by Gloria Copeland
“You don’t owe anything. Your bill has already been paid.”
Sometimes Ken and I hear those words in a restaurant when we start to pay for our meal. Usually it’s because one of our Partners was there and decided to bless us. That’s such a nice feeling—it always touches our hearts.
When I think about what Jesus did for us when He gave His life on the cross, I’m reminded of those times and I realize God has said those same wonderful words to us: You don’t owe anything. Your bill has already been paid.
Without our asking Him to do it…while we were still living in sin and rebellion…Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness. With His own blood, He paid the debt we owed to God for every sinful thing we have ever done…or will ever do. He set us free from sin, sickness and pain. He paid the bill so we can be whole—spirit, soul and body.
Isaiah 53:4-5 says it this way:
Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God…But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole (The Amplified Bible).
The last phrase of that verse means a great deal to me. I love the fact that it says “we are healed and made whole!” It doesn’t say that one day we will be healed and made whole. It doesn’t say that possibly, if it’s the will of the Lord, we might be healed and made whole. It says we already are!
#1 – Don’t Argue With God
If you have sickness in your body today, you might be tempted to argue with me about that. You might say, “Hey, I’m hurting right now. I’ve been to the doctor and he says I’m sick. I even have x-rays to prove it. How can you say I am healed?”
I’m not the one saying it. God is the One Who said it in His Word—I’m just quoting Him. He’s given us the good news that the price for sickness (which entered the world through sin) has been paid! So if you’ve given your heart to Jesus, you don’t have to pay the price of sickness anymore. Your healing has already been provided. You can simply receive it by faith and go!
If you’re wondering how to do that, think about what Ken and I did when we learned that somebody had paid for our meal. We didn’t sit around waiting until we felt like the bill was paid. We didn’t argue with the cashier and say, “Well, I’m just not sure about this. After all, I didn’t actually see anybody pay it so how can I be absolutely certain it really happened? It just seems too good to be true.”
No, we didn’t say any of those things! We just took the cashier’s word for it and accepted the fact that our bill was paid. “Thank you very much!” we said. Then we acted on our faith by walking happily out the door.
As simple as that may sound, we receive healing from God in just the same way. We take Him at His Word. We believe we are healed, not because we feel healed or look healed at this moment but because God said we are. By faith, we start talking like we’re healed. We start acting like we’re healed. Before long, our bodies line up with God’s Word and it becomes apparent to everyone that we truly are healed!
#2 – Receive It by Faith
Some people are reluctant to receive their healing by faith. They think it’s too hard to do. So they just go to the doctor or wait around hoping someone will lay hands on them and zap them with the power of God in spite of their unbelief. Now please understand that I’m in favor of laying hands on the sick and I love it when the gifts of healing operate. And I think doctors are wonderful and a great blessing to mankind. But too often people just rely on medical doctors to help them.
The truth is even if someone lays hands on you, or the doctor gives you medicine and you get healed this time, one of these days you’ll still have to grow up spiritually and learn to operate by faith if you want to live a victorious Christian life.
Why? Because the Bible says very clearly in three separate verses, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38). We are born again by faith. We fulfill the will of God in our lives by faith. If we’re sick, we receive healing by faith. If we are broke, we get financial increase by faith. If our kids are in trouble, we get them back into the fold of God by faith. We receive anything and everything that we need from God…by faith!
Faith is simply believing what God says in His Word. It is trusting what He says more than we trust our natural senses or what other people say. Faith is believing God enough to talk and act as if His Word is true even when circumstances around us would seem to indicate that it’s not.
How do we get that kind of faith? Romans 10:17 tells us “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So if you want to get stronger faith, spend more time in the Word of God.
That’s exactly what Ken and I did 35 years ago when we were just finding out about these things. We didn’t have time for television or newspapers. We read our Bibles instead. We listened to preaching tapes day in and day out—whenever we could. When Brother Hagin would have a 10-day meeting, we’d be there every single night. It didn’t matter to us whether we had to go in rain, ice or snow…we went because we wanted to have faith and we knew that faith came from hearing the Word.
Actually, we’re little different today. We still keep a steady stream of God’s Word flowing into our hearts. We keep ourselves spiritually fed. Although we go regularly to meetings where we hear the Word preached, I’ve found that’s not enough for me to live on. Just like I need to eat physical food every day (several times a day!) to keep going, I need to eat spiritual food every day too. I can’t wait until somebody comes and spoon-feeds me the Word and neither can you.
If I’m going to live every day by faith, I need to be strong in the Word every day. If I don’t, my faith will dwindle and I can’t afford that. I can’t afford to be a lazy Christian because the devil is out there waiting to get a shot at me. He’s looking for an opportunity to steal away the blessings Jesus bought for me and I don’t want to give it to him.
#3 – Resist the Devil
Actually, if it weren’t for the devil, living by faith would be a cakewalk. There would be hardly any effort to it at all. God’s Word about everything He’s done for us through Christ Jesus is so wonderful that it’s easy to agree with. The first time we hear it, we’re usually so happy about it that we want to shout all the way home from church. But after a few days have passed and the devil starts pressuring us with symptoms, circumstances and discouraging lies, we find that some effort is required to continue to believe God.
That’s why it’s so vital for us to keep our hearts full of God’s Word. By keeping it before our eyes and going in our ears, it will be in our hearts in abundance and come out of our mouths in faith. Because when pressure comes, what comes out of us will be what is in us in greatest abundance. As Jesus said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45, New International Version).
If God’s Word about healing is abundantly stored in your heart, then when symptoms of sickness come, you’ll begin resisting those symptoms and speaking faith. Almost without thinking about it, you’ll say, “Oh, no you don’t devil. You’re not putting that sickness on me. I’m the healed of the Lord. Jesus paid the price for me to be well and I intend to be well so you just take your symptoms and get out of here!”
However if you’ve spent more time thinking about natural things than you have the Word, it will be a different story. You’ll probably just lie down and take it when the devil uses sickness to put the squeeze on you. You’ll say, “Oh, dear. I feel terrible. I believe I’m getting sick. I’d better go to bed.”
Like it or not, that kind of pressure comes to every Christian because—for the time being—the devil is still operating in the earth. He is a thief and a liar who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to rob us of the abundant life that Jesus has provided for us and he does it by challenging our faith.
How should we respond to that challenge?
By holding fast to the Word of God and absolutely, positively, refusing to give up until we see His promises manifested in our lives.
#4- Know Within Yourself
There are no two ways about it, sometimes that can be pretty tough. Not because the devil is so strong and powerful—He’s not. The Bible says he’s already been disarmed. He has been brought to nothing! Even so, he is still a very good liar. He can really paint a bleak picture. He can whisper negative thoughts in your ear and make your situation look so bad that you may find yourself wanting to quit.
When that happens, we must follow the instructions given to the early church when they were facing great persecution for their faith. Unbelievers were literally plundering their houses and stealing their possessions in an attempt to get them to renounce Jesus. Yet the writer of Hebrews says to them:
Ye…took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:34-39).
According to these verses, in order to receive what God has promised us—whether that be healing or any other scriptural blessing—we must know within ourselves what we have been given in Jesus. That means we must know it not just with our head but with our heart. We must have His Word rooted so deeply and firmly within us that when we hear lies to the contrary, we don’t buy them. We must be so fully persuaded of what God says that we act as if it’s true even when natural circumstances look like it’s not.
We can’t quit when the going gets tough. If we quit, it’s over. If we lay down our faith and give up, the devil can keep us in permanent defeat. On the other hand, we will win if we don’t quit. It’s absolutely guaranteed.
I like the way verse 36 reads in The Amplified Bible—it makes that very clear. It says “For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.”
Notice it doesn’t say you might possibly receive what God promised. It says that if you don’t cast away your confidence you will receive and enjoy it to the full!
#5- Forget About the Past
I’ll warn you right now, one way the devil will try to steal your confidence is by tempting you to look at the past. He’ll draw your attention off God’s Word by reminding you of yesterday’s failures, pains and disappointments.
“Before you get so carried away with this faith stuff,” he’ll say, “just remember that the pastor laid hands on you two days ago and you didn’t feel a bit better afterward. And don’t forget Sister Saint. She said she was believing God for healing last year and she died. What’s more, you’ve been talking this healing business for two weeks now and you still have most of the same symptoms you had when you started. You felt bad yesterday. You feel bad today and you’re going to feel the same way tomorrow.”
When the devil starts telling you things like that, remember this: Faith always looks forward. It doesn’t dwell on the past. It faces the future full of expectancy with faith in God.
Looking back is not the way to get ahead in the kingdom of God.
“But Gloria,” you may say, “I’ve made some bad mistakes. I’ve done some terrible things. I think I’ll just have to accept this sickness and pay the price for what I’ve done.”
No, you don’t! Jesus paid the price, remember? If you’ve made a mistake or done something wrong, repent and let it go because God has forgiven you. First John 1:9 says He is faithful and just to forgive your sin and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. As far as heaven is concerned the past record of your sins has been wiped out. It’s gone. It’s under the blood of Jesus. So don’t let the devil talk you into looking back!
Don’t listen to him when he comes to you with his dark cloud, telling you lies. Don’t let him take your past and project it into your future. Cast him out! Get rid of him!
#6 – Look Ahead to the Future
One way to defeat the devil is by getting out your Bible and telling him just what God says about your future. He says you’re the healed—so enjoying a healthy body is in your future. He says you’re more than a conqueror—so victory in every area of life is in your future. You have a good and glorious life ahead of you right here on this earth. And what’s even better is the life that’s waiting for you after that!
Remember this earthly life we’re living is not a permanent thing. This is just a temporary situation. If we live to be 100 years old, that’s just a moment in eternity. We are on our way to heaven! I think we ought to live healthy, blessed and prosperous lives while we’re here because that’s the will of God. But even so, we need to remember we’re just passing through.
We always need to be aware that during this lifetime we’re on temporary assignment for God. We’re here to work for Him and build His kingdom on the earth. Right now we’re laying up rewards for heaven. We won’t be able to earn the same kinds of rewards once we get there because there won’t be any pressure to resist up there. There won’t be a devil trying to knock our heads off, make us sick and steal our resources.
Right now we have a fleeting opportunity to give glory to God by standing strong on His Word right in the face of all the pressure and lies the devil can bring. We have the opportunity to say, “Go ahead devil, give it your best shot. When you’re finished, I’ll still be standing here believing God’s Word. I’ll still be praising Him and saying, ‘By His stripes I am healed!’ Because I’m not one of those who draw back. I’m one of those who believe and by faith I receive the promise!”
If we’ll start thinking like that we’ll be able to stand more successfully against the pressures the devil brings against us. When he tries to block our blessings by reminding us of the debts and defeats in our past, we’ll just keep looking forward in faith. We’ll confidently put the devil under our feet where he belongs, knowing that in Jesus “our bill has been paid.” And we’ll step boldly into a future full of the promises and provisions of God!
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