Is Making Declarations an Attempt to Manipulate God?
I wrote a book with some of my interns (in 2003) on why we make declarations. Part of the book addresses common objections to the teaching about making declarations. I've listed one of those common objections below. I pray this spurs you on to discover the power God has given us to use our words to speak life.
Can't declarations be a presumptuous attempt to manipulate God and override His sovereignty in our lives?
This question goes to the heart of whether we believe that our beliefs and actions actually influence what happens on planet earth and the quality of our lives. There are two extremes concerning this. On one side, there are those who believe that our lives are completely predestined by God and cannot be altered. On the other hand, some feverishly proclaim that we can have whatever we speak without any acknowledgment of the larger purpose that God might have for us.
The authors of this book believe the answer is somewhere in between these perspectives (and we would emphasize much more our ability to create history rather than be a robotic pawn in history). Yes, "A man's steps are of the Lord," (Proverbs 20:24), but it is clear throughout scripture that we have been given delegated authority by God to increase our talents (Matthew 25:14-30), control the devil's activity (James 4:7), hasten the return of Christ (2 Peter 3:12), increase personal prosperity (Psalm 1:1-3), bring peace and blessing to our cities (1 Timothy 2:1-4), and remove spiritual mountains with our words and faith (Mark 11:22-24).
Each of us will need to work out for ourselves how we balance the truth of God's sovereignty with the great God-given spiritual weapon of declarations to make things happen for us and others. Again, we won't have something just because we say something, but saying something is necessary for having something.