Calling Things That Be Not As Though They Were

Romans 4:16-18 (NLT) …For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”

In Genesis 15 we see where God came down from heaven, cut a blood covenant with Abram and promised that he would have an heir. Then in chapter 17, 24 years had passed but still there was no baby – and they were coming up to 100 years old. So what did God do? He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which meant “father of many nations.” He was trying to change the image that Abraham had of himself by changing what he said.  He didn’t have a Bible and a confession sheet to give him but He said, “I’m going to change your name.” Then, less than a year later, there was a baby. That’s really significant.

In Luke 1, we see another example of how highly God values words – so much that He had to shut Zechariah’s mouth. An angel appeared to him and said, “God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John. You will have great joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the eyes of the Lord. … He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”

After hearing all this, Zechariah said, “By what shall I know and be sure of this?” Oh, whoops. You weren’t really expecting to have the child you were praying for?? “For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” So you were praying for a child, but the whole time you thought you and your wife were too old??

The angel shut Zechariah’s mouth. “You can’t be talking because you’re not saying what you should be saying. There’s a mighty important plan on this child of yours, and we can’t have you talking all that unbelief. “Because you have not believed what I told you…”

There are some things in the Christian life that we’re always going to be learning and growing in. We’re learning to live by faith, but faith is inactive and inoperative if you only believe. You have to believe and speak. Just like God did in Genesis chapter 1, we are creating with our words – and we want to be creating the right things.

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