Only God can call things into existence. It’s useless to place your faith in anything other than God’s word. True prosperity comes from being in God’s will.
Last time I mentioned how some pastors lie about faith and that faith in anything other than God’s word is a recipe for disappointment and deception.
Faith is defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. The evidence or proof of what we’re “believing for” comes later (Hebrews 11).
Some preachers lie about faith when it comes to obtaining health, wealth, and prosperity. They teach that if you just believe hard enough you’ll get what you want. Faith becomes a self-generated spiritual force that leads to prosperity. If you don’t get what you wanted—it’s your fault—you didn’t believe.
The problem with this teaching is that it encourages a person to put faith in faith itself (which is ridiculous) or faith in God for something he didn’t promise you. The scripture they use to support this is Mark 11:23-24 which says:
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:23-24).
Another scripture they use out of context is Romans 4:17 where it says, “…Call those things which are not, as though they were” (notice this is only part of the verse).
1. Only God can call things into existence.
Reading Romans 4:17 in its entirety will show that we can’t “believe things into existence:”
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 (Romans 4:17).
2. Worldly prayers will be rejected.
James 4:1-6 reveals that our prayer requests won’t be answered if they’re for worldly lusts:
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (James 4:1-6).
3. Our prayers must be in the will of God.
1 John 5:14-15 says if we ask according to his will we will receive it:
14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).
So, having faith in something that’s not in God’s will will result in disappointment.
Here’s how we get our requests answered:
- Know God’s will (Romans 12 says how).
- Pray God’s will.
- Believe and don’t doubt that you’ll receive it.
- Place your faith in God’s promises. Many of God’s promises are found in the Bible.
- Be patient, God will come through. Faith in God produces evidence (Heb 11:1).
A few of God’s Biblical promises
- The gift of the Holy Spirit: Eph 1:13
- The fullness of life: James 1:12, 2:5
- The forgiveness of sins: 1 John 1:9
- Food, shelter, and clothing: Matt 6:33; Phil 4:4-9