Monday, September 2, 2013

In Jesus' Name: Speaking to your Mountain


     What is your mountain? What is standing in your way? Fear? Sickness? Depression? Addiction? We all have mountains that park themselves in front of us without any intention of moving and cause us to be stuck, to some degree, from moving forward. They stand there, looming over us, taunting us and we've no power against them - no power to make them move. Or do we? Do we hold the power to move our mountain or better yet to make it crumble? Is that our place or is it playing God, just foolishness and vain?
     A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me a picture of a page in a book she is reading. She asked me to read it and tell her what I thought. The text spoke about speaking aloud to your circumstance, in this particular case in the book it was Cancer, and commanding it to leave, in Jesus' name. This was a new concept to her, young in her faith, and she felt she'd been praying incorrectly up until now - not speaking directly to her hinderances. Basically her question is the same question many Christians have asked - how much authority do we have when we pray.
     I often think about these kinds of questions from the perspective of a parent-child relationship. You know the scene - the class bully is picking on a kid and the kid says, "I'm gonna tell my dad and you'll be sorry!" Well, I think it's kind of the same way with Christians - God's children. When the enemy, our bully, is coming at us - we remind him who our dad is! And how do we do this? We use the only name that brings us access to God - Jesus.
     Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 

     We feel perfectly safe doing this because just like the bullied kid's dad says to him, "you tell me if someone hurts you and I'll take care of it", our Heavenly Father has given us permission to use his name. 

     "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; ... they      will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17-18 (emphasis mine)

     Not only has he given us permission to do this, but if you read this verse closely it says that casting out demons and healing the sick will "accompany", or go along with, being a Christian. They should be a natural occurrence in the life of a Christian as a sign of who you are - of who your daddy is! We don't have to deal with demons and the mountains they manifest in our lives! The devil knows we've been given authority over him but just like the bully on the playground, the enemy knows he can beat you up for as long as you let him - and he will, for:

    "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" 1 Peter 5:8

     Now, are all uncomfortable things caused by the enemy? No. Sometimes the cancer is part of God's plan. Sometimes the financial distress is pruning. We will not be able to tell every problem or seemingly bad thing to take a hike. How will we know the difference? We must use grow in discernment. I've heard it said, and I agree, that the best way to know what the enemy looks like is to know what Father God looks like. The more time we spend communing with Christ, the more we know him. We recognize the scent of our daddy's cologne. We know what his hugs feel like, what his discipline feels like and when the enemy comes around - we know he's not our dad! That's when we exercise the authority he's given us - in his name - and speak to our mountain! 

     Do you have a mountain that you need to speak to? If you are a Christian, you do have authority over it, in Jesus' name. If you do not have a relationship with Christ, then please know that you Christ is waiting on you - waiting to set you free and give you power over the things you wrestle with. Call out to him!