Will He or Won’t He?

Luke 6: 7

And the scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely, to see if He healed on the Sabbath.

On one particular Sabbath Jesus was teaching in the temple. Present was a man with a withered hand. The amazing thing about this scripture to me is that the Pharisees and scribes were not watching to see if Jesus could heal the man with the withered hand. They were watching to see if Jesus would. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus.

Interestingly, this is at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He had not even chosen the twelve apostles at this time. None the less, people were certain of His ability to heal. The fact that no one questioned His ability and willingness to heal is an absolute wonder to me. Verse 19 really speaks to this:

And all the multitude were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

They expected Jesus to heal them. People flocked to Him in order to be healed and delivered. Here’s my question. Isn’t this the same Jesus that is our Lord and Savior? Isn’t He still alive today? Even Jesus’ enemies expected Him to heal the sick. Their only question was whether or not He would heal on the Sabbath. Well, we certainly don’t have a problem with Jesus healing on the Sabbath if He is going to heal at all, but do we expect Him to heal us? And what would happen if we really did start expecting Him to touch our lives with His power? What if we showed up to church expecting God to touch us? Has the power that was coming from Jesus expired? No, it is the same Holy Spirit. I think it is just that our believing has waned. Stir yourself up. Stir up your faith in the Jesus that does good works. Let us all invite his power back into our lives and our services. Let’s believe in Him again like the people of old and let us receive His goodness and pass it on to others.

Faith Calls

Luke 18: 40

Jesus stopped and ordered them to bring the man to him.

A funny thing happened on the way from the showers . . .. I was at a bicycle weekend recently. My friends and I were walking back to our campsite after leaving the shower truck and walking by some lovely old homes in Edenton, NC. As we walked past one particular house, there were people sitting on the porch and somehow we began speaking with them. I noticed a crutch leaning against the house and asked to whom it belonged. A woman there said it was hers and without a moment’s hesitation I asked if I could pray for her. I didn’t know her from Adam and didn’t know what her ailment was. I just felt compelled to pray for her, so I did.

As I mounted the porch, she arose telling me she had scoliosis. Well, given one more minute I would have surmised as much for she was bent over. I prayed for her and as I prayed, I felt the Spirit moving. The woman began to pray along with me. I know something happened that day though when I left, she was not standing upright like when Jesus prayed for the woman in Luke 13: 13.

Days later I was thinking about this incident, and something struck me. The two ladies I was walking with each had a need. One has MS and the other has Celiac Disease. I did not have a compulsion to pray for them even though I camped with them all weekend, but I was compelled to pray for a woman I literally was walking by and didn’t know at all. Isn’t that interesting? What was the difference?

Faith calls. Faith pulls. Faith demands. It turns out that the woman with scoliosis, Connie, is a person of faith. In fact, she is the worship leader at her church. The spirit in her sensed the spirit in me and pulled on that anointing whereas the two women with me have no faith for healing.

This was astounding to me. As I pondered this event, I recalled James 5: 14 – 15. It reads, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” The person who is sick is to call for the elders and the prayer offered in faith shall restore the one who is sick. My friends had no faith, but Connie did. Her faith reached right out to me and stopped me in my tracks the way Jesus was often arrested by faith. Isn’t that amazing?

I think too about the woman with the hemorrhage. She, literally, went and pulled on Jesus. There is a lesson here. Your faith heals. Jesus felt power go out of him. He told the woman, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well,” (Matthew 9: 22). That statement causes me to pause. We know God is the healer, but our faith must connect with that healing power and that is when the miracle happens. Even though Jesus didn’t know the woman was there, her faith reached out and took a miracle. Bless God!

Did you know that Jesus couldn’t always work miracles? Mark 6: 5 reads, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” (NLV). As crazy as this first sounds, it does make sense when you recall Revelation 12: 11, “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.” We would think that the blood of the Lamb is sufficient to overcome all obstacles, but we would be wrong and unbiblical. This scripture is very clear in teaching that overcoming is the product of the blood and the “word of their testimony” or, in other words, the words of our mouth. This reality makes us uncomfortable for two reasons. First, it places responsibility on our shoulders when we just want Jesus to make everything alright for us. Second, it defies our theology. We have been taught God is omnipotent and we took that to mean that He acts independently of us. That just isn’t Biblically sound. There is nothing in the Bible that says that. In fact, it says just the opposite. Psalm 115: 16 says, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” God gave us freewill, and He gave us authority and He will not usurp either.

Well, this devotional might speak to a number of different things for you today. One take away for me is that you never know when God is going to move or when and how He is going to teach you something. I would have never guessed that the blessing of the Lord would manifest while I was walking from a shower truck to my tent with a towel slung over my shoulder, but there He was. Ready to bless someone. Oh, but this touches my spirit. Paul told Timothy to be ready in season and out (2 Timothy 4: 2) and brother, I am glad I was ready. We were also taught to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5: 17). That means even when you are not at church and not dressed up.  Be ready to pray at all times.

You can see the implications for an entire message in each of those scriptures as it relates to this experience. So, be ready at any time to minister but also, stir up your faith for whatever you need. Pull on the anointing in your spiritual leaders. If you aren’t calling me or writing me, you are missing an opportunity for God to minister to your need. Be filled and overflowing in Jesus’ name.

Deliberate Faith

Luke 8: 46            NLV

But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.”

Come on, somebody shout! Man, I don’t know if I can write today’s Word of the Day because I am so excited about this. What is Jesus saying here?

Do you know this story? There was a woman who, for twelve years, suffered with a hemorrhage and none of the physicians were able to help her. However, having heard about Jesus she kept saying to herself, “If I just touch his garments, I shall get well,” (Mark 5: 28). So, although there was a large crowd around him, pressing in on every side, this woman determined that she would touch him and she believed that as soon as she touched even the hem of his garment, she would be healed. She, therefore, pressed her way through the crowd and managed to touch the fringe of his garment. As soon as she did, the hemorrhage dried up and she was healed. Jesus said he felt power go out from him and wanted to know who touched him. His disciples scoffed remarking about the crowd that swamped them. No, Jesus told them, this was different, “Someone deliberately touched me.”

So, what was it about this woman that caused her to be healed? The scriptures record Jesus as saying, “Daughter, your faith has made you well,” (Luke 8: 48). There is a huge revelation in this story if we can mine it out of here, because if we understand what happened here, we can reproduce the result over and over again for ourselves.

First, we need to understand that Jesus didn’t heal her. Don’t believe me? What did he say? “Daughter, your faith has made you well.” So, it was her faith. Second question, what was her faith in, or perhaps whom? She had heard about Jesus and how he was going about healing people so she, apparently, had faith that there was healing power on him or in him. But look, she didn’t need him to pray for her, lay his hands on her or even be aware of her presence. She had a point of contact built up in her mind. It would have still worked if she said, “If I can get within three feet of him, I will be healed.” It was a point at which her faith was released. Just look at the Roman soldier. Jesus didn’t have to go to his house for the man’s servant to be healed. He just asked that Jesus speak the word. That soldier’s point of faith was in Jesus’ word. Jesus replied to him, “‘Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed at that very moment,” (Matthew 8: 13).

Alright, think about this. 1 Peter 2: 24 reads, “By His wounds you were healed,” but Jesus had not been wounded and striped yet. Come on, let that preach to you! What is going on here?

Did we not see verse upon verse from the Old Testament about healing? Jesus is the incarnation of the Word and he never deviated from the Father’s intent. Yahweh had healing in His wings thousands of years before Jesus graced the earth. What does that mean to us? What difference does it make?

The point is that God always had healing available to us. Jesus came to earth teaching and demonstrating. He was here to teach us how to walk in the earth, not to make it harder but to make it easier for us to gain everything the Father has for us. I am telling you that this river of blessing and healing is running through you and imprinted on your DNA. The woman in the story had simply made up her mind that she was going to get healed and Katie, bar the door, because she didn’t care who was between her and Jesus. She intended to touch him and be healed. Jesus said someone touched him deliberately. He was being bumped and crowded on every side, but he recognized when determination reached out to him and drew on the healing power of God. He felt it. Glory to God. That woman has the same Father we have. She was less entitled to healing than we are, yet it worked for her. I think we just need to be more stubborn and more determined. I am making up my mind today that I am going to be healed. I am not going to accept brokenness, injury or sickness in this body, which is, after all, the temple of God. How about you?

Healing Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Yesterday, we saw that faith affects healing. What, though, is faith? We talk about it a lot, but do we assume too much, that everyone understands, truly, what faith is? It is a nebulous term in the mouth of many, but the Bible has a definitive explanation of what it is.

Here is another reading of today’s verse, “Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.” It is the certainty of the things we pray for. It is the proof. The Amplified has this language, “Faith is . . . the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses.” It is a fact, not to be argued. Let me give you an example.

Do you believe in Jesus, that he is the Christ, that he came from the Father, that he is alive? Prove it to me. What if I try to talk you out of it? Is there anything I can say to dissuade you? Even though you have no tangible facts, no verifiable evidence, you believe with all your heart that he is alive and that he is the Christ. There is nothing I can do or say to talk you out of it. That is faith. Jesus is unseen but you are 100% convinced. What if you felt the same way about your healing?

Your healing is assured by the blessing of Abraham. It is every bit as certain as your salvation. It was made absolute at the cross. It is real and it is done. So, why is our healing less sure in our hearts than our salvation? Do you have any doubt about your salvation? Do you feel just as strongly about healing?

The point I am trying to make is that most of us are not absolutely convinced that God will heal us. Frankly, most people are a little afraid even as they pray. We are afraid Father won’t heal us and look, there is some legitimacy to that. How many people do you know who are living testimonies of God’s healing? More of our Christian buddies are hurting than healed. We have, as a body, fallen into a place where it is harder to believe that God still heals. If we ask people to answer, intellectually, about what they think, most will say they think God still heals people today. If, however, we were able to dig down in their hearts, we would find that few have experience with God’s healing power, so they don’t have much belief. The people at church are not experiencing healing; the pastor has stopped talking about much less preaching about healing so as a body, we have descended into this place of doubt. It’s not that we are bad people. It’s just that the actuality of God’s healing is not being manifested in our near environment and that is a problem. It is harder for each of us to believe because we don’t have any nearby examples. So, what do we do?

I am attempting to raise your belief by showing you what God’s word says. The thing is, though, that you have to rehearse it over and over before your heart believes it. Your mind will accept God’s word on the surface, at least most people will. Getting the belief built up so that our faith can call that healing into manifestation is different and for most people, more challenging.

Faith is that ability and the substance down in our hearts that knows that it knows. You do have some experience with that kind of faith as I have shown you. There are other things that you know beyond doubt. My goal here is to get your faith for healing to that point. So, think about it for a moment. What do you believe about healing? Is this a doctrine for past times or does Jesus still heal today? I can give you the scriptural answer, but the answer of your heart is the one that matters. Your healing may be very close at hand. Please go back to these verses and continue to meditate on them. Our Father is faithful and wants to do many great and wonderful things for each of us. Let’s agree with him for great things! Do you want to?

Faith in the Blessing

Galatians 3:13 – 14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” – in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

By now, you know about the curse. Hopefully you know about the blessing too since I have been teaching on it for a while. You understand the curse entered the earth through disobedience. However, we see plainly that Jesus has redeemed us from the curse. We no longer live under the law, but rather under faith and faith is how we inherit the blessing.

What does this have to do with healing? Well, literally, everything. Father God told me recently that my health, healing and prosperity were paid for on that cross right along with salvation. When Jesus said, “It is finished,” he meant everything is done. He didn’t leave healing for later. He didn’t make a plan to work out our financial provision later. Everything pertaining to life, the curse and the blessing was accomplished. Jesus arose with no more work to do. It is done. Finished.

So, Father asked me, “Why are you trying to earn what Jesus has already done?” What? That is a revelation each of us could use. Whatever we need today, it has already been done. Now, we appropriate those things by faith and there is the rub. It’s not necessarily that we don’t have faith, but we don’t always know how to use it.

So, let me ask you, if Jesus has already purchased everything you need, including health, and you accept that you claim it by faith, what does that look like? What would you tell another person about acquiring all of God’s good blessing? I wish the answer was, “Lie on a chaise until the blessing falls upon you.”

Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer,” (Matthew 21: 22). The answer, then, is that we must believe. Sometimes we have to talk ourselves into believing. We have to chase out the doubt. That is why I have you write on 3 X 5 index cards. If you read God’s Word and keep reminding yourself of His promises, you whittle away at the doubt. You’ve gotta preach to yourself, keep reminding yourself of God’s promises until your heart is convinced. We all have doubt. We all have to put down fear. But we make the Word of God bigger in our minds and hearts than the fear and doubt until the faith rises up and eradicates the doubt.

You have been redeemed from the curse. You are under the blessing. You are an heir to the promise. Those sound like just a bunch of nice words, but they are more than that, they are the gospel. It’s what Jesus did for you. Your healing is right there in verse 14, in the blessing of Abraham which you receive by faith.  Own it.  Don’t let anyone take away your healing anymore than you would let them take your salvation.

Calling All Believers!

Matthew 9: 28, 21: 22

And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this? If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Yesterday I sent you an unusual Word of the Day, unusual because I have never before asked you to give to this ministry. That wasn’t easy for me but there was a specific reason I made that suggestion and request. First, if you are being fed by this ministry, you should support it, but that is not why I wrote you as I did yesterday. I wrote to you trying to get you blessed.

Why am I anointed to teach the gospel? And for whom? Why did God give me that anointing of increase Sunday? All the anointing that is on me was given for you. I don’t benefit from the anointing on me. I benefit from the anointing that is on Jesse. However, no matter what gifts God sends, it up to each one of us to receive them. So, I want to tell you another story.

A couple of years ago, I decided to test God on this finances thing. You see, we all have trouble believing. As you can see from today’s verse, Jesus couldn’t always get around people’s doubt. Anyway, I took one dollar and sowed it. I prayed over it, I declared, and I put God on notice that I was going to see what He would do. Well, very shortly thereafter I received a check for fifty dollars. Okay, I was expecting one hundred but, where else do you get that kind of return on your money. So, being quite serious about sowing, I sowed the entire fifty dollars. Guess what ministry I sent it to. Jesse Duplantis Ministries. I sent that fifty dollars as soon as I got it. I was working on something. So, then I sat and waited. I was expecting the hundredfold return. And I waited and waited. I began to tell Father, “Hey, you owe me some money here.” Still nothing. Then one day I heard the Father’s voice say to me, “I will make it up to you on your truck.” Well, the thing there was that I wanted a new Tahoe, but I couldn’t afford it. So, I waited some more. Then I reminded Father, “You owe me money!” Again, I heard Him say, “I will make it up to you on your truck.” Okay, fine, but didn’t He understand that I couldn’t afford a Tahoe? How was He going to make it up to me? This went on and I held on though I couldn’t see anything coming in. Some days I was despondent. Other days I was full of faith. Through it all, though, He gave me the strength and tenacity to hold on. Now you see why I titled yesterday’s Word of the Day as I did. I understand. Anyway, time went on and I could see no way I would be able to afford a new Tahoe, but that is the vehicle my heart was set on. Well, long story short . . . you would like the looks of my pretty new Tahoe. I got it in December, and I still don’t know how it happened. What’s more, I got a new stationary bike for indoor training and sold my old Tahoe for the amount that I was going to donate it for. All of this happened within a week and it was purely the blessing of the Lord. Dad isn’t a liar!

Now, what are you going to do? “Do you believe that I (Jesus) am able to do this?” “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” So, who are my believers? Do you believe God is able to do something for you? Some of you sowed yesterday as soon as you read the Word of the Day. God bless you! I am going to pray a prayer over those donations that will rock the walls of hell. Some of you didn’t sow a gift to Ivey Ministries. Why? Why didn’t you? Do you not believe that Jesus is able to bless you? Are you having a battle with doubt? What do you think? You are not the only one to doubt. If you read Monday’s Word of the Day you know that the Lord said to each of us, “Those speculations, wonderings, worries, all those mental gymnastics, must be brought to kneel at Jesus’ feet.” See, all that matters is what Jesus says.

But here is the hard part. Do you believe him? I mean really believe him? Are you willing to risk something on his word? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is,” as the saying goes. Don’t think I don’t know how hard it is to do, but sooner or later we have to decide where we are going to stand. Are you a believer or are you not? Are you going to let Jesus bless you with this special blessing he has for you? Who wins in your heart faith or doubt?

God is able to make all grace abound to you, but you’ve got to get in the game. You have to choose to be a part of this. I am screaming with my outdoor voice that God is doing something here. Let Him include you. Be a part of the blessing. Do you believe?

Calling Those Things

Romans 4: 17 – 21

17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the sight of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
18 In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “So shall you descendants be.”
19 And without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief, but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully assure that what He had promised, He was able to perform.

This passage is a keg of dynamite ready to go off in the spirit of the one who can receive it. There is so much to glean from it, but I wish to focus on three points.

1. He grew strong
2. He believed the promise of God meant something and could be relied upon.
3. Speak those things

First, this passage, speaking of Abraham, says that he “grew strong”. This shows that he did not begin strong. Abraham is called the father of faith, but that faith was no more inherent to him than to us. He grew in faith. If you read the account of Abraham’s life, you will see that he was not a paragon of faith in the beginning. He learned and he grew and his faith grew with him. Notice also that he considered the “true” facts, his age and Sarah’s inability to have children, but he did not allow this to disuade him from God’s promise. It is okay to acknowledge facts, but you do not have to accept them as truth. They are only circumstantial and temporary. Abraham was able to recognize the obstacles, but he did not let them negate the promise of God. He grew such that the promise of God was bigger in his heart and mind than the facts.

Second, Abraham took God at his word. He believed that what God said, He would do. He also believed that God was able to do what He promised. When your faith feels small and weak, don’t look at it. Look at God. We measure the value and weight of our faith, but we need not. We only need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12: 2). As we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and the Father all things, do, seem possible. If we measure the size of our faith, it always seems wanting. Our faith never looks large enough to measure up to the task. Yahweh, however, is large enough to believe in. Focusing our attention on Him brings us to a place of agreement with Him. Abraham believed that God was not a liar and would do all He promised. So, we don’t focus on the facts or the littleness of our faith but rather on the majesty of the God who promised.

Last, Paul recognized a key behavior of God’s. Namely, that God calls into being that which did not previously exist. Hence, we are back to the power of words. The simplest expression of this principle is, you shall have what you say. Because we are made in God’s image and live according to His authority, we operate in this earth as He does. The power of intentional speech is beyond what we currently understand. It is how God created the universe. Unfortunately, the influence of unintentional speech is impactful too, which is why Jesus warned us about careless words (Matthew 12: 36).

We have been given authority in the earth to call things into being as our Father does. This is one of the key things Yahweh is teaching us. What we say matters, but more than that, when we appreciate the link between speech and creation, we will use our words as a painter uses her brush. The creative power of the universe is in our mouths. We can call into being that which does not exist, and the truth is that we are affecting our health daily with the things we say. So, we must use this power, this power of God, to call health into being where it does not exist.

There is a reason Jesus taught us to “say” something to the mountain. He understands creative power and he knows that reality is shaped by what we say. That is also why he said nothing when he was being tortured and questioned. He knew he would shape destiny with his words. He had to keep silent. Likewise, we shape our destiny. We can call those things which currently do not exist into being.

Set your eyes on the promises of God and on He who promised. Gaze upon His majesty and allow yourself to grow in faith and belief as you marshal your tongue into agreement with all He says. Call yourself the healed. Call yourself strong. Be the healed and the strong of Yahweh.