Hope, Healing & Freedom Podcast : Ep 35
Is your hope being stolen? I’m Lee Whitman and in today’s podcast I want to talk about something that may be stealing your hope and you might be unknowingly standing by and allowing it to happen.
Have you ever encountered a situation in life where you have asked, Why doesn’t God do something about this? I think if we are honest, we all have had those moments in life and for some of us it has been more than a moment.
Today I am taking much of this podcast from a wonderfully challenging book by Charles Martin called What If It’s True? I highly recommend this book. In it Charles Martin asks the question, “What if every single word of the Bible is absolutely true and we lived our lives completely on that Word? What if the King of the universe is speaking directly to me today? If I completely believed this, how should I respond, how should I live my life?” He challenged me (LEE) to ask the question, Am I living my life according to the Words of Jesus and the bible, or am I living a form of cultural Christianity? There are many things I read about in the Bible that I am not experiencing in my life on a daily basis. Did I mention that this book is challenging me at a very deep level?
I want to focus this podcast on one small part of this book. Martin talks about a spirit that is stealing many Christians’ hope. He calls this spirit Resignation. “Resignation is an ever-so-slight-yet-continual chipping away of your faith. His goal is to take the Rock of our Salvation, our Chief Cornerstone, our Mt. Everest, and over time, chip away at it until it hands us a river pebble about the size of a cap on a ChapStick tube. It does this by calling into question the truths spoken in Scripture.”
This spirit causes us to resign ourselves to settling for less than what is promised in the Bible. Resignation spins the lie that says our enemy is stronger than our King. Instead of looking to the Word of God to determine what is true, Resignation leads us to look at our circumstances to determine what is true.
Let’s look at a perfect example of how this spirit of resignation works from the story of Joshua and Caleb and the twelve spies found in Numbers 13. The story begins with God telling Moses, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel.” The twelve spies were being sent into a land that God said He had already given to the children of Israel. This land was already theirs by promise.
Upon returning from scouting out the land, ten of the spies were affected by this spirit of resignation. Their report was that “We can’t win. The giants are too big and we are too small.” You see the spirit of resignation always tells half-truths. The truth was the giants were big. But the God of Angel Armies had promised this land to them. What were they going to believe? The circumstances, the giants they could see with their own eyes, or would they believe the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that had promised them this land?
We walk in that same tension today. Many of us face situations with our finances, with our families, in our marriages, or with our health that currently do not line up with the promises of God. Do we believe our circumstances or do we believe what God says. I struggle with this on an almost daily basis. When I look at the situation in the world around us and the rise of evil and compare it to the promises in God’s Word, I unfortunately find myself agreeing with this spirit of Resignation and saying things like “It’s no use.” “Nothing has changed as a result of my prayers.” “Why should I expect a different outcome?” “I didn’t succeed before.” or as Charles Martin points out the classic Resignation lie, “It’s inevitable!”
I am personally challenged by what I am saying today. I have allowed the spirit of resignation to cause me to discount the words of Jesus. For example, I am dealing with some health issues. As you know I have had two heart attacks and currently I am dealing with some other health related problems. The Word of God says in Isaiah 53:5 that by His stripes I am healed. Do I believe that verse is true? Yes, I believe it whole heartedly……..for you! As I write this, I am realizing how much this spirit of resignation has caused me to put more faith in my circumstances than in the Word of God. I can absolutely believe in healing for you, but due to listening to this spirit, I struggle believing for my own healing. This chipping away of our faith does not happen all at once, but our faith is being eroded over time little by little. Charles Martins book was a wakeup call for me, and I am hoping this podcast might be a wakeup call for you.
My concern for all of us is that we allow this spirit of resignation to steal the power of the Word of God from us. In RTF we have a teaching called the facts vs the truth. On a human level we look at the circumstances and situations of life to give us certain facts. For example, when the bank account says zero we call that a fact that we don’t have any money. Being confronted with a fact like this, we are presented a choice. Do we believe the facts or are we going to believe what God says. This spirit of resignation is going to tell us that we have to believe the facts, that the facts are telling us the truth. And when we do believe what appears to be the facts, we are then under the control of that spirit which leads us to experience death because we are believing a lie. The death we experience is not physical death, but it is death of peace due to worry and dread, or death of sleep, or death of our destiny because we have empowered the lie to control our future. When you believe a lie, you empower the liar to operate in your life, and his only desire is to steal and kill and destroy.
If however, when we get to that point of choice and make the choice that we are going to believe God’s Word, His Promises, and His Character over what appears to be the facts, then He is able to show us that His truth supersedes the facts.
Cindi and I experienced this tension firsthand in 2011. We believed that God was calling us to go to Restoring the Foundations and get trained in RTF, but we literally had no money. We were telling our situation to our friend James Gall when he stuck his prophets finder in my chest and said, “Turn your application into RTF today!” So in obedience to what we knew was the word of God through James Gall, we put in our application that day, but we told the director of training that we had no money. Since our application was already two weeks past their deadline, he said he could give us two weeks to get our money together. The facts were the bank account said zero. But we knew that God had clearly said we were to go, so we began praying and declaring that God had said for us to attend this training. Everyday I went to the mailbox and kept declaring what God’s truth was for us. On day 14 (what is that saying about God’s grace is never early but it is never late) on day 14 there was a check in our mailbox for $10,000 from someone who had never given to us before then and has not given to us since then.
The facts are not telling us the truth. When we choose the truth of what God says, we will experience life! Life being peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Life being sleep in the midst of the storm, as Jesus did on the boat in Matthew 8:23-27. Life being life coming back into physical problems because the Truth is greater than the facts. The evidence of struggle or hardship in our lives is not telling us the truth. As Charles Martin says “Our hardship does not determine His character or His love for us, and it doesn’t make Him any less King or any less capable or any less good or any less in love with us.”
The choice is ours. This is not an easy decision we make passively. It is a battle. I go back to the story of Joshua and Caleb. It says about Caleb in Numbers 14:24, “But as for my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed Me fully.” Joshua and Caleb believed God in spite of the circumstances before them. Their hearts were fully given to God. I love the way it says that Caleb had a different spirit. Caleb was not listening to the spirit of this world. He was fully given to God and listening to God’s spirit. They believed Him fully and trusted in His provision and in His goodness. This different spirit and complete devotion led Caleb to get up in front of all the people and declare in opposition to the ten spies who were under the influence of this spirit of resignation, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
Where have you resigned? Take a hard and honest assessment of your spiritual life. As Martin says, “Resignation is an attack on our faith. It often comes under the cover of night. Or Hardship. It’s death by a thousand little cuts, and it’s fruit is always fear.” “Defeating resignation is not something we can think our way out of. Resignation is a stronghold. It is a speculation raised up against the knowledge of God.”
The best way to break a stronghold is with RTF Ministry. You may be able to walk yourself through RTF ministry and receive amazing freedom. But you may find that this stronghold is so common and normal that you need a skilled RTF minister to help you break this stronghold and get the freedom that Jesus has for you. Contact the RTF ministry office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that this stronghold wants you to believe that it’s no use, that it is inevitable that you will struggle, that nothing is going to change as a result. Each one of those statements is a lie designed to keep you in bondage to living below what Jesus came to give. Please don’t settle. Don’t resign yourself to the status quo. Today choose to live in the fullness of the abundant life that Jesus offers.
Jesus you have already overcome this enemy of our souls, this stronghold of resignation. Right now I take authority over this stronghold in the name of Jesus and I command resignation to remain silent in the minds of all those listening to this podcast so they can hear your voice clearly. Holy Spirit would you reveal to us any way we are partnering with the spirit of resignation in our life. Lord, as I pray this prayer, I am hearing that resignation is working together with unbelief and discouragement to hold people in bondage. Would you also reveal the lies that are holding this stronghold in place. Would you then show us any unhealed places that are being used by resignation to gain access to our lives. Then Holy Spirit would you give us the courage to take the rightful authority we have as children of God and kick this stronghold out of our lives.
All of this I pray in the mighty and victorious name of Jesus Christ, who is the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Amen.
I added that last part because it really makes our enemy mad. Remember if you need help with dealing with resignation, please contact the RTF ministry office at email@example.com