The Power of Proclamation - Bob Sawvelle

Are you looking for breakthrough in your life? Every breakthrough requires an act of faith on our part. The Lord loves giving us opportunities to passionately exercise our faith. Let’s look at the biblical account of King Joash in 2 Kings 13:14-20 to learn about the power of proclamation in exercising your faith.

Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die. Then Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over his face, and said, “O my father, my father, the chariots of Israel and their horsemen!” 

Joash has come to see Elijah at the 11th hour, needing a miracle. Elisha is sick and dying. King Joash knew of the miracles Elisha had performed, and he was afraid they would lose the man of God, God’s favor, and their subsequent deliverance. His hope was fading. He was weak in faith and fearful, that’s why he came to Elisha – a mature faith was needed in this instance.

He appears to be desperate for a breakthrough, not necessarily concerned about Elisha, but more concerned about himself and his problems. He and the nation of Israel were trusting in the chariots & horse, instead of in God. Military might, apart from God’s hand of favor, is futile.

Impartation for the King

And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and some arrows.” So he took himself a bow and some arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow.” So he put his hand on it, and Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands. 

Through the prophet, God touches the king. It’s the mercy of God, and grace (God’s power to work) is being imparted. But King Joash has weak faith, and he doesn’t recognize the prophetic significance of the moment nor does he “see” what God wants to do.

The Lord wanted to deliver them from the enemy. Joash, a prodigal son and wayward King, had the hand and mercy of God extended to him. God has mercy to extend to us when we are wayward and weak.

The Arrow (Prophetic Act & Decree) of the Lord’s Deliverance

And he said, “Open the east window”; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot”; and he shot. And he said, “The arrow of the Lord’s deliverance and the arrow of deliverance from Syria; for you must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.”

The prophetic instruction was given; this arrow represents the Lord’s deliverance, you must strike the arrow until you see the enemy destroyed.

God-breathed words—prayers and decrees—are like arrows that strike and release God’s power against the schemes of the enemy. God uses human agency to bring about His purposes. God can, and often does, work without human cooperation. But often, like in this example, God chooses to partner with us, in spite of our human weakness and underdeveloped faith. (Eph. 3:10)

To understand what God said to the King, understand what the arrow represents:

He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.” Psalm 18:14

In this verse, arrows represent warfare.  Remember, “we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against demonic powers, principalities and spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12. This is a spiritual battle with spiritual weapons!

The arrows of God deliver you from your enemies – they vanquish and scatter your enemies.  Your enemy is the devil & his cohorts!  Disease, poverty, strife, addictions etc. – they are the ones we release the arrows to.

The Power of our Words

What is the arrow of the Lord and how do we release it?  There is a clue in Psalm 64:1-4:

Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation;
Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity,
Who sharpen their tongue like a sword,
And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words,
That they may shoot in secret at the blameless;
Suddenly they shoot at him and do not fear.

Our mouth is the bow and our words are the arrows.  In this passage, bitter words are the arrows and the blameless are the victims… arrows of gossip, slander, criticism, lies, and evil speaking shot in secret at the innocent.

Prov. 18:21: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”  Bitter words become spiritual arrows released into the heavens, reenforced by the enemy.

In the same way that the enemy can release arrows of death at the innocent, we can release the arrow of the Lord to scatter His demonic enemies. We can release arrows of life that bring healing, prosperity, and blessing into people’s lives when we say good things about others, or when we say what God says.

Prophetic decrees & proclamations can be used for the sake of the Kingdom – destroying the works of the enemy or release life to God’s people. God wants you to speak out what He has said about you in His word or through prophetic promises.

Through prophetic decrees we can speak things into existence AS LONG AS God as already promised those things in scripture or through a prophetic word!  When we get a word from God, we have the authority to lay hold of it by faith.  We can release arrows of life by talking about healing, speaking words of healing over our body or others – we enforce heaven!

Have Zeal!

Then he said, “Take the arrows”; so he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground”; so he struck three times, and stopped. And the man of God was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck Syria till you had destroyed it! But now you will strike Syria only three times.”

Joash was already told, with the first arrow, that they represented the Lord’s deliverance, and there would be continual “striking” of the enemy until defeat was realized. “You must strike the Syrians at Aphek till you have destroyed them.” 

The king’s enemy wasn’t flesh & blood.  It was demonic powers motivating & mobilizing the king of Syria to come against Israel. In the prophetic act of shooting the arrow & speaking the words, Elisha was repeating what God said.  He decreed & proclaimed “deliverance”, spiritual & natural!

The king was responsible for seeing the word fulfilled just like we are responsible for the words over our lives. What we do or don’t do makes or breaks the prophetic word.  Elisha was looking for fervency and passion from the king.

Sadly, Joash lacked the faith and passion to achieve his breakthrough. He was unwilling to do enthusiastically something that seemed foolish to him. Elisha said, “You should have struck 5 or 6 times …” Did he really want a breakthrough?

To see your breakthrough, persist in prayer and declaration. Never lose your passion and persist in prayer (Luke 18:1-8). Remember, when you “say to the mountain”, when you “say exaltation shall come”, those forces against you MUST submit to God’s decrees.

You need to proclaim what God has said about you into the heavens!  Take authority over what is opposing your life, your destiny, your family, etc., by decreeing what the Lord has shown you over all these situations!

The Power of Proclamation

My wife Carolyn, while in prayer on New Year’s Eve 2016, heard that 2017 would be a year to persist – not 3 times, but until you see your breakthrough. God is wanting to use you, as Joash, even in your imperfection and weakness, to strike at the enemies who have harassed and oppressed you and your family. Remember Job 22:27-30:

You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you;
So light will shine on your ways.
When they cast you down, and you say, ‘Exaltation will come!’
Then He will save the humble person.
He will even deliver one who is not innocent;
Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.”

God is waiting for the decrees & proclamations of your mouth!  Those in need are freed, even the guilty! This is our ministry, to declare “Exaltation will come!” It is, “To proclaim liberty to the captives … to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God…” (Is. 61:1-2)

There are people to be delivered, cities to be freed, nations to be won and entire regions of the earth to be liberated by the reality of the gospel.  Our weapons are spiritual weapons of Prayer, Praise & Proclamation!

Bob Sawvelle

For more on this topic, watch the Passion Church sermon, “The Power of Prophetic Decrees”:

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