Most believers spend their entire lives chasing something they already have. They are always asking the Lord to do something, to bless, heal, deliver or prosper them when the reality is that they are seeking what they have been given already. Ephesians 1:3 tells us: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” The phrase who has blessed us means that it is something that has already happened.
By Dr Doug Mamvura
These are not blessings to be sought after, but rather blessings to be discovered and enjoyed.
A victorious Christian isn’t seeking victory, but rather enforcing the victory that has already been won through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It is important that we realise that as believers we are not trying to get something from God, instead we are fighting to receive the full manifestation of what is already ours in Christ. We are not the sick trying to get healed, but we are the healed resisting sickness. We are not begging God to prosper us financially, we are fighting the good fight of faith to see the prosperity that has already been given to us in 2 Corinthians 8:9 to manifest. We are not asking Him to bless us because He has already commanded His blessing upon us as we have already seen in Ephesians 1:3.
When we understand that God has already blessed, healed and prospered us, it removes the legalistic performance mentality. Some of us think that it is through our good works that God is going to bless us and yet this is not true because this was accomplished more than 2 000 years ago before you and I were born through the finished work of the cross.
This kind of knowledge will remove the feelings of condemnation and unworthiness from you which most preachers unfortunately always want to reinforce instead of preaching God’s love for you. You will recognise that everything has already been given. Since it was supplied before you were even born, your worthiness or lack thereof has nothing to do with it.
It is not possible to doubt that God would give you something that you know He has already supplied. The knowledge that He has already done it eliminates all doubt.
II Peter 3:1 tells us that we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”. The level of your faith is determined by your knowledge of Him or His Word. With this knowledge you will no more pray “Oh God I know you can, please do it for me. Do it for me Lord”. That is a prayer of unbelief. The question is will you receive what He has already done for you? God has done all that He could do in our redemption. He gave His only begotten Son as a substitute for our sins. His finished work meets every need of you and I. When He planned our redemption, it covered every need.
I thank God for the men and women whom He has anointed to compose songs of worship and most of these songs minister to our spirits even as we worship our heavenly Father. However, we also have to be very careful about some of the songs we sing in our churches because while they may sound very spiritual, they are full of unbelief. In some of our churches we sing about how “Desperate we are for God”. Please don’t get me wrong. I like those tunes and the overall message. However, I prefer to sing “I am in love with You, instead of I am desperate for You”.
Let us look at the definition of the word “desperate”. The word desperate comes from the Latin word meaning “despair”. Let us look at the dictionary definitions: (1) Reckless or violent because of despair, driven to take any risk; (2) undertaken as a last resort; (3) nearly hopeless, critical; (4) in an unbearable situation because of need or anxiety.
The synonyms for despair are hopelessness, depression, discouragement and dejection. All of these denote emotional states marked by lowness of spirits or loss of hope. Despair and hopelessness stress the utter absence of hope and often imply a sense of powerlessness or resignation.
When you sing “Lord I am desperate for You”, what do you mean? Are you saying, “Lord I am in love with You and want You more than anything else?” If so, then that is fine. But according to the dictionary, you are really saying, “I am in despair because of this extreme unbearable situation.” There are no grounds for hope, but I am anxiously, recklessly and violently fighting back anyway.
If that is what you mean by being “desperate for the Lord” it is absolutely wrong. The only reason for Christians to be desperate is if that person doesn’t understand what God has already done. The Lord has already blessed us, healed us, delivered us, and prospered us. He loves us and nothing will ever change that. The only reason to be hopeless, helpless and in despair is if we don’t know who we are and what we have in Christ. We need a full revelation of what Jesus has done for us. However, this doesn’t mean we won’t ever have problems. But in the midst of them, we can say: “Father, You have already supplied this before I already have it. I know it is there so I am drawing near to You. Thank You for revealing it to me.” Christians should never be hopeless or full of despair.
I am not yet done with songs. When you sing, “I am hungry for God”, what do you mean? If you are expressing desire that is fine, God I love You and want You more than anything else! However, a closer look at the dictionary definition of hunger reveals hurt, pain, agony, depression and despair that accompanies not having your needs met.
Many people sing “God I am desperate and hungry for You” and mean I am so miserable. “Life is terrible, but I am looking for You. You are my answer and I believe that out there somewhere You are going to do something to meet my needs.” That is completely the opposite of the revelation of God’s Word. I struggle when I hear in some of the churches the worship team singing “We are desperate and hungry for you. Oh God do something. We need a move. Touch us. Please do something new!” In my heart I am just saying if you are hungry or desperate for God, go to John 6:35 which declares: “I am the bread of life, he that comes to me shall never hunger and he that believes in me shall never thirst.”
Now please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I use the term “getting hungry” in the sense that you have a deep yearning for Him. The point is you must hunger for or strongly desire and focus on the things of God in order to experience them. The Lord doesn’t come to those who just passively seek Him. You must pursue Him wholeheartedly. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord. Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end… And you shall seek me and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:11,13). This type of hunger is godly. But if the hunger you mean is “Oh Lord I am so empty. I have no peace, no hope. God where are You? I am desperate for You”, that is not right and that is not faith. Yet this is what is being proclaimed and modelled in the body of Christ today as being normal experience.
Instead of giving in to hunger, discouragement and despair, I remind myself of God’s Word. I don’t pray “Lord do something new or touch me. I am looking for something else from You.” That would be an insult against what He has already done. Instead I pray: “Father Your Word says whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world (1 John 5:4) so I am an over-comer, I am not a victim, but a victor. It says as Christ is so am I in this world (1 John 4:17). Christ is not sick so I should never be sick. Christ is not broke so I should never be broke”. John 6:35 tells me that I should never hunger nor thirst again. I know that on the inside of me, there is love, joy, peace, all the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Everything I need is already there. So Father I know you have already done your part. Mine is to believe what you have already done”.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura.