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By Richard Gunther


There is a great deal of noise being made about ‘the power of positive thinking’. There are books on the subject, and quite a few people go about lecturing and teaching it. Positive thinking has made quite a few people wealthy.

   Now I have no problem with the idea that if one focuses on the more positive aspects of life, one can certainly make more of it, and be happier, but ‘positive thinking’ can be carried too far, and become quite an unhealthy exercise in fantasizing.

   Suppose, for example, someone went about saying “I am rich”, and expected the words to somehow cause the world to pour wealth into his or her lap?  The reality is, most people are not interested in giving their money to other people, unless they really have to. Another problem is the possibility of a majority all confessing wealth – they will then have to swap money all the time, but few will gain more than they give away.

   Just saying “I am rich” often enough, will not cause most people to become rich. Wealth may come because that person has a positive attitude towards work, but thinking wealthy and speaking wealthy are not enough. It is like trying to fly without wings. The expectation may be good, but the mechanism is lacking to power up that expectation.

   The ‘positive thinker’ is supposed to make something happen (usually something good to yourself), all you need to do is ‘confess’ it regularly. This fact alone ought to alert us to the dangers inherent in ‘positive thinking’ – it is a self-cantered and terribly selfish exercise. (Have you ever heard of a ‘positive thinking’ message which goes like this: “I want to make other people wealthy”?)

  A third, and much more serious problem with ‘positive thinking’ is the fact that, in the vast majority of cases, it totally excludes God from the equation. Can a ‘positive thinker’ override God’s Hand in our lives? Can a ‘positive thinker’ reverse some heavenly ordained plan? Absolutely not!


See 1Sam. 2:6-8


   Positive thinking is the power of the flesh. It can have some success, but it is usually aimed at self-improvement – not at reaching the lost. Positive thinkers virtually never confess their willingness to take the gospel to other people. Positive thinkers are usually more concerned with the betterment of their own lives.


   So where does all this commercialized ‘positive thinking’ teaching come from?

It may very well have originated in the Bible. There are many ‘positive confessions’ in the Bible, which, if taken to heart, can transform a believer’s life. But these positive confessions were for Christians only. Unbelievers would find them quite unworkable. (i.e. “I have the helmet of truth”, or “I have hind’s feet”, or “I have access to the throne of grace”) The statements of Scripture were meant for Christians (or ‘the godly’ in the O.T. days) and no-one else, because, like knowing the combination to a vault, only Christians can open the promises.

   So Christians have the God-given right to make positive confessions because of what God has given them in Christ. The expression “in Christ” makes all the difference.


   When I wrote the Ephesians Game I wanted to put into the mouths of Christians the positive confessions which they are entitled to make. These faith-confessions are our weapons against sickness, failure and poverty. (The Game is available $20 postpaid anywhere in New Zealand, add postage for overseas)


Here is just one of these ‘positive confessions’ which Christians can make:


“Blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies”

Lets look at these two points:

1. God has blessed us   (we already have those blessings, now, today)

2. Every spiritual blessing (they are all ours right now)


   We read this, we may believe it, but do we confess it?


   Making a positive confession is essential to a Christian’s daily walk. The power of confessed beliefs is enormous. Over the years I have struggled towards making it a habit to confess by faith what God says, rather than confess what my eyes see. The spiritual reality must overrule the natural reality, otherwise nothing happens. Our confession makes all the difference.


Example 1: The Mighty Mag printing costs shot up to over twice their normal amount. My reaction was to see (in the natural) failure, but instead of looking at the (natural) problem, I looked at the (Biblical) solution. I confessed that “God will provide”, and  “God will provide an alternative printer”. Every time I was challenged to express what seemed like the reality I confessed the opposite – the ‘by faith’ reality. Two days later I found a printer who was able to do the job for less than half the cost. God overruled . . . but what if I had accepted the (natural) reality and accepted the (natural) circumstances?


Example 2: I was in a home where almost everyone was sick. 6 or 7 people were sniffing, coughing, grizzling and complaining about sore throats, headaches and so on. Someone said to me “It’ll be your turn next”. I said “I’ll stay healthy. I won’t catch anything. Jesus has set me free from sickness”. And just to prove my point I let the kids cough at my face, I ate food off their forks, and I deliberately exposed myself to the bugs. Weeks later I’m still well. (I expect health and healing to be my normal state).


   But if you listen to people who are in the ‘natural’ state, you will hear things like this:

You go into a shop. “Miserable day isn’t it.”  You are expected to agree.

You notice your bank balance dropping. Someone says “You’ll be broke soon.” You are expected to agree.

You feel the flu coming on. Someone says “It usually takes three weeks to get over it”. You are supposed to accept this as inevitable.

   You can reverse things, throw a spanner into life and make it go the other way . . . by making a positive confession in Christ. In Christ the day is not miserable, but full of joy and wonder. In Christ you have immense wealth and all your needs met. In Christ you have health and healing.


Now let us look at a single verse, in Ephesians:

Ephesians 3:20  “Now unto Him that is able to do /exceeding abundantly/ above /all /that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”,


Lets break this promise down into little pieces.

Him=the everlasting Father, the King of glory, the infinite God.

Able=absolutely able, immeasurably strong, powerful beyond description.

Do=accomplish, make happen, provide, give, help.

Exceeding abundantly=not just abundantly but exceedingly so, overflowingly.

Above=beyond, way more.

All=more than we can imagine.

That we ask=we cannot even put into words all the blessings we could receive.

Or think=our thoughts are never equal to what God can do in our lives.

Power=God is so powerful he inhabits eternity, He is ‘bigger’ than an infinite universe.

Works in us=we have the power of God at work in us.


Can God offer us any more than this? Do we confess this greatness and vast supply in our lives . . . or do we speak like misers? Do we pray like beggars, or affirm God’s provision like princes and princesses?


One of the best things you can say is “In Christ I have . . .

Or “In Christ I am . . . .

Or “In Christ I can . . .

   And then follow the confession with the appropriate promise.


Many people fail to obtain every spiritual blessing because:

1.                      They simply cannot believe their inheritance. They don’t know how to think like God’s children. They fail to step into the royal position which God has already given to them.

2.                      They have such a personal image of themselves they cannot bring themselves to act, think and speak like a child of God.

3.                      They don’t have the courage to wrestle against Satan and take to themselves what God has given. They allow the lies and deceptions, excuses and innuendoes to rob them of what is rightfully theirs.


The blessings and the Law.

   A friend of mine rang to say he was breaking out in a painful rash. I explained this to him:


See Lev. 26


Read the blessings.


   Did Jesus keep the Law? Yes.

   Did all the blessings go to Jesus? Yes, because they are for those who keep the Law.

   You say you are a Christian? Yes? Therefore:

   Did Jesus die for you? Yes.

   Do you have the “righteousness of Christ imputed to you?” Yes.


   There are many verses about God’s righteousness being given to believers. It is like God has taken the pure white robes of His Son and dressed us in them. We may look into our hearts and see sin, but when the Father looks at us, He sees the purity of His own Son.

   Here are some verses about the righteousness of Christ:


Romans 3:22  “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:


Romans 5:17  “For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)”


Romans 5:21  “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Romans 10:4  “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”


1 Corinthians 1:30  “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”


Galatians 2:21  “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”


Philippians 3:9  “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”


And also 2 Peter 1:1   Romans 10:6  Philippians 1:11  


   Now, if Jesus kept the whole Law, and we have His righteousness, then we should be inheritors of the blessings which Jesus has won for us. Right?


   My friend, whom I mentioned earlier, said he wrestled with the sickness, and kept confessing health and healing through Christ. By the morning the rash was gone. He rang to tell me he was healed.


   His is not to say that we deal with everything in some glib, formulaic way. Life is much too subtle and variable for that. God wants us to grow and develop in our Christian walk with Him, so He will allow us to go through many interesting and challenging tests. However, a simple approach to every problem we meet may be:


   When we meet a problem or challenge, we can deal with it in several ways.

·         ·        The first way is to pray about it and ask God for guidance as to how to deal with it. Sometimes a Scripture will come to mind which fits the problem exactly.

·         ·        The second way is to ask some other Christian/s  for help.

·         ·        The third way is to find a promise and confess it. Deal with the problem as if it has been already solved. Thank God for the complete solution to the problem as if it is already solved. This is called ‘affirmation’ praying, and it has to come from a faith position.


   Here are three different ways of dealing with a problem, in this case that of finances:


1.                      Some Christians say “I know God can meet my financial needs”. This is a very general, rather vague, non-specific sort of prayer, or confession. It doesn’t give God much to work with. Vague prayers get vague answers. (You wouldn’t order an item from a catalogue this way!)

2.                      Other Christians say “I am sure God will meet this particular need” This prayer is more specific but still open to interpretation. The “need” is not spelled out clearly, and God is not told precisely what his son or daughter would like to see happen. There is nothing wrong with this kind of prayer of course, but it could be improved.

3.                      The prayer of the positive confession goes like this: “God has already blessed me with ‘x’ dollars because in Christ I have all my needs met”.


So what can you and I do?


   As we read our Bible, we should look for the promises, and take them as our own. They are, after all, the words of our heavenly Father, and we are His own children. The promises belong to us as our rightful inheritance. We should learn what God has reserved for us, and when we need something we should confess that we already have it.  That is the true ‘positive confession’, and it will enable us to be much more effective witnesses and soul-winners.


   I would like to see more Christians move into the ‘positive thinking’ of the Christian life. I remember a story about a man who bought a ticket to fly somewhere. He got on to the plane and squeezed into a small, uncomfortable seat. People all round him were smoking and yelling, and the smell was terrible. However, the man put up with it until he reached his destination.

   But when he got off the plane, someone told him that his ticket entitled him to a seat in the first class section, where there was music, food service and clean air. All that time the poor man had been ‘putting up’ with third class when he could have flown first class!

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