Grace tidings with Dr Doug Mamvura
As we continue to examine the enemies of faith, the next enemy is a lack of understanding of our privilege and right to use the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. This lack of understanding will hold us in bondage and will give us a sense of weakness. But when we know what that name will do, we can take our rightful position of authority over satan and enjoy victory.
Prior to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, Old Testament saints didn’t have a Saviour. They, in a sense, were asking in their own names. They appealed to the mercy of God as demonstrated in the sacrifices that covered their sins, but there was no real atonement. When Jesus died, He made the real atonement that all the Old Testament sacrifices illustrated.
He became our Saviour, and now we can do much more than approach God in our names or based on our performances.
Using the name of Jesus means we are claiming the righteousness of Jesus as the thing that makes us worthy to receive. It means we are depending on the grace of God and not our performances. Those who ask but believe it is dependent on how well they perform are actually taking the name of the Lord in vain. It doesn’t matter if they end every prayer with “in Jesus’ name.” If they aren’t standing in the grace of God, they aren’t using the name of Jesus correctly. Jesus also said something else about the use of His name in Mark 16: 15 -18.
“Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptised shall be saved; but he that does not believe shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”.
These signs follow those who believe the gospel. These signs aren’t just for the early church or just for the apostles. These signs are not just for preachers, but they are for believers. Believers can cast out devils in Jesus’ name. Some people think that you have to be a prophet or pastor to cast out demons. The only qualification is being a believer.
In His name believers shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Believers can lay hands on the sick, and in the name of Jesus, the sick shall become well. A mature believer should be able to appropriate healing for themselves. You don’t need to run around looking for a prophet or pastor to pray for you if you are a mature believer.
I am thoroughly convinced that we ought to leave the pastor free to take care of the spiritual babies in a church who don’t know how to act on the Word for themselves. But the older Christians should learn to appropriate healing for themselves. If you can’t appropriate healing for yourself, then by all means, send for help. I believe we should learn to use the name of Jesus. We should know that His name has authority and power on the earth today and that His name belongs to us.
The next enemy of faith is a lack of understanding about acting upon the Word. We should stop trying to make God’s Word work and start acting on the Word. The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).
All that is necessary for you to do in any situation is to ask, “What has God said?” or “What does God’s Word have to say about this?” If we know that the Word is true and if we act as though it is true, it becomes a reality in our lives.
I have people who have come to me and ask why they don’t get their healing. They say they know all the scriptures about healing. They begin to quote to me Matthew 8:17, which says, “. . . Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Another scripture they quote is First Peter 2:24, which says, “Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.”
I always say to such people, “Have you ever acted like those verses of Scripture were true?” That sometimes startles them. I remember reading a testimony which one of God’s Generals, Kenneth Hagin, shared about, A. B. Simpson who just acted like the Word is true, and he received his healing.
At the age of 46, Dr AB Simpson, who was a Presbyterian minister at the time and later founded the Christian Missionary Alliance, was told he was dying of a heart condition and was given only about six months to live. Dr Simpson said he had heard many testimonies of healing even in his own church. He took a short leave of absence and went up to his farm where he could spend a lot of time studying the Word of God.
At the end of two weeks, Dr Simpson took a piece of paper and a pencil and wrote, “After searching the Word of God for two weeks, I am convinced the Bible teaches that divine healing is for us today. And I, this day, accept Jesus Christ as my Healer and declare that I am now healed from heart trouble and that I am well. And I promise God to use this new-found strength and life and energy entirely for His purpose and to further the gospel. I promise God I will share this truth of healing with others and will help them.”
After that Simpson went to a luncheon where he was to be the speaker. All that came to him to speak about was the one word out of Matthew 8:17, “Himself.” So, Dr Simpson opened his Bible and read the entire verse and told the audience he wanted to focus his attention on that word “Himself.” Then he gave them his testimony about how he had been searching the Bible and had come to the conclusion that Jesus was still the Healer today.
After the luncheon, he was invited to go mountain climbing by the men to whom he had spoken. The thought immediately came to him that he wouldn’t be able to because of his heart condition. But then he remembered he had declared his healing, so he accepted the invitation and went. Up to this point, he had not really seen or felt his healing, but had just accepted it and had declared it by faith. All the way up the mountain, every time he got his mind off the Word of God, he would begin to feel the symptoms of his heart condition. But he overcame these feelings, because as he claimed the Word again for his healing, all the symptoms would go away. He fought this battle all the way up the mountain. But when he got up the mountain, he walked about victorious without any symptoms. Dr Simpson was 70 years old according to that testimony and it is said he never had any more symptoms whatsoever after that mountain-climbing experience.
Real faith holds on to the blessings of God. Real faith is the child of the knowledge of the Word. Dr Simpson acted on the Word and got real faith from it. Instead of trying to believe, he just acted upon the Word. He acted like the Word is true, which it is.
The other hindrance to faith is a lack of understanding that we are to hold fast to our confession of faith. In Hebrews 10:23 it says, “… let us hold fast our profession [confession].” Our faith keeps pace with our confession.
There is a confession of our hearts and a confession of our lips and when these two harmonise, we become mighty in our prayer life. The reason so many are defeated is that they have a negative confession. They talk of their weaknesses and failures and invariably they go down to the level of their confession. There is a scriptural law in Mark 11:23. It says our confessions rule us. You are what you say.
By recognising these enemies to our faith and by renewing our minds with the Word of God, we will cause our faith to grow and increase. Every believer can see the promises of God come to pass in his life if he will take time to meditate on who he is in Christ and what he has in Christ and act like God’s Word is true because indeed it is true.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura