SEPARATE yourself from the sin that dwells within you by Dr Michelle K Strydom
All the passages below are taken from Dr Michelle K Strydom book, “Healing begins with the Sanctification of the Heart---No Disease is Incurable.” The fourth edition is published in 2013 and it can be downloaded free in the link below:
Have you ever seen a fearful and anxious person? How could you tell? You could see it in the expression of their face, in their talk and in their mannerisms. And what did you say? “He’s such a fearful person.” No, he is a person who has fear – that is the way you need to be taught. You may say “I’m a fearful and anxious person.” No, you’re a person who has fear. There’s a difference. Have you ever seen people with a low self-esteem that hated themselves? They’re depressed and are always putting themselves down. Have you ever seen a person like that? How could you tell? They were dressed up in it. So you would say, “He is a depressed person” or “Well I am just a depressed person.” No, you are a person that has a spirit of heaviness that makes you depressed and hasn’t allowed you to put on the garment of praise. Have you ever seen somebody that had lust? How could you tell? When they looked at you, especially if you are a woman, you felt unclean and uncomfortable in their presence, didn’t you? So you say “That man is a lustful person” or “I’m a lustful person.” Have you ever seen a person that was angry? How could you tell? You probably experienced their wrath. So what you say is, “He’s such an angry person” or you say, “I am an angry person.” You’ve got it wrong! The enemy can never be defeated because you have become one with sin as if it were you and you have made other people one with sin as if it were them. Many of your diseases are because you have become one with sin as if it were you. You may have sin but you are not sin.
You may say “Well that’s just the way I am. I’ve been fearful all my life. My mum and dad were fearful and my kids are fearful and you just have to love and accept me the way that I am.” Well I love you but I don’t like your fear. You have become one with fear and anxiety as if it were part of your nature or your character. We have become one with sin as if it were us and then we say that we have a personality disorder. The psychiatrists are wrong - there is no such thing as a personality disorder! There is also a “teaching” that has penetrated the church all over the world today that says that you need to learn to stereotype people in order to get along with them better. Actually it is so that you can adjust to their evil and enable them in their sin. They made people into the characters of animals. He’s a bear, he’s a lamb, he’s a lion etc and that’s why he acts like that. Well, I am not an animal, I am a daughter of God by faith. Do you know how many churches are filled with this teaching? A lot of them! This is the most dangerous type of Christianized horror scopes I’ve ever seen in my life. When you stereotype people in ways that are not God’s ways, you are binding them to a way of thinking that does not allow them to change. God is a God of change because according to the Bible our characters are being changed from glory to glory into the image of Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:16-18). We have become so one with sin that we call it human nature. For example we say that it is just human nature to be fearful and anxious. What you call human nature is not God’s nature. A spiritual man has God’s nature. A natural man does not have God’s nature. And if you’re a natural man, you’re no different than an animal. You must be born again – you must have the spirit of God to make you sons and daughters of God. Human nature is not evil, it is just that sin has joined with human nature and made it less than what God had intended. When you remove that sin through repentance and renewal of the mind, your human nature is sanctified in spirit, soul and body as described in 1 Thessalonians 5:23.
In Romans chapter 7, Paul talks about his own struggle with sin in his life. In verse 15 he explains that the good that he wants to do, he just does not do, while the sinful things that he wants to get rid of, he keeps doing.
Romans 7:15, “For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].”
Have you ever been there? Have you ever felt self condemned and discouraged because you want to stop sinning in a specific area but the more you try, the more you fail? Well, firstly you need a revelation of grace, which I’ll speak about later on. In verse 17 Paul makes a statement which is very important for you to understand, because when you get it, it will set you free:
Romans 7:17, “However it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.”
King James Version: “Now then, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me.”
This principle is called separation which I have learnt from Henry Wright in His book “A More Excellent Way” as well as other conferences where he has taught.
You need to learn to separate yourself from the sin that dwells within you and the sin that dwells within your neighbor. In the chapter on forgiveness, I explain that when somebody wrongs you, you have to separate that person from the sin. What we do when somebody sins against us is we hate the person, because the person and their sin becomes one in our mind. You must remember who you are really at war against and that is the devil and his kingdom:
Ephesians 6 v 12: “For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.”
Because we have made ourselves one with sin, we are at war with ourselves and we are at war with our mother-in-law. We do not understand that the battle is not against flesh and blood but is against an invisible kingdom that has taught that person to think like it and as a result they have become one with it in their long term memory and their personality has become one with sin.
When you forgive someone, you have got to separate the person from their sin, just as God separated you from your sin in His heart when He saved you. To forgive you don’t have to condone their sin. You continue to hate the sin, but you are commanded to love the person (Luke 6:27-38). You see, the person who wronged you is not sin – what he did is sin. If he’s a believer, he is a child of God whom God loves, he’s a friend of Jesus (John 15:15) and the Holy Spirit lives within him, but he’s got some sin tagging along in his life that needs to go. It is hindering his relationship and walk with God. What I’m teaching you here about separation is going to set you free and make your whole walk with God a lot easier. It will be very hard for you to forgive your brother if you don’t separate his sin from who he is as a person. When somebody victimizes you, if you are able to see that it is not them, but the sin that dwells within them, you will be able to exchange bitterness for compassion and you will be able to love them, even though they are sinning against you.
Now it is the same thing with yourself. It’s not fun to confront the sin issues in your life that are behind your diseases because those are the areas in the depths of your soul where you are most sensitive and vulnerable. Therefore it is very uncomfortable when I put a finger on these things that make you feel unhappy, afraid, angry, unlovely, guilty and so forth on the inside. But I want you to know – it is not you.
While you are doing a spiritual inventory of all the things that make you feel so awful, know that it isn’t even you anyway. God wants to release you from your guilt and from the accusing spirits that are accusing you to yourself. They make you feel as though you are sin but God wants you to come out of the bondage of that mindset that you are evil and that you are no good. He wants you to see the creature of Hebrews 4:13 and Ephesians chapter 6 – that invisible kingdom is evil - it is no good. You have a right to have a perfect hatred for evil in yourself and others but you are free to love yourself this day. You can love your enemy because you understand the sin within him is not him and the sin that is in you is not you, but it is that invisible kingdom that needs to be defeated.
Jesus demonstrated power over all unclean spirits and all the works of the devil (Acts 10:38). He’s given you the Holy Spirit and the power and the mandate to do the same thing (Luke 10:19; Mark 16:17-18). So stand up in your heart today: You are of such great value and worth because you were worth the life of the King of Kings (John 3:16). Your Father has made you sons and daughters. He chose you. He chose you before the foundation of the world to be set apart for Him (Ephesians 1:4). The blood of Jesus has washed away your guilt and shame (1 John 2:12). You are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Your name is written in the Lambs book of life in heaven (Luke 10:20). God said He accepts and approves of you (Jeremiah 1:5). When God looks at you He sees Jesus’ robes of righteousness and a crown of glory and honour on your head (Isaiah 61:10; Psalm 8:5). He has called you to be a bride to His Son (Ephesians 5:26-27). He’s called you, you are special, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are God’s favourite (Galatians 3:9). You are the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8), Your Name is tattooed on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). You are stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). He’s called you a victorious over-comer (1 John 5:4), He’s called you a mighty woman and a mighty man of valour a champion overcoming warrior, who possesses dignity and honour (Judges 6:12). You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:35). You are a winner, you are valuable, you are precious. The bottom line is that you are the King of Kings’ kid and your Daddy Who is the Almighty Indescribable God says that He loves you. Would you please stop listening to the devil’s lies and get up and become the sons and daughters of God that you were created to be from the foundation of the world in Christ?
It is time that you have the ability and the discernment to separate yourself from the sin within you so that you can defeat your enemy. If you can learn to do that you’ll never have a problem with guilt and condemnation again. You will be able to forgive yourself and love yourself, whilst dealing with the sin in your life with the help of the Holy Spirit. The day that you have a revelation of what Paul said in Romans 7, where you learn to separate yourself and your heart from your sin, is the day that sanctification will begin in your life. That is where healing begins. That is when you are on your way to freedom. You are free to love yourself and others, as you go through the process of sanctification where you progressively get rid of the sin which is causing your spiritual, mental and biological diseases.
Change Only Comes By Grace
I am not going to go into a detailed teaching about grace because it is not the main focus of this book. However it would be very unfair to you if I did not at least mention it because change in our life, including renewing our mind only comes by God’s grace. All teaching in this book about changing your thinking in various areas must be built on a clear knowledge of grace. Earlier in this chapter I spoke about grace which means “God teaching us His principles.” Here is the rest of the meaning of grace:
God’s grace is His power and ability that He gives us to change and do what He has called us to do. We cannot change ourselves in our own strength and with our own effort and ability. Only God can change us. If God doesn’t do it, it won’t be done.
You need to understand that you cannot change yourself. Sometimes when people hear a message that they recognize as truth, they are so eager to apply it, and they move into the works of the flesh by trying to bring about the change in their own strength. One of the worst mistakes you can make after reading this book about changing your thinking in certain areas is to make the decision that you are now going to go on a mission to change yourself and your thinking (by your own human effort and ability). You may be able to keep this up for a day or two but sooner or later you will fail, and end up disappointed, discouraged, disillusioned and frustrated. I have certainly been round that mountain a few times in my life – trying and trying to change myself but just ending up frustrated. What I was doing was operating under the Law which the Bible says will always lead to frustration and eventually to disappointment and destruction. The Law is the opposite to grace.
Galatians 3:10, “And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.”
When we try to obey God and change ourselves into what the Bible says we should be with our own effort, we unconsciously put ourselves under the curse of the Law. We can make a law out of every word of the Bible if we do not know how to respond to it properly. Instead of seeing it as something we need to accomplish, we need to see it as the promise of what God will fulfill in us as we draw close to Him and trust Him to do it. When we put ourselves under the law by trying to change ourselves by our own effort, we set ourselves up for misery. This is because the Law has the potential to do one of two things: It can make us holy if we follow it perfectly. However no human being can do that so the second thing the law can do is to increase sin which leads to destruction. Chapters 2 and 3 in the book of Romans teaches us that God gave the Old Testament Law so that man would try to keep it and realize that he could not. This shows him his desperate need for a Savior.
Trying to obey God through our own striving and human effort is in vain – we end up frustrated and disappointed because every other day we keep failing and giving up. One meaning of the word frustrate is to prevent from obtaining a goal or fulfilling a desire. Just as Paul explained in Galatians 3:10---we end up frustrated and eventually being destroyed by trying to live by the Law which is totally impossible for us to keep. We are trying to obtain a goal and fulfill a desire to change ourselves that is beyond our ability. The harder we try, the more miserably we fail. When we put all our energy and effort into something that is doomed to failure – the only possible outcome is frustration. And then all we know to do is to try harder, which only produces more frustration. This vicious cycle can only be broken by a revelation of God’s grace.
Joyce Meyer also went through this. She gives the following testimony: “I became so sick and tired of being upset and frustrated that I regularly cried out, “Father, I can’t do this anymore. I have done everything I know to do, and nothing is working. If anything is going to change, You are going to have to do it.” When I said this I heard the Holy Spirit say, “Great! Now I can go to work. That is exactly what I have been waiting for – for you to stop trying to change yourself and start trusting Me to do it.” 37
I mentioned this scripture earlier: Philippians 2:12-13, “Work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from what might offend God, and discredit the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.”
As you read through the teaching in this book – there will be areas of wrong thinking and negative mindsets which will be brought to your attention that are causing your disease and problems with your health. The Holy Spirit will convict you of your need to change your thinking in these areas. However, you must not respond to that by trying to change yourself and become everything that the Word says you are supposed to be in your own strength and ability. Only the power of the Holy Spirit and God’s grace can accomplish the change in you that is needed. This is such a powerful revelation: You and I cannot change ourselves – but we can spend time seeking the One Who can change us. That’s the required action on your part – just to draw close to God, to love Him and to trust Him to do the sanctifying work in your heart. Joyce Meyer teaches that rather than trying to work the Word – you must let the Word work in you. You cannot use the power of your will to change yourself, but you can use your will power to spend time with God and in His Word. When you do this you put yourself into a position for Him to change you. No change is going to occur in your life if you are never in the Word and seldom spend time in God’s presence.
The right way to respond to the teaching of the Word is to say, “Yes, Lord I agree with You, Your Word is truth and my life is not matching up to it. Your Word has become a mirror to me and I can see that I am wrong in this aspect and I ask for your forgiveness. I can see that I need to change my thinking in this area but I am powerless to do it without you Lord. Your Word says that I can do nothing apart from You (John 15:5). Father I acknowledge that I am totally dependent on You. I can only be what You empower me to be. I am trusting You to give me the grace, power and ability to do what You have called me to do. As I draw close to You and get to know You through time spent with You and studying Your Word, I’m trusting that You will change Me by Your grace – show me what to do and give me the power to do it.” This is what it means to work out your own salvation – cooperating with the Holy Spirit as you allow Him to sanctify your heart by working out of you your fleshly carnal traits and working into you the character and mind of Christ.
You see, without God’s grace being applied to our lives, we will never be able to have any lasting change in our thought life or any area for that matter. Although we often quote Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me”, that is only true by the grace of God. Jesus said in John 15:5: “Apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.” God’s grace frees us from all attempts to achieve anything or try to change ourselves in our own strength and human effort. When you let go and exchange trying for trusting, you’ll see how God’s dynamic power will transform your life as you simply yield yourself to receive His amazing grace.
Remember that God’s grace does not cover sin so that it doesn’t matter. Grace does not mean you can sin as you like and not worry about the consequences. That is a terrible misunderstanding about grace. Grace empowers you not to sin and to live a Godly life, which you cannot do in your own strength. God’s grace also does not mean that you should never make any effort to achieve or accomplish anything in life. There is a proper effort that we are to put out as believers but this is an effort that is made through the power and grace of God at work within us. In other words, don’t attempt to do anything without first asking for God’s help. You must lean on Him the whole way through this process of renewing your mind and changing your thinking. You need to maintain an attitude that says apart from Him you can do nothing.”
Joyce Meyer gives a detailed teaching about grace in her book “If Not for the Grace of God”. This book gave me a whole new revelation and understanding of God’s grace as taught in the Bible, and it radically changed my entire approach and walk with God. If you want to know more about God’s amazing grace, I recommend this book as a valuable teaching in establishing your foundation in your walk with God.
Just Do It!
The information and teaching in this book is only going to work if you apply it by God’s grace – you have got to put it into practice. Grace doesn’t mean that you just sit back and wait for God to do everything. You ask God for grace and then believe that you have it and get on with it! There is a required action on our part to receive God’s blessings and healing. God does the work of healing in us but He requires our participation. The Holy Spirit cannot change something in your life unless you are prepared to make the change first. God is not going to change you or sanctify you against your will. You have got to work with God. For example, you decide whether you are going to forgive or not forgive. There is the kingdom of God and there is the kingdom of the devil and both are totally dependent on your decision. Choose this day whom you will serve and what you will have. . .life or death. . .blessings or curses.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days. . .”
You cannot expect to be healed of your disease and continue in your disobedience and wrong sinful ways of thinking. For example you won’t be healed of heart disease and allergies if you continue to operate with fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life. If you don’t get around to learning who you are in Christ and choosing to see yourself as God sees you, you are not going to recover from autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and Rheumatoid arthritis and so on.
I have seen many people fail to apply this teaching in their lives because of procrastination. Procrastination is another form of disobedience. It is one of the devil’s very clever age old tricks – by procrastination you allow him to rob you of a tremendous amount of what God has for you. I have been through this. One day I was sitting on my motorbike praying in the bush and God was dealing with me about this issue of procrastination in my life. This is how my conversation with God went: “Yes Lord, I agree that I’ve allowed the devil to rob me of Your will in my life through procrastination. So I ask you for Your grace that from tomorrow I will not procrastinate!” Then I realized what I had just said and had a good laugh. Now, when the devil tempts me with thoughts of procrastination, I say, “Nah, I’ll just do what God has called me to do today – and I’ll procrastinate tomorrow.”
God covers us to a greater degree when we are ignorant and really don’t know what we are doing. However, once you have had this teaching and know what the right thing to do is and still do not do it, it puts you into a different arena. God still loves you but you have a greater degree of accountability. Knowledge gives us accountability.
In Deuteronomy 1:2 Moses pointed out to the Israelites that they had taken 40 years to do a journey that should have only taken 11 days. Then in verse 6 he said, “The Lord says to us, you have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Go and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers.” How many times have you gone round the same mountain, dealing with the same problems month after month, year after year? We spend forty years making what could have been a much shorter journey if we had taken the time and effort to change our thinking and renew our minds according to God’s Word (by God’s grace!). Joyce Meyer preaches that the Israelites stayed in the Wilderness because they had a “wilderness mentality.” Make a quality decision to not waste another day – choose to apply the Word and put it into practice today so that you can possess the abundant life which includes divine health, that Jesus paid such a high price to give you.
James 1:22 and 25, “But be doers of the Word [obey the Message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. . . .But he who looks carefully in to the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to do it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).”
Proverbs 4:20-22, “My Son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”
Other Bible translations of verse 22 say that God’s words are “medicine to all their flesh.” God has prescribed His Word for your healing and for your health. But medicine, even in the natural, won’t work unless you take it according to directions. You could go to a doctor, get a prescription and take it home, set it on your bedside table and still progressively get sicker. You could call the doctor and say, “I don’t understand it. I paid a lot of money for this prescription, but I’m getting worse.” The doctor might ask, “Are you taking your medication according to the directions?” And you say, “Well, no, but I have it right here in the bottle by my bedside. I just haven’t managed to get around to taking it because I’ve had a hectic week.” It won’t work just because it’s in the bottle by your bedside. You’ve got to get it in you. And God’s Medicine (The Bible and the teaching of His Word in this book) won’t work just because it’s on your bedside table. It will only work when you get it in you – when you get it into your heart and subsequently apply it to your life.
I cannot do anything more than you allow me. I cannot force the kingdom of God into you and I cannot force the other kingdom out of you. All I can do is bring you the Word of God and teach you His principles but it is up to you to put them into practice. I can show you the road that you need to walk on, but you are the one who has to walk it. I can take you to the water, but you have got to do your own drinking. God is the One Who will bring the healing, but the responsibility of renewing your mind is yours.
It doesn’t matter how many times you go up for prayer or how many hours of counselling you sit through, you are only going to be set free when you renew your mind and change your way of thinking. There is no “quick fix” – it takes courage, hard work and determination along with God’s grace and the help of the Holy Spirit to develop new mindsets and get rid of the old ones.
Renewing your mind and putting the Word into practice requires consistency, diligence, dedication and total commitment. It cannot be “hit and miss”. Consistency is the key to your breakthrough: The Word, when consistently applied to your life will bring you victory over illness.
1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned.”
Keeping our thoughts in line with God’s Word and bringing every thought captive is a lifetime battle. As Joyce Meyer says, the mind is the battlefield on which we fight. Satan wages war in the realm of our thoughts because he knows that if he controls our thoughts, he controls us, our health and our destinies. Therefore as we live our lives and pursue our destinies, there will be times of fighting the good fight of faith, as we struggle against negative and toxic thoughts in our minds and hearts. If we win enough battles, we will win the war. Part of fighting the good fight of faith is recognizing the strategies of the devil and how he tries to build negative strongholds in our minds.
1 Peter 5:8-9, “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a roaring lion [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset – rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.”
James 4:7, “Submit to God, Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”
Resist the devil in your thoughts at the onset! You have full control over your mind. There are thousands of thoughts presented to you every day – you have to choose to think right thoughts on purpose and continue to choose right thoughts. You will only think good thoughts if you think them on purpose. As long as you are passive in your mind, Satan will torment you and fill your mind with all the junk that he wants to. Nothing is going to change in your life and health if all you do is sit and wish things were different. We often make the mistake of thinking that healing is a one way street. In other words we sit back and wait for God to do it all. Yes, God does have a part to play - only His supernatural healing power can restore those areas of your body that were irreversibly damaged by the disease. However God also requires your participation: it is your responsibility to repent of the sin behind your disease and purposefully change your thinking in that area. You have got to take action. Just do it!
Sometimes You Can’t Do It Alone
Sometimes renewing your mind is not enough to produce your freedom from disease, because you need a little more help. In other words you need ministry. You need the help of your pastor or another anointed Christian who understands these principles of healing. You need somebody to come along side you who represents God and who uses the gifts of the Holy Spirit to deal with your problems in ministry. The Bible teaches us that the five-fold ministry was given to us by the Lord to equip, train and edify us so that we are able to do what God has called us to do:
Ephesians 4:11-12: “And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church).”
I Corinthians 12:7-10, identifies the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are available to us in the Church today: “ But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret such tongues.”
We need ministers in the church and we need to minister to one another under the over sight of the five fold ministry. We need people of God who are anointed by Him, who are filled with the Spirit and mature in the knowledge of the Word to help and edify the body of Christ so that we can be brought back to a place of health and wholeness. God intended that we heal each other through the gifts and through the work of the Holy Spirit. In James 5:14 it says, “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church.” However, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not just aimed at the church leaders, but are also to be used by the people in the church. The leadership is there to set an example so that all the believers can do the work of the ministry. In other words the leadership and the saints are to be equally equipped. It is very clear in 1 Corinthians 12 that the body is to take care of the body in all matters of health.
Let’s have a look at two specific gifts of the Holy Spirit – they were mentioned in I Corinthians 12:7-10 and also in 1 Corinthians 12:28, “And God has set some in the church, first apostles, second prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.”
Two of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are the gift of healing and the gift of miracles. Why do we have the gift of miracles? Because some parts of our body do not heal once they are damaged by disease or trauma. When you cut your skin with a knife, for example, your body is programmed to naturally heal itself - a scab will form and eventually the cut is replaced with new tissue. Once the spiritual roots (toxic sinful thinking patterns) behind the disease are dealt with, the body will naturally heal itself of diseases like allergies, high blood pressure, depression, stomach ulcers and so on. There are parts of our body that heal normally when the cause (sin in our thought life) is removed. However there is some body tissue that cannot regenerate once it has been damaged. This includes the brain, the heart, nerves and other body organs. When these parts of our body are damaged, we are wasting our time praying for healing or trying to operate in the gift of healing because that body tissue cannot heal. If God is going to heal or regenerate something that cannot be regenerated, then what kind of gift would this take? The gift of miracles. How do we operate in the gift of miracles? First of all you are going to have to deal with the spiritual issues in the person’s life that caused the disease. Then because it is not possible for that body tissue to heal, some believer like you and I that God wants to anoint in the gift of miracles needs to speak things into existence in the Name of Jesus expecting the Holy Spirit to do it. If you don’t believe it then it will never happen through you because Jesus said, “According to your faith, be it done to you.”
Matthew 9:29: “According to your faith and trust and reliance [on the power invested in Me] be it done to you.”
Romans 4:17 says that God calls things that are not, as though they were, and thus brings them into being. The Amplified Bible says, “God gives life to the dead and speaks of non-existent things that [He foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.” Now the Bible calls us to be imitators of God – when we’re operating in the gift of miracles, we speak a creative miracle into existence and we do it in His Name. I have seen God do creative miracles in my own experience but I would like to illustrate the principle of the gift of miracles in three testimonies given by Henry Wright. I have used these testimonies because there is a meaningful lesson in each story:
“We had a case a year ago, right here in Georgia in an open church service, where God used me to grow a 14 year old girl’s arm 5 inches. She injured it in a fall from a tree onto a concrete slab when she was 9 years old. She broke her arm in 7 different places and had severe internal injuries. Her growth plates in the bones were so damaged that her arm did not grow for five years from age 9 to 14. Operating in the gift of miracles, I spoke into her damaged bones in her arm that had been destroyed by the injury and in the Name of Jesus I commanded it to grow and God did it. We watched for two minutes and before our eyes God formed every bit of that arm, including fatty tissue. That one arm was just like the other one. We were speaking things into existence, calling things that are not, as though they were, in His Name.”
Here is another story: Henry Wright taught in a conference in Pine Town, Durban, South Africa. There was a man who attended who was in his sixties. When he was nine, his father asked him to do something but he misunderstood the instruction. He didn’t do it just the way his father had asked him to and in a fit of rage his father hit him on the side of the head with a piece of steel. He hit him so hard he knocked him through a window of a second story building and he would have died if he hadn’t fallen into a tree which broke his fall. When his father hit him, it shattered his entire ear and destroyed his ear drum. He had not been able to hear since that trauma at age nine and he was in his sixties. During the conference Henry Wright taught the principle of separation which I shared with you earlier in this chapter. He explained that what made people act that way wasn’t even them. When this man with the deaf ear realised that the anger and rage was not his father but sin or a being of rage and anger that had manifested through his father that did this damage, his heart opened to forgiveness. Now God will hold his father responsible for participating with sin and allowing the rage and anger to manifest through him. However, through understanding the principle of separation, the man was able to separate his father from his sin, and although he continued to hate the sin, he now had compassion for his father.
Later on in the conference Henry Wright lead the congregation in a prayer of repentance for bitterness and unforgiveness towards other people. This man began to repent to God for hating his father and for allowing hatred to manifest through him. Then in corporate ministry Henry Wright spoke a creative miracle to anybody that had deafness – he didn’t lay hands on the man or touch him. He simply said, “In the Name of Jesus Christ I speak into that ear drum that was busted and deformed by the accident, injury, trauma and the horror, dread and anger. I command that ear drum to be formed, calling those things that are not as though they were in the gift of miracles. . ..” All of a sudden the man interrupted Henry and said, “Pastor, I can hear! This ear has opened up – I can hear every word out of it!” And that day God restored the damage done by his father. Man and science cannot do this!
So can we speak a new liver into existence when the old one is cirrhotic and destroyed by the hepatitis C virus? Can we speak a new pancreas into existence because the old one was destroyed by diabetes? Can we speak a new area of the brain into existence because it was destroyed by a stroke? Can we speak new nerves into existence because the old ones were destroyed by autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis? Can we speak a new heart into existence in the Name of Jesus because the old one was destroyed by a heart attack? Yes we can. The reason it is not happening is because we are not doing it. One of the biggest fallacies in the Church today is that we are asking God to do it all. God has given you authority and you need to use it! The Bible says that those who believe shall do in His Name (Mark 16:17-18). But we often hear people pray, “Lord please do this for me, please do that. . .” You do it in Jesus Name! You speak to that damaged part of the body and command it to become whole in Jesus Name!
Let’s have a look at one more story: Henry Wright held a 3 day conference in White River in South Africa. In his conferences he asks the members of the audience to write down what diseases they have and put it in a box. His wife then makes a list of the diseases and at the end of the conference he explains what the spiritual roots behind those specific diseases are and ministers to the people who need it. Just as he was going into the ministry time, he heard the word “scoliosis” very strongly in his heart. When he asked his wife how many cases of scoliosis were on the list, there was not one. So he asked the audience, “Who here has scoliosis and didn’t turn it in?” The lady who had it didn’t hear him say that because she was not paying attention. Henry Wright then said again, “Excuse me, why is God putting the word ‘scoliosis’ in my heart? Who here has a short leg?” Then she heard him and put up her hand. Henry asked her, “Why did you not turn it in?” She said, “Well, I’m 60 years old, I’ve had this problem all my life and I’m just used to it.” There are many people like that who have had an illness for so long that they have just accepted it as part of them. . .and that should not be!
The curve in this lady’s spine was so bad that when she brought dresses she had to have the hem cut so that the dress would hang level on her body. Henry Wright invited her up to the stage so he could minister to her. This lady didn’t think that she would be healed – she had already resigned herself to co-habitation with the enemy. But God decided to interfere with her. He wanted to show her some love.
Henry Wright asked the audience, “How many of you have never seen a miracle of healing in your life?” 90% of the audience raised their hands. So Henry invited them to form a circle around him to watch. Scoliosis is caused by an evil spirit that comes through personal or inherited strife and conflict – this is explained further on page 627.
In the Name of Jesus, Henry cast out the spirit of scoliosis and he commanded her spine to straighten. He was holding her ankles while she sat on a chair as a measure to see how curved the spine was. Slowly over 2 minutes you could see Henry’s knuckles coming closer together as her spine straightened but then it stopped. He sensed that the spirit of doubt and unbelief had come. Do you know that unbelief and doubt can even take away the power of God?
So Henry commanded unbelief and doubt to go in the Name of Jesus and then her spine continued to straighten. Eventually his knuckles came in line and then Henry knew that she had been healed. The people in the audience were crying because they watched it happen. She got up and walked with no limp – her hips and her shoulders were now level and back in balance. That night in White River the great God that we serve straightened a woman’s spine for His glory. Later the woman came with her husband to Henry and said, “You know, I didn’t know that God loved me so much that He would heal me even though I didn’t believe.” Henry Wright said “Yes, but when God spoke to me and told me to address the issue of scoliosis, and it was you, I operated in one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which is the gift of faith. . .I took it over for you and you caught up.”
Apart from illustrating how the gift of miracles is applied in practice, this story highlights an important principle and that is that you must mix faith with the Truth you are being taught. If you do that you are like Father Abraham – you are a friend of God. Father Abraham was called a friend of God, not because he was sinless but because He believed God (Isaiah 41:8; James 21:23). In the story about the man whose ear was healed – when he realized that he had been serving the sin of bitterness and unforgiveness towards his father, he repented. If you have got some sin issues that you have been serving, be a man or woman after God’s own heart like David – repent and get it out of your life.
Is there any higher honor than to be known as a friend of God and a man after God’s own heart? I hope your heart is opening in hope and faith to the possibility that you can be healed. [115-125]