God is not obligated to help your affirmations to come to pass, but he is obligated to see your biblical confessions through to fruition.
In this episode of the show, I’m taking a little dip into affirmations and confessions. Our words have enormous power. Proverbs reminds us that life and death are in the power of the tongue.
God created the world by speaking it into existence with his words. Humans were created in his image, which means we have the ability to create with our words as well.
I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. In this episode, I’m covering:
- What Affirmations are
- Outlining why they work for some people but not for others
- What biblical confessions are, and
- Tips for incorporating them
Affirmations have been all the rave the past few years. People have been using them for centuries but for some reason they have blown up in the last decade or so.
I personally wasn’t aware of affirmations until after law school in 2013. Part of me is glad I became aware of them later in life. I’m getting a little ahead of myself though, so let me back up a bit and discuss what affirmations are.
An affirmation is a positive assertion. It’s a positive declaration of something.
Benefits of Affirmations
A lot of people tend to wield affirmations like they are some kind of magical cure for something, but there is no magic to it.
According to the National Library of Medicine, there is a little science behind affirmations though. Scientific evidence has shown that when positive affirmations are spoken certain pathways of the brain increase inactivity. Affirmations activate brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and this activation predicts changes in behavior.
Despite there being scientific evidence of affirmations working in some capacity, a lot of people are still skeptical of them. If I had to guess why it’s probably because of one of the following two reasons:
They feel silly saying positive things about themselves out loud.
This is likely rooted in the fact that they don’t fully understand the power of their words. We know that our words are powerful because Proverbs 18:21 says that, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” Although many of us have heard this, we don’t always believe it or recognize it as truth. We don’t fully have a revelation of it. So, that’s one reason why I believe some people are skeptical of affirmations.
The effects of affirmations often happen without people being explicitly aware of them
Meaning, there is no definitive, clear proof that the results people achieve are related to affirmations they spoke. Right? Like, there’s no direct cause and effect line that goes straight from the affirmation to the desired result. This makes it difficult for not only the person using affirmations but also for people observing their behaviors, to conclude that affirmations led to someone achieving their goals.
Why Affirmations Don’t Work
Now let’s talk about why affirmations don’t work. Sometimes, affirmations don’t work for people. There are probably a whole host of reasons why they don’t, but the three reasons I observe most are:
People don’t believe them
A scientific study has shown that when people with low self-esteem say positive, present tense affirmations that are “I am” statements, you know statements like, “I am the best version of myself,” — when people with low self-esteem say these affirmations, they may end up feeling worse. To avoid this, it’s best to confirm who you are and what you are capable of in your affirmation, instead of affirming random positive statements that you don’t necessarily believe in at the moment. Here is an example of what I mean by using confirming affirmations.
During breaks of his shows, Steve Harvey often asks members of his audience if they have ever had a bad day. Then he’ll take it a step further and ask them if they’ve had multiple bad days. Then he will point out to them that their track record of surviving difficult and challenging days is 100%.
A confirming assertion and affirmation of this would be something like “I will survive this day because I am an overcomer. I have triumphed over 100% of bad days.”
The next reason why affirmations don’t work is because you don’t do anything after you say the affirmation. Sometimes people view affirmations as the work necessary to accomplish something. They think that just by virtue of them saying a positive affirmation, the thing they are affirming will somehow, automatically happen. But it doesn’t work like that. Affirmations are merely a step before the action that leads to an accomplishment or change that you’re trying to make. You still have to take some kind of action after you say the affirmation.
Lack of support from God
God is not obligated to back or support desires that are not based on scripture and are outside of his will. An example of a desire that isn’t backed by God is if someone affirmed that a married person is going to be their spouse. Obviously, God is not going to give you someone else’s wife or husband.
Now that we’ve covered affirmations, let’s talk about biblical confessions.
Biblical confessions on the other hand are something else entirely. Confessions may appear to be the same as affirmations at first glance, but there is a major difference.
When I say biblical confession, I’m not talking about confessing sins or anything like that. A confession is when you speak God’s promises over your life.
I was introduced to biblical confessions in middle school at church. Now, I didn’t know they were biblical confessions. My pastor would say them every Sunday and have us repeat them after him. I loved saying them every week because I wholeheartedly believed them lol.
There is no science behind biblical confessions though. Science is a natural concept based on facts that are subject to natural laws. Biblical confessions are spiritual and operate outside of natural laws.
When you confess the word of God, you’re agreeing with the promise it contains. You need to believe in what you speak though.
Examples of biblical confessions
I am slow to speak, quick to hear, and slow to anger. — James 1:19
No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, but every tongue that rises against me in judgment, I shall show to be in the wrong. – Isaiah 54:17
I can do this because I don’t have a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. — 2 Timothy 1:7
Practice Tips for Using Biblical Confessions
If you want to start incorporating biblical confessions into your life, here are some tips.
Align them with the word
Aligning your confessions with the promises of God in his word. The thing is, God must respond to His word. Here is what I mean when I say align your confession with the word.
A biblical confession I make often is from Psalms 28:7 and it says, “The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield; My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped.”
I know that God gave my purpose so I remix this scripture to say, “The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield; My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him for my purpose, and I am helped.”
Say them out loud
I feel like this goes without saying, but I recognize that this is the step that people most often skip.
Believe what you say. Don’t be surprised when God moves on your behalf.
What’s really interesting is that we make confessions and declarations over lives and our situations every day, multiple times a day. Most of the time, the words we speak are negative. We’ll say things like, “when it rains, it pours,” which isn’t even true from a practical standpoint, because sometimes when it rains, it’s just a drizzle and the sun comes out.
But when statements like that are spoken, it’s an invitation for the enemy to bring turmoil straight to your front door. He’s literally waiting for you to say something in agreement with his agenda so that he can make it happen.
The good news is that there are angels who are waiting for you to confess God’s promises so they can move on your behalf.
If you are serious about confessing God’s word over your life, then I want to encourage you to implement more confessions into your routine. If you need some help getting started, then spend 20 or so minutes reading your Bible a few days this week searching for promises in scripture that speak to you.
Try it out and let me know how it goes.
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