Wednesday, June 19, 2019

THE SIN OF POSITIVE CONFESSION (PRESUMPTION)



John Hagee has said, “The phrase ‘if we say’ is recorded many times in the Bible because what we say controls our destiny physically, spiritually, and eternally.” 

If you look up the exact phrase “if we say” in the King James Bible you will get only 5 results.

2 Kings 7:4 “If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”

Luke 20:6 “But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.”

1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”

1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 

The phrase “if I say” gives 6 more.

1 Samuel 20:22 “But if I say thus unto the young man, Behold, the arrows are beyond thee; go thy way: for the LORD hath sent thee away.”

Job 9:20 “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.”

Job 9:27-28 “If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself: I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that Thou wilt not hold me innocent.”

Psalm 73:15 “If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of Thy children.”

Psalm 139:11 “If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.”

John 8:46 “Which of you convinceth Me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe Me?” 

The phrase “if they say” adds 4 verses.

1 Samuel 14:9-10 “If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them. But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.”

Proverbs 1:11-16 “If they say, ‘Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: …’ My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.”

Jeremiah 15:2 “And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the LORD; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity.” 

Not even one of those verses in their context implies that “positive confession” controls what happens in our lives. Let me put it this way: God ain’t no Coke machine! In fact, there are verses that say we have no right to tell God what to do, that we are to humbly submit to His authority as Lord and Savior of our lives. Many of these verses use the example of a potter working with clay.

Isaiah 29:16 “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?”

Jeremiah 18:1-6 “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel.” 

Romans 9:20-21 “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor?” 

In 1 Peter 5:6 we are told, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” 

God does keep His promises to His people (both Israel and the Church) but far too often today His promises are taken out of context. For example: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11) The context of this verse is the return of the people of Israel to their land from Babylon. “For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform My good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jeremiah 29:10-14) Verse eleven is God telling Israel to trust Him to fulfill His promise to bring them back to their homeland. He fulfilled this in 536 BC through Cyrus, king of Persia.

God is in control. I am not saying that we have no hope. I am saying that it is presumptuous and arrogant to think that we can claim ALL the promises in the Bible for ourselves. Presumption is sin. David prayed in Psalm 19:13, “Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” The Hebrew word for presumptuous is zêd. It means arrogant or proud. According to 2 Peter 2:10 presumption is a characteristic of those who are self-willed (self-pleasing; self-centered) and “walk after the flesh.” God does not make promises to please our flesh or pad our comfort zone. He more often takes us out of our comfort zone to make us more like Christ.

God took the apostle Paul out of his comfort zone. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Paul did not say anything about any kind of “positive confession” to get rid of his problem. He did not tell God to take it away. He did not say, “I’m a child of God. Satan doesn’t have the right to buffet me.” He humbly asked God to take it away and God said, “No. Trust Me. My grace is sufficient for thee.”

My take-away from this is that it never hurts to ask God to fix the circumstances in life that are heavy on us. He does not get angry at us for asking. However, we need to be willing to serve God through our weaknesses, not demand a padded life. When that is easier said than done, I pray, “Lord, right now I am not willing to go through this, but I am willing to be made willing. I need Your help.” God is always willing to help us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

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