I often hear people say (especially as they pray), “I claim such and such….” Is this legitimate? The word claim is used in the sense of “take by faith.” Former generations called it appropriation. As is often the case, there is a legitimate Bible truth and a going beyond the truth that discourages others from applying even that which is genuine.
Some who unwittingly go beyond biblical truth make use of the phrase “name it and claim it.” These folks understand that individuals may miss out on some of God’s intended blessings should they ignore the human responsibility of faith. This understanding is vital. However, some miss the point of who does the “naming,” and with this misunderstanding, the appropriation of blessing becomes entirely up to the individual. Man becomes the driver.
Man is responsible to exercise faith, but faith is always a response to God’s initiation. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Man must exercise his will in true faith, but “faith comes by…the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Taken together, the two verses reveal that faith is taking God at His word when the Spirit of God first works in you. The Spirit stirs you, illuminates truth, and in so doing, convinces you that a truth can be depended on in a given situation. When this is the case, you can trust God to work because He has shown you His will through the Word and the Spirit.
God names it! And when He does, you can claim it! At this point the faith response accesses God’s provision. As we seek the Lord, we do the claiming—but not until God does the naming. And when He names it, we must appropriate or claim it . . . or miss out on His blessing.
With chapters covering important matters like the exercise of faith and the prayer of faith, The Faith Response offers a thorough examination of biblical God-dependence. This book and other titles are available from the Revival Focus bookstore.
John Van Gelderen