His Grace is Sufficient

Until last week, I had never had any type of surgery; nor had I ever spent the night in the hospital.  For that matter, I simply never went to the doctor.  However, I had a couple of hernias, one older (umbilical) and one fairly recent (inguinal).  I had been asking God to heal them supernaturally.  I was touched by God and relieved of the pain associated with them, but the protrusions were still there.  I enjoy working out and lifting weights and didn’t want to give that up, so I decided to get the repairs done.  God answered prayer just to get the insurance coverage.  It was denied at first as pre-existing, but I prayed and called them; after being placed on hold for a long time, the rep came back and said that it showed in the computer that an exception had been granted.

I had the surgery on the 16th; it was outpatient.  Everything went well.  I went home that night and couldn’t urinate.  This continued into the next day and I finally let Debbie take me to the ER on Thursday night.  They placed a catheter and kept me until the following night.  I was sent home with the catheter with instructions to go to the doctor’s office on Monday to have it removed.  It was taken out but the urination problem wasn’t resolved.  Ultimately, I was back at the ER at 2 in the morning.  Another catheter.  I was very discouraged.  Downtrodden.  My wife told me that I was letting this defeat me and she was right.  I broke away from the “poor me” mentality.  I am still in the middle of the circumstance, but I have God’s peace.  I also have faith that God is manifesting the healing in my body that I need.  But I have also, upon reflection, came to some conclusions, indeed, revelations.

    • We serve a God of compassion.  He cares about every single thing in our lives.  While there may be a billion people who have suffered more than me, His love and compassion don’t filter through a ranking system.  Jesus didn’t say to the man with the withered hand, “This is nothing… I healed a man who couldn’t walk yesterday.” His compassion for the man as an individual flowed out of him and healed the man.  Our needs and hurts matter to God.  While many others, even in our small church, have suffered much more physically, it was still the most painful thing I have experienced.  I am thankful for His great love for me.
    • Having the deepened revelation of God’s compassion, I want to translate it into my ministry to others.  Translation is a huge key.  My wife talks about being a vet and also being a dog owner.  Last year, she lost a very special dog that had got into her heart.  She said that after that, she identified more with people who were brokenhearted after losing their pet.  That’s translation – translating your own experience into how you respond to others who are hurting.  But translation is a much greater gift than that.  God wants us to be able to translate the pain and hurt of a different experience into ministry to others, no matter what they are going through.  In other words, what you felt during the death of a loved one can be used when ministering to someone with marital problems. The same Healer who touched you wants to flow through you to help heal the other person.

It is not that I didn’t “know” these things before, but it must go beyond just knowing.  I know from the Holy Spirit that God has given me a greater connection with those in pain.  I want the healing compassion of our Father to flow through me into the lives of others.  When I minister to someone, I want that person to feel that what they are going through has Abba’s undivided attention, which, of course, it does.

I will be past the physical aspects of this trial soon, thanks to Jehovah-Rapha, but I am thankful that God was able to speak into my life and deepen my love for Him and others. Oh, and I never received this deeper revelation of God’s compassion until I stopped feeling sorry for myself, so stop letting the enemy manipulate you and trust in the Lord.

Psalm 42:5

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

School of the Word: Upcoming Class

We will be concluding our summer class on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in a few weeks.  Anyone can still begin attending at any time.  Ten additional copies of the study guide should be available on Thursday night.

We will be starting our fall class, Divine Healing, in September.  We will, again, use a study guide written by Lester Sumrall.  I had the privilege of being in this class with Brother Sumrall teaching, many years ago.  The materials have already been ordered so make sure to pick up your copy as soon as they come in, at $10 per book.

Human Illness & Divine Healing - Study Guide

In the near future, The River will be running multiple classes concurrently at the School of the Word, and college credits will be available for those seeking a degree in theology or ministry.  God is bringing in the instructors to help facilitate this great vision.

Thou Art Loosed!

Many today are bound with problems that they are unable to overcome by themselves.  Even Christians are in bondage to the works of the devil.  Through the blood of the cross, these bondages have already been broken – on Heaven’s end.  They have been bound in Heaven.  Yet so many, in ignorance, allow the devil to exercise control over their lives.  Outward religious performance will not move the devil out of your life.  Only true spiritual authority will cause him to flee.

On a certain day in the synagogue, Jesus ministered to the woman from the Abrahamic Covenant (the pre-side of Calvary).  Jesus was operating in the prophetic fulfillment of the cross.

Matthew 8:16-17 says:

He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.

Fulfillment, in its culmination, came at the cross.  But Jesus also ministered on the promissory note of prophecy.  Jesus said to that woman in Luke 13:12: “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity!” The words, “are loosed” are in the perfect tense.  It is completed action in past time, with present continual results.  This is what we must understand about our authority in Christ; it is not something God is going to do; it is something He has done!  Having spoken this, Jesus laid hands on the woman and immediately she was made straight (v 13).  The religious leaders of that day didn’t like that one bit. They were filled with indignation (v 14). Religion does not teach one much about their dominion and authority in Christ.  If you are involved in a “cessation church” (those who believe that  the  power  of God  has ceased from manifestation), then get out and wash your hands of it! Don’t have a form of godliness while denying the power thereof.  The Bible says to turn away from them (II Tim. 3:5).

Jesus rebuked them and called them hypocrites (v 15). Hypocrites will tell you that sickness is the will of God to teach a lesson and then they will spend all their money at the doctor and the drug store trying to get out of “God’s will.” If sickness is the will of God, then why not pray for a double portion? Even common sense tells us this is ridiculous.

Some people (ignorant ones) say, “If it’s God’s will to heal everybody, then why don’t you go down to the hospital and clean the beds out?”  That’s poor theology!  You would have to apply that to salvation as well by saying, “If it’s God’s will to save everyone, then why don’t you go down to the tavern and clean off the bar stools.”  This is faulty on both counts because God will not override people’s will. Through ignorance or unbelief some people have set their will against healing.

Jesus said:

So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?  (Luke 13:16)

It was her legal redemptive right to be free.  It is your legal redemptive right to be free, and set others free.  Satan’s authority over your life has been legally broken by the court of Heaven.   Your defense attorney and advocate, Jesus, has taken His own blood into the Holy of Holies and satisfied Heaven’s righteous demands.

You are God’s agent of deliverance in this sin-torn world.  Satan fears your potential in Christ. God has given you the authority to bind the devil and loose the power of God! Rise up and be who God wants you to be and take authority over your adversary, the devil. A stronger than he has come upon him and overtaken him – Jesus! Satan has been stripped of all his armor. Jesus has taken the spoils and divided them to His people.  Dominion is ours! (See Luke 11:22.)