September 17, 2016

"I Declare": Are You Making Declarations of Faith? Try Asking Questions Instead.


Earlier this year, Joel Osteen visited Detroit, the city where I was born. A friend mentioned wanting to see and hear him speak inside a large sports arena. Admission was not free, or even inexpensive for most people. This person mentioned having read Osteen's book, I Declare.

I've leafed through the book and although I appreciate what seems to be the major theme of the book (the value of affirming the good things God speaks over Christians who are in His will), I began to wonder why making declarations was promoted as such an important part of Christian growth and maturity.

Isn't it more important to live in obedience to revealed truth?

Isn't it more important to pray regularly, and listen to the answers God reveals?

Why do so many who seem committed to making declarations and affirmations and calling good into their lives seem stuck at this stage? Where is the evidence in your life that "making declarations" solves long term problems and takes you to the next level? Isn't it enough to simply accept God's word over us, and then live each day as if that word is the final and absolute truth?

Did Jesus ever tell his disciples to make affirmations or declarations in order to progress?  Were the disciples ever taught making declarations or affirmations --  even from Scripture -- would be a measure of their progress?

No.

When you make a declaration, you are speaking from your own personal knowledge and understanding.

"Declaring" what's already in Scripture doesn't make a thing more true.  "Declaring" what's not promised in Scripture is not a way to guarantee obtaining what is good, or spiritually and naturally beneficial. These non-Scriptural declarations may "work" because human beings tend to gravitate to and create in their experiences what is often and repeatedly stated and thought about.

Receiving something in this manner doesn't mean it's the will of God, or even the best option from a human perspective. It's easy to be fooled into thinking this type of affirmation-making process "works" because we've all seen people obtain or achieve what they have made declarations or affirmations over.

This doesn't mean the receiver got the best deal, or is walking in the highest way. It just means they received what they spent a lot of time thinking about or planning for. Supernatural power isn't needed for that to happen. That's a natural process, based on natural human ability.

If you want to move into a truly supernatural realm--one that may surprise you or even astound you--ask questions.

When you seek from God's heart what path you should follow, you are opening your heart and mind to the creator and keeper of the universe. You are trusting that supernatural person to guide you and speak clearly to you.  That is faith.

When asking God for direction or guidance, your question is an expression of truth and is also a statement of willingness to know and obey something beyond your current level of awareness,

That is faith in God. That is the faith God rewards with clear answers, unexpected opportunities, peace of mind, and fullness of heart.  The questions asked in faith point to Heaven and bring the goodness and power of Heaven into our lives and souls.

Faith is not about declarations I make. Faith is about questions I ask and direction I seek from a loving God who always answers the honest, open seeker.

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