This is going to be a bit hard this morning, but it’s what I need and it’s what you need. We’re moving into the practicality of faith. The lessons are going to be direct, and even personal. In the first season of Illuminare we laid the theological foundation for doctrine. In this season we’re focusing on the Christian walk.
If there’s anything I’ve learnt about the Christian walk, it’s the fact that I need to take personal responsibility for my life. That’s not a very palatable proposition to be honest. It does not transfer moral burden away from me to God, or to my pastor. But you can’t farm out responsibility for your life to your pastor. He’s got his own issues. Pastors are human. When things are not going great for you, or you’re ill, or diagnosed with a major disease, you’ve got to assume control of your situation. You do so by recourse to God’s word. You pump yourself up with it, build up your faith with teachings by pastoral technicians and mechanics in the field you’re interested in, confess the word daily, believe against the grain of facts, stand your ground against the devil and be expectant of desired outcome. You listen and listen to God’s word until you’re fully persuaded of the contra reality advocated by God’s word. We do not fix our eyes on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
That’s not saying we shouldn’t trust ministerial gifts. Of course we should. Those gifts were given to equip and build us. Ephesians 4:12. There are ministers with the gift of faith, those with the gift of working of miracles and those with the gift of healing. But they will not always be available, and they don’t control the Holy Spirit. Those gifts operate as the Spirit wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11. What never goes on break, what God honors every single time is faith. Now, you can cry and feel sorry for yourself but that’s not going to do anything for you. Emotions don’t generate healing for instance, it is faith that does. You have to take the word of God, believe in it, stand on it and resist the devil. If you don’t act on God’s word nothing will change. Faith is not passive.
When Jesus died, he pronounced the job done. He said it is finished. John 19:30. The NET translation says, “It is completed.” In other words, there’s nothing more Jesus can do. He gave his life for you, what more can he give? It’s now up to us to appropriate the things made possible by his sacrifice. We know for example that all our diseases were laid on him, that by his wounds we have been healed. Isaiah 53:5. We know the New Testament was enacted in his blood. That social compact has four major planks: forgiveness of ALL our sins – past, present and future; the healing of ALL our diseases; deliverance from ALL evil; redemption from ALL dimensions of poverty. That is the FULL gospel. Sickness is no more God’s will than sin is. Poverty is no more God’s will than oppression by demons is. Jesus became poor so that by his poverty we could become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9. You have to appropriate the promises in the covenant. Perish the thought God is trying to teach you something by placing disease on you. That’s Satan’s propaganda and it’s a lie. You won’t find one shred of evidence for such notion in scriptures. God teaches us through his word not through sickness. Proverbs 4:20. Of course you can learn through your sickness just as you can learn through any circumstance in life. Those are personal moral lessons – lessons you drew out by yourself. If you have liver disease for example you may decide no more drinks going forward. That’s a personal moral lesson. God will not place sickness on you to teach you anything. Your sickness is NOT the will of God. As long as you believe that sickness or that problem is from God you can’t fight it. You’ll keep begging God for what he has already given you in the atonement. Don’t let Satan kill you. That disease is not from God. It’s from the devil. Reject it, fight it. Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Acts 10:38. The son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8. The Amplified Bible Classic translation says he was manifested to undo, destroy, loosen, and dissolve the works the devil has done. Therefore undo, destroy, loosen and dissolve whatever the devil has laid on you in the name of Jesus. Take charge of your life.
The bane of our Christianity is we don’t want to take personal or moral responsibility for our lives. Easier to hang the responsibility for the solution on the pastor; easier to seek short cuts – the use of anointing oil, the drinking of prayed over water. It’s a culture of spiritual laziness that encourages dependency. That’s not God’s vision for his church and it wrongly casts Christianity as talismanic. That’s the orientation of African traditional religion not Christianity. That religious system is reliant on tokens, points of contact and appeasement of demons. Christianity does not appease demons. In Christianity you vanquish demons. Every knee must bow. Philippians 2:10.
Christianity is egalitarian. You have as much rights before God as your pastor. In fact, you have the same rights as Jesus. Jesus has been made your righteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30. We have the exact same righteousness Jesus has, which is why the Bible says you’re the righteousness of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:21.
When I was twenty-one years old, I was afflicted with facial paralysis. The disease is called Bell’s Palsy. I couldn’t talk properly. The sounds coming out of my mouth were gibberish. The thing about Bell’s Palsy is that it has no known cause and no known cure. There’s however a short window of recovery. Some people are lucky. I wasn’t. I missed the window of recovery. And so I watched in helplessness as my dream of practicing law evaporated right before my eyes. I had just graduated from Law School, was on national youth service (NYSC). I had nurtured the dream of becoming a lawyer since the age of ten. I had two options: I could either feel sorry for myself, or I could latch on to God’s word and seek for my deliverance. I made the determination that pity wasn’t going to give me facial function, only faith would. And so I resisted the urge to feel sorry for myself or to feed on the sympathy of others. I swung into action, took hold of the word of God and kept making confessions of faith. I read material after material on faith and healing. In the course of my research I came across an interesting scripture – If the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he that raised up Jesus Christ from the dead shall also quicken or make alive your mortal bodies because of his spirit which dwells in you. Romans 8:11. I surmised that the God who raised Jesus from the dead can surely resurrect a dead nerve. As I studied the Bible, I also discovered Jesus cured a man that was “sick of the palsy.” Mark 2:3. My lawyer training concluded palsy is palsy, whether Bell’s or any other palsy. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Hebrews 13:8. He’s still curing palsies.
It took six months, but I stood on God’s word and kept confessing the word. I held on to God’s version of reality: I was healed even though every evidence suggested otherwise. After some time my face began to twitch. The nerve that was dead began stirring. The life of God was flowing through it. Gradually I regained control over my face and eventually began to talk. The Word works.
I have faced other health challenges over the years and my recourse has always been God’s word. The historical reality of the scourging of Jesus by those Roman soldiers is what guarantees my healing. By his wounds I was healed. 1 Peter 2:24. And if I was healed then I am healed. Jesus had me in mind 2,000 years ago. If you’re going through a harrowing experience gather yourself together. Stop crying. Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself. Take hold of God’s word.
Remember, all the sympathy in the world will not change your situation. The question then is, do you want to take charge of your fate through faith, or do you want to cry and feel sorry for yourself? It’s up to you.
I want you to give your life to Jesus. Please pray this prayer: “Father I come to you in the name of Jesus. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead. I am saved. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org.You can’t farm out responsibility for your life to your pastor. He’s got his own issues. Pastors are human. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Emotions don’t generate healing for instance, it is faith that does. You have to take the word of God, believe in it, stand on it and resist the devil. #Illuminare Click To Tweet If you don’t act on God’s word nothing will change. Faith is not passive. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Perish the thought God is trying to teach you something by placing disease on you. That’s Satan’s propaganda and it’s a lie. #Illuminare Click To Tweet God will not place sickness on you to teach you anything. Your sickness is NOT the will of God. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Christianity does not appease demons. In Christianity you vanquish demons. Every knee must bow. Philippians 2:10. #Illuminare Click To Tweet If you’re going through a harrowing experience gather yourself together. Stop crying. Resist the urge to feel sorry for yourself. Take hold of God’s word. #Illuminare Click To Tweet Remember, all the sympathy in the world will not change your situation. The question then is, do you want to take charge of your fate through faith, or do you want to cry and feel sorry for yourself? It’s up to you. #Illuminare Click To Tweet