There are many promises in God’s Word—promises for health, peace, prosperity, justice ... the list could go on.
But for many of us, the truth of these promises is not our daily experience. There are sadly too few who can say that these promises describe their reality. Why is that? Quite simply, the answer is often that we have yet to activate those promises.
There is often a general attitude that if a promise is written in the Bible, then it is for me and that it is automatically available to me. It should “just happen,” or it should “just be.”
However, we see a clear example of needing to activate a promise before being able to avail ourselves of it in the promise of salvation. Romans 10:9 instructs us as follows: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (NASB).
In order to participate in, to receive, to have the benefit of and to actually be saved, there is a detailed instruction on what to do. First, confess with your mouth, and second, believe in your heart. Confessing and believing are the ways we step into salvation. They are the activators of this promise.
If it were not necessary to activate the promise of salvation, if it was automatically available to us, then everyone everywhere would go to heaven automatically, without having to “be saved.” However, we understand from the Scriptures this is not true. Therefore, we also know this promise of salvation must be activated, and it is activated by (1) confessing with our mouths and (2) believing in our hearts.
Likewise, the other promises of God’s Word can be activated by confessing and believing. The Greek word in Romans 10:9 for confess means "to speak and to agree with." This is exactly what we do when we decree. We speak it out, and we agree with the promise. When we decree God’s Word, we are activating His promises.
The Biblical Precedent for Decrees
The Word provides several clear precedents for the use of decrees to manifest the promises of God. We see it in Job 22:28: "Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways" (KJV).
This verse in Job is not telling us that making a decree is just a good idea or generally a useful practice. Because of the use of the word shalt, we are actually being instructed, required and commanded to decree. Decrees are required of us by God, and they come with a great promise. It’s not that we are making decrees and crossing our ﬁngers, hoping our wishes come true. God promises us that when we decree, those things “shall be established.”
Also, in Psalm 2:7, we read, "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten you'" (NASB).
This verse from the Psalms is most likely written about King David, and we know it is also a picture of the Messiah. But regardless whom this was written about, what we do see is that this is a decree of the Lord. The Lord has made a decree.
This is significant because of Ephesians 5:1, which tells us that we are to “be imitators of God.” So if God has made a decree, and if we are to be imitators of Him, then we should be decreeing also.
The purpose of decrees is to activate God’s promises and manifest His kingdom in our lives, fulfilling the Lord’s Prayer: "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven" (Matt 6:10, KJV).
What do we decree? His promises! Decree health, peace, justice, prosperity and success. We decree them, and He establishes them in our life for us. That is the power of decrees!
Elizabeth A. Nixon is an attorney, author and speaker with a heart to inspire and launch others into their divine destiny. She is the founder of the Nixon Law Corporation, a Los Angeles boutique law firm, has been featured in Vanity Fair magazine, and is the recipient of the Business Woman of the Year award. Her book Inspired by the Psalms: Decrees That Renew Your Heart and Mind releases March 4.