APPROPRIATING GOD’S PROVISIONS
People get mad at God when their loved ones get
sick or tragic accidents happen. They get even madder at Him when He
seemingly doesn’t answer their pleading prayers that He intervene
and heal. But the fault does not lie in God. Satan is the destroyer,
and our lack of knowledge makes us impotent against him. “My
people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). The knowledge that is needed here is that God has already
done everything that is needed. It is now ours to
receive it by faith. The ball is in our court.
We need to know the Bible! The Holy
Bible—the inspired Word of God—is our life manual. It is
the only source of wisdom and knowledge about spiritual truths. 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a
workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth.” Rightly dividing God’s Word comes through diligent
study and refusing to suit its words to one’s own convenience or
ideology. Rightly dividing the Word of truth mean to rightly discern
its truth by capturing the spirit of the Word. The Word of God was
written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and must be understood by the
Holy Spirit. Personally, I study many different translations until I
feel comfortable that I understand what the Spirit is communicating.
Jesus says in Luke 14:27 and 33: “And whoever does not bear his cross and come
after Me cannot be My disciple. So likewise, whoever of you does not
forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Discipleship
means renunciation of all selfish interest for the sake of Jesus. Most
people do not want that level of commitment, but then they wonder why
they are powerless when tragedy strikes.
We know that God desired for all to come to
repentance and faith in Jesus’ atoning work on the cross (John 3:16). But the choice of salvation is left to the free will of
each individual. In the same way, we know it is God’s will to
heal everyone who calls on His name because Jesus suffered for it. We
appropriate God’s provision by faith. Faith gives substance to
things we hope for; faith gives evidence to things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God has given us the measure of faith, which is
enough. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s
promises in His Word, our faith grows, line upon line, precept upon
This is what I personally have learned that has
changed my life, and it can change yours as well. I am fully persuaded
that God is faithful and true and cannot lie and that His Word is
inerrant truth. I am fully persuaded that God loves me (and you) and
that He wants and has made provision for His children to have abundant
life in this world and eternal life in the world to come. I am fully
persuaded that God provided the atonement for my sins once for all and
that I am forgiven of all past, present, and future sins when I come to
Christ in godly sorrow and repentance. I am fully persuaded that God
provided for my health and healing by suffering from the stripes He
bore on His back on the cross. I am fully persuaded that I receive all
of it by simple faith in God—faith in His righteous character,
faith in His Word, and faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
But we can’t stop there. We must put feet on our faith.
We all are saved, or born from above, by
believing and confessing with our mouth. Romans 10:9-10 says, ...that
if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart
that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the
heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is
made unto salvation.
That Scripture sets the pattern for appropriating
God’s promises and provisions. The principle is established at
the very beginning of our life in Christ. Just as salvation is
appropriated by heart belief and spoken confession, so His continuing
work in our lives is advanced by the same means.
In Mark 11:20-21, the disciples were surprised to see the fig tree had
withered that Jesus had previously cursed. Jesus responded with a
simple command in verse 22, “Have faith in God.”
Then in verses 23-24, in calling them to
“speak to mountains,” He led them to prepare for situations
in which they would find it necessary to take direct authority in the
spiritual realm to impact things in the natural realm. “For
assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be
removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his
heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will
have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask
when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have
A mountain is symbolic of an obstacle, hindrance,
or insurmountable problem. Someone said that a mountain is anything
that is bigger than you are. Jesus said, “Have faith in
God.” To have faith in God is to believe.
The next thing He said is, “I say to you,
whoever says to this mountain …” That’s spoken
confession. And then He says, “Don't doubt in your heart!”
The doubt Jesus was talking about may be a lack of faith in God to do
what He says, which is insulting to God’s character, but it could
also be doubt in one’s own worthiness to ask. Well, we all are
unworthy. That is why we need a Savior Who IS worthy! Jesus died for
our unworthiness so that we could live in His. When we command that
mountain to be removed and to be cast into the sea, God sees only the
worthiness of Jesus. A. W. Tozer once wrote: “Nobody ever got
anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it. Having fallen,
man deserves only punishment and death. So if God answers prayer it's
because God is good. From His goodness, His lovingkindness, His
good-natured benevolence, God does it! That's the source of
“The weapons we fight with are not the
weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to
demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV). We are not to fight in the natural, physical
world because that is satan’s territory. Our warfare is fought in
the spiritual realm, using spiritual weapons, such as believing God
(faith) and speaking in agreement with His will and His Word. That is
why it is so important to “study to show ourselves approved unto
God, a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the
word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). We must know God’s Word thoroughly. Not knowing
the Word of God is like going to war not knowing how to use our weapon.
Our enemy can take that same weapon and do great damage with his lies.
A good portion of our lives should be given to studying God’s
Jesus reminded His disciples in Mark 11:23-24 of the principles of believing and
confessing—believing in their heart and confessing with their
mouth. He was preparing them for situations when it would be necessary
to take authority in the spiritual realm in order to impact things in
the natural realm. This is so important for us to learn.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 that all authority has been given to Him in heaven
and on earth. Authority is defined as, “the power or right to
rule, control, judge, or prohibit the actions of others.” Just as
an Ambassador is sent out with the authority of his country behind him
(as well as the provisions needed, which is another sermon), we as
Christ’s ambassadors on the earth are sent out in the name of
Jesus (who has all authority) with all of the rights and privileges of
a diplomatic minister or an authorized representative or messenger. We
call it The Great Commission. We need to understand that it is not
presumptuous to move in spiritual authority in the name of Jesus. It is
not only our right, but it is our responsibility. God’s first
command to man was to “fill the earth and subdue it.” We
cannot subdue a thing without using authority.
Matthew 28:16-20 (AMP): "Now the eleven disciples went to
Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made
appointment with them ... Jesus approached and, breaking the silence,
said to them, 'All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth
has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations,
baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded
you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly,
and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the
God wants us to take direct authority in the
spiritual realm in order to impact, or change, things in the natural
realm. Jesus gave us the right to believe what God says (His Word) and
to speak that Word into our circumstances.
When sickness is attacking our bodies, as
believers and disciples of Jesus Christ, we have the right to speak
truth from our spirit (the spiritual realm) and to command our body
(the natural realm) to come into line with the Word. We have the right
to command (in the spiritual realm) our body (in the natural realm) to
resist sickness and disease or any other mountain that would try to
attack it. Sickness and disease are interlopers on the body of any
born-again Christian. Unless a door has been opened to them, they have
no spiritual right to be there. Under the authority of the name of
Jesus, you have the right to speak to the mountain of sickness and to
command it to be cast into the sea.
You may say, “But I have been guilty of
abusing my body and, therefore, opening the door to sickness.”
Remember that Jesus died for our sins—past, present and future.
He died even for that sin. In Christ, we are forgiven. When we confess
our sin and repent (turn from it), we have the right to have healing.
Sometimes, the door to sickness and disease has been opened through a
curse. Curses can come in two primary ways—a malevolent charge
against a person, such as in witchcraft, and the speaking of negative
words, either from oneself, a parent, clergy, or others who have
influence over us. In the case of curses, deliverance may be needed
before healing can be fully manifested.
Sometimes there may be a need to fast in order to
subdue the flesh, to starve doubt, to humble self, to promote
faith-filled prayer, and/or to repent for losing faith. Let each one
Although there have been times when God has used
people's sicknesses to bring glory to Himself when they were healed, I
believe without a doubt that it is not God’s will for anyone to
be sick, and it is especially not God’s will for His children to
die prematurely. That’s the devil’s agenda and his attack.
As believers, we have the right and the power, in the name of Jesus, to
stop the attack.
I have given you the Word in a capsule. Also
consider this: One can put a thousand to flight, but two can put
ten thousand to flight. When we come together with another faith-filled
believer in agreement with God’s Word and will, no devil on earth
Be careful of your words. Life and death are in
the power of the tongue. We must we aware of every idle word we speak
and ask ourselves whether we are agreeing with God, the flesh, or the
devil. Are our words producing life or death? We must try to always
guard our words so that satan does not get a foothold anywhere.
We also need to stay in a right attitude of
humility as the creature and not the Creator. 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV reminds us: “But we have this treasure
in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and
not from us.” These rights are given to us by God’s grace
and mercy. God is not our online shopping network. We need to be
careful not to become prideful in our faith. That’s why it is so
important for us to stay in a posture of worship; it reminds us who we
are and Who we are not. Denying the flesh through fasting helps to
bring us into humility.
It is vital also to remember that God gives to us
from His abundance so that we might generously give to others, both
from our resources and our hope. We can never give back to God what He
has given to us, but out of love, we are to go and reach others.
God bless you is my prayer, and may the spirit of
faith inhabit your heart continually!