Back the late 1970's and into the 1980's a popular teaching was called 'name it claim it'. Today it is the same thing, but called 'decree & declare'. Both are based on speaking the written Word or godly things over one's life in the belief by speaking them they will either come to pass or form a hedge of protection against the enemy, or both.
I shared last week that Jesus is the Word of the Father's power, the ink on the page is not the Father's power. If the power was in the ink on the page anyone who read even a single verse would be born again. If the power resided in the ink on the page every declaration would come to pass.
But Jesus said, the Spirit gives life to His words*. Without the Spirit, they are just speaking words, often vain words because the Holy Spirit isn't involved in them. They are good things, don't get me wrong, and there is nothing wrong with reminding ourselves of godly things. But some use their declaration to get things, like a magic formula instead of first consulting with the person who is the Word to see if those things are for their situation. *John 6:63
How faith arises in our hearts
Romans 10:17 says "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The word for 'word' there is rhema, not logos. Rhema is used when God speaks a word to a person. The word logos is used to speak in general terms or the sum of words, for it is used in John 1:1: "In the beginning was the word (logos) and the word (logos) was with God and the word (logos) was God." That means Genesis through The Revelation is the logos, the general counsel of God.
Out of the logos, the general counsel of God comes a rhema. Out of the vague comes the specific. The word rhema is used when God speaks directly to you, and that is what Romans 10:17 says produces faith - faith comes by hearing a rhema, a word directly from God to you - faith comes by that, not by the logos. When someone told you about Jesus and your heart stirred, and you realized you had to make a decision about Jesus - that stirring was the Father speaking to you, dealing with you, a rhema from Him to you.
Faith does not come by reading 2 chapters of the Bible a day, nor memorizing a verse a day - all that is good, and it keeps our minds focused on the Lord and such, but faith the Bible says, comes when God speaks directly to you. If we walk with the Logos, Jesus, then He can speak a rhema to us. But we can't get the cart before the horse - our faith is based on Him, and we walk with Him that He may speak a rhema to us for our situation.
Rabbit trail, but his can change your life
In John 15:7 Jesus said, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, then you may ask what you will and it will be done for you."
In English this appears to say if a person has enough chapter and verse in them they can reach a point that whatever prayer request they make will be answered. That's not what Jesus said.
Jesus used the word 'rhema' in this verse, not 'logos'. He literally said, "If you remain in me, and my words that I speak directly to you (rhema) remain in you, you may ask what you will (pertaining to that word I spoke to you), and it will be done for you."
In other words - Noah received a rhema to build the boat, so he could ask anything he needed as it related to building that boat. Moses received a rhema to deliver Israel from Egypt, so he could ask anything he needed related to that rhema to do the task. Think of the times in your life you received a rhema - and that can come through a witness inside, a peace about going in a certain direction in life, and so on, that rhema isn't always verbal. But when you respond and asked according to that revelation, it all worked out in that.
As Jesus said, the Spirit will guide and show and speak - only 1 of those 3 is verbal. Think to when 'it worked', and you'll find John 15:7 was true - we are to live like that not just have 'here and there' times when it worked - and it is a life-long process!
The whole kingdom God flows by revelation from the Father, the greatest rhema and revelation is what Peter experienced in Matthew 16: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God"...."blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for flesh and blood didn't reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven."
Paul got it right
In Acts 13:44-48 Paul and Barnabas are telling the people Jewish people about Jesus. But soon they had a crowd that included Gentiles, so that nearly the whole city came out to hear what they had to say. Verse 45 says when the Jews saw the multitudes of Gentiles, they were moved with envy and tried to stop Paul and Barnabas. Paul responded:
"It was necessary that the word of God should be first spoken to you, but since you have judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, look! We are going to the Gentiles! For this is what the Lord has commanded us saying, "I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth."
That word, that rhema that the Lord spoke to Paul, is a quote from Isaiah 49:6 in a prophecy about Messiah. But Paul said the Lord spoke it to them as well.
This is a pattern for us today - the Lord will quicken a verse, make a verse 'jump out' at us, cause us to find a verse and then our spirit leaps, or we hear directly a particular verse. Each of those are like Paul here, a rhema to us. Once Paul had received that rhema from the Lord, he knew what he needed to do.
They did not first search for a verse to 'stand on'. They did not decree and declare their destiny or what they wanted. They did not find a verse and repeat it 100x and put it under their pillow and pray over it 7 days in a row and then return that verse to the apostles in Jerusalem with their best offering.
They knew the Word, the Lord, so He could speak to them from the scripture a verse that was for them and their lives, and also for that situation.
Let us know Him
I think one reason so many first run to ink on the page for a 'word' to stand on, is because it is easy. Contributing to this is they've been taught that error so they think that is what God wants or that's the Biblical way. I've shown that is not the case at all. Let us focus on knowing the Living Word, the true Word of God, the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us invest the time to include Him in our lives by conversational prayer. Talk to Him. Thank Him and the Father for things -look for things to be thankful for. Even if your world has fallen apart, find something to be grateful for. Give thanks and praise for the morning light, the happy coincidence during your day, and your home in the evening - and so much in between. Do you know the Word? Or just the Word on the page?
New subject next week, blessings!
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org