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Archive for August, 2010

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 4:16-18

What an incredible statement of faith! To believe not only the unseen, but the incomprehensible simply because God said so! Abraham believed God! But how is it that we so readily try to take this great pronouncement of faith in God’s creative power and ascribe it to ourselves?
Abraham had just settled in Haran with his brother and family when God told him to pack up and leave. Just when everything was going so well! Just go, God told him, and He would tell him where he was going when he got there.
So Abraham left.
Then God declares unto Abraham great promises that he would inherit the land, that all nations would be blessed because of him, and that his seed would be like the dust of the world. Pretty astounding stuff for a camel herder to hear.
Abraham wasn’t sure where all this was going, but he knew it was true. After all, this didn’t come from Abraham’s imagination, but directly from the mouth of God. Abraham was even visited by the priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek, and was blessed again. Okay, now he knows that this is not coincidence, but this is real. But what exactly is going on?
And then one more time, God appears to him and promises His all encompassing protection and reward. Pretty heavy stuff for anyone, even someone as righteous as Abraham. But what is Abraham supposed to do with all this? What is the purpose of all these great and precious promises? He has no children, so who is he supposed to pass this on to after he is dead? What is the point?
God then promises Abraham the stars in the sky. And Abraham believes Him. He believed God because He was God, and God could bring nothing into existence and make things that are not to become real – or as the King James translators put it, “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Abraham did not have to know how God did it or why. He didn’t even have to believe that God could do it – He simply believed that He would. And God counted to him for righteousness.
But what do I hear in the churches today? “Oh praise the Lord, brother. Just speak the word and call those things which be not into existence!” “Just name it and claim it!” “Call it into being!” Yeah right, just snap your fingers and speak it into the wind and all kinds of stuff will pop into existence!
Excuse me, but where did we get this kind of outrageous audacity from? Who gave you the power of creation? Do you really think that because you got saved that you automatically inherited the divine powers of creation? You can just snap your fingers and speak something into existence? That is not faith – that is presumption. And an audacious presumption at that.
The Bible says that the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. In other words, we have power in God through our faith and our broken submission to Him, but our faith is in God’s power, not our own. But magic words do not possess power of their own. To attribute magical power to words that we speak is not faith. It’s the kind of stuff you learn at Hogwarts with Harry Potter. It is sorcery, and it is sin.
The funny thing is that I hear Christians misquote Romans 4:17 all the time, attributing God’s divine power to themselves, but it always seems to come from Christians who have not found that broken, crucified walk in God. These are the same Christians who are enamored with prosperity, blessings and wealth and believe there will be a great transference of wealth to themselves. Their main focus seems to be, not on what they can do for God, but what God can do for them. They won’t pay the price that is required, but they sure want to reap the rewards. They don’t want to break their spirits or crucify their flesh, but are expecting the deeper spiritual walk that comes from sacrifice. They won’t prostrate themselves and cry out upon the altar of repentance with fastings, prayers, and tears, but they want to walk around with a power they neither earned nor deserve.
Everybody wants to be an Elijah, but nobody wants to pay the price.
Abraham believed God, and was willing to leave everything behind to follow God into a strange land, where he was a stranger. He believed God because if God said it, He could do it. God could bring forth that which did not exist into existence. God had the power, not Abraham. Abraham’s power was in that he believed God, not that he became God.
To ascribe to ourselves the divine power of creation that belongs only to God is not the righteousness of faith, but the wickedness and pride of Satan who desired to become like the Most High.

Brother Dale
RevivalFire.org
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