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When “Faith” Becomes Presumption

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” (Lamentations 3:37)

We want something to be. It looks good in our sight. We may even think that it would glorify God. We fast. We pray what we believe is the proper prayer of faith. We stand on all the appropriate scriptures. But … IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. What then do we do?

Might we have prayed amiss? Could it be that we didn’t have the mind of the Lord when we set off to do something? Is it possible that it was NOT the Lord’s will to heal a certain sick person or to raise a certain dead person? But, one says, we have been commanded to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils.” In order to operate in the necessary faith, we have been taught that we must believe that what we pray for WILL happen, and that it is NEVER God’s will for it NOT to happen.

God will not be controlled by us.

According to such thinking, we are not allowed to ask, we must claim and confess. Believing God CAN do something is insufficient. We must believe that He WILL do it. What though does this kind of thinking lead to? I’m afraid we can become very pushy and controlling. We demand and command people because we think that demanding and commanding is the way God wants us to be. We are even taught that we must place a DEMAND upon God and His anointing. But God will not be controlled by us. He gives power to us to accomplish His pleasure, not to fulfill our will and do what is good in our sight. Humility precedes honor, a haughty spirit goes before an embarrassing fail. God delights in abasing the proud, and bringing their counsel to nought, while He exalts the lowly.

To make matters worse, when our will is not done on earth as it is in heaven, instead of looking at ourselves in the mirror, and considering the possibility that we were not fully aligned with God, we choose to find some excuse for “God’s” (i.e., our) will not being done. We blame the person we prayed for: they didn’t have enough faith, or there was a spiritual violation in their life. Perhaps we blame their family members for the same. We become like Job’s “comforters,” pouring salt into the wounds of those who are hurting enough.

We need a radical re-evaluation of what we have been taught for over a hundred years in the Pentecostal church.

We need a radical re-evaluation of what we have been taught for over a hundred years in the Pentecostal church. It has taken us off course. We have become power hungry, honor hungry, glory hungry. We have become less about God’s will being done in the earth, and His name being glorified, and more about our own name and fame and the enforcement of our will. We would be supermen who rule as omnipotent kings in the earth, but the Lord has His way of showing us that we are but men, who have nothing but what He gives us.

God will only share His glory with us when we honor Him by doing nothing of ourselves. When we speak or act of ourselves we seek our own glory and are not true (John 7:19) When we truly seek only the glory of Him who sent us we are true and there is no unrighteousness in us.

Real faith does not control what God does, it discerns what He is doing.

It is not enough that we supposedly have the Word of God to back us up. We will need more than a doctrine or formula to do the works that Jesus did. We will need the relationship that Jesus had with the Father. Real power and authority requires wearing His yoke. Real faith does not control what God does, it discerns what He is doing.


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.