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FAITH: Thoughts on one’s expectations/declarations for the 2008 YEAR Designation (by JOSEPH GARLINGTON)……

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 2, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

For those who may not who Mr.Garlington is exactly,

Pastor Garlington is Senior Pastor of the very successful Covenant Church of Pittsburgh located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is internationally known and respected for his leadership within the charismatic movement. His gifted worship ministry has influenced churches of all types and worship styles, charismatic and noncharismatic.

 

 

I decided to post this due to the fact that Bishop Garlington is the Pastor over my pastor at Liberty Church. He has been a real blessing to me in my life on more than one occasion, and I wanted to share with you some clips of some of the things which were spoken at the church (though the one in the video is not the one which I went to).

 

Of the bat, one may notice that the atomosphere is a bit “Charismatic” but if you’ve been at the blog long enough, I pray you realize that I really do not have a problem with it that much. If ayone’s confused on anything, please let me know and I’ll explain.

 

 

Also, one will probably notice in the video that there is mention of what seems to be the concept of “death & life being in the power of the tongue.” To clarify where I stand on the issue

 

 

 

Proverbs 12:14

14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things
as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

Proverbs 18:21

21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit
.

 

IMHO,

To speak LIFE is to Speak God’s perspectives on any issue of life, and while to speak DEATH is to declare Life’s negatives, such as defeat, complaining constantly…..and MOST importantly, SPEAKING OUTSIDE OF GOD’S AUTHORITY and the INFLUENCE OF HIS HOLY SPIRIT, and only according to our FLESH, REASONINGS, Passions and concerns!!!!! Galatians 5:16-23 and Romans 8:5-8.)

 

Every war we have had started with someone speaking words. Every meaningful act in life has started with someone speaking words that would stir up people’s sensibilities to do things that are meaningful.

Words do have power……….and I think people in our day and age have too much TV (Bewitched, Sabrina, etc.) and too many movies (like Harry Potbelly) where people,using words, recite magical incantations, wave their hands, and — TA-DAH! The words brought something about.

I have personally never in all my years as a Christian, even in my experiences within WOF, have thought of “the power of words” in that respect. I believe that God responds to prayer, but in most cases, one has to actually PRAY in order to get a response. God moves in response to faith, but if I keep making statements that are contrary to His Word, I am in effect calling Him a liar (1 John 5:10). Why should He respond to me if I keep making statements of unbelief (outside of mercy which He has been known to dispaly in spite of)?

When I say “power of words” I am far from referring to magical incantations, instantaneous manifestations, etc. But if you read James 3, you will see that our tongues have a more powerful effect on ourselves and others than we are willing to give it credit for.

Perhaps some of you have been under some extreme WoF teaching in the past, but you must be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Even in extreme teachings, there is a layer of truth that should not be disgarded.

 

hough I know others may disagree (which is cool), I’m coming more and more to believe “What we say has the ability to create situations, emotions, and thoughts in others, just as indicated in how A kind word helps people, negative words hurt – sometimes for a very long time.”

I still cannot get over the principle of DEATH AND LIFE, and it really has me starting to see moreso where many in WOF are trying to come from………and to a degree, I again agree. Only say things that will create in you positive (as defined by the WORD) emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ultimately, actions. That’s part of the reason, I believe, why certain households will not allow negative talk to take place in their houses, not at all meaning that individuals cannot be real with how they’re feeling and simply be transparent, but moreso meaning that staying satisfied with negative dialouge and never acknoweldging what the Word of GOD SAYS or desiring to be positive/HAVING A VICTORIOUS MENTALITY IN LIFE

In one’s persons’s expericnec, he said ”

Quote:
Do you tell yourself negative thoughts during the day? Most of us can fall into that temptation, can’t we? I was working the other day and I was brewing over something bad that had happened and I was just getting bent out of shape. So I stopped, realized I had the power to choose what I was saying to myself and began to think about and tell myself good things. And my day changed for the better.
Have you ever been in your backswing on the golf course and said to yourself, “I am going to shank this one.” What happens? You shank it.This actually happens to me. So what do I do? I stop my backswing, reset myself, and tell myself I am going to hit it straight down the fairway. What happens? About half the time I hit it straight, the other half, I shank it, but increasing your ability is a future article! At the very least I increase my chances of performing better. Bad thoughts almost guarantee my failure, while good thoughts increase my chances for success dramatically. A salesman, for another example, may see someone walk through his door and say to himself, “I’m not going to be able to make this sale.” I can’t. I won’t.

By no means is Self-talk a substitute for effort and ability, but it is a strong helping factor. Whatever the situation or work is, I think there are specific things you can say that will build you or others up and determine whether or not we have DEATH or LIFE in any situation.

In the words of another,

Quote:
“The words that you use and the conversations you have with yourself create things in you. They can create positive things or negative things. It is our choice. The tongue has the power of life and death. This is why it is so important to be diligent in using the power of the tongue to create a positive force in our lives.”

 

As an example, Since so much of what gets attention from the antiWoF folks is the prosperity stuff, I’ll give an example in that area.

If a person is lacking in the area of finances they have a choice to make. I am assuming they have done all that they know to do in their job, etc…Either they can…

1) Speak doubt unbelief constantly about the situation…”I’ll never have any money”. “I can’t pay my bills”. “I’ll never get ahead”. “I can’t afford that”. “I don’t have any money”.

This person is certainly outside the Will of God for their life. God’s Word tells us that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Heb. 11:6 He supplies all our needs. Phil. 4:19 God knows that we need things so He reassures us in Matt 6:25 that we are not to worry. This type of faithless tongue displeases God according to His Word.

2) They can speak God’s Word on the subject and confess things that are in agreement with God’s Word. They affirmatively show God by speaking His Word that they know He is faithful to His Word. That He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him(Heb 11:6). That He will supply all their needs through His riches and glory through Christ Jesus(Phil 4:19).

 

Also, As another wisely said on the subject,

Most people seriously underestimate the power of the tongue. That is a mistake. We must never underestimate its power. James tells us that the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. And there is good reason for that. It is powerful.

It has the power to control our lives. James gives us the examples of horses and ships. Look at verses 3-4:

3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.

James is telling us that something small can steer something large. Compared to the size of a horse, a bit is relatively small. Likewise, compared to the size of a ship, a rudder is relatively small. But both steer and direct something much larger.

In much the same way our tongues direct our lives. They control the direction in which we are traveling. And so, in a very real way, they control our lives. That’s power! Our words have a tremendous impact both on ourselves and on the others. They can encourage or discourage, heal or hurt. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” must have been deaf.

The words of others have had a powerful impact upon our lives. Karen Carpenter died unexpectedly of heart failure at age 32 brought on by years of self-abuse from the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa. Later CBS released a program called The Karen Carpenter Story. USA Today, commenting on an that release asked, “But what brought on Karen’s fatal obsession with weight control? It seems a reviewer once called her “Richard’s chubby sister.” Could it be true that a single comment could so impact someone’s life?

Some people can tell you that the comments of a teacher, or friend, or significant individual changed the very course of their lives. The tongue has the power to control and direct our lives.

Another thing about the tongue — it has the power to corrupt our lives. Look at verses 5a-6:

Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

What a terrible picture of the tongue! James tells us that the tongue is like a fire that consumes everything in its path. Just as great forests are destroyed by the careless toss of a match, so our tongues can destroy our lives as well.
James tells us that the tongue is a world of evil. He tells us that it is a corrupting force. He says that it is itself set on fire by hell. These are strong statements. But James is trying to make an important point. Never underestimate the power of the tongue to hurt you. It can destroy what you have. It can destroy who you are. In verse 8, James calls the tongue a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Beware the power of the tongue. Never underestimate it.

We must not only never underestimate the power of the tongue but we must also never turn it loose. Something with this much destructive power must be carefully watched and consistently controlled. If we let our tongues run wild, we will be hung by our tongue.

I once lived with a family on a small ranch. They had some cattle and horses. And, of course, there was a bull. While I was there I had to do my part in taking care of the animals. Some of the horses were in the barn in stalls and I had to feed them. One day I was down at the barn getting some feed for the horses. As I came out of one of the stalls, I sensed that there was something standing behind me. I slowly turned and found that I was facing the bull. What I experienced next was a great adrenaline rush. I must have looked like the bionic man as I jumped over the door to the stall.
There is an old saying that applies to situations like the one I found myself in. “It is the unwatched bull that gores you.” When you live on a farm or a ranch, make sure you know where the bull is at all times.

Our tongue is like that. It must be guarded at all times. If we do not guard our tongues, they will run wild. We must be on constant watch. We must be on guard.

Proverbs 21:23 says, He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

James reminds us that we must treat the tongue like a wild animal that is incapable of being domesticated.

7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue.

While we may not be able to tame the tongue, we must control the tongue. We control wild beasts by keeping them in cages and by putting them in harnesses. We must do the same with our tongues. One way we can cage our tongue is to close our mouth. Someone said that a closed mouth gathers no feet. Someone else said that if your mind should go blank, don’t forget to turn off the sound. We do that when we close our mouth.

Ask God to help you guard what you say. David prayed in Psalm 141:3, “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.” The Lord has to give you the power to control your tongue.

The third key in dealing with our tongue is to always listen to what it says. You see, what we say says something about us. Unless we are listening, we will miss the message.

James is a careful observer of human nature. He gives us his observations in verses 9-12:

9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

What is James saying here? What conclusions has he drawn concerning what the tongue is saying to us? It is clear that James is telling us that the tongue is saying something very important about who we are because it reveals what is in our hearts.

In fact, this is precisely what Jesus taught. Listen to what he said inMatthew 12:34: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” In other words, the condition of our heart determines the content of our words.
Doesn’t bother you that we can be praising God right now and in less than an hour we can be cursing the driver who just cut in front of us? It should. We should listen carefully to ourselves and then we should determine to do something about what we hear.

I love the story of the minister who was making a wooden trellis to support a climbing vine. As he was pounding away, he noticed that a little boy was watching him. The youngster didn’t say a word, so the preacher kept on working, thinking the lad would leave. But he didn’t. Pleased at the thought that his work was being admired, the pastor finally said, “Well, son, trying to pick up some pointers on gardening?” “No,” he replied. “I’m just waiting to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer.”

If we don’t like what we hear then we must recognize that the problem is with the condition of our heart. And the only way to change our heart is to turn to God and humble ourselves. Perhaps we need to prayed prayer like David prayed in Psalm 51:10 when he said: “Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again.” I like the way the Living Bible translates this verse: “Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.”

When our hearts are right before God, our tongues will more consistently speak those things that encourage, build up, and heal. And when we do this, we will feel better about ourselves and we will make a real difference in the lives of others.

As another wisely said on the subject,

James devotes nearly the entire third chapter of his epistle to the wildness of the tongue and the constant challenge of governing it with godly self-control. By taking it verse by verse, we can distill a great deal of wise teaching on the matter of controlling our words.

James begins with a piece of general advice that leads to his main discussion of the use of the tongue: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (verse 1). God holds us all accountable for what we have learned as well as how we instruct others. In the various situations of life, we are often both receiving instruction and giving instruction, so he warns that we need to examine ourselves closely and realize that God holds those accountable who would instruct or correct others, whether toward the brethren, our mates, our children, or our friends.

“For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also the bridle the whole body” (verse 2). We all make mistakes—and probably a majority of them are verbal. The challenge before us is to learn to control our words and use them effectively in dealing with others. For followers of Christ, “effective use of words” is using them as Christ and the Father do. If we do anything less, we stumble and run the risk of offending.

So great is this challenge that, if we can master our tongue, we have in essence come to master our entire bodies. We could conclude from this that our bodies function as they are instructed. We instruct our bodies and minds through words, whether spoken or thought. In other words, the mind speaks, and the body follows. We lead ourselves, as well as others, with our words.

Though one of the smaller members of the body, it wields power out of proportion to its size. “Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires” (verses 3-4).

James makes three interesting comparisons. First, the horse has historically been considered symbolic of strength, endurance, speed, gracefulness, agility, beauty and loyalty. At certain times in history, men have preferred to be buried next to their horses rather than their wives! How many countless times has the horse been the deciding factor in battle, in travel, in survival? Yet this powerful animal can be rendered as docile as a puppy by placing a small bit in its mouth, through which it learns to obey every command its master might give it.

Second, the wind drives and tosses giant ships on the seas as if they were toys. Wind, especially at sea, evokes the fierceness of war, raging into every crevice and overturning everything in its path. Calm it down, however, and it becomes a gentle, cooling, refreshing breeze. Gentle winds can bring pleasant fragrances and invigorating fresh air. Having grown up near the Pacific Ocean, nothing quite stirs me like a fresh wind off the sea. Words, like wind, can be unbelievable forces of destruction that leave nothing and no one standing in their paths. But tamed, slowed down and controlled, they can be refreshing, fragrant breezes across our faces.

Third, rudders manipulate the course of immense ocean vessels with a slight movement of a pilot’s hand. Since it is underwater and aft, the rudder of a ship does its work unseen. A passenger is ignorant of its movements most of the time. Yet, when it is in proper working order, the rudder holds more power over the ship than the wind. The wind will blow, toss, even destroy the ship’s rigging, but the rudder guides the ship exactly where it directs. James wants us to contemplate—as horses are controlled by bits in the mouth and ships by rudders below the stern—what tools we might use to control our words, which can be as dynamic as a horse or fierce as the wind. Learning to use that bit and rudder is the challenge!

A Little Member

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” (verse 5). He warns that the size of the tongue is no measure of the power it wields. Just as the tiniest of sparks can ignite a great forest fire, the smallest of words, unwisely spoken, can cause immeasurable harm.

James continues the theme of fire in verse 6: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell [gehenna].” Uncontrolled and untamed, without interference, a fire can spread to leave absolutely nothing untouched, unscorched and unaffected. It is startling to think that fire, of itself, could erase all life from the earth! Were it to burn and spread unaffected by rain, wind, or the efforts of man, it could conceivably cover the earth and burn all life and all oxygen from our world.

Anyone who has witnessed a forest fire and seen flames leap from one treetop to another can grasp the traveling power of fire. James wants us to capture this graphic vision of the potential destruction our words perpetuated in sin can achieve. The iniquity created and perpetuated by words can spread to the ultimate of all damages: death. Solomon writes, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). Does man have any other ability that can cause such a degree of devastation?

James finishes his description of the tongue by comparing it to the most ferocious beasts, the most lethal aerial predators, the most deadly reptiles, the most frightening sea creatures—and concluding none of them are a match for the savagery of the tongue: “For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:7-8).

What hope do we have as men if “no man can tame the tongue”? Mothers once washed their children’s mouths out with soap for using bad language or expressing verbal disrespect. The entertainment media have made such words part of our households, schools and workplaces. James’ admonishment is not a soap-and-water application or a fatherly reprimand. His statements are blunt instruments: The tongue is as a vicious animal, whose words are capable of causing ultimate destruction, and it is as a creature of such monstrous character that no man can tame it.

As a kid, I loved to play “Cowboys and Indians,” and when I heard “no man can tame the tongue,” I imagined a tongue running around like a loose calf, with a cowboy on horseback riding frantically, trying to rope it down and tame it. It is a silly scene, but even now when I think about it, how accurately it pictures the feeling of trying to run after my own words and tame them after I have let them loose!

 

 

 

 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Also, as one of my friends within WOF once said on the issue,

Many of you hate “name it and claim it” even though it was the CRITICS that first coined the phrase……….. Nonetheless, there is some truth to this phrase. We can “name and claim” anything that god has promised.

Let’s look at Mark 11:24 in the KJV:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11:24)

Name them: What things soever ye desire, when ye pray ….

To name something is to be SPECIFIC, or to clearly state to God the very thing that you want Him to give or that you need Him to do on your behalf. Commenting on Mark 11:23, E. M. Bounds wrote:

Just so far as the faith and the asking is definite, so also will the answer be. The giving is not to be something other than the things prayed for, but the actual things sought and named. “He shall have whatsoever he saith.” It is all imperative, “He shall have.” The granting is to be unlimited, both in quality and in quantity. (The Necessity of Prayer)

Yes, one must be SPECIFIC, one must NAME what it is that they want from God.

Claim them: believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

To “claim” something is to TAKE or RECEIVE something from God by an act of faith. By definition, to “claim” something is “To demand, ask for, or take as one’s own or one’s due.” The Greek for receive means “to take”, so TAKE IT or CLAIM THE ANSWER

Some translations use the word “take:”

“Because of this I say to you, you must continually pray for everything, then for whatever you are asking, believe that you will take it, and it will be there for you.” (The Power New Testament is a translation by William J. Morford, president of Shalome Ministries, Inc.)

Therefore I say to you, all things whatever things ye praying shall ask, believe ye that ye shall take, and they shall come to you. (Wycliff New Testament)

On Mark 11:24, E. M. Bounds, one of the greatest expositors on the subject of prayer wrote:

We should ponder well that statement — “Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Here is described a faith which realizes, which appropriates, which takes. Such faith is a consciousness of the Divine, an experienced communion, a realized certainty. (The Necessity of Prayer; Italics are his)

The “believe that ye receive them” is a present believing. You must believe that God has granted your request before you even see the manifestation and you must act like it is done. In essence, you must TAKE the answer from God – CLAIM IT for His glory.

I think that it makes perfect sense for it to be applicable to modern day believers (though not in the same way that many in some congregations may wrongly teach, such as the passage being about getting whatever one wishes of God and practically using faith as a means to hold God HOSTAGE,)

For example, prior to Mark 11:22-23, Jesus seems to address the same principle in a different situation in Mark 9:37-43 (though to note, I’ll go from the passage of Matthew 17:14-21 since they are one and the same and both happen prior to the instances of the Fig Tree.)

Matthew 17:14-21-The Healing of a Boy with a Demon

14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15″Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17″O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Regarding the context of the situation, the disciples were unable to drive out this demon, and they asked Jesus why, to which He then pointed to their lack of FAITH/CONFIDENCE. In my understanding, they were previously empowered by Jesus Himself to go out and “heal every disease/sickness and the authority to drive out ALL evil spirits (Mark 6:7-13, Matthew 10:1-10, Luke 9:1-6)………though there has been made the argument that perhaps they only had special authority only for that trip, it doesn’t explicitly say in the text that it was only for that trip either.

The argument against the passage being about faith would seem to be made primarily from silence, and in my opinion it would seem more of a fit to go with Jesus’ direct words and conclude that their faith was faltering at that point and time when it came to cast out the demon.

Seeing that Jesus seem to make a direct connection between their faith in the PERSON OF CHRIST and their faith at the moment to claim something that was theirs by Christ’s Authority/Will (more and the statement of “Moving Mountains”, it’d seem logical to me to say that there is a general principle that is applicable for Christians today. The battle against Satan (and consequently, anything that stands in opposition to God) is an ongoing, difficult one. But as Christ has said to the man whose son was possessed, “Everything is Possible to Him who Believes (Mark 9:23)…..

And just as the father of the demon-possessed son had victory when he cried out to Jesus to help him believe despite his Unbelief (Mark 9:24-25), so we can also have victory when we cry out in faith to Him, claiming/Standing on the promises that are in the WILL/CHARACTER. Of course, the attitude of absolute trust and confidence that the Bible calls Faith (Hebrews 11:1-6) is not something we can obtain without help. It is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9)……and Victory over sin and temptation—the “MOUNTAINS” that we often may face in our lives comes through daily renewing our trust faith in Jesus Christ, not our own efforts.

As Christ made clear to His disciples, it is the POWER OF GOD, not our faith, that moves mountains, BUT FAITH MUST NONETHELESS BE PRESENT TO DO SO!!! Of course, one can have great faith and things will still be difficult, as seen in Jesu’s response in Mark which seemed to indicate that even with faith some obstacles will simply require intensive prayer (the key that unlocks faith in our lives) and much harder work than ususal (Mark 9:28-29), but FAITH WAS STILL NECESSARY!!!The mustard seed was the smallest particle imaginable, which seems to indicate that the analogy Jesus gave about the Mustard seed is saying that even small or undeveloped faith would have been sufficient.

Perhaps the disciples had tried to drive out the demon with their own ability rather than God’s…..but nonetheless, there is great power in even a little faith when God is in us. And if we feel week or powerless as Christians, we should examine our faith, making sure we are NOT trusting our own abilities to produce results, but in God’s.

Faith would be important to the future ministry of the disciples, which is what Jesus was focusing on…..and from what He tells them, there seems to be application for the common believer today.

If you or I are facing a problem that seems as big and immovable as a mountain, turn your eyes from the mountain and look to Christ for more faith. Whatever He has empowered us to do, we need to be confident in that/the mission of Christ as well as WHO HE IS and continually claim it as our own rather than living in doubt of it/uncertainty. Only then will your work become more vibrant/useful to Him.

That same principle seems to be in harmony with what Mark 11:22-23 discusses, for in my understanding the kind of prayer that moves mountains is prayer for the fruitfulness in the kingdom of God (which is the what Jesus was trying to indicate when HE cursed the fig tree prior to entering Jerusalem….it was an attempt to illustrate His frustration at how the temple/worship for God was, in which from a distance things seemed to be fruitful but up close they were barren and deserving/in need of cursing and stopping from further development.

This was discouraging to the disciples and others who may’ve felt that things in Jerusalem would continue to go on as they would go on, and this may’ve been like a mountain that seemed to not go away BUT WAS IN DESPERATE OF BEING DESTROYED (as the same is in our lives, whenever we face mountains of religion and our faith to deal with them may not be strong enough……..mad props, by the way, to Mr. Cheung and His article, from which has shaped my thinking on the present paragraph……go to http://www.rmiweb.org/other/faithmountain.pdf to find out/grow even deeper!!!! )

It would seem impossible to move a mountain into the sea, so it would seem logical to say that Jesus used that picture to say that God can do ANYTHING, whether it seem logical to us or not.

If one thinks that the primary meaning of the passage was telling the disciples to have permission to pray for silly things at random or things not pertinent to the Will of God, then of course you might run into some practical problems when trying to apply that in real life….and one might even be tempted to throw out the entire verse as being applicable for today because it’s not lining up with a mentality (really, a presupposition) that’s not biblically based.

Jesus’ statement that if we have faith and don’t doubt was NOT a suggestion that his followers (which were well beyond the 12 disciples and included anyone who followed Him, which would seem to make the passage applicable for believers today) use prayer as “magic” and perform capricious “mountain-moving” acts, for not even the disciples were licensed by Jesus to do this, as many (thought not ALL) in the WOF camp may assert to the contrary.

Instead, He was making a strong point about the disciples’ (and our) lack of faith and the role in plays in the obstacles we face (for there are many mountains we face and that we also will have to contend with in our own lives.

I’ve experienced this personally, and yet when I took Christ at His Word on this issue, I was amazed at how may of the mountains I’ve faced have literally been moved (ex. getting into college with a scholarship literally dropped out of nowhere, being able to meet my biological dad despite what seemed impossible to the natural eye, seeing miraculous instances/interventions in my life that seemed to have a direct connection to something I prayed in faith/in line with the Word of God when I sought Him earnestly, and a host of other instances to count which of course cannot be verified on this site but are nonetheless true to me….and if individuals wish to say it’s not true because they haven’t seen it or that I may be lying somehow, I’d saddened by it

I’m not saying, at all, that there may not be times where God may be concerned with what we want seperate from His ULTIMATE WILL. Or that THERE are never times when we can ask the Lord for specific things on our hearts, essentially “NAMING” what it is we’d like from the Lord…….

And I don’t see anywhere in the Word where it says that it’s wrong to ask God for things in faith/believing, or that it’s wrong to ask for things not inherently evil (for example, like asking for a new car when one is in dire need of transportation and even boldly hoping for one that may look good….or that God will deliver one from something that seems humanly impossible to deal with).

From my understanding of the Word, God as our Heavenly Father has given us that option to ask/name ANYTHING we wish and the posssibility that we will have it.

One of the reasons that many Believers don’t receive is because they, as James says, fail to even ASK for anything (James 4:1-5)…….and that is something that we’re encouraged by our SAVIOR to do: To not only believe that God has the power to do something, but to inquire of Him–with BOLDNESS– and ask that He might do it.

As Jesus once said to His disciples when they were inquiring about Prayer,

Luke 11:5-10

5Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’

7″Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness[a] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9″So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Even if what we’re asking the Lord for may seem silly/illogical at the moment (though by illogical, I don’t mean IMMORAL/AGAINST GOD’S EXPLICIT WILL, as revealed in His Word), to me there seems nothing wrong with being bold in asking Him for it, especially when it may seem to be a good/necessary thing seemingly irrational to fathom through the eyes of man or seemingly impossible with men.

As Jesus said,
Matthew 7:7-12

Ask, Seek, Knock

7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9″Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Again, regarding those scriptures, they seem to indicate that the request we ask are not one single thing. They seem to give pretty general guidelines and leave room for the possibility of asking/recieving literally ANYTHING we name/ask for in faith…..and personally, I’ve witnessed in my life as well as others a HUGE VARIETY of things we asked the Lord for and HE GAVE THEM TO US……

There were times when, while seeking to please the Lord, I’d ask the Lord for something for no other reason than because I’d like to have it/enjoy it, and He gave it to me.

And though I wondered at times, “How is this part of the Spreading the Lord’s Gospel or honoring Him? HOW SELFISH OF ME!!!”, PART Of me came to realize that part of God’s character is to be concerned for their children/bless them.

Though they may have in their minds what would be best for their children, they don’t ignore the requests of their children seperate from what their PARENTS may want, even if it seems like a silly request or something that the child wanted simply for his/her own enjoyment

. As long as the children are a blessing, the parents are pleased to answer requests that otherwise would’ve been unanswered. Likewise, that’s kinda how it’s like with the Lord, I believe.

IMO, there’s nothing wrong with naming/asking for things simply for our own enjoyment. To wish to enjoy ourselves isn’t an evil thing that God despises.

Anyone remember the Book of Ecclesiastes?

InEcclesiastes 2:24-28,

24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness…….

God is not against happiness or our seeking to take pleasure in what we do/enjoy life, for it all comes from God’s hand….so there may be nothing wrong with asking for those things that would be apart of that, provided that we of course remember that without Him satisfaction is meaningless and the pursuit of pleasure soley is foolish. However, as long as we focus on the GIVER than the gift, there should be no problem. Solomom affirms the value of knowledge, work, and things which can give pleasure….but only in their proper place, for all of these temporal things we may desire/ask for in life must be seen in light of the eternal (Ecclesiastes 5:19-20)

Ecclesiastes 11:7-10

Remember Your Creator While Young

7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

8 However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.

9 Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment.

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.

However, to balance that out:

Quote:
Marcarther Study Bible:1 John 5:14-16

14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

15And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

When it comes to “NAMING IT/CLAIMING IT”, I think it’s important to know that, regardless of the need, CHRISTIANS CAN CLAIM/KNOW WITH ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE THAT GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER WHEN THEY APPROACH THE THRONE OF GRACE (Hebrews 4:14)

“ACCORDING TO HIS WILL…”

This phrase constitutes a strategic key to prayer. To pray according to God’s Will is to pray in accord with what He Would want, not what we would desire or insist that He do for us (FIRST/FOREMOST, That is) (John 14:13-14).

In other places, John already specified that answered prayer also depends on obediance to God’s commands and avoidance of sin (I John 3:21, Psalm 66:18, John 15:7, I Peter 3:7).

Since Genuine Believers know the Word (i.e. His Will) and practice those things that are pleasing to Him, they never will insist o their own will, but will SUPREMELY SEEK GOD’S DESIRES (Matthew 27:39-44).

God always hears the prayers of his children (Psalm 34:15-17), but not always in the manner they were presented.

Hope that helps a bit. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with a Chritian Believer asking/naming things that he or she REQUESTS the Lord to do………but regarding “Claiming”, I think one can only do so when it’s based for certain in the Lord’s Will.

To “claim” as a way of faith in the Lord’s ability/expectanting Him to do something is one thing, but to do so pressumptously regardless of all of God’s other standards or whether or not one has inquired of the Lord to see if that’s truly what He’d desire above all else may be off.

In my opinion, only when you’ve inquired of the Lord and know for certain what the Lord’s Will is can you make a “CLAIM on that PARTICULAR thing.For another interesting perspective on the issue, consider some of the words of one of my friends in Christ named TALLEN from “CARM”:

Holy Spirit is the source of faith. Faith being fruit (Gal 5:22) between the union of man and God. I would say that a person could literally move a literal mountain, if God wanted to move the mountain via the faith of a person. Faith being a means (there are other means such as prayer) that a sovereign God uses for His purpose. If God wanted to move a mountain and the person that was the chosen instrument of His will moved in faith, that thing would be done according to the faith that person had when the effect of that faith was needed.

The above explanation shows the distinction between the orthodox view and the wof in the best way I can describe it to make that distinction clear. And here is that difference.
1) The wof view is that a persons faith stands as a sovereign force, and when that force is in line with God’s will, God will do according to the will of the person wielding that force. The believer manufactures faith by getting God’s word into his heart. This is a works centered faith.
As opposed to,
2) Faith is a gift of God through the operation of the Holy Spirit in a persons inner man. God’s sovereignty is a force that uses the faith of an individual to accomplish His will. Faith is fruit, and that is that it is something that the believer bears, not what the believer produces. This is not a works centered faith but is solely based upon God’s grace.
Thanks for sending me the email, I was glad to explain my position. This is it in a nutshell and the particulars can be put together by anyone with a casual knowledge of scripture. As you can see, I take the words of Christ literally in the sense that a persons faith can move a literal mountain, this is something that the wof position can not claim and rests it’s argument upon the idea that a person that can’t move a mountain doesn’t have enough self-manufactured faith to do so. But put in light of the scripture and what faith is, it is a means that God uses for His purpose and a result of grace. And if God wanted that mountain moved, or a fig tree cursed and withered, the person that would act in faith like Christ did. He would act according to God’s sovereign desire and He would use that person for His glory and His reasons. The mountain would be moved and cast into the sea or the fig tree would wither. It would happen and be an absolute fact, just exactly in the same way that it happened for Christ.

For more solid resources on the issue, I’d suggest looking into these debates which I was involved in over the summer (though in order to access them, one will have to register…..though it doesn’t cost money at all, and all one needs is to develop a code name to follow along):

http://www.christiandiscussionforums.org/v/showthread.php?t=62290

http://www.rmiweb.org/other/faithmountain.pdf

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