Pillar One: Basic Discipleship - Speak The Word of God Over Your Circumstances
The following is a transcript of the Audio and Video for Pillar One: Basic Discipleship - Speak The Word of God Over Your Circumstances
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Today we are talking about speaking the word over your circumstances. Have you ever heard people say, “Well, that name-it and claim-it Christianity is wrong.” I have, too. What are they talking about? I have realized lately that people tend to parrot what they have heard somebody else say and never checked it out for themselves. We are going to do that today. Sometimes you just hear people bad-mouthing something and you think, “Well, that’s okay, that sounds right. That is really wrong. That name-it and claim-it stuff is wrong.” Instead of learning what it is really about, kind of toss the baby out with the bath water, don’t you?
Where did all this speaking the word over your circumstances, name-it and claim-it come from? It started primarily back in the 1980’s with Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagan. They taught something unheard of before, that is in the word, but it had never been taught with revelation knowledge about it. These two men have great integrity. Kenneth Hagan died but they are both known, not only by people on the outside, but by people on the inside as men of great integrity. They had been taught by God in their own personal lives to speak the word and to know what the Word of God said about something. In Kenneth Hagan’s life, it was healing. In Kenneth Copeland’s life, it was finances. To speak it out loud over their circumstance until the thing they needed to happen, actually happened. How did it get out of context? It came to be called prosperity teaching and people would say, “Well, that’s only in America because they are so materialistic. That’s all they think about is greed, get more and more and more. It doesn’t work in the rest of the world.” That is not really true. America may have a real problem with that and I will agree with that. I will also agree that the rest of the world is hurting financially in ways America cannot even understand. Everywhere I go I meet people who say things like, “We want a baby. We’ve had trouble having a baby, but we read in the Bible that God opens wombs. God can give people babies and so we believe in God for a baby. We thank God for our baby.” One lady came to me one time and she said, “I just hate to go to family reunions because everybody is there with their babies and they say to me, “When are you going to have a baby?” She said, “I would have had a baby if I could have had a baby by now.” I said, “You know God can open your womb, and we are going to pray.” She said, “Okay.” She has had four children. So it works. Do not ever let anybody tell you that it is wrong to name something and claim something.
What we are going to talk about today, though, are the errors in it and then what is correct about it. God wants you to prosper. He wants to take care of you. One of the problems people make is when they pray they say, “If it be thy will, Lord.” And, God, I know would like to say, “Get out your Bible and find out what my Word says. This is my will. What does my will say about your finances, marriage, children, hopes and dreams? What are your battles? What does it say? Know what my word say, stand on that and believe I will do it for you.” It has been around a long time. Do you know what they used to call it? They called it standing on the promises. I grew up singing that song, “Standing on the Promises of God” standing, standing, standing on the promises of God that cannot fail. It has been around a long time, it is just that someone got a revelation of it and took off with it and it really blessed our lives.
My husband and I had our lives changed by it. Did we make mistakes in it? Yes, we did, and I want to talk about that because I want to share some of the mistakes I made and maybe it will help you. It is just like the devil to take a good thing and run it in the ground the wrong way. In fact, people can do it. My husband says that any time you get a new truth and are learning about God; maybe you start over here and you did not believe it at all, then you hear. Then like a pendulum, God brings it back and you’re right there in the middle believing what you really need to believe.” That is the way it is with this. You see, God wants you to learn his word. He wants you to know his word. He says, those are the words of life. They have life in them. They have miracles in them. This is not an ordinary book.
When I first started going to Belarus, they had just come out from under Communism. My interpreter said, “Betty, when I was a little boy, nobody could have a Bible. They were forbidden. I didn’t even know what a Bible was. Never heard of one and never seen one. In my village, somebody said, ‘there is an old lady and she’s got this magic book and she’s got it hidden where nobody knows where it is but I know where it is’. Well, we want to go see it.” He said “Okay, when she’s gone, we’re going to go in her house and we’re going to go look at that book.” So, the lady was gone and these kids went in this house. The boy who knew where it was opened it up and it was a Bible. That was what it was. The magic book was a Bible.
If it is wrong to stand out too much, to swing too far on the pendulum, where is that? What is that talking about where a beneficial teaching gets taken way too far? Some people call it “Cadillac faith.” God is going to give me a Cadillac. God is going to give me a big this. God is going to give me a big that. Well, God wants you to prosper. It is in the Bible. Many people in the Bible were very wealthy, were they not? Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Isaiah and Isaac were all wealthy. There is nothing wrong with having wealth. God wants you to do well. But this other is where you just decide you have to have all of these material things in order to be somebody, have worth, value and to impress people. That is just not God. God says, “I don’t want you caught up in that. It will kill you. It looks good, but it is not good. I want you to be caught up in Me and get your worth and your value from Me. I want to do great things with you.”
I remember hearing pastor Cho who has one of the biggest churches in the world in South Korea. I read his book called “The Fourth Dimension”. He is talking about all of this and he said when he first learned about it, he needed a bicycle and he searched the word, God wanted you to have things, he wanted a bicycle. He needed a bicycle and so he would tell people, “I’m pregnant with a bicycle.” They would say, “What?” He would say, “I’m pregnant with a bicycle. I just got this bicycle inside of me. I believe God is going to give me one, I need one in my ministry, I need one to do what God needs me to do. I am just pregnant with this bicycle.” Sure enough, the day came and it happened. You see God wants to do great things for you. He wants to prove his love to you. He wants to prove his faithfulness to you. He wants his glory to be talked about. Why does God want to get all the glory? Have you ever asked yourself that? He is not like a human who says, “I want all the glory.” He is not like that. He wants all the glory so that when other people hear the stories, they will say, “There really is a God and he really does care about people. He really does care about me. Maybe He’ll help me.” And that is why he does it.
Look at this first Scripture, 3 John 1:1-2, written by John to his good friend, Gaius. This is what God wants for you, “How truly I love you. We are the best of friends and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, for your good health and for your everyday affairs to prosper as well as your soul.” Now, that is a key in that verse, even as your soul prospers because you see if God dumped all of these Cadillac’s on you and all these material things but your soul was not prospering, you would end up unhappy. Look at all the people who have everything in the world. There is someone watching right now. You are very wealthy. You could name it and it could be in your hands in a matter of minutes. You could have anything you wanted and you are not happy. You have just been changing the television channels and here is this lady talking. All of a sudden, she is talking to you. What am I saying to you? I am saying that God wants your Soul to prosper. You have to learn how to do that. God wants us to teach you how to let your Soul prosper. What is your Soul? It is your mind, will and emotions. God wants to come in and take over. When he does, he prospers your Soul, mind, will and emotions. That is what you have been missing. You thought you had everything, and you got it and it was not anything. You still felt empty. God wants to teach you how to let your Soul prosper.
God is like any good parent. If you are a good parent, do you not want good things for your children? Do you not want to give them their heart’s desire? As a parent, you will do anything to get your kids what they want as long as their heart is right about it. You will make sacrifices and go to any length to give them. You will even sacrifice something that is important to you. God did that with Jesus. He sacrificed His Son in order to give you Salvation and the abundant life on this earth. God wants to give you things. He wants to give you mental good things, mental health, new ideas, creative things going on in your life. God wants to prosper you. God wants to bless you. His word says that. I just got through reading you that. The Bible is full of promises that God wants for us. You could start in Genesis and go all the way to Revelation and highlight with a yellow marker all of the promises that jump out at you. You would be really surprised how much God wants to do for you. It covers every area of your life so that you do not come up short in anything. You just are a blessed person. Remember, this thing of name-it, claim-it, speak the word, standing on the promises, is the same now as it has always been. It is not any different. What happened that it got taken to the extreme? There were bad things that happened. People did turn sour. What went wrong? Initially, people began to think it was their faith that made everything happen. Without realizing it, they got their eyes on their faith and off of God and they thought when it did not happen, their faith was not strong enough. Maybe their child died or some business failed because their faith was not strong enough. That is not true. In 2 Peter 1:5, God talks about the things to add to your Christian life. Faith is in there, but then there are some things you add after that. It even says, “and add to your faith.” So faith is not the end all and be all. It is just part of the Christian life. It is a huge part. But it is not all and I want to tell you, those of you who stood in faith and believed so hard and then it did not happen and you had a faith collapse, I want to encourage you today and I want to tell you. I have had them, too, had them where they just knocked me out. One time, learning all of this, eager to learn it, eager to know Jesus, not eager to be materialistic and greedy and grabby, eager to learn what Jesus was teaching me.
One time I was so sure that an achievement we wanted to reach was going to happen. I told everybody it is going to happen; and it did not happen. Talk about a faith collapse. I could not read the Bible. I could not pray. I was just dead. It was like, “What is the point of all of that, that doesn’t work.” But Jesus is so faithful to us. The Bible says, even when we are so weak that we don’t have any faith left, he remains faithful to us. The Lord began calling me back and saying, “Betty, I am your Lord, I am your Savior. I died for you. I love you. Come on back, Betty.” And slowly but surely I came back. I came back stronger than ever and you will, too. Do not stay there in that deadness. Do not stay there. Get up and fight. Fight for your faith. Be a faith fighter. Just get going again. Did I ever have it happen again? Oh, yes. I did not want to be one of these people that gets on television and tells you that, “Boy, I’ve done it right. I never messed up.” I have made so many mistakes, but I have always gotten up. I have stumbled forward instead of stumbling backwards.
Another time I did not understand this concept correctly was when there was this trip called the Ramah trip. You could only go on this trip if you earned enough points to go on it in a business we were in. I wanted to go on it. Our best friends were going. They had done the work and they had earned the right to go and I wanted to go. Well, we had not done the work. We had tried really hard, but it had not worked. I thought, “No, Abraham believed when there was no reason to believe. I am going to believe.” Now this sounds stupid, but I did it. I sat by the phone on the day the trip was to leave. I was so sure they were going to call and say, “Betty, a mistake has been made. Can you and Bill be ready to go? You bet, I’ll be there.” Well, nothing. The boat left without us. I was so down. I had been listening to one of these faith preachers, so I thought, “I am going to go see that guy. I am going to find out what happened.” I went to see him. I said, “I listen to you on the radio all the time and I don’t know what I did wrong. I believed. I believed with all my heart.” He said, “Well, did you do the work?” “Well, no.” He said, “Well you have to do the work, too.” And I sat there and I thought any idiot knows that. I know that. But it was like God was saying, “Betty, you are trying to be too spiritual. There is common sense, too. You had to have done the work.
I am going to tell you how God redeemed that. I do not want you to think, “Oh, do you mean that you make mistakes like that and you feel foolish and it’s over.” Sometimes the thing that goes wrong are the things you are trying so hard to do right. Those are seeds. Maybe the seed did not sprout that time, but I worked so hard trying to do it the way I thought it was the Lord’s way. It was the Lord that I sowed really good seeds, standing in faith, holding on, leaning on God, leaning into God and pressing into God. I did not even realize it, but those were seeds. For years after that other situations came along, and I knew how to stand in faith. I had trained myself in doing it and I saw other situations happen that I personally do not believe would have happened if I had not been trained. There is a verse in Psalms that says, “The Word tried Him until the Word of God came true.” What would be an example of that? An example of that would be God spoke a word to you. You know God did, but it does not seem to happen, but you know God did. You had even gone back to God and said, “Lord, did you say that to me? Did you really say that to me?” And He convinces you again, “Yes, I did. But until it happens, you are holding onto that word and you’re speaking that word into the atmosphere. You know it tries you hard. It takes faith to hold on. You have to say, “Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Keep doing it. Keep doing it.” That is what that verse means. So, was I a fool? No. How are you going to learn to walk on the water if you do not ever get out of the boat? You know, Peter got out of the boat and he sunk, but he walked on water first. The rest of those people stayed in the boat. They never had that experience. God knows that you are going to make some mistakes when you really try to walk by faith and not by sight. The Bible says, “You’re going to make some mistakes. I am telling you now. I have done it. I am sure I will do it in the future, because we all want that faith walk. We all want to see the miracles of God. We want to stand on the Word. We all want to be standing on His promises.
What are some of the ways that God does want us to use it? One is to look around at your life at what is going on that you do not know how to solve or something that needs to change. A change needs to occur. Say, “God, show me in your word what to stand on?” And you may have to ask somebody. You may not know the Bible well enough, but it could be in any area of your Bible. It could be for your health. It could be for your family, ministry, finances, fighting the devil or helping someone else. It could be standing in faith for someone else. But you have to know what the Word of God says. Then you have to learn how to fight the good fight of faith, which means when all that comes against you, and it will, and it primarily comes against you in your mind. The greatest battle is in your mind. You can fight that one and win that one. You can win any battle. You have to learn even when it is hard to do it.
What about healing? That is one people really want to know about. Look at this second Scripture in Isaiah 53:5. It talks about Jesus in the Old Testament. “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him and with His stripes, we are healed.” It can be an emotional healing. Maybe you have emotional hurts that are so deep, you need emotional healing. You can say, “By your stripes, I’m healed. Lord, heal my emotions.” I know this is true because even in the New Testament, Peter refers to that verse. In 1 Peter 2:24 it says, “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.”
How about if you have a problem in your family, in your marriage? How about if you want to have really good kids that are godly children? What is a good verse to go by? Isaiah 54 because it talks in there about great shall be the peace of your children. There are things all through Isaiah 54 that are really good to stand on. If you are a woman who has been scorned, you can read there what God says about it. “In your despair, I am going to help you. I am going to be with you.” If you are someone whom people have lied about and it was not the truth; or maybe you made a big mistake and you were wrong, but you do not want to live that way. There is a verse in there that says, “No weapon formed against you will prosper, but every tongue that rises against you in condemnation, you will condemn.” How? It will happen by your Godly life. You made a mistake. You repented. You did what you could to make it right and you went on with your Godly life. God showed everybody. See, they are mine.
Look at this fourth Scripture about your family in Malachi 2:15. Didn’t the Lord make you one with your wife? Yes, in body and Spirit, you are his. What does he want? He wants godly children from your union. So, guard your heart. Remain loyal to the wife of your youth. If you want a good marriage to last a long, long time; then guard your heart and speak that word, “Lord, my heart is guarded and I am loyal to the wife of my youth and my children are godly. I have children that serve you, Lord. They love you and your word says I can.
It is the same with your money and the tithe. Read Malachi 3:10. He talks about “You give to me tithes and offerings, I will pour out a blessing so big you cannot handle it.” I have seen that happen in our life over and over. God is not a man that he should lie. If he says He will do that, He will do it. You may wonder why it did not happen or has not happened yet. Maybe there is a day coming down the road that it is the exact time. If it came before that, it would be too soon and you would squander or lose it. Who knows what? Make a wise investment. But just know this. God wants you to speak his word out loud for your situation.
QUIET TIME QUESTIONS
1. What does the Bible say about His will for us?
2. Where can you find God’s promises in the Bible?
3. How can motives influence God’s promises in a negative way?
4. What are some of the ways to stand on God’s promises?
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