2017-04-28

"Believe and Receive" is incomplete - Must Believe Rightly First

Many people are taught to believe and then to receive. There is an unstated condition that determines the outcome. It is basis for the belief must be true and right first. It should be reworded as "Believe rightly first to receive."
Believe and Receive?

The Word of Faith preachers likes to quote the following verses to justify believe and receive. Just have faith and you shall get whatever you want.
  • Mar 11:23  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 
  • Mar 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours
Base on the above 2 verses, they come out with the simple rule of "Ask, Believe, Say, Receive, Done!" for effective prayers of faith. 

They have ignored the preceding verse:
  • Mar 11:22  And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God
    • The starting basis for the prayer is God. We must know God and His will first. We know God love us and want the best for us. However, for most of us, we want to decide what is best for us and just want God to get it for us. God is God and He cannot be manipulated by us. God will grant and allow only whatever is good for us according to His unchanging attributes of love and righteousness. God will do the wrong things nor to do them wrongly just to satisfy our desires.
And also the subsequent verse:
  • Mar 11:25  And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” 
    • There is a condition here - forgiveness. If we have bitterness against someone in our heart, we must forgive them first to get the answers from God. 
    • Many will testify about the power of forgiveness - healings come after they forgive. Unforgiveness is a hindrance to getting our prayers answered.
Increase our Faith!

Because our prayers do not work, many people will tell us that we lack faith. We need to increase our faith. That was exactly what the disciples asked Jesus to do.
  • Luk 17:5  The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 
  • Luk 17:6  And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 
    • Jesus did not make His answer very explicitly. May be He wanted them to think deeply and to remember it well. It is not your faith that needs to be increased. It is whether you belief rightly. The basis of your faith must be right. Then, even a little of it will accomplish a great thing. The short answer is - it is not about increasing your faith but about believing in the right thing. Superstition is believing in a lie. Not matter how strongly you believe, you are not going to make the lie a truth. If you believe the truth, it will work irrespective of your amount of faith. All the scientific laws work wonders for us without any of our faith.
The Basis of Our Faith is Christ's Completed Work

  • Gal 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 
  • Gal 3:14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
    • The blessing of Abraham is no longer exclusive but is open to all who are willing to receive Jesus by faith.
 Don't Blame God for Our Sins - Temptation & Sin

  • Jas 1:13  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 
  • Jas 1:14  But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 
  • Jas 1:15  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death. 
Check Our Motives First

  • Jas 4:2  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 
  • Jas 4:3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions

Summary

When we don't receive the answers to our prayers, we don't try to believe more, to increase our faith, but rather to examine the basis of our faith, the promises of God, the will of God, and check our motives and also to check the hindrances, one of which is unforgiveness. Again, we can easily forgive by our own power. We invite the Holy Spirit to enable us to do that. We cast our cares upon Him. We meditate on His love for us. If we really want to increase our faith, we should ask to increase our trust in His love for us. May we see and taste the goodness of God and put our trust in Him in all that we ask.

Lim Liat (c) 28 Apr 2017

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