Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And Lazarus came out, bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” (John 11:43-44)
The Bible contains a number of stories about people being raised from the dead. The Old Testament speaks of prophets raising the son of the widow of Zarephath, and the son of the Shunammite woman and of a dead body being raised back to life when it touched Elisha’s bones. In the New Testament we read stories of resurrection of the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, Lazarus and Jesus himself. After Jesus’ death, we find stories of Eutychus and Dorcas each being raised from the dead. How did all of these people receive their lives back? The simple answer is God. But in all of these stories you will also find two other common elements – faith and the spoken word. Each person was raised when someone believed in the power of God to do it and they spoke words of life over the person.
In the story of Lazarus’ resurrection (told in John 11:1-45), Jesus was actually in another town when he received word that his dear friend, Lazarus, was very ill. Instead of immediately departing for Bethany (the town where Lazarus was), Jesus remained where he was for two more days and then began the journey to see his friend. When he arrived, he was told that Lazarus had been dead already for four days. In other words, Lazarus was really dead. But none of these facts concerned Jesus. He knew days before that Lazarus had died – the Spirit had told him – but he knew God would use this opportunity for his glory and so that people might believe in him. So, Jesus commanded that the stone in front of Lazarus’ grave be rolled away, and he prayed to God saying, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so they will believe you sent me.” He then shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” Jesus spoke words of faith and he resurrected a man who had been dead for four days! Verse 45 says that many believed in Jesus because of this miracle. God was glorified.
In the Old Testament, the son of the widow of Zarephath and the son of the Shunammite woman were raised from the dead when the prophets, Elijah and Elisha respectively, prayed to God to raise each of them up. In the instance where the dead man was being buried next to Elisha, the body of the man touched the bones of a prophet anointed to speak the words of God and he sprang back to life. Clearly, the words of God are powerful! In the New Testament, the people who were raised from the dead were raised when someone prophesied over them. Whether it was Jesus telling the person to “Get up!” or “Come out!”, or Paul telling the people that Eutychus was alive, the prophetic word of God spoken in faith over a person caused them to spring back to life. Prayer and prophesy are powerful tools used in resurrection. Both require faith and speaking.
Even Jesus was raised by the word spoken in faith. You might say, “But no one spoke to Jesus and called him out of his grave.” That’s true. But for hundreds of years prior to Jesus’ existence on this earth, the prophets were speaking the word of God concerning his resurrection. Even Jesus himself prophesied about it. So, in a way, Jesus spoke life to himself, in faith, and he was raised from the dead.
If speaking a word in faith can raise a person – even Jesus – from the dead, can the words we speak not resurrect a dead circumstance, situation, relationship or resource issue? If words create life in a person – a seemingly impossible occurrence since we human beings, in and of ourselves, cannot create the breath of life – can they not create new life in the inanimate objects and situations of our lives? Your words, spoken in faith, are powerful and can raise up your dead financial situation. Instead of stressing out about how you’re going to fix the mess or how you will change everything going forward to avoid a similar “death” in your future, open your mouth! Begin to speak words of life over your finances. Raise them up! Jesus said in John 14:12, “The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” You have the power of resurrection in your mouth just as Jesus did. Stand in faith and speak your finances back to life!
Today is about creating a new dialogue around your finances. Think back over the last few days of this challenge. Consider things you’ve learned, revelations you’ve received and scriptures you’ve connected to. How do you want to speak about your finances? What new truth do you hold about your resources? What will you create with your words? Using the Declarative Statements Worksheet, come up with 5 declarative statements about your finances. This could be a mix of scriptures, positive words, descriptive statements, or anything else you can think of. The key is to create statements you can speak going forward that will bring hope, encouragement and life to your finances. Post this worksheet somewhere you will see it each day. Take time everyday to declare these statements over your finances and use these statements in conversations about your resources.
Speak with your spouse or a trusted friend about your 5 declarative statements. Come into agreement on these statements.
Declare your statements in prayer to God. Pray that he renews your mind so that your thinking will naturally come into line with these statements of truth, faith and life. Ask God to reveal more truths about your finances that you can reduce to writing and begin declaring over your life. Thank God for the new revelations he has given you about your finances.