What do you usually think of when you hear the word "confession"? Many people think first of the definition that has a negative connotation--being forced to admit you have done something wrong. But the definition I'd like you to think about is positive--especially with regard to speaking out the Word of God. Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words defines the word "confess" as "to declare openly by way of speaking out freely, such confession being the effect of deep conviction of facts; to assent, accord, agree with."
I discovered the benefits of such confession at a time when God had been dealing with me about speaking negatively. I had made a lot of progress in changing the way I thought and spoke, but I was not yet experiencing the positive changes in my life that I desired.
As I was talking to the Lord about it one day, He spoke to my heart: "Joyce, you have stopped saying negative things, but you have not started saying positive things."
Instantly I knew what I needed to do, and I started compiling a "confession list"--a list of positive changes that I wanted to see in my life. I made sure that everything I planned to confess was in agreement with God's Word.
Using that list I began confessing God's Word out loud twice a day. I was calling those things that did not yet exist in my life into being by confessing God's Word (see Rom. 4:17), and that was the beginning of wonderful changes in my life.
An acquaintance of mine says we cannot defeat Goliath with our mouths shut. We all have enemies or giants in our lives that need to be defeated. When David was preparing to do battle with the giant Goliath, he ran toward him, confessing out loud what he believed the end result of the battle would be:
"Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied.
"This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel" (1 Sam. 17:45-46, The Amplified Bible).
This is a good example of how we should approach the enemies in our own lives. David prophesied the end result from the beginning of the event. And we, too, must open our mouths and speak the Word of God.
I strongly encourage you to confess the Word of God out loud daily--even two or three times a day--or throughout the day as the Holy Spirit prompts you. Each time a thought comes to your mind that does not agree with God's Word, confess the truth of His Word out loud, and you will find that the conflicting thought will disappear.
Satan will tell you that confessing the Word does no good, that it changes nothing. He will cause you to forget to do it or to get weary of doing it. If that doesn't work, he will try to make you feel foolish for talking out loud. Don't listen to him!
It is his job to fight anything that produces good results in your life. But don't let him get away with it. Now that you understand the power of scriptural confession, hold on to it and make it a part of your daily life.
God is alert and active, watching over His Word to perform it, and His Word will break into pieces even the most stubborn problems you face (see Jer. 1:12; 23:29).
I encourage you to look for and meditate on Scriptures that deal with what you're going through, and then speak them out of your mouth. In time, the devil will be defeated and your spirit will grow. Why? Because God's Word will not return to Him void.
So get started on those confession sessions today--and be prepared to reap the benefits!
Joyce Meyer is an internationally recognized minister and author of 60 books, including the best sellers Beauty for Ashes and Battlefield of the Mind (Warner Faith), and her most recent, The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word (Warner Faith, 2004). She is the founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. and the host of Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide.