God has given us the right to speak His will and see transformation come to pass.
Can you imagine giving an account for every word you have ever spoken? According to the Bible, you will. Matthew 12:36 declares that day is coming: "'But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment'" (NKJV).
I believe that verse is meant not to cause undue introspection or condemnation but to help us understand the impact of what we say and the privilege God has given us to use our words for His glory.
We have the power to speak life or death (see Prov. 18:21). Every day we must choose between the two-whether we're interacting with co-workers, relating to our children, or conversing with our spouses or the man next door.
Hebrews 11:3 says that the "worlds were framed by the word of God." In the unseen world, God's words were more powerful than any crane or forklift in the visible realm.
Just as God shaped the world with His words, we shape our lives by the words we speak. Do you have a sense of hope and a positive outlook about your destiny? Do you regularly experience joy, peace and success? Or are you plagued by fear, insecurity and failure? Consider what you are saying-both to yourself and to others.
Not everything in life is based solely on our words because we are subject to the free will of other people. Yet if we take into account how much "say" we have in our own destinies, we will be amazed.
God has given us the right and the mandate to take dominion in the earth, and to declare His will and see transformation come to pass in our lives. This is an incredible honor we are only now coming to understand. It ushers forth from our lips!
This is not some privilege for the "superspiritual." It's for every believer who will embrace it. James 5:17 says, "Elijah was a man with passions just like us." And because he was in agreement with God he said to Ahab, "'As the Lord God of Israel lives ... there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.' And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah ... saying, 'Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth'" (1 Kin. 17:1; 18:1, NKJV.)
It didn't rain for 3-1/2 years until Elijah spoke again! He was able to declare the rain because God authorized his decree.
Webster's dictionary says that to "declare" is to "assert openly or formally, often in the face of opposition." "Decree" means to "pronounce an official order or unchangeable edict." Both are the privilege of the believer.
I believe we are called to make life-altering proclamations. As the "fervent [red hot] prayer of the righteous man avails much" (James 5:16), so do our declarations and decrees. We are not spouting some tepid wish list or demurely muttering soulish desires.
We are joining God in what He is doing in the earth, agreeing with it and speaking it into existence in our sphere of influence. We have God's mandate to see marriages succeed and to see children prosper emotionally, physically and spiritually.
We have the right to decree the Lord's favor on businesses, strategies, health and families. We are agents of the Lord declaring salvation not only in our neighborhoods but also in nations!
The entire Jewish population was headed for annihilation because Haman spoke a decree. But a whole race was saved from certain death because of the words spoken by Queen Esther. Let's choose and use our words wisely and wonderfully. Lives and futures hang in the balance.
Ché Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, California. He leads an apostolic network in more than 36 nations and has authored numerous books, including Fire Evangelism and Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. For more information or resources, go to cheahn.org.