Our Spiritual Initiative

To understand our spiritual initiative, we will first look at the distinction between John 14:13-14 and John 16:23-24

 
John 14:13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
 
John 16:23  And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
 
The second passage says that “in that day”, we shall ask Jesus nothing. In other words, we will not pray to Him for anything. He doesn’t say we will not worship Him, or praise Him, or thank Him, but simply that we will not petition Him. We see ourselves in the passage approaching the Father in Jesus’ Name.
 
Now look at Mark 16:17-20.
 
Mark 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18  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.
19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
 
In this passage, you are not praying, but using the authority of the Name to heal the sick, to cast out demons, and to set men and women free.
 
The moment a man is born again, he is expected to begin to use that Name. You lay your hands on the sick and say, “Disease, leave this body, in Jesus’ Name!”
 
A staggering fact is that the Name was used largely in healing men and women who were not Christians. Evidently, it was God’s method of advertising the ministry. So you can lay hands on the unsaved.
 
Acts 3:1-10 illustrates this. Peter did not pray when he said to the cripple: 
“In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”
 
When you realize that this authority has been given to the individual members of the body of Christ and not to the ministry alone, it puts the responsibility squarely upon every believer. You are not only a member of the body, but a responsible member of the Body.
 
Another significant fact is that the word “faith” or “believe” do not occur in the above scriptures from the gospel of John. It is evident that the believer had a legal right to the use of the Name, and it was not a problem of faith, but of obedience to use the ability that God had given.
 
The hindrance to our spiritual initiative in prayer comes from disobedience or ignorance. Whichever, it comes from neglect of reading and feeding on the Word, evidence of a low type of spiritual fellowship. It is the personal study of the Word that counts.
 
When we neglect study of the Word, the senses gain the ascendancy. When spiritual things take second place, the realities of the divine things lose out, and sense knowledge slowly but surely gains the mastery. It dominates at the crossroads where it is necessary that we have keen spiritual discernment. We lose that holy fearlessness. The heart does not say, “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me today.”
 
Neglect of daily reading of the Word results in the great truths of Scripture being held as doctrines, rather than as reality. The opinions of men (doctors, for instance) are put above the Word of God. Out of this grows an “inferiority complex” in the spiritual realm.
 
At this point, you are in danger. The body becomes helpless, the mind is under the dominion of an outside power, and you are in a dangerous condition.
 
The cure is going to the Word again, giving yourself over to it, resolutely taking your place in Christ and in the family of Father-God. Refuse to give up your confession.
 
Realize that with spiritual knowledge comes responsibility. You cannot be the same kind of Christian that you have been in the past.
 
You have caught a glimpse of what you might do if you dared to use the authority that is now your own, because the moment that you are born again, re-created, that Name is yours to use, it gives you an opportunity to help those about you.
 
All around are sick and needy ones who could be helped through that Name. There are those bound by habits or demonic power, whom Satan rules with a merciless hand, who could be set free if you will take your place of authority and legal right to use that Name.
 
Use it.
 
In Jesus’ Name!
 
Amen!
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