False Doctrine: Name it and Claim it
These days more than ever prosperity preachers are teaching the false doctrine of "Name it and claim it", much to the detriment of the body of Christ. What is especially deceptive about this heresy is it is disguised as a matter of faith. I will try to explain as simply as possible why it is so dangerous.
Sometimes God's Answer is “No!”
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it
might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I
rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
In my opinion the 'thorn' Paul was dealing with was a tormenting spirit. What, does our God allow demons to afflict us? Yes, sometimes He does. This 'messenger of Satan' obviously had a message that was causing Paul distress. For more on the suffering of the righteous study the book of Job and the story of Lazarus and the rich man.
In any case, what I want you to take from the above passage is that sometimes God's answer to our prayers is no, even when what we are asking for is a seemingly good thing. That's not to say we should stop asking, unless like Paul you clearly hear from God that He has a purpose in your suffering.
Are you willing to lay it all on the line for Christ, everything you have in this world? This is the last thing most Christians would ever think to do, because they have been taught about a false Christ who never says no to their every want and desire. He refines us as gold, and it hurts. In my case I offered God everything I had, and He took me at my word. I wrote about it in my article "What Price Salvation" a few years ago.
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver
us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand,
O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve
thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Notice even back in old testament days they didn't 'name it and claim it'? Yes, the three Hebrew boys had the faith, which was proven by their miraculous escape from the fiery furnace, but they didn't know God's will in their perilous situation. Yes, our God is able, but we must never presume to know His will.
Thy Will Be Done, Lord
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is
The apostasy of the 'Name it and claim it' doctrine is that instead of 'thy will be done' it is “My will be done”. This thinking can actually destroy faith because if our prayer is not answered the way we like we can become discouraged. And then when we're down and wondering why our will wasn't accomplished along comes these wicked wolves who say "Oh, you just didn't have enough faith brother! Try sowing a seed offering to my ministry to demonstrate your faith". These men would have been right at home 'comforting' Job like his friends did.
I have seen the power of God's miracles and personally experienced truly miraculous healing in my own body. But one thing I would never do is presume to know His will. I also have many prayer requests that haven't been fulfilled yet, but I believe they will come to fruition. Some may not, but like the above verse says it is all about His will, not ours.
And we know that all things work together for good to
them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Part of being a mature Christian is realizing that even when I don't get my way God is still working all things together for good in my life. But I want to pose a question to you. Is He working all things together for our good in this life, or the next?
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save
one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered
shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often,
in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen,
in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the
wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
If our brother Paul's experiences are any indication we can say the latter. Oh, don't get me wrong, God will provide all of our needs and He certainly blesses His people, but not always as we expect. I remember when I used to watch TV seeing this woman on the 700 Club telling Pat "Oh, God spoke to me and told me He is going to make all my dreams come true!" What do you think Paul's reaction to that would have been? Or Lazarus, the beggar?
If we have needs we should make them known to God and pray without ceasing always believing that He will answer. However it must be His will for our lives we seek, not ours.
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