Everything was riding on this.
My job (i.e. my money). My living situation. My future plans.
Everything was riding on whether or not I passed this one exam.
Talk about anxiety!
See, I like knowledge. I like studying. I don’t like either of those two as a requirement. When I finished school, I was done! However, now, I was required to add an additional certification to the one I already received years ago. Life circumstances were already hard enough, on top of living in a pandemic, fighting for justice, still working, and taking a college course for Professional Development. Now, I had to add studying for an exam! It was all too overwhelming!
The week leading up to the exam I would go to class from 8am-3pm, work around 5 hours for my job, and then study for an hour each night. I didn’t feel I would make it. When I took my practice exams, I rarely passed or received the grades I desired. Then it came. Test day.
I entered the testing site on time and began answering my questions on the computer. It started off going well, but then so many terms appeared that I didn’t focus on during my studying. Those terms seemed to be the ones I received the most questions over. However, the topics I memorized rarely appeared on the test. Let’s just say, I didn’t walk out feeling 100% confident of my results.
Knowing I would receive my results the same week, I expressed my anxiety to others, and I would repeatedly hear, “Just claim it! It’s already done. You passed.” Y’all, now, I’m for positive thinking (even if I lean more on the negative). I’m for optimism. I’m for hope! But I’m not for naming and claiming it. As much as I want to manifest it, here’s the danger I see in that.
“Just claim it! It’s already done. You passed.”
There are very few specific situational promises outlined in the Bible that pertain to individuals. Of those that exist, very few occur in the New Testament and after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There’s an even more minute amount of those that specifically pertain to me. Off the top of my head, here are the only
three four eight I can recall that were specifc to chosen people.
- Abraham would be the father of many nations.
- Joseph would reign over his brothers and parents.
- Saul would no longer be king.
- David would become king and establish an everlasting kingdom through his lineage.
- Those who rebelled and complained in the desert would not see the Promise Land.
- Only Caleb and Joshua would enter the Promised Land.
- David’s first child with Bathsheba would not live.
- Mary would bear a son who would take away the sins of the world.
I will marry a handsome God-fearing man. I will pass my ESL certification exam.
(Wait, those last two aren’t in the Bible)
There may be more, and the Lord kept bringing more to mind, but I’m not going to find any like the last two I mentioned that pertain specifically to me. Don’t get me wrong. I believe God still speaks. Let me say that again, I believe God still speaks today! Yet, just because I greatly desire something, I can’t claim it if He didn’t speak it. Trust me, I’ve claimed a husband for some time and my marital status is still as single as a pringle.
I know the heart behind “name and it claim it.” I believe it’s honorable. I want to be counted in the Hall of Faith alongside Abraham “who believed and it was attributed as righteousness.” But, y’all, the direct words of God spoke the impossible to him and made it happen. I believe that’s happening today because God has chosen and spoken to specific individuals that what He has said will ultimately fulfill His purpose for them and give Him glory in this world. However, just because it’s what I want doesn’t mean I’ll get it. My not getting may actually be what he uses to fulfill His plan for me and get the most glory from.
So, if there are no individual promises of God, what can we stand on?
Great question. While there are a multitude of general promises given to His people (and others to those who choose to reject Him), I think we’re really only prone to “name it and claim it” when we fear a possible negative outcome. Even then, that’s only negative in our eyes because God has a purpose in it. It’s our fear that causes us to try to stand on our own promises instead of God’s actual promises. In light of this truth, let me share the promises you can actually stand on no matter your situation.
- Whatever the outcome, it will turn out for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
- You need not fear because God has given you power to overcome any situation (2 Timothy 1:7).
- His plans for you are good (Jeremiah 29:11).
- He will be with you in every aspect of your life (Deuteronomy 3:16).
- His love for you will not change (Jeremiah 31:3).
- He will give you peace if you lay this desire in His hands (Philippians 4:6-7).
At the end of the day, the one thing we can count on is that God will be who He said He would be. I AM. I AM your reward, your hope, your comfort, your peace…whatever you need in this minute. That’s a promise I can name and claim!
And in case you’re wondering, I passed my exam!
Until Heaven or Sooner,