About sixteen years ago, I was desperately seeking a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. I felt like my church leaders, Bible study group, and personal study just left me wanting something more. I felt like everything I read and heard was the same old lessons over and over. I wanted more, I wanted a radical and fulfilling faith experience. Many people I knew had begun following a lot of the popular evangelist of the time. These teachers were on television, and were excitedly preaching about really going after what one wants in their relationship with God. I had experienced prophecy and people speaking in tongues in my life, so I felt like like these radical teachers were on to something.
I asked friends and family to pray over me that God would take me to a deeper relationship with him. During one of these prayer times, a person spoke a word over me. They said, that it was a word from God. They said, I just needed to believe it and it was mine.
I could claim it.
This is often referred to as the “name it and claim it” movement.
Are you wondering what the word was that was spoken over me?
This was the word, “You shall be the head and not the tail, you shall be above and not below, and your enemies will come against you and not defeat you.”
Wow, isn’t that an awesome word, and it is in the Bible, so that means it is true.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
This is NOT how God works. This word may indeed been a Word from Yehovah God for me, but the problem is I never looked into the context of this blessing. If I want to claim this blessing, I have to know where it comes from and what the Word says.
This blessing comes from Deuteronomy 28. (Please stop and read this chapter.)
This is chapter is 68 verses long, it is a long list of blessings and curses that will be put on the people of Yehovah and there are contingents. Yep, God doesn’t just give these blessings out, they require obedience. Obedience to His law. If I want to claim this blessing, then I have to claim the rules that come with the blessings. I have to keep my part of the deal.
(Just to be clear I am not talking about salvation through Messiah here, I am talking about claiming a specific blessing from scripture.)
The book of Deuteronomy is a long sermon/teaching from Moses to the people of God, just before they entered into the promised land. This teaching was ALL ABOUT OBEYING THE RULES. The whole lesson was, “I, Yehovah, am your God, and I claim you as my people, and THEREFORE, as my people I will bless you, AS LONG AS, you obey me.”
You see I was looking for a deeper relationship with God, and the whole time He was saying, “the answer is right in my book. If you want to know me more, love me more, and experience my presence more, then do what I have written in the book.”
I still love a good charismatic sermon given by a gifted preacher, and I still believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I just now know that if I want to claim a blessing, I better check the source.
- Does this word/blessing line up with the Truth of God’s Word?
- Where is this blessing found in scripture, and what is the context of the blessing?
- Can I apply this word to myself, or was it given to someone else specifically?
- What is required of me to claim this blessing?
A closer relationship is exactly what our Creator wants with us. He created us to be His friend. It is His desire to be close to us, but we must decide if we want that too. Lucifer was created by God to serve Him, but instead He chose evil. Adam was created to be God’s companion, yet He chose to sin. Both Lucifer and Adam were good, but they chose evil. I have a choice, you have a choice.
What will you choose?
After the long sermon of Deuteronomy, Moses gave over the leadership of Israel to Joshua, and Joshua had a tough choice to make.
He could believe what Moses had taught him, or he could choose his own way.
Joshua made His choice, He said:
“As for me and my house, we will serve Yehovah.”
That is the choice I make today.
So, I will claim my blessing, and obey Yehovah with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.