Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 36 : Ask in Faith | Day 246

Distinguish Faith From Presumption!

Faith is a gift to be exercised. It is the basis of accomplishing great and mighty things for God's kingdom. In the Scriptures, we read of the heroes of faith who subdued kingdoms, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, and accomplished many other marvelous achievements for God's glory. (See Hebrews 11.)

Faith involves hearing the Word of God with our spiritual ears and acting upon it. Faith is not a "blind leap in the dark." It is a confident assurance of God's will based on His promises, which are so certain that waiting on them is not discouraging, and acting upon them is natural. Jesus told His disciples to “... have faith in God" (Mark 11:22), and then He commanded:

Command Thirty-Six: “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24).

There is a critical distinction between faith and presumption that we need to understand. Faith is discerning God's will in a given matter and acting upon it, not putting ourselves into a jam and then expecting God to "bail us out."

Satan is skilled in appearing as an angel of light to deceive believers into thinking that they are acting in faith when actually they are acting presumptuously. This is particularly true in the area of finances. Men will get a vision for God's work, spend money that they don't have to accomplish it, and then expect God to provide the funds afterwards by "faith."

Years ago, a well-known television evangelist told me: "I teach people that the more debt they have the more faith they are demonstrating." It wasn't long before his church incurred a debt of 50 million dollars. We talked again after the collapse of his "empire" became a public scandal, and he assured me that he would never again borrow money for the Lord's work!

Hudson Taylor was a man of great faith. God provided millions of dollars for his mission work, which still continues today--more than 100 years after he went to be with the Lord. He said, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply. He is too wise a God to frustrate His purposes for lack of funds, and He can just as easily supply them ahead of time as afterwards, and He much prefers doing so." Many times God will use the provision of funds or the lack of funds to reveal His will to us.

Faith says: "God show us *Your* will and confirm it with funds." Presumption says: "Bless our plans and provide funds later."

Another example of presumption is three women who declared that since God could do anything they were going to demonstrate His protection by locking arms and walking through a raging river. On the appointed day, a great crowd gathered, along with the media. The women walked into the river and were swept downstream to their deaths, causing great ridicule to come to the Gospel.

The actions of these women are in stark contrast to the actions of the heroes of faith, who acted out of obedience to God's instructions rather than foolishly tempting God. Let's make sure that all of our actions are based on faith, because “... whatsoever is not of faith is sin" (Romans 14:23).

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mark 11:24).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard