An Introduction to Declarations
From Steve Backlund (introduction from his book Declarations: Unlocking Your Future):
“Why is the worship leader repeating that phrase over and over?”
As I thought about this, I believe God told me, “Because My people are not consistently declaring truth, I will cause songwriters to write songs with words they should be saying without music. This will give Me something powerful to work with in their lives and on planet earth.”
So we sing repeatedly words like:
I am forgiven
Jesus is alive
He has set me free
I am alive in Him
I am the righteousness of Christ
I am healed by His stripes
As we sing these phrases, our mind is renewed, and we enter into a whole new realm of possibilities for our lives. This experience provides a revelation of how declarations (intentionally speaking truth) are a key for living a victorious and advancing life. I no longer mind repeating those phrases over and over as I worship in song. I have taught on declarations for years now and have heard testimony after testimony of how adding this habit has been transformational to all kinds of people.
Short Teachings from Steve on declarations
5 Biblical Reasons for making Declarations
from Declarations by Steve Backlund
1. Life is in the power of the tongue. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). One of the greatest revelations we can ever get as we walk as believers is this: The tongue has power to release life wherever we go. Those who love this truth will speak intentionally and will eat the abundant fruit their past words (declarations) have produced. If we believe Proverbs 18:21, we will speak on purpose. We will speak to others and to ourselves because we realize there is no such thing as the strong silent type of Christian. Life and strength are accelerated through declarations.
2. Declarations “frame” our future. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Indeed our words influence the spirit realm (which ultimately impacts what we experience in the natural realm), but declarations are also a main building material to frame the “house” of our life destiny. Where do you want to be in five years? What do you want to build in you and through you? Declare now what it will look like. As you do, you are giving God a powerful framework to work with in you and in your life.
3. Words propel us to experience all that Jesus won for us. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). This verse is obviously not talking about being saved through godly speaking, but it does imply that our declarations will either restrict or bless our lives. Words in agreement with God’s purposes will propel us into the abundant life Jesus promised us. Instead of setting up fences of limitation and restriction in our experience (what Jesus calls being “condemned”), we will be able to enter into the realms of our salvation that we make declarations about.
4. Grace is imparted when we hear life-giving declarations. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). Grace is the empowerment to do God’s will. We have the privilege of continually imparting grace to others through our words, but because we are the one who hears our words the most, we can continually impart grace to ourselves through our words. Truly, there is no limit to how much grace we can receive from ourselves.
5. Declarations are a way to overcome anxiety and become glad. “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25). It is a tremendous revelation when we understand we can speak a “good word” to ourselves to change our emotions from worry to gladness. Philippians 4:6- 7 tells us that prayer with thanksgiving creates a life protected by peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The phrase “with thanksgiving” could be interpreted as a type of declaration that declares with gratitude that God is working in the situations that concern us. So, whether we speak a good word to ourselves of “thank you” or speak a scriptural promise, we are privileged to have the weapon of declarations to make our hearts glad.
* 25 more biblical reasons can be found in Steve's book, Declarations. *
2 Common Objections to MAKING Declarations
From Declarations by Steve Backlund
Read two of the six common objections people often use as a reason not to make declarations below. All six common objections can be found in the introductory chapters of Steve's book, Declarations.
OBJECTION ONE – Aren’t declarations simply repackaged “Name it and claim it, blab it and grab it” heresy?
Some object to the teaching about declarations because of abuses they have seen or things they have heard during the “positive confession” movement. The confession teaching gained prominence particularly in the 1980’s through the influence of Word of Faith teachers like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, and Charles Capps. These men, and others like them, emphasized confessing God’s promises as a key ingredient in the life of faith. This teaching was criticized (justly and unjustly) for reasons we will address, and some labeled it as “name it and claim it, blab it and grab it” hogwash.
Certainly, there were many poor examples by the proponents of positive confession teachings. One of the most common problems was the perception that confessions were mainly used for personal gain (money, Cadillacs, life of pleasure, etc.), instead of Kingdom advancement. Another negative characteristic of this movement was the tendency of people who embraced this teaching to be critical of others who made negative confessions. They often became self-appointed “word policemen” who stirred up fear or opposition to this teaching. Thirdly, these incessant promise speakers often overemphasized the power of words, while underemphasizing other important aspects of the Christian life. Finally, the message fell into disrepute because many of the confessions made by people did not happen, including some well-publicized situations where people actually died after refusing medical care because they were “standing on their confession.”
While it is understandable why some would label it “name it and claim it, blab it and grab it” in an effort to discourage others from falling into what was perceived as error, it is unfortunate that most Christians seemed to “throw out the baby with the bath water” concerning the truth about declarations and positive confession. This inclination to overreact to perceived error is not unique to the positive confession movement, and, unfortunately, causes many to miss out on powerful truths that God is revealing to the church. Indeed, numerous fresh revelations are messy in their inception as the body of Christ seeks to walk in them. It is the wise believer who asks God what He is doing in controversial teachings before dismissing them because of apparent negative fruit. As we consider the teaching on positive confession, it is clear that God was revealing the power of words:
- that life is truly in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21);
- that confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:10);
- that if we bridle our tongues, we can bridle our whole body (James 3:2);
- that faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17);
- that God calls those things that do not exist as though they do (Romans 4:17); and,
- that speaking causes things to happen (Genesis 1:3).
Yes, let’s stay away from extremes in our declaration journey, but let’s also be zealous in our implementing the speaking of God’s promises over our lives.
OBJECTION FOUR – Aren’t those who make declarations and positive confessions prone to being unrealistic and are often in denial about circumstances that need obedience and action, not just a declaration?
Certainly these concerns are valid if someone is standing on their confession while ignoring other scriptural principles (or a serious medical diagnosis) about the situation. Even though we don’t want to walk in foolishness in our declaration journey, it is important to also realize that God has not called us to be realistic but to live life as He sees it. We do not deny the negative facts of a situation, but we are to declare God’s truth that is higher than the facts. Joel 3:10 is an example of this, “Let the weak say I am strong.” It does not say, “Let the weak say I am not weak.” We don’t deny weakness, but we declare the truth of strength before it has manifested into reality. Declarations thus become an important part of our plan to build our faith to experience all that Jesus has made possible for us to walk in.
* 4 more common objections to declarations can be found in Steve's book, Declarations. *
Declarations: Unlocking Your Future
by Steve Backlund
Nothing happens in the Kingdom unless a declaration is made. You may be wondering “What are declarations and why are people making them?" or maybe, “Aren't declarations simply a repackaged 'name it and claim it' heresy?" Declarations answers these questions by sharing 30 biblical reasons for declaring truth over every area of life. The revelation this book carries will help you to set the direction your life will go.