Friday, August 4, 2017

Hold Fast To What You Have

The Bible tells us to "hold that fast which thou hast." (Revelation 3:11) I have quoted the King James here because of the word "thou". It is singular. So John is not telling the church as a whole to hold fast to something, but is telling individuals within the church to hold fast to what they have received from the Lord. Some people believe and teach that if God gives something to you that you cannot lose it. But if we have to hold fast to it, then it must be possible to lose it.

Let's look at divine healing. I am not talking about natural healing through doctors and medicine, but supernatural healing by the Spirit of God. Many people think that if God heals you, then that is it, you are healed forever. But that is not the case. We have to hold fast to it. Many people have lost their healing and, unfortunately, well-meaning Christians have thought that God did not really heal them after all. A person may receive their healing through a minister or in answer to prayer and experience divine healing. All the symptoms leave and even the doctors say they are healthy. Then the symptoms return and they think, "I thought God healed me, but I guess He didn't really. Otherwise, this would not have come back on me." This is erroneous thinking and it leads to folks losing their healing for good.

So let's look at some facts about divine healing and we will see what is really going on here. First, the New Testament is quite clear about where sickness and infirmity come from. They come from Satan. "How Jesus of Nazareth went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the Devil." (Acts 10:38) Jesus healed those oppressed by the Devil, and since the gospels say over and over again that Jesus healed all who came to Him for healing, then sickness must be Satanic oppression.

In some cases, Jesus would cast out an evil spirit oppressing someone's body.

"And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." Luke 13:11-13

Jesus then said that Satan had bound her. But even if there is not an evil spirit present, Satan is still the causal agent. That might be hard for some people to accept, but that is what the Bible teaches.

With that said, we can look at a passage in the gospels that show that whenever demons are forced to leave, they seek a way back in.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a person it roams through arid regions searching for rest but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it empty, swept clean, and put in order. Then it goes and brings back with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they move in and dwell there; and the last condition of that person is worse than the first. Thus it will be with this evil generation.” Matthew 12:43-45

So when the Devil has been oppressing someone with sickness and then that person is healed, it only makes sense that he will try to oppress them again with the same thing. And it could even be worse. The Devil does not give up easily. I wish believers would be just as determined to be free as Satan is to oppress them.

So, what do we do when he tries to put that back on us again? We resist him, firm in our faith. "Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith." (1 Peter 5:8)

I recall a time when I had to resist the devil who tried to steal our daughter's healing. When she was little, our oldest daughter was allergic to citrus. If she even had a little bit, she would break out all over. It was very unpleasant. So I had prayed for her to be healed and, frankly, forgot about it. Then when someone else was watching her, they gave some orange juice or something. She had no reaction. For the next year or two, she had no reaction to citrus. Then one time my mother was watching her and she told me when I went to pick my daughter up that she had a reaction to citrus. I examined her and rebuked the Devil and told him to take his hands off of her - she was healed and is still healed! Now, were the symptoms real? Yes, they were, but I recognized that the Devil was trying to steal her healing and I refused to accept those symptoms. I resisted the Devil and he fled! She has not had a bad reaction to citrus and that was more than 30 years ago.

Of course, sometimes when it seems we have lost our healing, the Devil strikes us with fear. We think, "Oh, no, not again!" If we read in 1 Peter 5:7, just before the passage about resisting the Devil, it tells us, "Cast you care upon the Lord, for He cares for you." Then we can resist the Devil by rebuking him or by praying to God and receiving our healing again, knowing that we are already healed. "By His wounds, you are healed." 1 Peter 2:24

Let's do what Peter says and learn to resist the Devil and anything that is of the Devil and not let him steal from us any more.