Monday, May 6, 2019

I'm Believing God That... This Phrase Is a Rather Anti-biblical Way to Describe Prayer

I've noticed a trend, lately, of professing believers saying that they're "believing God that" He will do something that they want Him to do. I assume that what they mean is that they are praying--pleading with Him, crying out to Him, making known their requests to Him. These are Scriptural ways of describing what it means to pray for something. And then there's the entire issue of having such requests formed by the mind of the Lord Himself in the Scriptures.

I'm not sure where the other way of speaking is coming from. While I try to stay abreast of the latest inventions of men that are passing themselves off as "Christianity," there must be some new book(let), or preaching personality, or radio ditty of which I'm not aware.

But I am aware that it is harmful. One of the chief delights of the believer is to know that God is God, and we are not. It is to view Christ in the Bible by Spirit-wrought faith, and behold His glory as the only-begotten of the Father. It is to realize continually that He is wise, and I am not. He is powerful, and I am not. He is righteous, and I am not. He is holy, and I am not. He is good, and I am not. He is perfectly faithful and true, and I am not.

We see an ocean of glory in God the Son, incarnate--full of steadfast love and faithfulness. We see in Jesus Christ all that God is, all that we ought to have been, all that is credited to us through faith in Him, all that will be done in us as He makes us like Himself. Why would we want to feel like we ourselves are something? Such a feeling can only hide from our view the glory of Christ. Why would we want to speak of our desire, and our confidence in that desire, as if it has in itself some kind of spiritual power?

When I hear someone say, "I'm believing God that..." what I hear is the opposite of prayer and of faith. Prayer involves a submission to the wisdom of God, but this statement seems to impose upon Him my wisdom. Faith binds itself to believe God's words, but this statement seems to bind God to believe and obey our words.

So, I think we might find it more helpful (and certainly more honest) to use one of those Bible phrases to describe the fact that we are asking God for something. It is a wonder that the Lord God listens to the voices of men. And a mercy that He responds by His grace which is sufficient for us, as His power is perfect in our weakness. Often, this mercy comes in the form of a resolute, divine, "No!"

And let us reserve "believing God" for reference to believing not what we are telling Him, but rather for what God has perfectly told us in the Scriptures--best of all, all about Himself in Jesus Christ.

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