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Don’t Get Fleeced!

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The devil is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of believers concerning their right-standing with God.

by Kenneth Copeland

The Lord spoke to my heart one day and said, How much confidence are you placing in the God within you? At the time, I had no confidence in Him whatsoever! I was merely hoping God would do something when I prayed—obviously with little or no results!

Then I grasped the reality of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit began to reveal to my heart the truths about the new birth, and being the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. He showed me the power of the Holy Spirit (God’s muscle, God’s mind, God’s everything), and how this part of the Godhead was living inside every born-again, Spirit-filled believer!

One by one, these truths became deeply rooted in my spirit. Rather than being conscious of myself as a sinner, I became conscious of the righteousness within me.

You can develop that kind of righteousness-consciousness too. How? By focusing on spiritual truth instead of natural circumstances. Romans 8:5 says, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.”

We have occupied ourselves much of the time with the fleshly things. Even though the Word of God teaches us that we have been given victory over the flesh, we’ve by and large ignored that Word and thought sickness instead of healing, weakness instead of strength, trouble instead of victory, poverty instead of prosperity, and sin instead of righteousness. Instead of attending to God’s Word (Proverbs 4:20), we’ve attended to these other things almost completely ignoring the power of the Word of God to deliver us from them.

I can speak from experience here because I was once very overweight and hooked on cigarettes among other things. For several years, I fought against my body with little success. But when I grew in the Word of God and began to walk in the spirit, I no longer fulfilled the lusts of the flesh.

I began to think righteousness, to focus on the power of God instead of the weakness of the flesh. As a result, my weight came down to normal and the smoking habit was broken! I still must keep my body under dominion of the Word and walk in the spirit, but it’s much easier when we realize daily: “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

Take Authority

As you begin to think righteousness instead of sin, you’ll become more useful to God, to yourself and to the people around you. You’ll become a vessel through which God’s power can flow. You’ll be able to stand firmly on your right-standing with God—opposing sickness, poverty, sin and anything else Satan tries to bring your way.

When Satan threatens to kill, steal and destroy you, you’ll say, “Look here, I’m a child of God. I’ve been delivered from the authority of darkness and translated into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. You’re not going to put your evil stuff on me or my household. I don’t have to put up with it. I’m the righteousness of God!” Take authority!

In addition to freeing you from personal sin and circumstances, a righteousness-consciousness will also give you the courage to obey God’s commands and attack the forces of darkness. It will give you the power to become the fearsome spiritual warrior God always intended you to be.

In Mark 16:15-18, for example, Jesus gave us the Great Commission. He said:

Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not 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.

As the righteousness of God in Christ, you have the Name of Jesus, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God to enable you to stand and minister in Jesus’ stead. Once you awake to righteousness you’ll find yourself not only having the boldness to dominate sin, Satan and circumstances in your own life, but also having a new boldness to minister to the needs of others.

This is not true of the sin- and defeat-minded Christian. The sin-minded believer says, “Well, we’re praying about going to minister in this situation, and if the doors are open, then it’s God’s will for us to go. But if they’re not, then it must not be God’s will.”

If the “open door” were evidence of the will of God, then the Apostle Paul was never in God’s will. He faced obstacles throughout his entire ministry, but he took the Word of God and knocked the doors open in order to get the job done!

Sin-consciousness will look for an excuse not to obey God: “We might not have enough money to go…I might not be able to take off work.” Righteousness-consciousness, however, always finds a way to obey! Being a vessel able to be used by the Master is one of our rights and privileges in Christ. But a “closed door” has deceived many a believer and kept them from fulfilling the perfect will of God.

Believers Have Rights

An area in which many people have tried to open a door, but have been deceived is in “putting out a fleece.” The person who uses a fleece is depending on a physical sign of God’s will in a situation. He is not depending on his right-standing with God.

But don’t get fleeced! The natural, physical world is Satan’s field of operation. When you put out a fleece, you are giving the devil a chance to intercept God’s perfect will for you.

In Judges 6:37, the Bible says Gideon used a fleece. But let’s analyze his situation for a moment. In the first place, Gideon was not a reborn man. Consequently, he was forced to rely on physical evidence. He had no knowledge of God whatsoever because his entire family were followers of Baal.

Second, there was no prophet in the land to give him the Word of God. And the prophet was the only source of revealed knowledge in those days.

Third, Gideon was dealing with an angel which was completely foreign to him. Therefore, in his position, he had no choice except to put out a fleece to get a physical sign of what to do.

But as believers, you and I are not in Gideon’s position. We have been born again and have rights and privileges in God’s kingdom. One of those rights is to be led by the Spirit of God. We have access to the Holy Spirit and the written Word of God to use as a guide in finding God’s will for our lives.

We don’t have to depend on a sign from the natural, physical world to lead us. We can simply ask God and expect Him to let us know what His will is through His Spirit dwelling within us. Our right-standing with God has given us access to leadership…from Almighty God Himself.