Earthquakes and Jailbreaks
Jesus authorized us to lay hands on the sick in the authority of His name, adding that “they will recover” (Mark 16:18). Yet, anyone who tells you that every sick person they have done this for has been healed, is not telling you the truth. James 5:14-15 tells elders to anoint the sick with oil and pray faith-filled prayers for them. The verses say if this is done, they will be healed. Yet, any elder who tells you every person for whom they have done this has been healed, is not telling you the truth.
The Bible must be taken as a whole; no passage is meant to stand alone. Scripture is to be interpreted with Scripture. Also, we must avoid spiritual formulas. Those who try to apply spiritual truth as formulas will quickly discover that “the four easy steps to…” will not work. God does not want our walk with Him or our understanding of His Word relegated to religious formulas, methods, or systems.
This does not mean there are no absolutes in Scripture - there absolutely are (pun intended). However, absolute truths in God’s Word must be balanced with and interpreted by other biblical truths, and applied with Holy Spirit’s wisdom and guidance. The law of Moses allowed for the stoning of the woman caught in an adulterous act. Jesus, however, balanced this with love, grace, and His desire to redeem. Her sin wasn’t condoned; it was forgiven, and she was told to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11).
A similar thing occurred at Ninevah. Their sins had reached a level for which judgment was required (Jonah 1:2). God announced that this would now occur. However, repentance changed this (Jonah 3:6-10). These are examples of scriptural truth being interpreted and applied with Scripture.
We must do this when attempting to operate in the spiritual measures and spheres of authority we discussed yesterday. To operate in them effectively, we must know and apply the God-given principles pertaining to them in His Word.
The first principle I want to mention has to do with assigned authority. Beyond just our personal right to ask for and receive the blessings of the New Covenant for ourselves and our families, God assigns us other spheres. We spoke yesterday of Paul’s assignment to Corinth.
All of our assigned spheres won’t be places, however. They might be certain problems or segments of society, such as education, human trafficking, the homeless, drug addiction, etc. God calls and assigns individuals to impact and release His Kingdom life into them. With this assignment comes authority - to act, pray, decree, etc.
God calls and assigns some individuals to evangelism. All Christians can evangelize, but does anyone seriously believe Billy Graham’s authority when preaching the Gospel did not release more spiritual power than that of the average believer? We all have the right and responsibility to evangelize, but with Graham’s sphere (his assignment) came a greater measure of authority, which released a greater power of conviction and revelation from Holy Spirit.
All believers can cast out demons (Mark 16:17), but some are given/assigned deliverance ministries and operate in higher measures of authority in this regard than other believers. All can lay hands on sick individuals and see healings (Mark 16:18) yet some are given gifts of healing (1 Corinthians 12:9) and operate at higher levels of authority in this regard.
In Matthew 10:1-15, Jesus sent out the 12 disciples and gave them authority to announce that His Kingdom was now present, to cast out demons, to heal every kind of disease and sickness, and to raise the dead. In the 10th chapter of Luke, He did the same with 70 followers. Great fruit resulted.
After the Cross, Jesus assigned believers to go and preach the Gospel to all the world, and said He would confirm the message with signs and wonders (Mark 16:15-20). To be sure, this delegated an authority and responsibility to all believers, and we can expect Christ to honor His words. Yet, as Head of the church, He reserves the right to assign individuals, based on His plans and wisdom as well as our callings and maturity levels, where and when to do so. We can fail and even be harmed if we go presumptuously. We should not simply indiscriminately, but where and when He sends.
In Acts 13, Paul was instructed by Holy Spirit to go from Antioch and fulfill his apostolic calling; he set out with a team to do so. In Acts 16, however, Holy Spirit “forbade” him to go to Asia (verse 6). Then “after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the spirit of Jesus did not permit them” (verse 7). Holy Spirit then directed Paul through a “night vision” to go to Macedonia (Philippi) (verses 9-10), resulting in the first European convert, Lydia. Shortly thereafter, Paul cast a spirit of divination from a fortune-teller (verses 16-18) stirring up much opposition. While in jail, God sovereignly and supernaturally delivered he and Silas through an earthquake. Their chains fell off and the Philippian jailor was saved (verses 24-34)! This assignment impacted all of history, setting a westward course for the gospel. Christ’s general assignment for Paul - and the church - to go into all the world and preach the gospel, was specifically applied by Christ through Holy Spirit’s direction, resulting in great authority and much fruit.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about one of my assignments which was used to change my life forever. And in a later post, I will address in more detail the subject of prayers and decrees for nations. For now, however, I want to assure you that all of us have been given the right and responsibility to pray for our governments (1 Timothy 2:1-4), our cities and nations (Jeremiah 29:7; 2 Chronicles 7:14), and the spiritual harvest of individuals into God’s family (Matthew 9:37-38). We are assigned the right and responsibility as Christ’s Ekklesia to bind spiritual forces that oppose Him and His Kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19), to stand against their wiles and plans (Ephesians 6:10-12), manifesting the wisdom of God in doing so (Ephesians 3:10). Let’s do it now.
Pray with me:
Father, in the authority of Christ, we ask You to save America from the evil and wickedness in our government. Many of our leaders mock and malign You, have rejected Your ways, and openly oppose You. They glorify evil, sacrifice children to Baal, and make diligent efforts to indoctrinate them in wicked ideologies. Forgive our nation for allowing this; remove these people from power, and help us to rebuild America.
We also move in the authority of Your Word and the authority You’ve given us through Christ, asking for revival. We know revival will rescue millions and also give momentum to the transformation of our nation. Lord of the harvest, launch thousands of evangelists into the harvest fields. Awaken in the church with a passion to win the lost. Release powerful gifts of healing and miracle working. SEND FIRE!!! Send Your wind. Send glory. Gather dry bones and shape them into an army.
And Father, in Christ’s name we decree that the powers of darkness and schemes of hell will NOT stop these things from occurring. We declare that all of satan’s plans for America WILL fail. We declare that his hold over our land is broken. We declare that the young people of America WILL be delivered from his schemes and WILL experience the most powerful and sweeping revival the world has ever seen. This will NOT be stopped!
All in Christ’s name. So be it!
We decree that the church, the Ekklesia, is awakening to her authority and will arise and shine with Christ’s glory.
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