Making public announcements today is much easier than in times past when a town crier would loudly proclaim breaking news or public rulings. “Hear ye, hear ye!” was an old phrase used to introduce an official spoken announcement, like those issued by a court. It meant, listen to me, read my lips, mark my words! Along with making announcements of upcoming plays and entertainment, they proclaimed governmental rulings and royal decrees, then nailed the announcement to a post for further examination by those people who could read.
Town criers’ thundering voices commanded attention. When a royal decree was declared and posted, it invoked a level of responsibility to heed the decree by those within earshot of the crier’s bellows. Decrees carried—and still do carry—great import. A decree is an official order issued by a legal authority. When the President of the United States issues an executive order, it is a decree. An order issued by a judge to settle a dispute is a decree or a rule of law.
When God wanted something done, He spoke. He gave an official order, and the world was formed, animals appeared, human beings were created, governments were established, seas parted, a whale vomited Jonah onto land, dead people woke up, a mysterious Hand wrote on the wall of an evil king and freaked him out, demons leaped out of a man into pigs —all at the bidding of The Almighty’s command and under His authority.
God’s decrees are so powerful and effective, King David asked the Lord repeatedly in Psalm 119 to teach him His decrees. Read Psalm 119 in its entirety, and notice how many times the word “decree” is used--at least seventeen times. How earnestly David wanted to learn God’s decrees! Consider these verses:
Vs. 26 I told you my plans, and You answered. Now teach me Your decrees.
Vs. 33 Teach me Your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.
Vs.64 O Lord, Your unfailing love fills the earth; teach me Your decrees.
Vs. 68 You are good and do only good; teach me Your decrees.
Vs. 124 I am Your servant; deal with me in unfailing love, and teach me Your decrees.
Clearly, David understood that God’s words and laws were powerful, and he wanted to know them. Do we want to know God’s decrees that passionately? Why did he? Perhaps it was because David was “a man after God's own heart," (1 Samuel 13:14 NKJV), and the more of God’s words and decrees that resonated within him, the more of God’s life would flow out of him into his home, his family, his court, his country, his people, his sphere of influence. He even wanted to sing them! Your decrees have been the theme of my songs wherever I have lived (Psalm 119:54 NLT), he recorded.
David didn’t have a New Living Translation Bible or an I-phone with Bible apps to look up something God had said. He couldn’t just Google a verse about healing when he wasn’t feeling well or when his young son was dying. His heart—the one that was after God’s own heart even though it had deceived him and allowed him to fall into sin with Bathsheba--still had God’s life and Word and decrees within it. At his lowest point, he responded in worship and humility before the Lord because God’s decrees lived in him.
Saying out loud what God has said and decreed is life-producing. Patricia King, author, and Bible teacher, explains that the spiritual exercise of making decrees finds its precedent in both Old and New Testaments--the practice means simply quoting God's promises back to Him, "reminding" Him of what He has said. This kind of prayer is one of the most vital forms of intercession. In fact, the practice of decreeing God's Word not only builds our faith but transforms our lives.
The power of life and death are in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). We can speak God’s decrees of life, health, peace, abundance, etc., and the more Word we speak out into the open, the more of His life will come forth. Decreeing is speaking God’s words into our realm of influence, i.e. into our home, our family, our office, our gym, our supermarket, our club.
Satan knows the power of decrees. Witches compose their own evil decrees with incantations and word curses to produce evil results. Jesus has given us the authority to speak God’s decrees into our realms of influence and affect our world for His glory. Angels listen for us to decree God’s words, and they are dispatched, upon hearing the decrees of God, to carry out His word in our lives. Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out his plans, listening for each of his commands, (Psalm 103:20 NLT).
But don’t take my word for it, or even Patricia’s. In Job 1:1 (KJV), we read, There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed (avoided) evil. Here’s what that perfect and upright man said, “You will decree a thing and it will be established for you,” (Job 22:28).
God’s decrees are still alive and true and functional. They still carry great power and import. Don’t keep them inside your head—that’s good, but not good enough! Say them out loud. Be the town crier in your house!! Even when no one is around, speak the Word of God out loud, over your family, your finances, your neighborhood, your workplace, your disease…whatever. Hear ye, hear ye! I decree over us today, from Proverbs 10:22, that the blessing of the Lord makes us rich, and He adds no sorrow to it! Furthermore, I decree the peace of God, which goes beyond our understanding, will fill our hearts and homes now and in the days to come, despite these troubling times. Now, you do it.
© 2021, Chris Werre