“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12
I realize that everything I’ve written in this section of the blog so far is about taking action – this is just where I am right now! I decided at the beginning to write as I feel led and not try to get all my ducks in a row (or all my posts in order) before ever starting. There is plenty to be said about grace and resting in the finished work of Christ. His sacrifice and all the benefits it provided are a gift that can’t be earned! But I guess I am learning right now how to take action and that’s coming out in what I feel impressed to write lately.
Everything I write is something I need to hear probably more than anyone else. This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot because it keeps coming up and I think it is very significant. The one thing I will never suggest are steps or a formula for receiving from God – receiving from someone is about relationship and there is no shortcut to cultivating a close relationship with someone. However, I have learned as I’ve searched the Word of God that there are some things that we have to settle in our hearts to receive what God wants to give us, and what I’m sharing today is one of those things: We have to get angry at what has been stealing from us.
The first time I heard of this concept was when I watched Niki Ochenski’s Healing Journey on YouTube and then an interview with Niki Ochenski and Andrew Wommack afterward. Andrew mentioned that on his way to see Niki, he was praying she would get angry at what had been stealing from her. Since she was in such dire straits and he didn’t want to take time to explain what he meant by “angry” (it’s not a word Christians are usually told to act on), he prayed for a “righteous indignation” to rise up in her, to which Niki replied in the interview, “That’s a nice Christian word.” (I think she meant “words” but we understand!). Andrew explained in the interview that God gave us the capacity for anger but it was never meant to be used against other people – it should be directed at the source of what steals, kills, and destroys, the devil. Niki did get an uprising of anger toward the sickness that had been ravaging her and since she had also just learned what God’s will was for her situation and she chose to believe it was for her right at that moment, she rose up that day and took her healing.
***This is something else that is crucial to receiving anything from God – you have to believe that what you are trying to receive is God’s will and have a solid basis for it in His Word (not what you’ve been taught, not what you’ve seen, not what you feel is true). After all, it would not be smart to try to fight for something that God doesn’t want you to have! After 3 years of scouring the Bible for answers on this specifically, I know that God wants us well. I know healing and wholeness and soundness of mind are just as much a part of the salvation package as forgiveness of sins. Jesus gave Himself for our sins that He might deliver us from “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). Salvation, in its FULL meaning, is for us to live in NOW! This is the power of the church. This is what God provided for us –not that we should be forgiven and stuck until some glory day in heaven but for us to be saved completely and free to live in victory, wellness, and abundance now. I probably should have written about this first but like I said before, just writing what is on my heart now for the time being – I plan on coming back to share what I have found in the Bible about God’s will for healing later but it is of utmost importance that you know that God wants you well. He is a good Father who has given everything for you to be whole and redeemed from the curse in every way.***
Not long after I watched this interview I had the opportunity to go to Colorado and while I was at Charis Bible College, I met Andrew Wommack. At this time I already knew what had been provided for me but I was having trouble believing it fully in my heart so I asked Andrew to agree with me in prayer for physical manifestation of what Christ has already done. Andrew asked me what I was dealing with and I told him as briefly as I could. He reminded me of Niki Ochenski’s testimony and then he smiled and said, “You don’t look like the kind of person that gets mad very often,” then he grew serious and said, “you have to get mad at this and you have to stay mad. This is a threat on your life and it is stealing from you.”
I think he was on to something. I have noticed that when I get passive toward the enemy’s work is when the symptoms and discouragement come in like a flood. Every single time I feel discouraged and start asking God why, it’s because I’ve stopped reading His Word, stopped speaking to my situation about my God, and just gotten lazy. I get discouraged when I wait for God to do something that He’s told me to do or when I’m looking at the symptoms more than what He has already provided. And a quick note in case taking a stand by doing what I just said seems like bunch of “doing” or makes you feel tired: I don’t do any of those things to get God to do something or move His hand. I mean, I absolutely have in the past! But now I do them to stand in what He has already provided for me and I know when it feels energizing, I am resting (actively) in Christ’s finished work and just agreeing/upholding what He has already done. When I get tired of speaking and focusing and getting into the God’s Word, it is without fail because I am trying to make something happen in my own strength.
Lately, I’ve been trying to get more out of what I’m reading by taking my time and reading it over and over, several days in a row (in the past I always went more for quantity than quality, like, “Read the Bible in One Year” so I could check it off my list). The Word of God is living and dynamic and I have learned that I can read the same passage each day for a while and continue to get lots of different stuff from it. So cool.
I was reading again in John chapter 2 the other day when this passage hit me loud and clear. Jesus got angry and even violent against what the enemy was doing in God’s temple. God’s temple was supposed to be a place of worship and it had been turned into a market where people displayed their wares. The real enemy is never people – it’s the evil force behind them who uses willing people. This enemy had invaded, violated, and turned the temple into something that it was never intended for. Jesus wasn’t angry at the people, He was angry at what the enemy had done.
Here’s what hit me:
In the Old Testament, God’s presence was in the Temple; after Jesus died for us and the Holy Spirit came, we are now the temple of the living God. WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD. And when the enemy breaks in to steal and try to alter God’s perfect design, we have Jesus’ example to get angry and drive it out!
Sickness, which is clearly listed as a curse in the Bible (not a blessing! Duet. 28), is from the enemy (Acts 10:38). Anything from the enemy is for the purpose of stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10) and that’s exactly what sickness does. We have the responsibility and the authority as believers to drive out of our temple what is stealing from us. Would you sit by while a thief ransacked your house or would you run and hide, giving him free reign to take whatever he wanted? We need to fight the thief and protect what is already ours. As Believers, our bodies are home to the Holy Spirit, the very same Spirit Jesus had, and evil, death, sickness have no right to stay in our temple – it was created to be a place of worship! It glorifies God when we adopt His attitude toward what steals, kills, and destroys.
Every time I pray for righteous indignation (God’s kind of anger toward the enemy), I get it. I am going to keep asking because I believe I need to keep thinking like God does about this and drive it out. If we want victory, at some point every one of us will need to get angry at what the enemy has done, take a stand, and say, “no more!”
Galatians 5:1 says to take your stand and hold fast to the freedom that Christ gave you. It is a plea to not let yourself be burdened again with a yolk of slavery. This implies that we have a choice to take a stand or go back into slavery. God gave everything for us to be free and no matter what we feel like, the truth is we already have all we need to stand.
I love this quote from Barry Bennett:
“The next time you have a tough day, just remember, you’ve been given:
The name of Jesus,
The power of the Word,
The integrity of the New Covenant,
The power of the blood,
The potential of the promises,
The power of the Spirit,
The armor of God,
The gifts of the Spirit,
The God kind of faith, and
The keys of the Kingdom.
You’re in pretty good shape.”
I am praying for you today, that you would get a revelation of what in your life is from the enemy, that you would discover the will of God concerning it, and that you would experience an uprising of righteous indignation against it that spurs you to uphold God’s promises to you!