When preachers speak of harnessing God's power

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Feeling weary? Perhaps you are not allowing yourself to harness God's power. Or perhaps you have become unplugged from the power source.

This is the kind of language you often hear coming from those who follow Word of Faith teachings, or New Apostolic Reformation teachers. I bring it up because words matter. And when certain catchphrases come from the pulpit, it's the vernacular we ought to pay attention to. 

Abiding in Christ is biblical. But harnessing God's power to use it for your personal health and well-being is a common WOF theme, along with speaking positive words to affect your situation.

Contrast this with the Gospel teaching of repentance and forgiveness of sins - not to make your life better, of course, but to abide in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  That message is unfortunately not often heard among NAR and WOF proponents. Nor is it often taught from the pulpits of seeker-friendly or emergent leaders.

Word of Faith leader Kenneth Hagin wrote a booklet How to Write Your Own Ticket with God, in which he instructs followers to "plug into the powerhouse of heaven. He claims Jesus Himself told him in a direct revelation that'Faith is the plug, praise God! Just plug in.'" (You can research more about Hagin's claims and the history and beliefs of the Word of Faith proponents in this White Paper.)

At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the "force of faith." It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God's sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into God.  (Got Questions:)

Some say Christians can harness God's power in everyday life, including prayer, perseverance, and taking risks in God's name.  We really need to examine those words. While Christians certainly do need to pray and persevere through trials, I'm not sure where the Bible teaches us to take risks in God's name or harness power through our obedience to Him.

Then there's the matter of faith. The Bible defines “faith” as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Our “faith” cannot override the will or nature of God.  But our faith that He is able to accomplish all good things for His glory is a necessity for prayer and petition to God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

Sadly, the key to the faulty Word of Faith theology puts the burden on what YOU do, think, feel and believe, rather than what HE did: If you have just the right amount of faith, you'll be healthy, wealthy and wise. Or at least have supernatural strength, endowed with the power and ability to manipulate the faith-force and become prosperous in all areas of life. Illness, sin.

Your failure is the result of your faulty lack of faith. See how that works?

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