Summary: Many Christians live unhappy, fruitless, worried and negative lives. But God’s plan is exactly opposite, He wants His children not just to achieve victory, but LIVE in it! Scripture provides 3 keys to winning in life.
# 2 CLAIMING THE NAME
There are unseen, evil forces that are constantly around us. And while they are unseen they are certainly not unreal. The devil, our own flesh and the world, are constantly trying to steal away any contentment there is. There's an orchestrated, a 6000 year-old conspiracy by Satan to thwart God’s people from being victorious. He is all out to make the Christian fearful, negative, unhappy and worried. But God's plan is absolutely the opposite! He desires for us to have freedom! For 40 years I have practiced 3 principles that have, whenever I have applied them, worked powerfully.
In this message we will discuss the importance of “claiming the name of Jesus!” What is claiming the name? It is an intentional affirmation…it is declaring whose side you're on…it is exercising power over confusion. So many of us live confused lives. In so many decisions we can't quite figure out what side of the fence we’re on – the world or God’s. If I were to give a one-word verb describing what I'm talking about it would be standing. In speaking the word we are taking (authority). In our next chapter we will understand how to plead the blood. If I were to give a one-word definition of pleading the blood it would be resting. That is, resting in the shed blood of Christ for our salvation. So then we are taking authority, we are standing for Christ and then we are resting in the fact that our sins are forgiven.
Are you paying attention? A priest and a pastor were standing by the road holding up a sign that read “the end is near. Turnaround now before it's too late.” A driver passing by and seeing the pastor and priest yells out of his car window, “bunch of religious nuts!” And promptly speeds around the curve. They hear the screeching of tires and then a big splash. The priest turns to the pastor turns and says, “do you think we should have just put up a sign that said bridge out instead?” Let’s purpose to stay focused.
Claiming the name is not about trying to trick God. No human has ever manipulated God. He will not be put in anybody's box. No, it is the principle behind claiming the name that woks. Now, having said that God does promise victory and He promises it always, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 Thank God, victory is in Christ!
How can I claim victory? I can claim victory when it is in Christ, as 2 Corinthians 2 states. Every victory, whether it is over sin or a victory at work or victory in our home or ministry, whatever…is because we are in Christ and God is the one who causes it to happen. Anytime you and I gain victory, we should say, “God, you caused it!” Any time I get blessed, “God, you caused it.” Yes, you and I may have worked hard and may have spent time on our knees, and been obedient but its still God who made it happen…He caused it. Now let me give you a needful context about this verse. I don’t want anybody claiming that God always promises to make us rich and famous. That's not what God as saying here. The context of this verse is that Paul is in the Gospel preaching ministry. He is doing what he can to extend the kingdom of God. And so, here's what he knew – as long as he was doing what he could do to stay in the ministry, and as long as he was being faithful to the Gospel…then God always caused him to eventually have victory.
Now, the second thing that we should understand about the context of 2 Corinthians 2:14 is this: God’s view of success and my view may be a little bit different. God’s victory for Paul was that he going to be in prison. Wow, after all that he had to go through he had to go to prison? Yes…but it was while he was in prison that he wrote the Epistles in the New Testament. God brought victory through an unusual way (a back door victory), but it was absolutely a victory.
Now what do we mean when we say we are claiming the name? What we’re talking about is an intentional affirmation. That is, we are purposely going to affirm whose side we are on. There is no wavering as we clearly affirm, “I am on the side of Lord Jesus Christ!” When we do that, we're able to exercise bold power over confusion in the direction of our lives, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1 Now, this does not mean we can be arrogant…certainly not spiteful, just making it clear whose side we are on. We ought to be bold about what we believe. God calls His children to make an intentional affirmation.