Finally, after an hour or so of waiting out for good breathing, the suffering began to ebb until everything within me slowly settled into a comfortable rhythm. The calm after the storm. It had been one of those countless “attacks”, more intense than the others. My body succumbed to much-needed rest after the battering but my mind was pulled in different directions. One part wanted to slump in a dark corner and just let discouragement and despair take over. Another smaller part wanted to rise up in anger, to rave and rant against — what? Maybe against the powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. But a louder, more powerful voice rose up from my spirit and shouted silently, passionately, within me: Fight the good fight of faith! The voice shouted it again, silencing all other voices in my mind. And again. Until my whole being felt the victory, the sheer defiance to rise up and fight.
It was another deliverance, both from the battering attack and from yielding to defeat and hopelessness. These small victories, they mean a lot.
After many weeks of dropping it, I picked up the book and opened it again – Possessing Your Healing. There is nothing in the book that speaks contrary to the Scriptures. It teaches powerfully about divine healing through faith, something I continually hear and witness in our own full Gospel, apostolic Church, Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry. At first, I strongly affirmed the teachings, promises, and declarations the book instructed. But when my illness didn’t show any signs of letting up and the suffering continued like a deaf demon that comprehended nothing, I lost the fire to fight. I let the devil’s lies sneak into my subconscious mind – these promises don’t work for me! – and just let life be. I was actually offended by it as it magnified the fact that those healing promises were not working fully for me. Hadn’t been these past 12 years.
But I didn’t want to continue down the path of defeat, of letting my faith take a deep sleep while the devil oppresses me. So, I opened the book again, expecting the radical teachings and affirmations to stoke the fire of hope within me to continue to stand and fight the good fight of faith. To fight for my healing. To affirm that I am entitled to it. To believe that as a child of God whom He has a covenant with, I have a right to divine health.
This is one of the passages in the book that resurrected my desire to fight with all the faith I have:
We have already been given everything we need to overcome. We don’t need to wait on God to answer our prayers; He is waiting on us to move in faith and authority, and to place a demand on what He has already accomplished on the cross. Stop behaving like a victim; I repeat, stop behaving like a victim! You are powerful because greater is He that lives in you than he that lives in the world.
One afternoon, I was scheduled to bathe. My husband was on standby as he waited for me to give the go signal. He would assist me wash. Hours passed and I continued to wait for strength and easy breathing. I was getting frustrated. Bathing for healthy people is as effortless as breathing, but for ailing and weak people like me, it is a great challenge. Anger sparked from deep within, a brewing rage that threatened to choke me. I was furious with the enemy of my soul for stealing so much from me. How dare him to incapacitate me from doing the things I want to do, needed to do!
I shouted my frustrations and anger to the wind, expressing my utter disapproval to the devil, declaring war with him. My husband looked, brows raised. I told him I wanted to hurl things to show I was angry, that I resisted what was being done to me. He didn’t say a word. Maybe he was secretly glad to see there was still a great part of me that wanted to fight fiercely like a wounded lion. Or maybe a wounded dog. I fell silent as I ruminated on my outburst which was not the usual order of things. Healthy anger is good (or maybe holy anger?). Fight is good. I assured myself of these things.
Yes, I need not silently yield to suffering, like a cowering child in a dark corner being continually abused and battered by a monstrous adult. No, ma’am. I am a child of God and must always remember to stand and fight the good fight of faith. I must refuse to be oppressed. I must refuse to be defeated by the devil who has already been defeated by my Savior. Who has already been crushed by Him. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under [our] feet shortly. I remember the book’s counsel: I must stop behaving like a victim.
And yet, we often behave that way, don’t we? Mostly unconsciously. We don’t always have the energy, either physically or spiritually, to fight like Joshua, boldly charging in battle. In those times, it is a good thing to find ourselves at the Lord’s feet, not to blame, contend, or accept defeat, but to refuel. To be refilled by His Holy Spirit who gives us power, wisdom, and boldness.
To be discouraged to the point of despair is always a threat to the sick and suffering. I, for one, have repeatedly encountered the fear of living after healing. I desire greatly to be healed, but when I think about life on the other side of sickness and suffering, the healed life, I feel trepidation. After being ill for so long and having experienced countless horrifying “attacks”, I feel like I don’t know how to live otherwise. It’s a great irony. But even when one has been a Christ follower for many years, prolonged and intense sickness and suffering could still be traumatic.
But faith does’t and mustn’t end there. Just as there are windows of fear like what I described above, there are also windows through which we are gloriously empowered to cast out all fears, to face the future with a brave and courageous heart, like nothing can scare us or push us back. In Jesus’ name, shut those windows of fear and open wide the windows of indestructible faith and stay connected with it. Apostle Paul says it best:
…Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:10-11, 13-17)
Embrace life! Fight for the abundant life the Lord Jesus came to give – that is His will for us. Don’t give the devil a foothold; don’t let him drive us to defeat! Dear one, don’t be a grasshopper in your own eyes! God is not glorified when we think of ourselves that way – we are His children. Be courageous; believe God. Be a Joshua and a Caleb and the Lord will always be with us: going before us, fighting alongside us, giving us victory!
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Journey with Jesus,