and let the righteous anger come. We need to fight for our spiritual position in God. We need to be like a Town Crier! We need to get out of where we are, get our word and shout out. We need to claim it if God has ordained it.
We do our part and keep on doing our part, because we have a part to play – in the scriptures, our home, our relationships, and our churches. Who else is going to do it?
The devil is a bully and he will bully you. We can either let him bully us and put up with it as he pulls us down and isolates us. We need to have enough of the bully and cry out to God to get out of the situation. We need to find those scriptures and stand up against the bully who is robbing us of our peace and our joy. Our future is in Christ. Our future and our hope is not in the gloom that the bully brings. Shout it out. It’s okay. It’s life for those who hear it. We proclaim the truth of God into the situation.
In Psalm 33: 6 we read:
The Lord merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
This is background about how this proclamation interacts with God, and how he goes about things. God spoke the word and it was created. All sort of things created by the word of His mouth. What did part did the Holy Spirit play in that creation? I was thinking of us when we speak. We can’t speak without breathing. This scripture starts to talk about the interaction between the Holy Spirit – the breath of God – and the foundation of the universe.
God is not flesh like us like we are. So how does that fit together? We’re talking about the action of speaking out and into a problem. It’s not just enough to speak out the words. We need that infilling of the Holy Spirit. When God spoke out the creation of the universe, it was accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t just speaking the dry bones of the words. It was accompanied with the anointing and filling of the Holy Spirit to deliver that what God had attended.
This is the word of God! We need to speak the words into circumstances that are fully accompanied and the power of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise they’d just be dry. But when they have that breath of God in them, the Holy Spirit within them, and when they’re spoken into circumstances, things actually change.
In everyday life, you can be powered with the Holy Spirit to accomplish that what God wants you to do.
I wrote last week about being in the prison preaching. It’s interesting thinking about men living the life of a Christian in prison. They can do it. You can do it, within the life God has given you. But you won’t do it without that anointing of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise it’s just dry bones. You need that anointing. It’s not just about knowing the scriptures in your head.
God needed the Holy Spirit to make and create the world. God just didn’t speak, it was accompanied by the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver the word of God. That’s why we need the Holy Spirit in the words that we give. You can have a dry sermon that is full of words, but when it’s given the power of God, wonderful things happen.
Do you ever feel negative about life?
Negative thoughts can be accompanied by negative speaking. We’re talking about the power of our words and what God wants from us in the way we think. Some people’s first inclination is to think or speak in a negative fashion. Negative thinking isn’t of God and the following proclamation is very relevant:
Jeremiah 29: 11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
God knows the thoughts He has towards you. He has thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a hope and a future. We can sit and pray that aloud, and personalise and proclaim it for ourselves, in such a way that our negative thoughts aren’t able to exist. The thoughts that God has for you are set in eternity. He has plans and purposes for you, which are for peace and not of evil, for His future and for a hope.
Do you ever feel hopeless? Ever find yourselves in the gloom and the mist?
We can start to change the way we think of ourselves. We can start to ask God – “you know the thoughts you think towards. You have good thoughts toward me of peace and which are not evil”. When our minds are in turmoil, the last thing we think of is being in peace – our minds are raging. We have to stop and ask God to change your thinking to line up with His thoughts to you. His thoughts are set before time. Our thoughts can be in disarray and contrary to His, ask Him to bring your thoughts in line to how He thinks about you. He has plans for you!
God wants you in the thought process He’s had for you from beginning of time.
What if you find yourself in an evil place? God doesn’t want you in an evil place. If you find yourself in one, start to question it. Ask Him to remove you. Ask Him why you’re there. Start to think about the scriptures you can proclaim against what you’re feeling, against the negativity, and against the situation that you’re in.
God is the one who gives you the future. Your future is not in your hands. It’s in His. God has got a future for you. You’re not meant to be an outsider – you’re meant to be part of the body of Christ. That includes a future and a hope.
Many people feel hopeless and feel worthless, and their self-image is deteriorating. The media makes things worse again, because you can’t meet the standards that the world portrays. You’re not meant to hit the standards of the world, you’re meant to hit the standard that God portrays for your life. When you’re not getting there, start to change the thinking and the prayer – proclaim your future in Christ, your hope is in Him. Everything comes from Him and the world can go away.
Every time a negative thought tries to rob you, proclaim scripture to restore the negative thoughts that come from you and not from Him. Restore your place against the negative thoughts.
Sometimes we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the causes of our negativity, and that what causes us to speak negatively. Some people only think negative thoughts. When there are negative thoughts, steady your own ship. Go back to God and ask Him to reveal the cause of the negativity. Continue praying these scriptures until the negativity is broken. It is not of God. You’re safe, your life is in His hands. You have a life and a hope, and it is not bound into the things of this world.
Negativity has to go. Pray to God about it. If it’s something that afflicts you, ask God to show you the root of it. Pray and proclaim God’s scripture!