Imagine you were the devil in the Garden of Eden trying to tempt Adam and Eve. How would you do it? This is a question that Andrew Wommack asks in his book, You’ve Already Got It. Adam and Eve were flawless and lived in paradise with all of their needs abundantly supplied. So how would you tempt them? You couldn’t tempt them with money; they don’t need anything. You couldn’t tempt them with adultery; there’s no one to commit adultery with. There’s only one way that you can tempt perfect people living in a perfect place and that’s by telling them, “You don’t have it all; there’s more!”
This lie, which worked so effectively in the Garden, is the same lie the devil uses on the church today. “You don’t have it all – you need more faith, more power, more anointing, more righteousness.” Believing the lie we waste time asking for what we already have. So what do we have? We have Jesus! As He is, so are we in this world (1 Jn 4:17). That means we have the same power (Eph 1:19-20), anointing (1 Jn 2:20), victory (1 Cor 15:57), and holiness (1 Cor 1:30) that Jesus has.
Let’s take faith as an example. Many Christians are handicapped by the notion that they don’t have enough faith. They pray for the sick, nothing happens, so they think, “I must have little faith; I need more faith.” So they go on a faith-hunt and leave the sick unhealed. But Paul said he lived by the faith of the Son of God (Gal 2: 20). There is nothing wrong with Jesus’ faith! Our faith is a gift from God (Eph 2:8) and God doesn’t give bad gifts. So if faith is not the problem, what is? The problem is we don’t know just how good we’ve got it. Paul prayed “that the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Phm 1:6). We don’t need to ask God for more faith; we need to renew our minds and acknowledge every good thing that is already in us on account of Jesus.
Take power as another example. Many Christians think they are powerless pawns in a cosmic game of chess being played between God and the devil. This mindset makes them passive spectators in their own lives. When the devil comes to rob and destroy they just stand by and watch. Or maybe they cry out and ask God to rebuke the devil for them. But God has given you His authority. He has promised that the devil will flee when you resist him (Jas 4:7). Here’s Wommack:
You don’t need more power. You just need to believe that you already have it and begin to discover how it operates… This understanding will change you from being a murmurer, complainer, whiner, and griper into a believer who takes his authority, stands, and demands Satan not to steal what God has given. It’s a totally different attitude! Instead of being petrified and hiding in a corner praying, ‘God, please get the devil off my back,’ you’ll stand there and say, ‘Where is he? I just dare Satan to show his ugly face. I’m going to fight him to the death because I have authority and power!’ (pp.31-32)
Fight the right battle
In You’ve Already Got It, Wommack talks a lot about spiritual warfare. There is a battle going on, he says, but it’s not out in the heavenlies. The battlefield is your mind. Paul warns us against Satan’s wiles in Ephesians 6 – his lies, cunningness, and craftiness – because that’s all he’s got. He has no power and no authority except that which we give him. All he has is deception. So how does Satan try to deceive us?
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Cor 11:3)
Satan’s aim is to corrupt our minds from simple, childlike faith in Christ. “In other words, he tries to make us think that the Gospel is harder than it really is” (p.115). He complicates and confuses things and does whatever it takes to distract us from Jesus. He’ll even encourage us to engage in spiritual warfare, as long as it’s warfare on his terms:
‘Spiritual warfare,’ as it’s popularly presented today, is actually a ploy of the devil. Consider the fruit: Christians are encouraging Christians not to preach the Gospel but just to ‘pray’ instead. You might wonder, Why would Satan want believers to pray more? Simple! The devil delights when we give ourselves to praying fruitless, religious prayers. (p.149)
Wommack argues that we don’t need to engage in spiritual mapping or documenting the demonic heritage of our cities. Neither do we need to enlist a million Christians to fast and pray and bind powers. The best antidote to Satan’s deception is the truth. It’s knowing the Truth that sets people free. “I wage spiritual warfare over a city or a country by sending in the truth!” (p.140)
Many believers think they have little to no power and that Satan has plenty. They’re wrong on both counts. Yet in their ignorance and unbelief, they re-empower a disarmed enemy. Read your Bible. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you (Rms 8:11). Satan, on the other hand, was defeated 2000 years ago. Jesus made an exhibit out of him much as a biology student might make an exhibit out of a bug (Col 2:15)! If that strikes you as over the top or a bit much, then you don’t fully value what Jesus has done and you don’t appreciate what He’s given you:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph 1:3)
We have been blessed with everything we need, but those blessings are in the spiritual realm. How do we receive them? By faith! Faith is the bridge that brings what is true in the spiritual world into the physical world.
And this is the point where the devil tries to thwart us. It’s like he’s on that bridge telling us we lack favor, blessings, or our Father’s approval. He would have us believe that our faith moves God (He’s already moved!) and that we need to do stuff to get what we need (Jesus has done it all!). If we don’t refute this nonsense with the truth, we’ll end up asking for things with longwinded, beggarly prayers of unbelief. We may feel like we are operating in faith, but it’s misdirected faith. It’s actually unbelief in the promises and provision of a good God.
Look to the cross!
Look to Jesus who has overcome the world! We should be fighting from a place of victory, not fighting to get the victory. Satan would have you conscious of your lack (“I need healing or provision”) but Jesus has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). His instructions to us are the same as what He told the Christians in Thyatira:
Only hold on to what you have until I come. (Rev 2:25)
The only way we can lose what we have is if we put more faith in the devil’s word than God’s word, if we start thinking, I don’t have everything I need so I better do something. That’s anti-Christ, anti-cross and it’s not good news! It’ll get your eyes off Jesus and His work and onto you and yours. God’s divine power is revealed in our life “through the knowledge of Him who called us” (2 Pet 1:3). If the devil can get your eyes off Him, he wins and you lose. It’s a diabolically clever ploy that has been working since the Garden of Eden.
Anyway, I’m starting to preach and this is supposed to be a book review.
Read You’ve Already Got It if you’re not sure exactly what you’ve got or if you want to learn how to receive what you’ve been given. Like Wommack’s other books (e.g., A Better Way to Pray, God Wants You Well), this is a how-to book. Anyone can find fault with bad theology but Wommack gives practical steps on how to exercise your faith and see the gifts of God (e.g., healing and deliverance) manifest in your life. This book strips away religious clutter, leaving you in awe of all Jesus has done.