Shake off your shackles and be made whole. The same faith that saved you will restore you in every way.
While in India on a ministry trip a number of years ago, I was in my hotel room preparing for a healing crusade when a magazine caught my attention. Inside, an article titled "The Unalterable Course of Destiny" dealt with the subject of something we refer to as "fate."
According to the writer, we should understand that our lives are predetermined to be a certain way, and nothing can be done to change it. To accept this is to be governed by a fatalistic attitude that essentially says, "I am a victim of circumstances I cannot alter."
If we really accepted this as truth, then we have to say there is no use trying. After all, our destiny is unalterable, and our hands are tied. Why get up in the morning? You might as well stay in bed.
As crazy as this seems, we do believe these things in America—more than we are willing to admit. This is an escapist mind-set that discourages us from taking any responsibility for our lives.
When your fate is fixed, you have no hope for change in your circumstances. Consequently, there is no need to resist anything, even the social and religious systems that come against you as a woman with a ministry calling. If fate is at work, your destiny is set, right?
Wrong! I believe God is challenging our thinking on this subject. He wants to tell us something about how we view the circumstances that attempt to hold us captive in our lives.
In the Scriptures, the story of the woman plagued with an issue of blood is often told from the standpoint of the woman's need for physical healing. However, when we take a closer look, we can see that her testimony also has to do with complete restoration and a breakthrough to a new level of faith and power. It's about the overlooked element of risk that is essential to the activation of faith.
What's Plaguing You?
According to The Message translation of this passage: "A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe.
"She was thinking to herself, 'If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.' The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
"At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, 'Who touched my robe?'
"His disciples said, 'What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you're asking, "Who touched me?" Dozens have touched you!'
"But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
"Jesus said to her, 'Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague'" (Mark 5:25-34).
Jesus said to her, "You are healed and whole." He did not focus on physical healing alone, but on everything that was plaguing her.
Whatever plagues you today may not be physical. It may be mental, emotional, financial, or societal.
You may be convinced that you are a prisoner of your family. Some of you may have said: "I'm a prisoner of my church, a prisoner of the religious system in my church."
Just ask yourself, "Am I fated to sit in church and never attempt to do what God has laid on my heart and fulfill the destiny He has called me to?" God is saying it's time for you to realize you are not hampered and boxed in because of something called fate.
Whatever it is that holds you captive, Jesus says, "Live well! Live blessed!" Oh I like that!
Had the woman in our Scripture read that magazine article, she would not have agreed with it. Obviously, she did not believe in fate because she had gone to doctor after doctor, spending all her money to improve her physical condition. She believed that change was possible, and that she could experience a breakthrough in her condition and break out of her personal prison.
Imagine how she felt. She was declared "unclean" by Levitical law and could not have normal social interactions with others, nor touch anything without it's becoming unclean also (see Lev. 15:25-33). The nature of her physical sickness made her an outcast and cut her off from functioning in every area of her life.
Required to watch her husband and children from a distance, she could not be a proper wife or mother. She could not touch them or cook for them because if they ate the food, they would become unclean. She would have watched her children grow up without straightening their clothes, soothing their cuts and scratches, picking them up, holding them, or kissing them good night.
Although society and the religious system ostracized her, she was not going to agree with them. She rejected the notion of fate.
Many of you feel this woman's isolation. Different situations have caused you to feel pushed aside. Perhaps someone has told you, or implied, that you cannot be a part of what God wants to do.
You, too, must reject fate. Jesus said to this woman, "You took a risk of faith." In so doing, she shook off the shackles of bondage to sickness and tradition. By taking three steps, this woman affirmed what she believed and laid the groundwork for her deliverance.
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