“And He said to her, daughter your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:34, NKJV).
One of the dictionary meanings of the word appropriate is to take for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. And some of the synonyms of appropriate is to seize, commandeer, arrogate, take over, lay claim to and acquire. The story surrounding the scripture above is that of a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years and could not get a cure. When she heard that Jesus was passing, she said to herself that if I touch His garment, I will be well. Though there was a crowd thronging Jesus, she managed to reach Him and touched Him. Immediately she was healed and simultaneously Jesus felt some anointing leaving Him. She is a typical case of faith appropriation. She took her healing by simply believing. She did not ask for special prayers nor Jesus’ permission before she received her miracle. Below are some points to consider:
Faith appropriates what Grace has made available: GRACE is acronym for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. The glorious riches available for the Christian was made available by Christ through His finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus paid fully for the redemption of mankind. He paid the debt of sin and the ultimate penalty of sin which is death. This is the basis of the New Testament and the framework by which we receive God’s best. Real faith acknowledges what Jesus has done and rests entirely in it.
Faith appropriates by forgetting the past: The Israelites that God delivered from Egypt never had a closure on Egypt. Though they left physically, but mentally and emotionally, they were still in Egypt. They kept on remembering the cucumbers and garlics and the relative serenity Egypt offered them. They preferred to remain permanently in Egypt as slaves to the temporary discomfort of the wilderness on their way to the Promised land. They complained and murmured incessantly to Moses and God about taking them out of Egypt. Because of their attitude and not letting go of Egypt they perished in the wilderness. Dwelling in the past will not allow us to have faith in the present and hope for the future. The past, if not carefully dealt with, will rob us of the future.
Faith appropriates by unbroken focus: “Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up (to heaven), He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Jesus on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified needed to pass through Samaria but the Samaritans refused Him passage. Because He was resolute and focused on Jerusalem, He found another way. The woman in our introductory verse was resolute about getting well. A magnifying glass focused on a combustible object under the rays of the sun will invariably spark a fire and cause the object to be burnt. Faith and focus are Siamese twins. For faith to appropriate the grace of God, focus must be in place.
Faith appropriates by obedience: Christians are intended by God to be highfliers. A pilot flies an aircraft in very high altitudes simply by obeying a code of instructions. Failure to comply totally to instruction means disaster and destruction. Appropriating God’s best is always at the other side of obedience. Jesus told the paralytic man “take up your bed and walk” (Mark 2:11). He told the man who was sick for 38 years after healing him, to go and sin no more (John 5: 14). Faith and obedience (corresponding action) work together. Faith is not stand-alone. Both general and specific instructions from God are critical for faith to harvest and sustain Heaven’s blessings.
Faith Appropriates by Thanksgiving: The first thing Jesus did when He was about to raise Lazarus was to give thanks (John 11: 41). He taught His disciples in the Lord’s prayer to first praise and worship God. He was modelling Heaven’s protocol for us. For a transaction to be complete there must be offer and acceptance. God has offered us His best through Jesus Christ; the way to receive His innumerable blessings is through incessant and effusive thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the receiving hand of faith.
CONCLUSION: May your faith and confidence in God soar in these uncertain times in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed month.
“For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under his feet.” – (Psalm 8:5-6)
Dominion simply means overseeing something and having rulership over it. God delegated authority to man after creating him to take charge of the earth and rule over His creation (Genesis 1:26-28). Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and lost the authority and rulership. Jesus, the God incarnate, had to become man in order to restore dominion back to man. Dominion has been restored by Jesus but in order to exercise authority and operate as gods on this earth, we have to take on the mindset of dominion. Below are some of the mindsets:
The Mindset of Possibility: The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4, verse 13 that “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” He possessed the can-do attitude, and also acknowledged that Christ working vibrantly in him is his ability. This mindset helps the possessor of it to be willing to take on challenges and not to buckle in the face of overwhelming odds and seemingly impossible situations. Joshua and Caleb were the only two leaders out of the twelve spies who believed they could possess the land of Canaan.
The Mindset of Sonship: Born again Christians are those who have consciously accepted Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Savior (John 1:12). The acceptance of Jesus makes them sons and daughters of God (Galatians 3:26). Sons are different from hired servants. Sons have a sense of ownership; servants do not. Sons have a sense of their right to inheritance, whereas slaves do not. Sons are not afraid of being disowned or fired from the family; hired servants can be fired anytime. Sons carry the family name and DNA; servants do not. The DNA of God’s family is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit every child of God has in common and He is the Principal Agent of dominion. To walk in dominion the mindset of sonship must be ingrained in us.
The Mindset of Submission: One of the most profound scriptures in the Bible is found in Philippians Chapter 2, verses 5 to 8. It talks about the mindset of Jesus. Though He was God, He still submitted to the authority of God the Father in Heaven. He obeyed God the Father by agreeing to become a man in order to redeem mankind. And once again, He (Jesus) submitted to the will of God the Father and died a criminal’s death on the cross. Because of His total submission, God exalted Him and made Him the head of all principalities and powers. Submission to the right authority confers power and authority. A submissive wife to a godly husband is powerful. A submissive Christian to God will be highly anointed. It is the meek that will inherit the earth. Submission is not weakness; rather it is wisdom.
The Mindset of Enthusiasm: King David is an example of an Old Testament saint who truly dominated. He never lost any battle, and he overcame and outlived his enemies. God testified of him that he (David) is a man after His heart. He knew how to touch God and move Him through praises. David wrote most of the Psalms. David knew how to encourage himself despite his many challenges. David knew how to draw strength from God by praising and worshipping him regularly. David knew how to turn bad situations around and make lemonade out of lemons. He was an exceptional person because he sought to see his challenges from divine perspective, and this made him to always cheapen serious challenges and oppositions.
Mindset of Compassion: Many Christians do not realize love is a weapon. Anyone walking in love cannot be overcome or conquered. Love is a force as strong as death (Songs 8:6). Because of Jesus’ compassion He healed and delivered many from sicknesses and demonic spirits (Matthew 14:14). He wrought miracles every time He was moved by compassion. Evil is conquered by good. Light dispels darkness. Love overcomes hatred. Forgiveness trumps revenge. By feeding an unrepentant enemy the Bible says you are heaping coals of fire on his head (Romans 12:20). We should imitate our God who has a bowel of compassion on His creation.
CONCLUSION: It is God’s will we dominate fear, demonic forces, failure and stagnation, sicknesses, poverty, the Adamic nature, negative emotions, etc. We are more than conquerors through the love of God shed in our hearts. Have a blessed month!
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, NKJV).
Freedom can easily be defined as a release from something unpleasant. There are many unpleasant things besieging human beings that Jesus came to deliver us from. Such unpleasant things include bondage to sin, sicknesses, poverty, demons, untimely death, shame, rejection, inhumane treatments, slavery, injustices, etc. Jesus came to the world to destroy the works of the devil and purchase freedom for all who will put their trust in Him. This write-up seeks to elucidate some of the ways by which we can enforce total freedom in our lives and in the world viz:
Freedom is internal: Jesus said, “if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32, NKJV). The truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us free. There is a difference between being set free and being made free. A prisoner can be set free from prison but the captivity of the sin that took him/her to jail may still be intact within him/her. Until the sin or crime is dealt with within the prisoner, he remains a captive to the crime. The Passion translation of the Bible says in John 8:32, “for if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.” The gospel of Jesus Christ can change us from within.
Revelation knowledge is necessary: The knowledge of the truth makes us free (John 8:32). The Greek word for now/knowledge in the scripture is the word “Ginosko”. And this word means a personal, intimate and experiential knowledge of something or someone. It has to do with a vibrant relationship. It is possible to know about someone but not have an intimate knowledge of them. The one who has a “Ginosko” knowledge of them is the one who has a relationship with them. Many know about Jesus, but they do not know Him. They do not have a revelation knowledge of Him. It is my ardent prayer that Jesus will reveal Himself to us all in Jesus’ name.
Emancipation is to be proclaimed: Emancipation is the freeing of someone from slavery. Jesus said in His mission statement in Luke 4, verse 18 that the anointing is upon Him to proclaim liberty to the captives. Believers in Christ are to regularly proclaim that they are free and delivered in Jesus’ name. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He declared that all slaves in the Confederate states are free and therefore must be released. That became a major shift in the freeing of slaves worldwide. The declaration was Biblical and prophetic. We must regularly declare our freedom from unpleasant situations, while we stay away from such.
Emancipation is to be worked out: The Apostle Paul enjoined us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). No captor releases his captive willingly. Many of the slaves in the confederate states had to take their destinies in their hands by fleeing from their slave masters to the Northern states where slavery had been abolished. Many others remained in captivity in the Southern confederate states even after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many third world countries years after gaining political independence from their colonial masters remain subservient and tied to the apron strings of the colonialists. This is because they have refused to work out and chart their own course for growth and development. To remain free indeed we must continue to work out our salvation.
Conclusion: My birth nation is 60 years today. I join several others on this day to declare freedom and emancipation over Nigeria. We decree and declare the nation Nigeria will rise from all unpleasant things and begin to fulfill her glorious destiny in Jesus’ name.
Have a blessed month.