I’ve found through the Scripture, that if you’re not careful, trying to “claim the promises” might trap you in legalism. There are some who are bound by the idea that unless I perform certain actions, God won’t bless me.
That was my thinking at one point in my life. I was bound by the attitude that I HAD TO tithe in order for God to bless my finances.
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:19-20
One day, as I was in prayer, the Lord showed me that when I decided to tithe in order for God to rebuke the devourer (Malachi 3:10-11), I was appealing to the law for my financial blessing.
Through the gentle leading of the Spirit, I came to the realization that I had placed myself under the commandment. I now understand that my trying to fulfill the requirements of the promises is a form of legalism.
What I had forgotten was this:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
By placing my hope in keeping the tithe law, I was missing the rest of the puzzle. Here’s what I had neglected. The passage in Malachi showed me the conditions to rebuke the devourer. But there are 20 other verses that deal with things I can do that allows the devourer to get my stuff.
They talk about everything from hiring prostitutes to neglecting the needs of the church. So in effect, when I tithed, God rebuked the devourer. Then, if I neglected the church, I was calling the devourer back so he could continue his work.
I became more and more aware of the fact that trying to fulfill the requirements of the promises actually puts me under the law. So I did a study of promises in the New Testament to see how they’re used under the New Covenant.
I was surprised at what the Scripture had to say. Nowhere did I find it taught that we have to fulfill the requirements. As a matter of fact, it was just the opposite. The reason for this is the finished work of Christ on the cross. He even told us that was why He came to the earth.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”
In this statement, Jesus tells us the whole foundation for walking in the blessings of the Word. Part of His work was to fulfill everything written in the Old Covenant.
The word, fulfill means to cram full, to fill in the holes. All of the open-ended requirements needed to “claim” the promises have been filled in by Christ.
This means that we are exempt from the requirements unless we voluntarily place ourselves under the law. In that case, the kingdom of the enemy has the right to use its power against us on the same level.
God caused me to mature in how I view the promises. I still tithe, because I know that it’s the spiritually mature thing to do. God blesses my finances because, in Christ, I have already received this blessing.
Question: What promises have you turned into laws in your life?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi