The Power Of The Decree: Releasing The Authority Of God’s Word Through Declaration, by Patricia King
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Chosen Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
Whether or not it is a good thing to be fascinated by the subject, I must admit that I greatly enjoy reading books about the way that Charismatics view the spirit. The focus that people spend on certain elements tends to lead quite naturally to a specialized linguistic terminology about them. Whether or not one agrees with them (and this book tends to assume that one is talking to people who agree), there are a wide variety of ways that Charismatic believers tend to view the word as having a sort of magical power. Admittedly, this view has a significant amount of biblical warrant and is not something that many people tend to pay attention to. At any rate, books like this tend to help encourage a healthy respect of the power of the word and that is something that I feel it necessary to cultivate in a world where words are used so carelessly and thoughtlessly as to present a major burden to the lives of many people.
This book is a relatively short one at less than 200 pages. It begins with a foreword and then contains three chapters that discuss the power of the decree, the titular subject of the book (I), with chapters on the settlement of issues through decrees (1), the distinction between confessions, proclamations, and decrees as far as words go (2), and then the question of how one goes about preparing a decree (3). The remaining fifteen chapters of the book then discuss devotions and decrees as they relate to various aspects of life. These include worship and adoration (4), love (5), our identity with Christ (6), blessings (7), favor (8), victory (9), wisdom (10), provision (11), godly character (12), health and healing (13), spiritual strength (14), relationships with family and children (15), empowerment with Christ’s anointing (16), business, workplace, and ministry concerns (17), and dealing with national matters (18). Each of the chapters includes a great many examples of others who have used decrees and gotten benefit thereby, includes a decree at the end, and frequently a lot of intriguing commentary on what is being discussed in the chapter. For example, the author has a lot to say about the failure of many Christian leaders to lead with integrity, thus bringing shame upon Christianity as a whole.
It is important to understand what the author means by decree. A helpful way of remembering it is not that it contradicts what is by saying that is not true–denying one owes debts, for example, but it says what is not (yet) as if it were as being a promise from God. The decrees this book is full of are affirmations of divine blessings, naming and claiming it, and not in a way that is without nuance. For example, when the author talks about decreeing the blessing of health, it is not done without an awareness that God sometimes does not heal believers in this life, and so it is an affirmation of the ultimate and eternal reality where there is no sickness. This is a surprisingly nuanced view of the subject and one which I can readily respect. The sort of blessings this book wants its readers to proclaim are ultimately dependent on the will of God but often reflect God’s ultimate will, whether or not they are to be found in this life and in this time. That is something worth considering and paying attention to in a world where people decree thoughtlessly but not according to God’s will.