Raise Your Weapons
It’s no surprise that the Old Testament features a palate of warfare. You’ve got some impulsive kings, endless misunderstandings, and a whole bunch of battles in between. In fact, war seems to be the most consistent narrative to represent kingdom dynamics.
Because Jesus shows up in the New Testament to cancel our debts and destroy death all together, we’ve accepted that the war is over. We’ve been resurrected into a new life with Him. We’ve been granted relationship and freedom from bondage. For all intents and purposes, the war is over.
Yet the enemy can’t seem to think clearly. He still thinks he’s got a leg in this war. Until the day of Revelation, the enemy keeps poking us. He chucks so much sickness at us that we disbelieve the power of the cross—all the while whispering that we don’t need to fight against him because the war is over.
In the New Testament, Paul tells us that we “are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places, (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). Note: this isn’t pre-resurrection. This is post.
Sisters. Brothers. The war might be over. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t need our swords.
The Transfer of Power
The enemy is in the heavenly places trying to kill us. This can sound scary if we forget that God is above all authorities (Ephesians 1:21). This is why we can come before Him in prayer and petition for Him to work on our behalf. And that’s not to say that God doesn’t honor our prayers or that we shouldn’t approach Him with humility. Rather, we need to understand that sometimes we don’t have to ask for healing. We can demand it.
If we look to the Scriptures for a modeled example, we will see that even before the Holy Spirit descended, Christ gave power to His disciples. In the book of Luke, we see He sends out the 12 disciples. “One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal diseases” (Luke 9:1 NLT, emphasis added). So what do they do? They go out, preaching the news and healing the sick.
Then, He sends 72 other disciples to go out, preach the Good News, and heal the sick. They all come back. Scripture even says, “they joyfully reported to him, ‘Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!”’ (Luke 11:17 NLT).
Notice that this is even before Christ conquers death. The Lord our God shared the power of healing and deliverance with humans before He died on the cross. So when He shares that power with all believers post-resurrection, we can acknowledge that the enemy is pretty much toast (Romans 8:11).
Understanding Our Power
It should be noted that we do not have the right to demand God to do anything. He is our Father, our leader, and we are submissive to Him. We cannot demand God to do anything.
However, we do have authority over the enemy. We have full rights to command him to leave us alone, seeing as the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7). Remember, Jesus came not just to bring us to Heaven but to bring Heaven down to Earth (Matt. 6:10). One of the most essential components of His time here was to restore to us what Satan stole in the garden.
We do not have to meekly pray into fighting the enemy when a full armor has already been given to us (see Eph. 6). We get to command sickness to leave; it’s a gift given to all believers. Therefore, we can join in on Snap! as Penny Ford sings (in a much more controlled voice than I could ever muster), “I got the power!”
Remembering God’s Heart
It can be discouraging to believe that we have authority when the healing doesn’t come immediately. It can feel at some moments like we’re a first-act Hercules: bumbling around in desperate attempts to help somebody.
But we need to remember our bodies were naturally crafted for goodness; we were fearfully and wonderfully made without blemish or disease (Ps. 139). Sickness invades the health of our bodies, not the other way around. So whether we have a common head cold or stage-four cancer, we can trust that it’s not God’s intention for us.
He doesn’t lackadaisically flicker down healing when He feels like it. He’s a sovereign King who loves us, takes care of us, and has given us every weapon to defeat the enemy. Sometimes, we don’t need to approach God with insecure wonder. Sometimes, we just need to tell the enemy to get lost.
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