For those of you who do not know my testimony, I was healed in a single night of over 25 years of addictions. I was not seeking God, was not trying to quit my ‘lifestyle’, but on the morning of November 8th, 2012, I woke up in God’s heavily saturating presence. Not only did He heal me of alcoholism and addiction to sexual promiscuity, but He gave me a Proverbs 31 wife who had not dated a single man for 13 years, within exactly one year to the very day of my healing.
What I do not understand, and probably never will until I meet Jesus face to face, is why me? In my past of sharing my testimony and counseling others, the question I get asked the most is, what did I do? My wife even gets asked the very same question by women who are looking for the same change in their husbands. Then I have to look into the searching eyes of this hurting, broken individual who is earnestly and desperately seeking God with every fiber of their being, willing to do anything, literally, that I did not do one thing. Within myself, while at times I see their reaction to my few words with resentment, jealousy, or even frustration behind their eyes, I entertain the thoughts of how undeserving I am of my supernatural change, and almost feel guilty that I have been freely given what so many break their backs of effort trying to achieve. But I think that is the problem of why transformation does not manifest in peoples lives or why the Christian life ‘isn’t working’, is because of not a lack of effort, but the very presence of it. I know, it seems counterintuitive, but that is the free gift of grace.
Power is defined as the ability to get results. So by definition when a Christian life ‘isn’t working’, it is saying that results are not manifesting. And by definition, if results are not manifesting power is not evident. So, how do we become empowered? Let us take a look at where power comes from.
Romans 1:16 (KJV): For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;
The Gospel is what empowers salvation through God. Now, if you remember my blog on the 7 Definitions of Salvation we saw how salvation includes being saved, healed, delivered, prospered, protected, preserved, and made whole. That is the Complete Gospel. So in other words, if we are not experiencing healing from our addictions, we have not taken a hold of the power of salvation, or specifically deliverance. If we have not been healed, we are not taking a hold the power of salvation, or specifically healing.
Now if the Gospel is the power of salvation, we need to understand what the Gospel is, exactly.
Acts 20:24 (KJV): But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
The Gospel, the very power of salvation, is grace. One definition of grace I particularly enjoy is, unmerited divine assistance. Other definitions are unmerited favor, or unmerited love. Grace is unmerited, meaning it is unearned. You cannot earn grace, you cannot earn the love of God. He has already chosen to love you. You cannot earn healing or deliverance. It already has been freely given to you on the cross. This is why every time healing is spoken in the Word of God, it is in the past tense. It has already happened. This is why effort can nullify the power of salvation in our life. Believing that anything you receive in Christ is based on your effort or what you do, nullifies what Christ has accomplished or freely given you on the cross. This is why beliefs are so powerful, even being the catalyst for your salvation, that they have the ability to nullify God’s power in your life.
You cannot realize how much God loves you without realizing that His love is unmerited. If you do not receive God’s love for you freely, you will rebel against what God has freely promised you. When you realize that His love for you is not based on what you do or your ability or your effort, only then can you receive His grace, the very power of the 7 inheritances of salvation. God already knows we have been bad, yet He has chosen to love us anyways. Understanding this will take a Christian life that is not working and empower it with the power of God’s love, thereby empowering salvation in your life. Then you will see results. You will stop trying to break your addictions because you realize you do not have the power to do it yourself, you will rely on the love of God, acknowledge that your bondage has no hold over you through the blood of Christ, and rest in God’s power of Grace to lead you into righteousness.
When you realize that the ‘quality’ of your Christian life is not based on your ability or effort, nor is it a life of striving but of resting in God’s grace and what He has freely given you, only then are the bondage’s of sin and addictions in your life severed, salvation becomes empowered and you experience the manifestation of healing, deliverance, prosperity, and wholeness, as well as the other inheritances of salvation. In fact, God’s Word is so powerful that it is always healing, delivering, and making us whole when we read and take it in, or even hear it preached. But what disannuls its healing power, for example, or power of deliverance, is when we return to the thoughts and behaviors, or effort, that it is healing us from. The power of salvation does not start with effort to earn it, but with believing in Christ to eliminate your effort so you can walk in faith that you have been healed.