“Today we are going to pray until God moves. Let’s pray until something happens. We have to keep pushing until the baby comes just like a woman in labour.” These are some of the expressions that I often hear from fellow believers as they try to exercise their faith to receive something from God.
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There are some who believe that faith is something you do to get God to respond. This is a major misconception in the body of Christ. Faith is simply our positive response to what God has already done by grace. He has already given us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue (2 Peter 1:3).
Peter was saying everything we need comes through knowledge. That is because Jesus has already given us everything we could ever need when we became born again. We just need a revelation of what we already have in Christ. Faith is already present (Galatians 5:22- 23). We just need to learn how to use what we have. Prosperity is already given, we just need to learn what the laws that govern God’s prosperity are and cooperate with them. Healing has already been deposited on the inside of us (1 Peter 2:24).
How sad that there are some of us who still make statements such as “Faith moves God”. God isn’t the one who is stuck. He is not the one who needs to move. God moved before you ever had a problem. He moved through Jesus. Every person who will ever be healed was healed 2 000 years ago through Jesus. Every person who will ever be saved was already forgiven 2 000 years ago through Christ. Every person who will ever be blessed, was blessed 2 000 years ago with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3).
You don’t need God to move. You don’t need Him to come and touch you or heal you. God has already provided everything. You can’t make Him do anything. If your attitude is “I am going to make God heal me, I am going to make the power of God flow”, that is arrogance at its apex. It will cause frustration in your life as you try to twist God’s arm and force Him to do something. This is not consistent with the Word of God at all.
As I have already stated, faith doesn’t move God. It only appropriates what God has already provided by grace. If God hasn’t already provided it by grace, then your faith can’t make it happen.
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea, and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11: 23 -24).
This passage has been misapplied by some of us believers. They think they can literally “make” God do anything.
“Whatsoever you want, just say it! Believe that you receive and God has to do it” I have heard people say “We are going to grab hold of God and not let go until we make the power of God flow”. We see this in the body of Christ, especially during prayers and intercession for various challenges they will be asking for God’s intervention.
People believe that God is up there with His arms folded and is blind to all the challenges they are facing. They say “God isn’t moving or pouring out His power on people to be saved, healed and delivered because He is upset with us. So the best strategy is to get people together to pray and repent. But He won’t listen to just one or two of us. We have to mobilise hundreds of thousands, even millions of people praying. We have to put pressure on God and stay after Him. Let us get on a prayer chain, a 24- hour chain and not let go until God gives in to our requests”. They may not use my exact words which I deliberately have exaggerated to put across a point, but that is the attitude which is prevalent in the body of Christ — that “we are making God move and pour out His power. That is an affront to God. It is implying that we love people more than He does and we care more for these people more than He does.
I have to confess that earlier in my Christian walk I participated in all of these things that I am now teaching against because of ignorance and this is why I also want to share with some of us who may be in that position that I was some years ago regarding “faith that moves God”. I was very active in all-night prayer meetings (please don’t get me wrong. I am not against all-night prayer meetings) and I remember praying so hard that I was literally screaming and yelling and pounding my fist against the wall saying “God why are you not compassionate on widows and orphans in our nation? Do you not see how impoverished our people have become? For how long shall we continue living like this?
Why have you forsake us as a nation?” When I look back, I see how lost I was in my prayers. The Bible makes it very clear that He will never leave us nor forsake us. So why on earth was I accusing God of having forsaken us? I just thank my Father that He is so gracious, slow to anger and rich in love. This was defamation of character and false accusation on my part.
I know most of us have that kind of attitude that I also used to have. We honestly don’t believe God loves people as much as we do? Something is seriously wrong with this kind of thinking. Why do we do this?
The answer is simple. It is because we don’t believe that God has already done His part. We think He is waiting until somebody rises up and prays and then He responds to your prayer with action. This is wrong, but that is the way most of us think today. We are taking too much responsibility and think that we can make God move.
I recall a certain gentleman came to me and requested me to pray for his brother. He said: “Would you please pray that God would save my brother?” “I answered: “How can I get God anymore motivated to save your brother than what He has already done? He has already sent His Son to die for us. You are implying that God is not as motivated as I am to save your brother. You are approaching this whole thing in the wrong way. Instead of approaching God as an adversary and trying to make Him do something, you ought to start praising God that He loves your brother more than you do. You ought to start praising God for the great things He has done and just be a channel of His love flowing towards your brother.”
We need to understand that God, by grace, has already done everything. If He has done it, then it is just a matter of resting in what He has already done. It is just a matter of reaching out by faith to receive it. When you realise that by the stripes of Jesus you have already been healed, then it is easy to say: “If I am already healed, then it means in the spirit realm, I already have this power on the inside of me. Instead of struggling, Lord I am just going to rest in what you have already done. It is a done deal.”
You need to quit trying to get healed and start trusting that you have been healed. You are not the sick trying to get healed. You are the healed resisting sickness. You are not the poor trying to get rich, you are the rich resisting poverty. There is a huge difference between the two.
If you are struggling and saying “Well, I am trying to believe, but I just don’t know if I will ever get healed”, it is because you don’t understand that faith appropriates what God has already provided. You still think that God is going to respond to you — that when you do everything correctly including confessing so many times, then God will release His power. You still think that God is responding to your faith. No. Your faith is a response to God’s grace or what He has already provided for you. If you are not clear about these things, you will always be very frustrated as a believer.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura