Several years ago I began working with affirmations to assist with shifting my thought patterns. Initially, it felt awkward, but over time I became used to the process and ultimately became passionate about it. I was able to clearly see the fruit in my life that was the result of working with them often and intentionally.
There is “the power of life and death in the tongue” (Proverbs 18:20-21), and scripture exhorts us to “call things that are not as though they are” (Romans 4:17-18). Also from a very practical standpoint, our subconscious believes what we say, and so when we’re intentional to repeat truths to ourselves, we begin to naturally align with those truths.
I work with affirmations that I can believe unreservedly and that are true (as opposed to things my brain will be thinking “well that’s a lie” every time I say them). I feel like it’s important that all parts of me are in agreement with the words. Over the years of applying these principles, I have seen significant changes in areas that previously had remained stubbornly unchanged (often despite much prayer, attempts at inner healing, and even in some cases deliverance).
It’s fascinating (as well as troubling) how lies can sneak in under our radar – because of course we’re all doing our best to “take every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5). But sometimes experiences begin teaching us to believe things we wouldn’t consciously come into agreement with. I’ll give you an example. Since leaving my corporate job for full-time ministry, there have been many moments of great faith for finances. God has come through time and time again, and often in some really spectacular ways (from a testimony standpoint). However, to be in need of all those miracles meant we were often in a place where it appeared we didn’t have what we needed. So over time, a sense of “lack” began to creep in.
When I noticed this subtle heart shift, I decided to address it by bolstering my faith through the use of affirmations. I used the truths I believed to craft an affirmation I could firmly align with – I even made up a melody so I could sing it and get the song stuck in my head to keep me singing it (even if only silently to myself). I make sure to speak it aloud at least one time per day.
Affirmation: I am grateful for the abundant stream of provision that I am immersed in. I am constantly receiving and always in a position to give. I am intentional not to stagnate the flow by hoarding from a place of fear or greed, but rather I happily participate in the movement of abundance that surrounds me and is ever-flowing.
The actual state of my finances remains largely the same, but how I *feel* about my finances has shifted. Part of what God has done is to expand my sense of abundance to see ALL the bounty in my life (of which there is much). And as my gratitude for that abundance deepens, my sense of being overwhelmingly blessed grows. And that place combats any sense of lack rather handily!
This principle of the flow of abundance is a powerful one. It reminds me of the much-used visual that a closed fist cannot receive. But rather it’s as we open our hands – to both give and receive – that we are fully yielded to the flow. We trust that “the Lord gives and the Lord takes away” (Job 1:21), and yes – “blessed be the name of the Lord.”
On Thanksgiving, I was talking to the God about generosity. He’d had me sow into another artist’s life financially in a way that didn’t seem practical, but as I conversed with Him about it, I sensed Him saying I was to “throw my bread upon the water.” I was vaguely aware of a scripture about that but had no idea what the reference was about. I went digging for further understanding (and I should say understanding in the natural, because in my spirit I “got” what God was saying, but my head hadn’t quite caught up), I found this possible interpretation of the metaphor in a post from GotAnswers.com and it resonated deeply. It said “…Casting bread or sowing seed on water seems to be an exercise in futility. But you don’t know what the actual results will be, says Solomon; in faith be generous, and in faith expect a return somewhere down the road. This accords with Proverbs 11:18, “The one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward”; and Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.””
So may we keep our hands open and yielded to the abundant flow, may we be generous of spirit – casting our bread upon the water (with no expectation but simply releasing with joy), and may we reap as generously as we have sown.
- Galatians 6:9 (NLT) So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
- Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NKJV) Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days.
- Proverbs 11:18 (AMP) The wicked man earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness and lives his life with integrity will have a true reward [that is both permanent and satisfying].