Sunday, December 30, 2012

When The Devil Returns

by Donna L. Watkins

Lately I've been spending a lot of time near the Lord. For those of you who know about my heart issues early last year, you will also know that the Lord healed me and from July until November I was gardening, hiking nature trails, loading and unloading things in the car, doing all kinds of housework, yardwork, exterior painting, etc. Not only was my heart and lungs working normally, but the pain of the rheumatoid arthritis that I had for 26 years had also left my body.

I felt better than I had in a very long time and praised God all day long for the many, many symptoms that were no longer pressed upon my physical body. However, in November I began having breathing problems that I figured was from the heat being on in the house and drying things out. I didn't pay too much attention to it but of course, it's a definite fact that the devil will revisit you with symptoms of healed health problems. I just kept on praising and worshipping God for what was done. Symptoms are facts, but they are not necessarily the Truth. I keep my mind focused on the Truth (God's Word) and not what I experience through my five physical senses.

Since I was thinking it might be a bit of asthma, which I used to have for 33 years until menopause, I now realize that I didn't give it the attention it needed. What we think is all we will act on and I was praising God for all the bigger issues being gone and not fully realizing that this was a return of the devil to steal and destroy what I had already been given.

We cannot let him get away with a sniffle in flu season since our minds have been filled with thinking we have to have the flu when it's "flu season" and that's definitely not so.  Randal and I have refused to participate in this season and haven't ever had the flu.  Our son while he was growing up never did either.

I seemed to carry faith for the smaller issues of health, while I tolerated the devil's works in more chronic diseases, allowing him to add one disease after another to this body with me being so strong-willed that I simply made myself adapt to whatever came my way.

 I knew that God healed, but my theology at the time wasn't that He healed all the time. I didn't understand that at salvation I was healed. In Isaiah 53:5, this prophecy spoke of Jesus: "But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed."

I Peter 2:24 in the New Testament confirms that this came to pass: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." Did you notice this is past tense? It was accomplished on the Cross. The word used for salvation is "sozo" and it has a more comprehensive meaning than what most of us have been taught. [Read "Healing is God's Will"]

As we moved into December, the breathing issue demanded my attention and the devil, or my own memory of fear (sometimes we do the work of the devil without him lifting a finger), kept reminding me that the whole crisis situation earlier this year began in mid-December with breathing problems. Although I noticed many things totally different with this breathing problem, fear will haunt you if you allow it to remain. I settled in on a few Scriptures since the Word is alive and active and more powerful than a two-edged sword against the devil (Heb. 4:12).

You have to remain at all times in the Word. You must believe what God says, not what your mind or the devil is speaking to you. I always personalize Scriptures when I use them to stand in faith and God's love for me. These are three that I have used a lot.
"What time I am afraid I will trust in You." (Psalm 56:3)
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." (I John 4:18)

"My Father takes great delight in me, He quiets me with His love, He rejoices over me with singing." (Zeph. 3:17)
When we realize how much God loves us and that He's a good Daddy, we increase our faith in knowing that He is not the author of disease. Some have been taught that God puts disease on us for our own good, or that He "allows" it to teach us something. That is not the picture that Jesus paints for us of the Father in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15). We are in Jesus and the Father only sees us as pure and holy as Jesus because that's what our spirit already is.

We are a new creation in Christ Jesus ... that's obviously not in the physical realm when we get saved, since we still look and act the same. We make choices to become like Jesus. But God is spirit and He sees us as He sees His Son.

Many times temptation will come to know more about a health problem. In our culture we've been trained to honor a disease name and diagnosis. How does that change anything in the spirit realm? I am healed, so knowing the name is only going to bring fear and dread. If we'd heard anything about it or known anybody with it we begin to visualize and think that all we know is going to happen to us. Our thoughts must be on the Truth that we are healed, no matter the name.

The name of Jesus is "the name that is above every name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow" (Phil. 2:9), so whatever the disease name must bow to His name. It's only "the devil that comes to kill, steal and destroy" (John 10:10).

My ability to function normally is certainly being affected since I get out of breath pretty easily, but when I'm sitting I don't notice it. That was not so in the last battle. These things were also not so in the time before: I can often take full deep breaths. I can sleep on my back. Leaning over to pick up something from the floor is no problem. I can still do the rebounder exercise (mini trampoline). I have no fluid retention to fill my lungs.

I remind myself all the time that this is NOT like last year. The devil has even thrown in some heart symptoms now and then. The funny thing is that the devil is not real consistent or reliable. Praise God for memory and the Holy Spirit to bring such things to mind so that "we are able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11). He's not very smart and messes up a lot.

Those who don't believe in healing would say I simply didn't get healed. However, I do not believe you can go from the ER doctor telling your husband to contact Hospice to the healthy state I've been in and then go back again 6 months later. If the heart valve is totally blown, the left ventricle is a third enlarged and filled with pooling blood, and you're carrying around 25+ pounds of fluid that the doctors said I could never get off, and barely enough energy to make it to the bathroom with rest stops every 10 steps ... well, you can see what I mean. [Read "My Visit To The Emergency Room")

The fluids, oxygen machine, atrial fibrillation, etc. have been gone since July and I'm not taking any drugs. I didn't take any drugs back then other than some Lasix (diuretic) which I was only able to use about every three days. I'm not gaining any fluid which was causing the breathing problem the last time since the x-ray showed both lungs 1/3 full of fluid with pleural effusions.

I share this to encourage those of you who are standing on healing or on your way there. Don't let the devil take you down! Of course he will continue to try, but we have God's Word to come against him. The more we praise God and worship Him and share our testimony as I have done with what God did through that crisis and what I've learned about healing ... the more he will try to shut us up. It doesn't sound fair, but Jesus warned us that "all who want to live a godly life in union with Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Tim 3:12).

We must do battle but we have the knowledge that we've already got victory.  We have to have that mentality also.  We are not fighting to GET healed, we're fighting to maintain what we already have.  We are not fighting for victory, we're fighting from a place of victory.

If you had a burglar come into your home, you wouldn't just let him walk about and take what he wanted.  It's yours, you own it.  You will stop him in whatever way you can.  You already own the stuff in your home so you're not trying to get him to let you keep it, you're defending your position as an owner already.  God has already given us healing - defend it!

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I would certainly appreciate your prayers of agreement with me praising God for what He's done and standing in faith that all is well. The prayer of agreement is powerful. It combines the faith of another to our own and causes the scales of faith/belief vs. doubt/unbelief to balance in the favor of faith. God never meant for us to be alone in our battles. Jesus has already provided the victory and we appropriate it and enforce it.
"You lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; You set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2)
Having the faith of another join with you is what the "body of Christ" is all about. For those who do believe in healing and that "the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up" (James 5:15). I humbly come to you again requesting prayer. I know the prayers of many friends/family/subscribers is what made the difference in the battle before.

"Spanning the often murky waters of daily life, faith forms a sturdy bridge so that we can cross holding tightly to the rope of courage in one hand and God in the other." -- Unknown

Knowing so many of you were on that bridge with me kept me strong and focused on the spiritual battle, not the physical world or body. You held up my arms as Aaron and Hur did for Moses in Exodus 17:12. Thank you for being my "rope of courage" in many ways.

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