Name It And Claim It?
"But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my Word." Isaiah 66:2 On reading this, one can't help but think of the "prosperity gospel" peddlers who tell you to demand that God's Word be activated by you the claimant, and to obtain your desires by naming them before him and claiming them. "You can have your best life now," say the peddlers, these wolves in sheep's clothing. These are con men, wolves who have made their millions by convincing you that you can do the same. They will receive their just dues when they stand before the God they misrepresented. On that day they will have nothing to claim as they are humbled by the God whose Word they perverted. Where has the reverence gone? How does one DARE to stand before God and demand that God give him whatever he's naming, claiming, and demanding? God forbid! No, THIS is the one whom God will hear: the person who humbles himself, that is, who is "poor in spirit," and who comes with repentance, the one “who trembles at his Word.” Where has the reverence gone? How can man dare mistreat the Word of God as they do? Father forgive them, for they have no idea what they are doing. They have no concept of your holiness, your majesty, your glory. We are not to throw around the Word of God like a magic wand. We are to TREMBLE at his Word. And that is one thing the prosperity peddlers will never do. They tremble before no one and nothing. They are there to demand what they want and sadly, if they get their best life now, the life to come will be a terrible shock to them. My New Testament reading today showed a different picture entirely. Hear this: "So he himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." Luke 5:16 It's hard to fathom the Son of God, the King of Glory, going off by himself into the quiet of the wilderness to PRAY. He who could command angels, instead humbled himself before the Father and approached him in all humility. Amazing! This is the very Son of God! What a picture! Would you dare walk into a king's throne room and say "howdy," and hand him your list of demands? If you were invited into the office of the CEO of a great company, how would you behave? Picture yourself visiting a far-away country and for some reason being invited into the king's throne room. How would you act? How would you prepare? First of all, you'd spend days choosing and preparing what you would wear. You'd get a fresh haircut. And when you entered, you'd bow. But before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords you run in and give him the list of what you're "claiming" today? Are you kidding??? How shameful! Friends, consider the idea you have of God. From where have you derived the image of him that you have in your mind? Is he the go-to guy waiting patiently for you to come with your demands? No, it is in his mercy that he does not knock them on their faces. This is the Most High God! The creator and sustainer of all that is ...who breathes out galaxies and calls stars by name! When you come before him, come on your knees. Give him the reverence due him. Jesus Christ, the Son of God went off alone into the wilderness to humble himself before the Father in prayer. He didn't present the Father with his list of what he was claiming for the day. He bowed before him and waited to hear from him. How does mortal man dare do any less?