I was singing, 'Turn it over to Jesus' while washing the dishes. It is a song my grandma used to sing, as she worked around the yard. We've sung it many times over in church, I can recall. I pondered on the words of the song for awhile, and then I started thinking about why a response to an altar call, sometimes, does not yield an experience of healing or change in any form.
My belief is that, sometimes we go to the altar expecting a 'quick fix' or we present the symptoms, not realising that we need to deal with what's at the root of the problem (the spirit of disobedience). By not addressing our need to turn it all over to Jesus; totally submitting our will to the will of God, we constantly return to the altar but have no experience of the joy that comes from total submission.
The root of the problem:
In Genesis we discover the root of the problem when Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
God placed Adam in the garden and said to him:
"You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day." (Genesis 2:16 & 17)
Adam disobeyed this one command, when he listened to Eve, and ate the fruit which he was forbidden to eat.
Release of the spirits:
At the point of disobedience evil spirits are released. We see the spirit of deception, when Eve was approached by the snake [satan]. However, Eve would not have been deceived, had she not disobeyed, God. From this it is clear that when we are disobedient to God's instructions, we open the door to the devil, giving him authority over our lives.
The spirit of fear was then displayed, when Adam hid from God [Gen 3:10] saying:
"I heard you in the garden; I was afraid and hid from you, because I was naked."
This still happens today. We know when we are wrong and so we hide. We hide from church for fear of the Pastor or any of the church members recognising our faults or pulling us up on it. Or if we see a church member on the street or in the supermarket we try to avoid eye contact. But we have to remember that we cannot hide from God.
We then discover the spirit of jealousy as it was displayed by Cain when God accepted his brother's offering and rejected his:
"Cain became furious, and he scowled in anger." (Genesis 4:5)
Cain's anger resulted in him committing murder. And this is why, as believers, we have to be mindful of our thoughts and attitude towards one another. Everything we do must be done out of love and unto God, not unto man. For if we do to please man and are not appreciated for our efforts, we become like Cain when we see others being blessed.
If you find that jealousy is springing from within, check yourself. Go to God seeking a cleansing; He'll make you over. Then with a new attitude, you can see clearly in making adjustments to your behaviour. You will no longer see your brother or sister as the enemy, for the simple fact that they choose to walk right with God and receive His blessings. If God is pleased with your brother or sister, be pleased for them. Extend yourself for that believer and help them along the way. We are all working towards the same goal.
When Cain became furious God asked:
"Why are you angry? Why that scowl on your face? If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling; but because you have done evil, sin is crouching at your door. It wants to rule you, but you must overcome it." (Genesis 4:6 & 7)
Cain held such contempt in his heart for his brother that he wasn't interested in overcoming. He didn't recognise the spirit of jealousy at work in him. He wanted to satisfy his anger for not receiving a blessing for his offering. And so he killed his brother, though his brother (Abel) had done him no wrong.
God continues to bless us for our obedience and the same spirit that possessed Cain is in our churches today. For this reason, ministries are dying in the same manner. The same spirit is in our workplaces and careers are dying as individuals give up on their dreams. We find this spirit in our schools, in the community and within the government system. It's everywhere. You cannot escape it but you can follow God's instructions and avoid being contaminated. For the sake of the kingdom, 'you must over come it.'
What happens when we disobey?
Throughout the bible there are examples of what happens to the children of disobedience. A curse [punishment] follows disobedience, while blessings follow obedience.
For example: The Israelites disobeyed God's instructions and was left to wander in the wilderness for 40 years, today we call that the great depression. This happened before, when Cain, instead of turning from wrong and doing that which he knew was right, turned on his brother and killed him. God said to Cain in verse12: "If you try to grow crops, the soil will not produce anything; you will be a homeless wanderer on the earth." So it is evident that a curse is placed upon us, or rather a punishment is set for our disobedience. In 2nd Samuel we see other examples of curse/punishment following disobedience concerning king David and his household.
Therefore, one of the reasons change is not evident in our lives is that, although we respond to the altar call and go expecting to receive healing, we are often placing the symptoms at the altar, instead of addressing the root of the problem. And when we don't see change we get depressed.
Breaking the Curse and receiving Healing
To receive healing we are required to be obedient to God. We may need healing in our finances, for example, but we refuse to bring our first fruits to God. God says: "You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me" (Mal 3:9) So in my limited knowledge, I believe the curse will need to be broken first for us to then receive healing in our finances. God has given us instructions in this same chapter on how to break this curse:
"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it." (Mal 3:10)
That's all we have to do, give God his dues and the financial curse will be broken. There is a lot more to gain when we give of our first fruits because God promised in verse 11 to "rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field"
Being obedient to God means that we have to give up doing things our way and totally submit to the His will. When we choose to disobey Him in doing things our way the result is a curse. If we are not obeying God then we are subjected to the spirits of darkness.
What I have learned from this lesson:
When we disobey God, we open the door to the enemy, giving him authority over our lives. When the evil spirits are released, depression is often present to disguise the real problem. This is why we often see the end result of a situation as the problem. Therefore, we go to the altar expecting healing for the depression, desiring a quick fix. But what caused the depression in the first place was the fact that we disobeyed the command. The devil doesn't want you to know that, so he makes you feel like you've achieved something when you go to the altar and receive prayer. He's cool with that because he has blinded you to the truth and so he knows, going to the altar won't do much for you. As long as you are constantly treating the symptoms and not the root of the problem, satan will have an edge over your life. But today you have the opportunity to choose life.
Satan deceived Eve and today he still goes around trying to deceive us. God cursed him in the Garden of Eden (see Gen 3:14-15). God then left us a reminder that satan comes to 'steal, kill and destroy' (John 10:10), so don't allow these evil spirits that he releases, to kill you. You were created to worship God, so don't give the devil any hold over your life. Don't allow him to rob you of your blessings; your joy in the Lord. Refuse to allow him access to your life so you can live a life of abundance.
Refusing to turn it over to Jesus finds us struggling with the issues that appear in our daily lives. But if we fully commit to God and turning it all over to Him, He will take care of all our worries. He will fight our battles and we'll have the victory.
In revelation we are given an insight to the result of the problem. So don't wait until it's too late. God is giving us an opportunity to reconcile and make our souls right with Him so that we do not have to face the ultimate destruction. He doesn't want us to die in our sins, so we should take this opportunity to be released from the demons that are controlling our lives.
Let us turn it all over to Jesus. He died so that we might live. If you find that you have left Christ out of your life, it's time for spiritual renewal. Renew your vows to Him today. Place God on His rightful throne. Confess your sins and seek forgiveness from Him (Don't try to cover up your sins like David did, initially, it will only prolong the pain, confusion and punishment and it will extend to your household). Then thank Him for allowing you the opportunity to repent.
Now use your weapons of warfare and continue to give God praise. Worship Him. That's what we were created for. It was for His pleasure we were made, not our own. It is His will that we must follow, not our own. Rebuke the evil spirits, close the doors and windows that left you exposed to these spirits and allow God to reign in your life.
Once you've been delivered, stay free. Do not re-contaminate yourself. Heed the message in 2nd Corinthians 6:17 'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord'
God bless you.
Copyright Janice S. Ramkissoon 2008
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.