We have to make countless decisions every day. Sadly, many of us fail to seek God's wisdom. Instead, people in desperate situations often make desperate choices.
But when we make decisions that violate the Word of God, the consequences can be grave. Unwise choices can lead to the destruction of marriages, relationships, families, careers and even life itself.
Some people constantly make wrong decisions based on their faulty belief systems rather than on God's guidance. They think their decision-making processes are under their own private control. But in truth, their choices become casualty covenants with the enemy, resulting in the negative outcomes they have come to expect.
A casualty covenant is a conscious or unconscious agreement made with forces of darkness that may lead to bondage, distress, disease or death. This type of agreement is binding and strong enough to change the course of a person's life.
These subconscious agreements that exist in the mind and emotions can affect our thoughts and behavior without our awareness. Satan's carefully engineered suggestions and strategies are designed to bring death not only to our dreams but also to our bodies.
Psychiatrists recognize that we can make unconscious decisions and judgments that bring about either delight or disaster in our lives. They call these "self-fulfilling prophecies" and death wishes, which can open the door in people's lives to a spirit of death.
CASUALTY COVENANTS AFFECT OUR HEALTH One area in our lives that these covenants can affect is our health. You have heard people say such things as, "All the men in my family died of heart attacks, so I probably will too."
Christians are not immune to accepting this lie of the enemy. If our relatives suffer or even die from a particular disease, we may become vulnerable to the suggestion that we will contract the same illness.
Believing in our hearts and saying with our mouths that we might develop certain diseases fulfills a biblical principle in a negative way. From our hearts, we are speaking what we believe will come to pass; and, therefore, we will have what we say (see Mark 11:24).
Satan wants to rob us of life so he uses the leverage of an inherited curse or a genetic disease to persuade us to agree with his lies by speaking and believing them. If we allow that kind of satanic input to dominate our thought life, it becomes easy to make an agreement with our deadly foe, accepting distress or disease as inevitable.
When we lack knowledge of God's Word or are disobedient to its truth, we are like open targets in a pitching booth at the county fair: We can be hit by one of the devil's balls of fire and never know what happened!
Only by understanding and obeying the Scriptures will we avoid being defeated by the devil. Jesus said that knowing God's truth sets people free. This is God's will for all men (see John 8:32; 1 Tim. 2:3-4).
That's why we must not be ignorant of Satan's devices. We must follow Jesus' example when He was tempted and counter each temptation with God's Word (see Matt. 4:5-11).
We cannot let ignorance of the Bible, religious tradition or false teaching cause us to believe that we can't be deceived into making a covenant that results in casualties to ourselves and our loved ones. If Satan sought to convince the Son of God to agree with him in the wilderness, we can expect him to try to trick us into agreeing with him as well.
A NEAR-CASUALTY I was ignorant of these truths when I entered the hospital for routine surgery years ago. Waking up from the anesthesia, I was surprised to see my physician standing beside my bed.
She said: "Mrs. Winborn, you have ovarian cancer. Laboratory tests show that it is in the last stages and has metastasized.
"However," she continued, "there is one hope. It's called the gold treatment and involves inserting a live radioisotope into your body, which will make you temporarily radioactive.
"Since this is a rather harsh treatment, it will be necessary to give you time between surgeries to recuperate...Otherwise, Mrs. Winborn, you probably have less than six months to live."
As this grim prognosis sunk in, I began hearing in my spirit: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1 Cor. 10:13, NKJV).
I was in physical pain and struggling mentally to sort out all I was hearing. I concluded that my Father God would sustain me through this crisis, and I agreed to the treatment.
Meanwhile, my family and friends comforted me and prayed for my full recovery. Entire congregations were united in prayer on my behalf.
About this time, I attended a meeting in the home of my friends, where the Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin was ministering. Brother Hagin prophesied concerning my condition and said, "She will be all right."
This was an extraordinary word from the Lord considering the medical prognosis. I clung to his prophetic words like a person in a pit grasping a rope for deliverance.
When the time came for my surgery, a skilled physician administered the gold treatment. The hospital care was excellent and all went well.
Suddenly, new tests revealed tumors in both of my breasts; the prognosis wasn't good. My Christian gynecologist had done all she could to help. I realized my days were limited; obviously, the cancer had continued to spread.
But I really believed God would heal me. I had two young sons to raise.
Unexpectedly, I began to hear words spoken into my left ear. The voice was that of a demonic messenger, who said, "Make a covenant with Satan, and you can live."
I had never realized before that a Christian could make a covenant with Satan. If I had obeyed that voice, I would have made a conscious covenant with the enemy, whereas most people are deceived into making unconscious covenants with him.
This proposition came at a time when it seemed that a dark and final curtain was falling upon my life. I desperately desired to live. Yet despite so many prayers and all the good care I had received, the ordeal had intensified!
I was not confused about my response to the satanic proposition. I reasoned: Satan is a liar. Jesus Christ is the truth. I refuse Satan's offer of life. I will trust Jesus Christ, who is life. The confrontation was over, and I slept soundly for the first time in months.
"MIND HEALING" VS. DIVINE HEALING After that, I was led to attend a Kathryn Kuhlman miracle service. She had everyone attending the huge meeting pray for me and even personally prayed for my healing. At that time, I knew that a spirit of fear left me.
After the meeting, I still had tumors in my breast. However, I no longer feared dying.
The Holy Spirit kept reminding me of two Scriptures: "I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me" (Prov. 8:17, KJV); and "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness (Lam. 3:22-23).
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