Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he (Abraham) believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were (KJV).
From time to time, there will be those who will misapply the Word of God when trying to walk or speak by faith. It is not that they intend to misapply it; rather, they have either have been taught incorrectly, or they believe they see a principle to apply without studying it out more fully. Usually, the intentions are good in that they want to please God through living by faith. One such verse that is sometimes misused is Romans 4:17. Sometimes, believers will use this verse as a license to “Call those things which be not as if they were.” While this verse helps bring definition to how faith works, we cannot lawfully use it to call things into existence, at least on our own.
In this passage of Scripture, the first question we have to ask ourselves is, who calls those thing which be not as if they were? The answer is found in the verse: God calls those things that be not as if they were. It does not say “we.” Some might argue that because we are sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ, we have the right to call things into existence based on this verse. That argument is partially correct, but needs more clarification. If we are going to walk as sons and daughters of God, then we need to walk as Jesus. Jesus only said what He heard the Father speak, and did what He saw the Father do. This illustrates 1Peter 4:11 which says, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (KJV).
To confess means to agree fully, which means that in order to properly speak as oracles of God, we have to be in full agreement with the Father. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (KJV). Before we can speak by faith, we have to hear first. If the Father calls something that is not as if it were, then we can speak it out in agreement with Him. If He does not speak it, then we cannot lawfully say it. If we are going to walk by faith as true sons and daughters of God, then we are going to have to do things the way Jesus showed us.