Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is based on a sermon by Peter DeWitt. You can hear the whole sermon, The Process of Faith (part 4), by clicking here.
What are you Expecting?
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. (Heb. 11:1) You cannot very well have faith with out a hope! Hopeless faith is hopeless faith! Hope is an ‘eager expectation.” Andrew Wommack says that hope is a “positive imagination.” Hope is not a “wishful wishing!” Biblical hope is “I’ve got a picture of it in my heart! I am going to see it come to pass!”
How do you measure hope? See the “Hope-O-Meter” below:
Having a construct to measure hope is powerful! Kingdom concepts often exist in something of a “black box” for us. We see “faith,” “hope,” “love” in the pages of the Bible and we are often apt to gloss over them thinking “that sounds like good biblical language.” BUT, do we really know how to operate in faith? How to operate in love? How to operate in hope? That is the purpose of the whole Process of Faith series – to clarify some aspects of OPERATING in faith – to make faith more actionable for us. Because hopeless faith is hopeless faith, being able to measure our hope level is a very powerful tool. And here’s how:
You can measure your expectation (your hope) by measuring your declarations (your words).
If you want to know your level of expectation, you can measure your declarations! In Luke 6:45, Jesus teaches us that “out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart, the mouth speaks.” The only way to change words is to change the heart. Yes, will power can cause a bad-mouthed individual to hold their tongue for a time, but word-control only lasts for so long.
Heart change is the only path to word-change.
This is why Proverbs 4:20 says “guard your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life!” All of your life is flowing out of your heart! Why is all of your life flowing out of your heart? Because all of your words are flowing out of your heart!!! Look at Ps. 34:12-13 . . . “Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.” Do you see the connection there? Our words determine the good that we see and the quality of our days! Check out this one (Prov. 18:20-21) . . . “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.” When I read that, I am thinking “if I want to make more money for my family, I ought to watch my words!” That is what verse 20 is saying . . . you are going to eat food based on your words! You are going to be promoted at your job based on your words! You are going to have a blessed marriage based on your words! “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” (verse 21) Our words have power to either create or destroy. God’s words are always constructive. The enemy’s words and ways are destructive. God created the worlds with words! And He’s made us in His image!
All that to say, the Hope-O-Meter, by measuring your words or declarations, it is measuring your heart. When you measure someone’s words, you measure their heart. If you were to take account of your words throughout a week, you would have a very good picture of your heart’s condition. Now, remember, your heart is not your spirit. There is no need to be condemned as a born-again believer if your heart is “off.” Your old, dead spirit (old man) is dead – God removed that at the instant of your salvation and replaced it with the living spirit of Jesus Christ! As Andrew Wommack says, you are 1/3rd Wall-to-Wall Holy Ghost! But, your heart (primarily your thinking) may or may not line up with the Spirit of Christ on the inside of you. And if so, your words might stink and your life might stink. Or your words might be awesome because they are lining up with the Holy Spirit who wants to touch the world through you!
So if words will measure the heart, does that mean that words can measure hope? Look at Proverbs 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Hope’s home is the heart. God says to guard your heart because that is hope’s home and hope is part of the process of faith. Your heart is your hope generator. If your heart gets sick, it means it doesn’t function like it is supposed to function. Your heart is supposed to be hopeful! If your heart loses the ability to be hopeful – loses touch with that hope process – that means your hope has gotten deferred . . . your heart has become sick and stopped working like a hope generator like it should be. And you will know your expectations by your declarations!
What Produces Hope?
“Any statement that does not produce hope is rooted in a lie.” (Bill Johnson)
Hope is produced by truth. Revelation (the truth from God) actually releases hope in us! It increases our expectation! If you have low hope, you will hear low or negative declarations in your life. If you have high hope, you will hear high or positive declarations in your life! If you have low hope, here’s why:
Low hope = believing a lie
Some people ask “what do you expect?” and you can hear their level of hope in their intonation! The Hope-O-Meter is designed to answer exactly that question! What are you expecting? Your words will tell you! James 3:10 says that we often have blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. Just like he said . . . IT SHOULD NOT BE SO! We need to guard our hearts and thereby guard our words!
If you have low declarations in an area, there is nothing to be condemned about . . . you are simply believing a lie. That means you can change! If you are believing a lie, what do you need? The truth – a revelation!
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. (Jn 16:13-15)
The Holy Spirit is in us and He will guide us into ALL TRUTH in our work place, our marriage, our business ventures, etc! The Holy Spirit wants to declare what is God’s to you! When the Holy Spirit declares something to you, that’s a revelation! Revelation is a Holy Spirit Declaration!
Meditation –> Revelation –> Expectation (hope) –> Declaration (faith) –> Manifestation
Sometimes we need to make some declarations in the form of meditation (to renew our mind), but at some point in that process, what was meditation will become a revelation . . . hope will be released in our hearts and faith-filled declarations will pour forth!
How do Declarations Work?
Declarations are like a seed. Mark 4:26-29 says:
And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Seeds pull the specific resources to them that are necessary to grow according to their genetic blueprint. Every type of seed has a different genetic code that is so specific that you can grow literally hundreds of distinct types of bean plants, for instance. There is a genetic make-up imbedded in that seed. It knows what resources to pull to itself in order to grow itself into the point of being a physical plant. Our declarations of God’s promises are the same way. When you declare God’s promises in your life, that promise has a specific fruit that it will produce! God has made His Word to not return to Him void. (Isa 55) When you put the promise out there in seed (word) form, and then it will pull Heaven and earth’s resources to it to bring it to pass! That’s the HOW of how a declaration works. Declarations are not to make you “positive in your thinking.” They are actual, effectual things! Heb. 11:3 says that everything that we see was formed by what is not seen! The spiritual produces the physical! When you speak a declaration, you are actually speaking a spiritual seed that will pull physical resources to it until it manifests.
Declarations can also be represented in the natural by enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts – they make the myriad of biochemical reactions that happen in your body possible. The human body has over 2,700 different enzymes – all with specific reactions that they facilitate. Declarations are similar. There are thousands of promises in God’s Word – all available to us as believers – because God knows there are lots of different “reactions” that need to be facilitated in our lives! God’s promises have a specificity like enzymes have a specificity. God is wanting you to put all of His promises in play in your life! Often, the way that we apply the promises of God to our lives is mostly reactionary. It would be akin to going to the doctor for an “enzyme injection” once we are in ill-health. That is how we often operate with God’s promises. A miracle is great, but living a blessed life is even better!
Operating in declarations will cause you to live a blessed life!
You can be a pro-active believer! You can be one who get’s to co-create your life with God! He wants you to sculpt your life with Him and His promises! You can decide that you are going to speak declarations according to His Word and the promises you want to see grow! Declarations are an investment mindset, not a debt mindset. Declarations are not just about stirring up His promises when you need a miracle, they are about taking on a life style where you are investing His Word into your life. Declarations are the key to purposeful Christian living.