At the present moment I don't have a tractor or a backhoe or a skid steer to use in the woods. So when I need to drag a dead tree out of the timber to my burn pile, I just hook on to the tree with my pickup and go. As long as the ground is half‐way dry and I don't hook a stump with the tree, I've been amazed at what I can pull with my truck in four‐wheel drive.
If I were to drag a dead tree out of the timber without my truck to back me up, I would have to cut everything to a size I could carry by hand and then pack out the pieces one‐at‐a‐time. And even then I would be using my chainsaw and splitting mall to back me up, or I couldn't do anything at all with the tree.
What is backing up your “Yes” and your “No?” What makes your spoken word effective? What can cause something you say to actually change the environment in a material way?
I can hook a chain on a tree and say “Yes” without any backup and—no matter how much I grunt and groan—the tree stays right where it is. But when I backup my “Yes” with the right equipment and say, “Yes, tree. You will move now!” then the tree has absolutely no choice but to move.
I can say “No, vine. You will not trip me again!” to the wild grape vine that I keep falling over as I'm working in the woods. But until I back up my word with my chainsaw I'll just keep tripping over the darn thing.
The last few days have been spent setting the stage for you to say “Yes!” and “No!” and actually get results. Today we're making the application with “No!” Tomorrow we will make the application with “Yes!”
Do you understand that you do not have to be bounced all over the place like the ball in an old‐fashioned pin ball machine? Do you understand that you do not have to live like a tin can kicked around by the devil? You can say “No!” to the devil and he will flee… but he won't if you don't have something backing you up.
If you have a tendency to just cope with difficult situations, I want to encourage you to please stop it! I realize that some crap will just slip through and bite you. But until you begin to say “No!” with something backing you up, “everything” is going to slip through and bite you. Why not stop what you can?
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7 KJV)
To say “No!” to the devil as a suggestion is not going to work. To say “No!” as a suggestion is to say, in effect, “I don't know if God is going to back me up or not. But I'll give it a try.” This is a very bad plan. I know… I'm quite familiar with this plan. Whenever I say “No!” to something coming against me, just hoping God might help me out, I have effectively shut myself off from receiving any of His power.
Hoping God might back me up has no resemblance to faith. Faith knows. Faith believes. Faith is conviction about the very nature of God—the character of One who can be relied on. Faith says, “I can submit myself completely to God. I am safe with Him. I can trust Him.”
Faith says, “Devil, God tells me that if I stand up to you, then you will run away. I believe what God says… so run!” To say “No!” and have it stick requires absolute confidence in the promises of God.
It's kind of like being threatened by a growling dog. If you think the dog can hurt you, it probably will. You have to get your head into a place where you know the dog can't hurt you, because you have such tremendous confidence in the God who backs up your “No!”
Am I making any sense? If this all still sounds a little weird, then go and rent the science fiction movie titled “The Matrix.” Be warned: You're going to have to sit through a lot of ungodly stuff to get to the illustration at the end of the film, but it's an excellent illustration of what we've been discussing. The hero finally understands that the bullets can only hurt him if he lets them. Enough said… rent the movie if you are struggling with these concepts.
There is a very fine line between a “No” that works and a “No” that doesn't. It takes practice… practice… practice… to understand where that line is. All I can tell you is that if your “No!” doesn't stop the enemy, then it's your deal and not God's. Please don't be offended, but God is never the variable. Keep trying… no matter what. As long as you understand that you are the variable, at some point you will begin to have success. And wouldn't it be better to have a little success than none at all? And none is exactly what you'll have if you don't keep practicing.
As you begin to trust God more and more to back up your “No,” He will begin to personally help you say “No” in very specific ways. Just listen for His direction. Let me illustrate with something that happened to me in May of last year.
I had spent most of the day out in the heat cleaning up our property west of town. That evening I had some pain in my shoulders and neck as a result of both the heat and the activity.
I decided to go to bed about an hour earlier than normal because I sensed that I was going to have an encounter of some sort with God during the night. Before going to sleep I asked Sherrel to pray with me against the pain. She said “No” to the pain, but the pain remained as I fell asleep.
A few hours later, I woke up with excruciating pain—pain so intense that I could not think. I could only react. And I reacted by declaring the Word, rebuking the pain, thanking God, etc. But I was only going through the motions. Everything I was saying and doing was mindless activity—without any thought—because the pain made it impossible for me to think. I was saying “No!” but there was nothing backing it up.
I don't want to forget this point: I was hurting so badly that I was helpless. I could not connect with God in any meaningful way. I could not do what I knew to do. I could not think; I could only “feel.” My total focus was on the pain, and it was if I was helpless to do anything else. It was as if my spiritual presence of mind was extinguished by my physical reality. I could not communicate with God other than to cry out, “God, I am helpless!”
I asked Sherrel for help. She began to speak the Word over me and the pain eased off a bit, but still persisted. After we'd been up a while longer without making any more progress, I suggested that we go back to bed and I would just sleep it off. By this time I was able to think clearly enough to be able to ask God, “What is going on? What should I do?”
God immediately brought an image to my mind. This is what I saw: “The devil had his finger sticking into my neck, scratching what I assumed to be nerve endings.”
And immediately, I also knew exactly what to do. I figuratively (with both a hand motion and a verbal declaration) pulled the devil's finger out of my neck. The pain stopped instantly! How cool is that?
When God showed me exactly how to say “No!” I was in a place of complete confidence in Him. And when I resisted with God backing me up, the devil had no choice but to flee.
Anything God says “No!” to, you can say “No!” to and God will back you up. Try it. It's an awesome thing to stop living like a tin can kicked around by whatever.
Have a good day,