Christians generally don’t understand the authority that God has given them. The average person is approaching God as if they have no power or authority.
I’ve had hundreds of people come to me with tears in their eyes, present their problem to me, and basically tell me they are powerless to change their situation. Yet believers are anything but powerless. Starting from a position of powerlessness is completely contrary to everything that the Word of God teaches.
Jesus gave His disciples the power to cast out demons and to heal all manner of sickness (Matthew 10:1). He also gave them the authority to use that power, and He commanded them to use it, saying, And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)
Jesus said, “Heal the sick.” He didn’t say pray for the sick. It may seem a subtle difference, but in practice it makes an enormous difference. A large segment of Christians don’t even believe that God heals today because they never see anything happen when they pray. They don’t look for supernatural manifestations of God’s power.
Even among those who do believe in the miraculous power of God, a large portion aren’t following the model Jesus put forth. Instead, they are starting from a position of powerlessness, saying things like, “Lord, we are nothing. We can do nothing. We’re just waiting on You. God, stretch forth Your hand and heal.”They are pleading and begging with God to release His power, which is completely contrary to Jesus’ command.
Jesus gave us power over all sickness, disease, and demons. Then He said, “Now, you heal the sick, cast out devils, cleanse the lepers, and raise the dead.” He didn’t tell us to pray and ask Him to do it for us. He told us to go out and to do these things. We aren’t doing it on our own, because it’s God’s power working the miracle, but we are responsible for taking action.
The Lord said, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Without Jesus, I am a zero. On my own, I can’t heal a gnat—but I’m never on my own. The Lord has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
After you are born again, God places His power on the inside of you—power over all sickness and disease, and over every demon. Since we already have God’s power and the authority to use it, we don’t have to ask Him to heal the sick or cast out demons for us.
The same power that raised Christ from the dead is now dwelling in us (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Whenever you approach God as if you are powerless to change your situation, you reveal that you don’t understand the power that He has given you. You might be asking for the right thing or seeking the right results, but you’re going about it in the wrong way. Miracles don’t come to pass that way. The Scripture says,
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
God told us to resist the devil and the devil will flee from us. The word “resist” means to actively fight against. It is our responsibility to resist the devil. You can’t go to God and ask Him to get the devil off your back; you have to fight against the devil yourself.
Sickness and disease are works of the devil (John 10:10), so when we ask God to heal our sicknesses we are, in effect, asking Him to rebuke the devil for us. But God told us to resist the devil. If we don’t resist the devil, he won’t go away. I can beg and plead with God until I’m blue in the face—I can give Him all the ins-and-outs of how desperate my situation is—but nothing is going to happen until I resist the devil myself.
It’s God’s power, but it’s our responsibility to put it to use.
A lot of people don’t like to hear this because it makes us accountable, and we have become masters at dodging responsibility. We’ll find any reason to put the blame on someone or something else: upbringing, ethnicity, lack of education, parents, abuse, or anything else we can think of. We try to cope with our own failures by placing the blame elsewhere. I’m not saying that bad things don’t happen to people, but until you take responsibility for your own actions, you’ll never be more than a victim.
To be a victor, you have to take responsibility. God has given you the power to change your situation if you will quit being a victim and stand up and resist the devil.
I heard a story about a vision that Kenneth Hagin had. In the vision, Kenneth was standing in front of the Lord, and He was saying some important things to Kenneth. In the midst of their conversation, a demon ran right in front of Kenneth and started making all sorts of noise so that Kenneth was having a hard time hearing what the Lord was saying. As Kenneth strained to hear, he was wondering why the Lord didn’t tell the demon to go away. In frustration, Kenneth finally yelled at the little demon to leave in the name of Jesus. At his command, the demon fled.
The Lord then told Kenneth that He did not tell the demon to flee because it was Kenneth’s responsibility. The Lord said to him, “I have given you the authority, and I can’t take it back.”
The point of this story is consistent with what is revealed in the Word of God. The Bible says that when something comes out of the mouth of the Lord, it’s a covenant. God said, My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (Psalm 89:34)
When God says something, it’s binding to Him. People, by contrast, will say anything on a whim and then change their minds later. Even when something is in writing, people hire lawyers to get around agreements they have made. Words might not mean much to people, but God never violates His word.
The Bible says of Jesus, Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Jesus was a perfect, identical representation of the Father, and He upholds all things by the word of His power. This universe is held together by the power of Jesus’ words. If Jesus ever violated the integrity of His word, then things would cease to be held together and the universe would be destroyed. It isn’t an option for God to tell us to do something and then to go back on His word and do it for us.
God wants you well, but He will not violate His word to heal you. God told us to resist the devil, and if we don’t do it —for whatever reason—He isn’t going to do it for us. He gave us raising-from-the-dead power, but we have to believe and resist the devil.
The apostles Peter and John demonstrated this principle when they healed a lame man on their way to the Temple. The man had been lame from birth, and every day he sat by the Temple begging alms from those who were on their way in. As Peter and John approached him that day he asked for alms, And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them,expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. (Acts 3:4-6)
Peter took hold of the lame man’s hand and stood him up. Immediately, the lame man was healed and went leaping before them, praising God for the miracle he received. This is an awesome demonstration of the power of God, but notice that Peter and John never prayed for the man. They did not ask God to heal him, and they didn’t start from a position of powerlessness by saying that they were nothing and could do nothing. Peter said, “What I have I give to you.” He wasn’t being arrogant. Jesus told Peter that he had the healing power of God, and Peter was just putting it to use.
As a whole, the body of Christ isn’t using the authority that God has given us—often, because we don’t know what we have. Many believers are begging and pleading with God to move, but they don’t believe that God has already moved. God has already given us the power and authority to speak to our problems.
Fig trees are unique fruit trees because they produce fruit at the same time that they bear leaves. So, when a fig tree is full of green leaves, it should have fruit as well. Scripture records that one day, Jesus saw from a distance a fig tree with leaves and walked to it, wanting to find food. When He got to the tree, it didn’t have any fruit. It looked like it had fruit on it, but it didn’t. It was emblematic of religious hypocrisy. The tree was professing to possess something that it didn’t really have.
Seeing this, Jesus cursed the fig tree. The next day, Jesus and His disciples walked by the tree and it was dead. It had dried up from the roots (Mark 11:20).
The moment Jesus spoke to the tree it died, but it took twenty-four hours for what had happened to become visible. This is important to remember when you pray. The effects of prayer are not always immediately evident to our senses, but power always goes forth when we pray in the name of Jesus. If we wait patiently in faith, expecting to see what we pray for, then we will see it come to pass.
As the disciples passed by the dried up fig tree, Peter pointed out to Jesus that it had died:
And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Three times in this passage, the Lord emphasizes the power of words. Jesus didn’t touch the fig tree or try to pull it down; He just spoke to it. All that is necessary to release the faith and power that God has given you is to speak to your problem. Faith and power are released through words. Jesus said, whosoever shall say, and believe the things he says, will have whatsoever he says. Words are powerful. Proverbs says, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:21)
The miracle you are waiting for is in your mouth—if you would speak and not doubt. The problem is that most of us say things that we don’t believe with our whole heart. We waver, and the Bible says that those who waver don’t receive anything from God (James 1:6-8). Jesus said that when we pray, we have to believe and not doubt in our hearts. We can’t waver. We have to speak and believe.
Also notice that Jesus instructed us to speak to the mountain. It’s important to recognize that when you have an obstacle in your way or a problem, you need to speak directly to the problem. Most Christians spend ten minutes describing the problem, and the next ten seconds begging God to make it go away. “O God,” they cry, “please move this mountain.” But that is a totally wrong approach. God didn’t tell us to talk to Him about our problems and ask Him to make them go away. He told us to speak to the mountain and cast it into the sea.
For you to speak to your mountain and command it to get out of the way implies that you understand God has already done His part. He gave you power and authority. Instead of speaking to God as if you can do nothing, you need to believe that God has given you (past tense) power and authority. Now, take your authority and resist the situation. You speak and command the mountain to get out of your way. You talk to it! In other words, talk to your problem about God; don’t talk to God about your problem.
I believe that in the vast majority of churches, though not all, religion doesn’t emphasize the authority of the believer because it’s a safe way to play it. If you don’t have any authority, you don’t have to hold yourself accountable. You can go to a person who is dying and throw out a half-hearted prayer, and if nothing happens it isn’t your fault. It’s easy to live your life that way. People blame God and say, “It must not have been His will to heal this time.” That isn’t true. .. it is always God’s will to heal.
“He healed them all” (Matthew 12:15; 14:14; 15:30)
Instead of asking God to heal, praise Him that He has already provided healing. Don’t tell God about your problem; speak to your problem about God. Say, “Cancer, in the name of Jesus, I command you to get out of my body.”That is exactly what Jesus instructed us to do: speak to our mountain (Mark 11:23).
I once prayed for a woman who had severe pain throughout her body. The pain had been present for seven years, and the date that doctors predicted she would die had passed three years before I even met her. She was in terrible shape. I explained to her the source of the believers’ authority and the need to speak directly to her problem, and then I prayed with her. She was instantly healed and started praising God.
After she was healed, I spent another twenty minutes teaching her to not quit believing that God healed her. Feeling a symptom of illness after you have prayed doesn’t mean you weren’t healed. It’s like the fig tree that dried up from the roots: sometimes it takes a little time to see the healing fully manifest to your senses. Also, the devil is going to probe to see if you really believed when you prayed.
He’ll come with symptoms, like a knock at your door, to see if you’ll open up and let him back in. The devil wants to see if he can get you to back off of believing that God healed you. One of the ways he does it is by bringing back symptoms or thoughts that remind you of being sick.
If you ever have another pain or symptom, just speak to it. Believe that God has given you power, then resist the pain or sickness and it will flee from you.
When we were done talking, the woman started to leave, but as soon as she touched the doorknob to open the door, the stinging pain returned. I reminded her that I had just spent twenty minutes teaching her what to do, and I told her that I would agree with her as she prayed.
She said, “I claim my healing, in the name of Jesus. By Your stripes I was healed.” She prayed for a little while longer, and she said some good things, but she didn’t take her authority and speak directly to the problem.
“Do you still have any stinging?” I asked her.
“Yes,” she said.
“Do you know why?” I asked.
“No,” she replied.
“It’s because you didn’t talk to the stinging,” I told her. “You talked to God and confessed your faith in God, but you didn’t take your authority and speak to the problem.”
“You mean I’m supposed to say, ‘stinging be gone in the name of Jesus’?”
“Exactly,” I said.
We joined hands to pray again and she said,
“Stinging, in Jesus’ name…”
That’s as far as she got before the stinging fled her body. It’s been eight years or so and she has been totally free of that problem ever since.
Many believers are doing exactly what that woman did: saying good things, but not taking the authority God has given them and using it. Peter said, “Such as I have,” and he commanded the lame man to be well.
God has placed His power and authority on the inside of us, but it is our responsibility to use it. Once you begin to use what God has given you instead of asking Him to do it for you, you will see a dramatic change in the results you get when you pray.
by Andrew Wommack
From his book, ‘Sharper Than A Two-Edged Sword’ (Chap. 9)
Translated by: Lilian, Ruth, Margaret, Emma, Sunrise.
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The Believer’s Authority (6 part series)
Don’t Limit God (5 part series)
Spiritual Authoruty (6 part series)