Not by Sight

Ever since James wrote that “faith without works is dead,” Christians have been busying themselves with all sorts of busy-ness to prove to themselves that they really, positively do have faith. But much of what passes for Christian works could be done by anyone, with or without faith. Let’s not kid ourselves. If what we’re doing is humanly possible, it can’t be a work of faith. I don’t say that to make you feel bad, but to free you to do great exploits! Faith is for moving mountains. Faith is for healing the sick, raising the dead and otherwise demonstrating the gospel. To be specific, faith is for doing the works and greater works of Jesus:

“The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it.” (Jn 14:12, MSG)

I suspect the chief reason why many Christians live no different from their unsaved neighbors is they don’t know about the awesome authority that God has given us. So instead of healing the sick, as Jesus instructed us to do, they’re asking God to heal the sick. Instead of proclaiming life over their hurts, they’re complaining and speaking death over themselves.

In this short series on prayer, we have contrasted the Biblical way with the traditional way to pray. In Part 1 we saw that there is a difference between praying with hope and praying with faith. In Part 2 we learned that faith doesn’t move God – He’s already moved! In Part 3 we saw from scripture that answered prayers are sometimes delayed by the devil. The enemy is surely opposed to our prayers, but he’s probably not the main reason why our prayers aren’t answered. No, the hindrance to most of our prayers lies between our ears. The problem is we don’t appreciate what God has already done for us. More to the point, we don’t know how awesome and powerful is the One who now lives within us.

“Children, you belong to God, and you have defeated these enemies. God’s Spirit is in you and is more powerful than the one that is in the world.” (1 Jn 4:4 CEV)

Who do you think you are?

In Part 3 the punch-line was resist the devil. Here’s today punch-line: Renew your mind and learn to interpret your circumstances through the finished work of the cross. What do I mean by that? I mean it should be normal for you to see yourself as completely forgiven, sanctified, righteous, healthy and prosperous – all because of Jesus. Is this how you see yourself? Here’s a simple way to find out. When you get sick, which of the following statements best describes how you respond?

(1) “I am sick but I’m going to ask God to heal me.”
(2) “I am healthy but the devil’s trying to rob me.”

If you chose response No.1 then you’re starting from a place of defeat. By asking God to do something He’s already done, you are confessing ignorance of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross. Maybe you’re not sure of what He’s done. Then you had better find out because faith, by definition, is being sure (He 11:1). How can you be sure when you’re unsure? Look at what you’re saying: I am sick… The focus is squarely on your physical condition. Do you know what the King Jimmy Bible calls it when we are more mindful of our physical circumstances than God’s word? Carnal mindedness. And you know what that means, right?

“To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rms 8:6, KJV).

Do you know that you can be in the Spirit yet walk after the flesh? This happens when you put your feelings (what you see and hear etc.) ahead of your faith in God’s word. In effect, you are trusting in your praying performance instead of resting in His finished work. Pray like this and you will reap nothing because your faith is misplaced. Instead of standing on what Christ has done, you’re essentially saying God needs to act again and He won’t unless I first do something. You have more faith in you’re doing than in what Jesus has done.

If you want to release life and peace into our circumstances, be spiritually minded. That doesn’t mean “think spiritual thoughts.” To be spiritually minded means be led by the spirit. Your renewed spirit, like the Holy Spirit, already trusts God regardless of the circumstances. To be spiritually minded is to walk by faith, not by sight. So speak to your condition and say, “By His stripes I have been healed” (1 Pe 2:24).

If you chose response No.2 then you’re starting from the place of victory. You might declare, “As He is so am I in this world. The old man who suffered sin’s curse is dead and buried and I am a new creation. Sin and sickness no longer have dominion over me.” I’m not asking you to deny your physical reality but to have faith in a higher reality. I’m not saying the problem you are facing isn’t nothing; I’m saying that this Jesus who lives in you is Really Something! Here’s Andrew Wommack writing in Grace – The Power of the Gospel:

“I’ve changed. I know now that I’m not the sinner trying to become holy. I am the righteous whom Satan is trying to make unholy. I’m not the sick trying to get well. I am the well that the devil is trying to make sick. I’m not the poor trying to be prosperous. I am the prosperous that the Enemy is trying to make poor. This is a totally different attitude and mindset. But I’ve found it much easier to fight from the position of victory than to try to fight to obtain a position of victory. It’s infinitely easier to release something I already have than to go get something I don’t.” (pp.117-8)

When you’re sick your flesh will pull in one direction (“I need healing!”) but your spirit will pull in the other (“By His stripes I am healed!”). Flesh and spirit are opposed to each other and you will have to choose (Gal 5:17). The carnally minded believer will heed the flesh, but the spiritually minded believer will heed God’s word. This is not a question of having more or less faith – you already have the same measure of faith as Jesus (2 Pet 1:1). This is about putting your faith to work and releasing what God has already given you.

Plant this seed

In this short series I’ve given you some keys on how to pray effectively. I have given you truth in seed form. Perhaps you’ve been blessed reading these posts. Maybe you even clicked the “like” button or forwarded posts to your friends. But understand that nothing will change in your life unless this seed takes root in your heart and grows. It’s now up to you. Are you content to live no differently from your unsaved neighbors? Or do you want to see the Kingdom come and His will done in your world?

Be warned that neither the devil nor your flesh will like what you’ve read here (Ga 5:17). Jesus said the devil is a thief who likes to steal seed (Mk 4:15). Right about now this thief will be suggesting you go visit Facebook or he’ll be reminding you to take care of some task that really needs to get done. He’ll do whatever it takes to get your focus off Christ and the cross. But we are not ignorant of his schemes.

I began this series with Wommack and I’ll finish with him. Here he is writing in Spirit, Soul and Body:

“I’d confess aloud, ‘By His stripes I was healed.’ My body would counter, ‘Oh no you’re not!’ Then I’d answer, ‘Yes I am – the Word says so!’… You will have to overcome the same conflict! You don’t just say, ‘All right, I see the truth. Flesh, I now renounce you and choose to walk by the spirit!’ No, it’ll be a traumatic experience when you turn around and head the other direction. Your mind and emotions have been indulged now for many years. They’ve always said that whatever you see is more real than what’s invisible. There’s going to be a fight.” (p.117)

The good news is it’s a fight you can win, for greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. Have faith in Jesus! Speak to your mountains! Heal the sick! Rebuke that storm! Change the world!
___
If you missed them, here are the other 3 posts in this series:
1. A better way to pray
2. Speak to your mountain
3. Dealing with unanswered prayer

Comments

  1. Good one man. I may not agree with everything you say… or I may. But it was well said and worth saying. Glad to read it. You’ve picked up a regular reader.

  2. ah, this is a hard word – and a good one. we are so counter-conditioned! even when we believe the truth. I’m glad we can ask Him to help us with that! Bless you, Paul!

  3. in fact, I can’t repost this until I really get it and see it in action…….

    • That’s the adventure of following Christ right there Pat! Grab hold of the next sick person that comes your way, heal them, and you’ll be off and running!

    • Yes, it works! Our God is an ALL-POWERFUL GOD… it is us who tend to limit Him through our ‘carnal-mindedness’ (logic/understanding)! I’ve seen even physical things like washing machine ‘healed’ by faith. (Col 1:16 – …all things were created through Him and for Him!) =)

  4. Susan Vivas says:

    EXCELLENT!!!! As always! THANK YOU Paul!! You are truly a blessing!!! Keep ‘em coming, I’m always in the look out :) God bless you!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing these truths on prayer, I’ve been following these series on prayer u posted in the last few weeks and it has been helpful, thank you again:)

    God Bless :)

  6. Enobakhare Mark says:

    Thanks a million, now with this better understanding of the gospel, I shall begin to lay hold on what rightly belong to Me.

  7. Kelvin dennis,malaysia says:

    Thanks a millions.. Its really good to know this truth.. Awesome. Eventhough it is too good to be true,but that is what make Gospel,the good news..

  8. Men! I am mad about this Good News! Paul, you do know how to lay it on! In no time I see myself causing so much trouble in Satan’s Kingdom! Thanks.

  9. Thank you for this article…I thank God for letting you do this… I am blessed. :)

  10. amen!
    awesome series!
    i have heard AW teaching on this on his show (i have not read this book yet) but one of JP’s sermons opened my eyes about the difference between ‘prayer’ and ‘earnest prayer’ – using elijah’s 2 prayers in james 5:17-18 (i looked and i think it is sermon #114 “debunking common myths about prayer”)

  11. Hi paul. I’ve read Andrew’s book twice. Very beneficial;but is he saying only pray once believing or continue praying for the person over and over even if you rub the hair off their head? A bit confusing like unjust judge and widow. Is it once or keep praying for the same thing over and over?

    • I’m not sure what AW thinks but personally I have no problem praying more than once – Jesus did. A lady was delivered from a demon at our church yesterday. People were praying for her for 15 minutes before that unclean spirit left. They didn’t pray a short prayer and leave her to it – they stayed with her until she was free. I don’t think God is impressed with persistence as much as faith, but if the devil persists then I’ll persist. If a sickness or demon thinks he can outlast a child of God, if he thinks that we’ll give up and start revising our theology, he’s got another think coming. I’m not praying to get God to move. As Wommack says, “He moved already.” But I am praying to get sickness and disease to move and sometimes that takes a little time.

  12. Good news regarding the deliverance for the lady in church!Thank you for the reply. I have a better understanding.

  13. melani morales says:

    I have a question,not a comment. I love your teaching by the way. It’s so encouraging! My question is this; how do I apply what I’ve just read to my situation? In my situation I am a worship leader,I lived and breathed Jesus and my life was wonderful. I still didn’t have a lot of money or all the things most people have who consider life wonderful,but I was so content in Jesus that my life was awesome! The only thing I kind of longed for was a husband. So I met the sweetest guy I’d ever known finally. My pastors warned me against marrying unequally yoked. I prayed for guidance. I felt I received confirmation so I married him. He was so kind,loving,generous,always thought of me first and though he wasn’t baptized he said he believed Jesus was Gods son who died for him. He lives in central america. So I came back to the u.s.to start the process of trying to bring him here.A year passed and he was still there so I went back for our 1st anniversary,only to find out he has a girlfriend! He said he loves me too and still wants to be with me,but he’s not willing to give her up. So after trying to kill myself 3 times I came back home. My pastor tells me that because my husband is unsaved my father inlaw is the devil. He tells me all latino cheat and this is what I get for not listening to them! So here I am,knowing in my heart that this was a good man and I keep believing God will win him back. But I also keep thinking,was I not supposed to marry him? My heart is still broken after months and I’m still trying to bring him here because I believe our marriage never stood a chance with us 1300 miles apart. I think I’ve done something horrible-that I wasn’t really hearing God correctly maybe. There’s so many things involved I don’t know what to do. He’s younger than me and justifies what he’s done by saying he wants to have children later and I won’t be able to do that,even though we discussed that before we were married and he said if never having kids was what being with me meant that he’d rather never have kids because he loved me and wanted to be with me. Now he doesn’t remember saying that. Also his whole family call her a witch and think she does some kind of occult because his entire personality changed after her. He chooses her even over his family! So how do I pray? How do I stop feeling like I’m cut off from God? How do I go on? This has almost broken me

    • Melanie I pray for healing and the guidance of the Holy Spirit for your situation. Your pastor is wrong to say your father in law is the devil and that all Latinos cheat. Cling to the Scriptures, prayer, and find godly counsel. Blessings to you.

  14. Wow! I just landed on this page and this teaching has been an eye-opener. I need to change the way i communicate with my Heavenly Father. I am so blessed by this, i know it will take effort on my part but i will succeed. Thank you. You have helped me have a whole new perspective on prayer. Again, wow! God bless you my brother in Christ!

  15. Solly Malla says:

    I have learned a lot.really we have been telling God about our problems instead of telling our mountains to move.thanks

  16. What are your thoughts on when Paul mentioned that he left someone in a previous place because they were sick. Or when Paul mentions Timothy’s frequent ailments?

  17. Sure you remember that Nee pointed out that we are “more than over comers” because we are walking in the wake of His victory; we don’t even have to fight!

  18. Melanie stop focusing your mind on the wrong part of that relationship; allow your heart to be peace and start meditating the deepness of christ love towards you and your love, and start calling yourself God’s own elect, God’s own beloved, and also have this mind set dat you are always accepted in the family of GOD, you have been unconditionaly loved, even in ur greatest mistake JESUS is still with you and for you before the judgment sit of GOD, pleading his righteousness for you.
    Dont allow what have happened to blind your eyes from seeing the love and work GOD have done for you

    Paul may GOD keep on inspiring you. I LOVE YOU

  19. Santhosh says:

    Lord Jesus said,”Truth will makes you free”. Now this is what happening through your posts. I am getting freedom from all the fleshly and worldly religious principles. I thank Jesus for using u to proclaim his truth of grace. God bless u!

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