This is a subject that I have wrestled with over and over. The church for years has preached this, yet my Bible says that we know them by their fruit. I personally have seen little good fruit from this doctrine. In fact, I have seen the opposite. I have seen many people disheartened and hurt. People have become disillusioned and stopped going to church.
The doctrine that I am referring to is the name it and claim it doctrine. This doctrine as I see it says that whatever we want just find a scripture in the Bible and confess it long enough and we will have it. I have known the Lord for thirty years and have never seen this work for me. I agree that the Bible is the Word (logos) of God. It has many precious promises. It also has many conditions to those promises. I look at the one that says that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. What is His will? Most would say that the Bible is His will. Ultimately this is true. Yet each circumstance that we face in life I believe cannot be fixed by just finding a Bible verse and repeating it over and over. We have to determine Godís will in the situation. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
Letís say you have a disease. You see in the Bible that the leper was told to dip seven times in the river Jordan. So, you take all of your money, buy a plane ticket and go and dip seven times. Did you get healed? Most likely you didnít. But you should have since it was the Word of God shouldnít you? The difference is this. The leper was told to do this. Were you told to do this? Did God by the Holy Spirit tell you to do this? Jesus said that He came not to do His own will but the will of the Father that sent Him. Jesus healed all that were sick and oppressed of the devil, yet He did each one in His own way. How do we know the way that He wants to heal us unless we hear from the Holy Spirit? Do we just try every scripture? Do we act out all the ones pertaining to healing? Of course we donít. All those scriptures about healing produce faith in us to believe that God does and will heal us. They are an example. To say that because God healed a leper once by him dipping seven times is the way that He will heal you is ludicrous. If the Holy Spirit tells you, that is different. Yet by just taking a scripture and acting it out in the flesh with no direct word (rhema) through the Lord is going to most likely leave you very discouraged and disillusioned.
What if Jesus wanted a new donkey? Did He out of his own will start confessing that He had one? Or would He go to His Father and ask Him for one and wait and pray till He knew if it was His Fatherís will for Him to have one? If it was Godís will He would have just trusted and stood by faith till He got it. The point I am trying to make is the Name it and Claim it doctrine is religious and self-oriented. It leaves out God. It leaves out the Holy Spirit. It is asking God to do your will instead of you finding and doing His will. It is a backwards doctrine. The Holy Spirit is the one that leads and guides us. He is the one that reveals Godís will to us (a rhema Word). He is the one that tells us what we should do. What He says to us will always line up with Godís written (Logos) Word. Maybe God has a plan that when we are sick that He wants us in the hospital so that we may be a witness to a doctor or someone else. Maybe He wants to show you that He can supply your needs of paying the bill. God ultimately will always do what He said in His word that He would do for us. He is faithful. He just has many ways of getting us there. The promise comes through our obedience to His leading not by just acting out his word religiously. The trial is usually for a reason that someone may learn or be taught something by the Lord. Usually the naming and claiming is based in wants not needs. God promised to supply our needs, not necessarily our wants. Do we find anywhere in the Bible where we are told to keep confessing a scripture till we see it manifest? Did anyone in the Bible do this?
Jesus while on earth had a personal relationship with His Father. He gave up His will to do His Fatherís will alone. He died to self-wants and desires. We are scripturally to do the same. Religion on the other hand is not based on a personal relationship. It is based on knowing about God and His Word, but not knowing God. It is based in self-righteous works. It does not allow Jesus to be Lord nor does it allow the Holy Spirit to be the one that teaches and leads. The doctrine of Name it and Claim it I see as a religious practice. It is not based in spending time with the Lord in prayer and intercession and getting the mind of Christ. It is not based in being obedient to the Holy Spirit leading and showing you what to do.
When we are sick does just confessing over and over by the stripes laid on Jesus back I am healed make you healed? What about the cause of why you are sick? Jesus wants to take an ax to the root of the problem. He can heal the problem any time that He chooses. It is a finished work of the cross. We are the given the right to expect healing through salvation. Yet, determining the cause of the sickness and how God would want to deal with it takes prayer, intercession and warfare at times. Letís say that there is a spirit of infirmity involved with why that you are sick. If Jesus just healed the sickness, the outward manifestation, then what about the root cause? If the spirit remained, at some point you would have the same problem again. Maybe if we spent time with the Lord He would instruct us to go to a certain meeting where the spirit would be discerned and cast out. Unless you heard from the Holy Spirit, you could never know to do this. The name it and claim doctrine never goes deep. It deals with surface problems, needs or our wants. The people that have tried this usually end up struggling with faith and are disillusioned. Where does faith that heals come from anyway? It comes from God. It is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. So without hearing from the Holy Spirit and yielding to Him, what faith are we using? We are using our natural faith, not Godís faith. When we have Godís faith we just know we have something though we may see no evidence of it. We donít have to quote something over and over trying to convince our self that we have it. It is not supposed to be mind over matter. Faith comes through our spirit man. Just as when we are saved, we donít have to confess over and over that we are saved to know it. We confess once and we are saved and we know deep inside that we are saved.
The heresy I see in this doctrine is that the Holy Spirit is excluded. It is solely based on self and a religious practice. The statement we use to hear about praying through is important to know here. Praying through is praying till you know the answer. The answer may be just peace, yet you know that God has heard your request and His will for the particular situation will occur. He may tell you a scripture to believe Him for by faith or He may just give you a word to stand on. He may even tell you that this is not His will for you at this time. Praying through takes a commitment along with humility. It is saying that Godís will be done. Its motive is only to find the will of God. If it is not His will then how will confessing a scripture over and over make something that you want to see happen? Whose kingdom are we trying to establish? Is it ours or is it Godís?
I see this doctrine as a devilish deception based in a self-righteous religious spirit. It does not allow for a basic truth of the Word thatís says that we must first lose our life to find it. We are trying to find what we perceive is life without losing our life in Jesus first. We are operating out of our carnality and trying to satisfy the lusts of our flesh. In James we are told that we ask and receive not because we ask amiss that we may satisfy the lusts of our flesh. Our motive is wrong, Our motive must become as Jesusí to do His will and not our own. We need to be concerned more about pleasing Him than pleasing our self. Jesus may be our Savior but until we desire His will alone, He is not our Lord.
My Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:14, ďBut the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discernedĒ. Our life and faith come by the spirit not the mind. When we keep confessing over and over we are just doing a mental exercise to try to convince our self to believe something. Faith comes by the Holy Ghost, not our mind. The knowing is spiritually discerned not mentally. If we would just spend the time in prayer and get the mind of Christ through intimacy with Him, we would not even consider trying this devilish doctrine. We would know by our spirit what is the will of God in a particular situation and then stand by faith till it occurs.
We need to quit trying to take an easy way out, or so we think that it is. The only way to know is to hear from the Lord. To hear from the Lord takes commitment, humility, dying to self, fasting, prayer, intercession, warfare, and trust. That takes work on our part that some are just not willing to do. I want what God wants for me; as I know that what He desires for me is far greater than what I desire for myself. I just find out His word (rhema) which will never go against His (logos) word, and just stand by faith and believe that what He said He will do. I bring my thoughts into obedience with His and act as He leads. When the lies of the devil come I confess or speak verbally what God told me is true and the enemy will leave. What I confess is what God told me to confess by His Holy Spirit. Jesus also used the written word on the devil. He didnít use it to get something that He wanted. He said in Luke 4:8, ď And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serveĒ. Jesus used the word to tell the devil to leave. The devil can not handle truth.
I did have a situation once when by repeating the scripture continually (faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God) that faith did rise up and I had a supernatural healing. The Word of God literally pushed sickness and darkness out of my body.
My husband said I glowed for days!
However, I was instructed by the Holy Ghost to do this. He knew that by cleansing my mind with The Word of God that I would achieve results. His Word brings life in abundance.
Thanks for this thought provoking piece.