Over the years I’ve heard many messages about the authority of the Christian believer. This is an area that seems to have caused a lot of confusion for many people just as it did in my early years as a Christian.
One area that caused me to struggle was a lack of understanding that God is not sovereignly controlling everything that happens in our lives. He has delegated responsibility for some areas of our lives to us. James 4:7 provides us with an example of this:
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
It is our responsibility to submit our lives to God and it is our responsibility to resist the devil. God is not going to do either one of these for us!
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (Psalms 88:34)
God’s Word is a binding covenant between Him and mankind. He will never withdraw it or change His mind!
The Holy Spirit inspired James to write this book. We are told to submit to God and resist the devil by James. This is a part of God’s covenant and if we do not submit to God and resist the devil then he will not flee.
The word translated “resist” means to actively fight against. This is our responsibility! If we don’t submit and resist God will not step in and do it for us.
Many people struggle with the idea of having authority because they have been taught to ask God to do things that He has delegated to them.
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
Jesus gave His disciples power to cast our devils and heal sickness and disease. He told them to “heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils…” This was a command that most Christians are not following today!
Jesus did not tell His disciple to bring the sick to Him. I have seen people hold all night prayer vigils that God “might” heal a person when His Word tells us that it is by Jesus’ stripes we are healed (1 Peter 2:24).
We might talk more about the healing covenant in later posts but for now I just want us to understand that healing is a completed work. God is not going to heal the sick because He laid all of our sicknesses on Jesus’ broken body and provided healing in His Word.
People fail to receive healing often because they are begging God to do a work that is already accomplished. Peter tells us that God has provided everything we will every need through the “knowledge of Him that called us” (2 Peter 1:3). I’ve heard people accuse sick people of not having faith but often the reason we struggle is a lack of revelation knowledge.
God has provided healing through Jesus’ redemptive work but if we do not have revelation of this it will not be possible for us to receive. I have discovered that often my struggles with the Christian walk are because I’ve tried to replace God’s Word with prayer. Everything though must be based in the Word!
Jesus told us to “heal the sick and cleanse the lepers” but how many Christians have a revelation of this? Think about the way we are praying for the sick. Are we asking God to do the work that was completed or are we commanding the person to be healed?
This may be different from the way you have been taught. My goal in these posts is to get us thinking about what has been provided to us through Christ.
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