At the Summit, we always end our Sunday services with an altar call. Anyone who needs prayer for any reason always has the opportunity to be prayed for. It’s a powerful testament to one of our core values. We expect God to heal, to show up, to be present in a tangible way; and often we experience Him because we remember to ask.
But last Sunday something a little bit unusual happened. Instead of opening the altar as the service ended, Pastor Randy asked people to stand if they needed a miracle. At first there was little movement beyond people looking around to see who might be standing. But as he continued to to express what He meant by a miracle – any physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual need… any kind of need that could be met by God – more people began to stand. I’d guess about 80% of the people in the room were standing by the time he was finished. That’s a lot of people asking God to meet their needs.
Randy was visibly surprised by the response. It’s not that He seemed shocked by the number of people with needs. Everybody has needs. It’s that the usual response to the invitation on an average Sunday morning might be four or five people going forward for prayer. He seemed genuinely disturbed that there were that many people with needs who, apparently, are prepared to just live with those needs without having someone agree with them for a miracle.
I once owned a car that was almost new. We bought it with less than 10,000 miles on the odometer. It ran perfectly. It had perfect paint. Nice cold air conditioning. Great sounding radio. No stains on the seats. No hitch in it’s giddy-up. It was everything that it was supposed to be.
When that car finally met an unnatural end a few years ago thanks to another driver running a red light, it was not in nearly the same condition it had been when we first bought it. It had a few dents and scratches. It had a few mechanical problems. One of the speakers would cut in and out. The air took longer to cool down than it had when it was new. We had recently replaced the transmission so that was in good shape, but it had a few other mechanical problems that we chose to overlook because they didn’t keep it from running adequately. It did everything I needed it to do.
I liked that car a lot. But it was no longer everything it had once been. Like cars do, it had deteriorated over time. But because it was an older car and I didn’t have unlimited funds, there were a number of things that I decided to just live with without repairing. Most people do. It makes sense. You don’t want to put more money into a car than that car is worth. And no matter how well maintained, cars do deteriorate over time.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 1:2)
Here’s the thing. That’s not how God’s Kingdom operates. In God’s economy, we have the opportunity to have everything we need, all the time. He doesn’t fix your spiritual transmission but leave the tail light burned out. He doesn’t Bondo the body damage and then not give you a new paint job.
I’m not saying that God wants to give you a complete overhaul on your old, beat-up used car, although if that’s what you need He can certainly do that.
What I am saying is that if we have broken-down, beat-up areas in our lives, God wants to take care of those things. In fact, He already has. He gave you a brand new life when you were born again. And He wants each one of us to be completely whole; physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, financially. The Greek word is Sozo. It means to save, to rescue, to heal and restore health, to deliver from judgement, to preserve from danger.
To be made Sozo is to be whole in every respect; body, soul, and spirit.
God isn’t just ready to meet your needs. He is ready to meet all your needs. There is no area of your life that God looks at and thinks, “That’s good enough. It’s not worth fixing.”
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. (Matthew 11:12)
So what stops us from being completely whole? I don’t think there’s just one answer to that. But I think many of the possibilities are rooted in what we haven’t picked up. We need to take hold of the things God has promised. Often what we don’t have isn’t missing because it’s not available – those things are missing because we didn’t know they were ours to take.
There are countless others. These are all things that are ours by right. They are promised to us – our inheritance. But it’s not an inheritance for someday in the sweet by and by. We receive the inheritance not when we die, but when the one who promised it to us dies. Jesus did that over 2000 years ago. He left us an inheritance. We are his legacy. We can have everything He promised to us RIGHT NOW! It’s often just a matter of picking it up.
Sometimes though, even when we know, want, and are going after what we’ve been promised, there are things that can keep us from taking hold of what is ours.
It’s impossible to grab hold of love if you won’t let go of bitterness. You can’t function in both power and complacency at the same time. Rebellion will keep you from all manner of good things set aside in your name because rebellion conceals your true identity.
On a purely physical level, you can’t expect to prosper and be in good health if you spend all your money on junk food. It’s easy to see the correlation there to both a lack of prosperity and a lack of health. We forget sometimes that those same correlations can occur in the spirit.
You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. (James 4:2 – NLT)
It’s possible to have everything God wants for you. It’s possible to possess all the promises. It starts with asking.
Ask God for what you want, sure. But also ask Him what He wants for you. Ask Him what’s standing in your way. Ask Him to reveal your heart and His – and look at the differences between them. And when you ask,whatever you ask, believe that He will answer you. Remember that He said, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:13-14)
He wants to bless you. He wants you to have freedom. He wants you to be whole – saved, healed and delivered – in every aspect of your life. Stop settling for less than everything that is yours. Start trusting Him for promises fulfilled.[custom_author=Amy]