Barnabas Bulletin ~ 0226
THE DANGERS OF A NEGATIVE CONFESSION
Recently, as I was meditating on Ezekiel Chapter 37 and the Valley of Dry Bones, it reminded me of the importance of Christians maintaining a positive confession of who we are in Jesus Christ. The cause of all those dry bones that Ezekiel saw was the people, when alive, had developed a negative confession about themselves. They were saying: “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (Ezekiel 37:11). Things got worse and worse for them until they died. Their spirits were broken and the Bible declares: ”A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21).
We are living in a negative world, and things are getting worse and worse. It is, therefore, very important that we keep our eyes and focus on Jesus Christ and His promises to us, and do not allow the negativities of the world to discourage and pull us down to a place where we are confessing more negatively than we are positively. Our confession determines the kind of person we are ~ and the life we live.
- A negative confession has a negative impact in our lives and causes us to go on a downward spiral that breaks our spirit and dries us up on the inside, because it does not agree with what God says about us.
- God is for us and He desires the very best for us.
- But it does not happen if we do not agree with what He says.
- A positive confession lifts us up closer to Jesus and His promises to us.
A wounded, broken spirit has to be released by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Scripture declares: “But who can bear a broken spirit?” (NKJV) or “But a wounded spirit who can bear?” (KJV) (Proverbs 18:14). Our experience has taught us that it takes someone else to release a person from a wounded, broken spirit. Sadly there are many Christians suffering from a wounded spirit in these times.
We need to remind ourselves that it is through the confession of our mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are saved: “But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess (“to speak or say the same together with another, i.e. to speak the same language, to say the same things, i.e. to assent, accord, agree with, hence, to concede, admit, confess” – Bullinger’s) with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame (“disgraced”)’” (Romans 10:8-11).
Our confession is determined by what is in our heart. Jesus declared: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks . . . for by your words you will be justified (“to set forth as righteous . . . to free a man from his guilt ~ which stands in the way of his being right ~ and to represent him as being righteous” – Bullinger’s), and by your words you will be condemned (“to pronounce judgment against” – Bullinger’s)” (see Matthew 12:32-37).
Only you can dry up your bones. We cannot blame someone else, regardless of what they might have said and done against us. To change things around from a negative confession we have to develop a daily positive confession of what Jesus Christ has done for us on the Cross of Calvary, through His death, burial and resurrection ~ which He did for us so that we might know “life and life more abundantly” (John 10:10). It is believing what He says about us more than what we think about us!
I remember the time when God spoke to me from Isaiah Chapter 54 and told me I was barren because of a negative confession about myself. He told me that I needed to confess what He said about me and not what I said about me. I thought it would be easy to change my confession, but I soon discovered that a life-time of negative confession about myself was not that easy to break (I do not know why, but I grew up with a negative failure complex). God showed me that I needed to change into a positive confessing Christian. If I am really honest with you, it took me 10 years to change to a positive-believing and confessing Christian! Through that experience I learned a big lesson. The more I changed my confession to agree with what God says about me, the more my life changed for the better ~ and the more my life changed positively, God used me to touch other people’s lives. In that 10 year period, The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry multiplied 16 times over (and is still growing today). Praise the Lord!
- We all stand before God as individuals.
- The more we agree with what God says, and confess it with our mouth, the more God can work in and through us to touch many other lives.
- Our confession reveals what is really in our heart.
We need to know that a negative heart and confession is self-destroying us from that purpose for which Jesus has paid a supreme price to make us positive believing people of God.
FAITH IS A POSITIVE, CONFESSING ACTION
Faith cannot operate in and through our lives where there is a negative confession from a negative heart. And the Bible is clear: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him (God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently (“search out”) seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is a demonstration, an act of obedience to what God says. It is believing in our hearts what God says more than what I or others say. And when faith is in our hearts our confession is a very positive one; a God-pleasing one.
Again, in Ezekiel 37, it reveals the power of the prophetic ministry to bring about miraculous change, and life out of death, for those dry bones. As Ezekiel prophesied according to the word of the Lord, the Holy Spirit moved on those dead dry bones and gave them resurrection life and a whole new life and ministry for His praise, honour and glory. Hallelujah! (Ezekiel certainly needed faith to obey God in that situation)! But he did, and proved that the word of the Lord is far greater and more powerful than any other thing on the face of the earth. And today, God has chosen you and me to be obedient to His word and to do whatever He asks of us. That demands a heart full of Jesus and a confession from our mouth of what He says and desires us to do. Be rid of every negative confession through pressing in closer to Jesus Christ and allowing the Power of His Holy Spirit to transform and change your life to that for which He made it possible for you. God bless you ~ Rodney W. Francis.
Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You so much that You poured Your love into my life and saved me when I confessed You as my Lord and Saviour. It is such a privilege to be chosen by You to be Your Ambassador on the earth in this hour. Help me to fulfil my calling in the best possible way, so others will come to know Your love too. Please help me to be a more positive confessing Christian so that I can know and prove the power of Your promises to me. Change my heart more and more, Lord Jesus, so that I can live in the victory which You have provided for me. Help me to fill my heart with Your provisions so that I will confess more and more positively in my life daily. I ask this in Jesus’ Name. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.”