Throughout my years in Christianity, I've witnessed numerous miracles that were breathtaking in nature: blind eyes and deaf ears opened, paralyzed walking, pain from herniated discs and metal rods dissolved and radical deliverance from strongholds. Sadly, I've also witnessed some of these issues return just days, weeks or months after the moment. And unfortunately, this happens all too often.
'Was It Fake? Did God Change His Mind?'
If a symptom, sickness or stronghold returns, the question always arises: Is the miracle de-legitimized? Certainly not. In each case I've seen, the breakthrough was very real, giving the individual an incredible ability, peace or freedom that he or she didn't have when afflicted. Skeptics will predictably scoff, but what I've seen with my own eyes were results that could hardly be faked or the product of emotional euphoria.
The next question always centers on God. Did He change His mind and determine the person is no longer worthy—that they must endure the hardship as some sort of punishment? Definitely not. We never observe this in Christ's ministry. He never refused a miracle nor gave someone back their issues. No, He made His earthly ministry about proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God and healing every sickness and disease (Matt. 4:23). Furthermore, John affirmed that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), not to hold people hostage to them.
The Process of a Breakthrough Miracle
To understand how these issues return (and how to prevent them from returning), we must first uncover what actually takes place during a healing or breakthrough miracle.
In every case, these miracles are a type of deliverance. This idea stems from the traditional Jewish belief that infirmities even as minute as a headache were the results of an unclean spirit, or in the least, the product of personal sin (John 9:2). Accordingly, it's understandable why the healings of Jesus are almost always activated by a rebuke or command, followed by the ailment leaving its victim, as in the case of Peter's mother-in-law: "So [Jesus] stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her" (Luke 4:39a).
We also see this later modeled by the disciples in Acts. All throughout the book, the healings of Peter and Paul are each coupled with a command declaration.
To be sure, I don't suggest that every symptom, sickness or struggle you face today is the result of a devil or personal sin. Some issues are simply the results of the weather, a fallen world or a myriad of other possibilities. Thankfully, however, according to Jesus, it's not only unclean spirits that can be delivered, but He suggests that obstacles can too.
"For truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says" (Mark 11:23).
Here, Jesus used "mountain" as a metaphor for "obstacle," which, He assures, can be removed or "delivered." You can replace the word "mountain" for whatever it is that stands in your way—from a headache or a bad attitude to depression or physical pain.
Why Issues Return
With this knowledge, you now understand that when someone receives a healing or breakthrough miracle, it's the result of some sort of deliverance that has taken place. And thus, we can learn from Scripture why these issues sometimes return and how to prevent that from happening to you.
Speaking about the process of deliverance, Jesus remarked, "When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through dry places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that man is worse than the first" (Matt. 12:43–45b).
In other words, Jesus taught that what leaves is always looking for a way to return. If it's indeed an unclean spirit, it will attempt to return with more. If it's some other sort of obstacle or stronghold, your mind or body will attempt to default to the way it used to behave unless you proactively teach it otherwise. In either case, as Jesus instructed, the solution is to fill yourself with something to prevent its return.
How to Maintain Your Miracle
This brings me to what I refer to as the two "M's" that maintain a miracle: the mind and the mouth.
Many cite the high rate of return of symptoms from those healed at mass crusades. And the reason is fairly clear: these events aren't designed for follow-up discipleship. And so, a newly delivered individual often leaves without further instruction. There tendency then is to reenter life, incautious of the circumstances that once led to the afflictions.
Those with sustained victory are those who fill their minds with a constant diet of God's Word. This serves first to protect them from re-entering situations that might have led to the sickness or stronghold in the first place. But second, it's to keep themselves standing on faith that what God did in the moment of their miracle is real. The enemy will try to reenter through temptation or doubt; and either one of those gateways, if not protected by God's Word, allows an opening for what left to return again.
Filling your mind in this way isn't difficult, but it is a discipline. If you were recently healed, find Scriptures related to healing. Isaiah 53:5 is a great one to reflect upon: "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed." Similarly, if you were delivered of an addiction, Romans 13:14 provides fantastic protection: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill its lusts."
Whatever the situation, when the mind is fixed on truth, the enemy doesn't have even the slightest crack through which he can reenter.
Filling your mind with God's Word involves more than reading it; it also involves speaking it. Scientists tell us our minds respond faster to what we hear ourselves say than what we "hear" ourselves think. This only confirms what Paul said so many years before: "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17).
Faith is like an insect repellent to Satan or to any obstacle. And so, if you want to keep issues from having influence over you, the best way to fill yourself with faith is to make a habit of keeping God's Word on your mouth. If you need help with this, my free Shut Up, Devil! app is a great place to begin. It features personalized Scriptures related to 25 common issues. And its reminder system helps you make speaking God's Word a constant practice in your life. You can get it free at shutupdevil.org/app.
However you decide to keep God's Word with you, speaking it is the most effective way to fill your mind with truth and protect yourself from the return of anything malicious.
A Declaration for Breakthrough
Finally, I conclude with a practical tip for those who need a breakthrough today. Find a Scripture related to your struggle and couple it with a command to go in Jesus' name. For example, if it's depression or sadness that plagues you, declare this: "The joy of the Lord is my strength. I command discouragement, sadness and depression to leave me in Jesus' Name."
Sometimes you have to be persistent. But keep making these declarations until your situation changes, and then when it does, be sure to remain filled with God's truths related to your breakthrough.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the No. 1 spiritual warfare app; and his upcoming book, Activating the Power of God's Word, uncovers 16 strategic declarations to transform your life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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