Many people, including pastors and teachers, misuse the well-known verse of Philippians 4:13, which says that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. This verse is often quoted when making plans to accomplish certain
dreams and goals, not giving much thought to the fact that Paul was writing this
from prison and, in context, was referring to enduring tough times, relying on
the strength we receive from our Savior, not dreaming bigger dreams. We are to be content, like Paul learned to be, in any circumstance; whether we have a little or a lot.
What is an appropriate way of "believing God for more," or for anything, without
falling into a false "name it and claim it" type of gospel?
Realize your difficulties are still in God's hands- He hasn't abandoned you, but are you walking with Him as you should? If so, trust that as it states in the book of Romans, He will make all things work together for our good. If you are not, please don't waste any time surrendering every area of your life to Him and walk in obedience.
You really DO have all that you need- What we perceive to be as a specific lack in our lives can very well be a necessary step toward God's calling in our lives and/or spiritual growth. If it's financial, consider the ravens! Luke 12:24 encourages us to trust God will meet our needs. We must seek His Kingdom above all else. If your circumstances involve a lost or struggling family member or friend, dear one, put him/her/them in God's hands and leave them there. Don't enable bad habits or addictions, but prayerfully determine your level of involvement and trust God- REALLY trust God.
We serve a merciful and loving God. Certainly, we have a part to play and choices we make to live a responsible life. We reap what we sow, but there are times someone else's choices affect our own lives. There are times we work hard and feel as if we have nothing to show for it; we are not financially able to take our families on vacation or even buy them that new toy they want. We cannot help but feel sadness or frustration, it seems. Consider this anyway- we really do have all that we need. We can still make our requests be known to God, and work to have a better life without being consumed by the desire.
Understand what faith is and what faith is not- FAITH IS what the righteous live by (Romans 1:17), knowing that God CAN, not necessarily that He WILL do something. Our Heavenly Father is not a genie, waiting for us to "name and claim" something in order for Him to act on our behalf. FAITH IS knowing God's ways are higher and we are to submit to HIS plan and purpose for our lives, not our own. Consider His plan before pursuing yours.
FAITH IS NOT following our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9) and expecting God to make our dreams come true. Not if we haven't submitted to His will and know we're walking in it.
FAITH IS NOT merely confessing positive words and phrases because they simply come alive, as if we are putting our trust in this mystic force. We can say all we want until our faces are blue, but if it's not God's will, we waste our time even if we make our dreams come true. What good is it to accomplish anything if it's not God's plan for our lives?
Don't be double-minded- It is not pleasant to feel lack in our lives. It can drive us to desperation and can ruin marriages, if the issue is a financial one. It can make us feel lonely if we're seeking marriage, unsuccessfully. We are to ask God for wisdom and a new perspective on things. When we do that, we are saying, "Father, I trust you because you are God alone. I trust in Your ways, which are higher than mine." If we then continue to worry and dwell on our present circumstances we are double-mindedly saying, "Lord, you're not enough and neither are your promises." Wow- we do this so often! That is not faith.
Remember His promises- God's promises are our armor and protection (Psalm 91:4). Get to know them in His Word and memorize as much as you can in order to remind yourself throughout the day, if you're having a difficult time. God is Truth. That's it. Don't overthink things- that gets us nowhere and it leads to worry, anxiety, and can be an indicator of double-mindedness. You have all that you need and you will see His goodness, mercy, and grace in every area of your life. Pay attention; they may not come elegantly wrapped in wealth, achievements, or other worldly things. Whatever means God uses to show them to you, know that it's the best way for you.
Yes, believe for more! More goodness, love, mercy, grace, guidance, provision, forgiveness, and faith! Whatever else God brings our way as we walk in His righteous ways, trust that it is just what we need. Every material blessing and the desires of our hearts that He gives us, we humbly accept, not allowing them to turn into an idol that subtly takes God's place. Seek His will. If it doesn't match yours, ditch the latter. Don't allow anyone's words to "tickle your ears" (2 Timothy 4:3) into a new gospel.
Enjoy what you have and trust God to give you what you need, in His perfect timing.