Creflo Dollar - The Contrast: Identity vs Performance
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the Book of Matthew, chapter 10. We've been talking about "The Contrast". And the last few sessions, we've been talking about performing the law versus performing spiritual authority. And we have spent time, hopefully instructing you that, you know, you don't have to perform to try to do what Jesus has already done, amen? Well, you've hopefully got it real good, that performing to try to be righteous is futile. Performing to try to be redeemed, it's just a waste of time. We don't have to perform to do what Jesus has already done. When Jesus has already done it, what we do is believe it. Amen?
Now, we're doing that and we're going to compare and contrast performance under the law versus performing spiritual authority. Now, we get to the place of seeing why you got to do what you do. And this is going to be pretty amazing. I want to start off by throwing a couple of things at you to think about. You know, when a room in your home goes dark, you don't call Georgia Power do ya? And you don't ask Georgia Power to come to your dark room and turn on your lights, do you? Well, how do you get your lights on? You flip the switch. You turn 'em on yourself. The electric company, once again I'll say this, supplies the power but it's up to you to turn on, or flip the light switch on and put the power to use.
God supplies the power, we put the power to use. God supplies the power, Georgia Power or whatever electric company you have, supplies the power to your house but you have to put it to use by turning the switch on. Does everybody understand that statement? Now, I believe that the number one reason for unanswered prayer is that people are asking God to do something that he has already given us the power and the authority to do for ourselves. Now, think about that. If you're spending time in prayer asking God to do something when he's already given us the power and the authority to do it for ourselves.
Now, righteousness is not one of those things. You can't do that by yourself. Redemption is not one of those things. You can't do that by yourself, but he has graced you with the power and the authority to use his power to accomplish some things here on the earth, and by comparing and contrast, you begin to see very clearly where people have gotten the thing mixed up. Asking God to do things he told us to do isn't going to bring you answers to your prayer. There are two prayers that God will not answer. He will not answer a prayer where you're asking him to do something he's already done. And he's not, number two, going to answer prayer where you're asking him to do something that he told you to do. Amen?
Now, this is so, so, so very important. The average Christian approaches God as if they have no power or no authority at all. And ladies and gentlemen, that's got to change. It's got to change very quickly because, you know, another part of people hearing grace is they think now that I'm under grace, that means I do nothing. Okay? Or they say, "Well, I'm under grace, you know, I just believe". You see how that's mixed up? That was all true as a Christian living under the New Covenant, amen? Where righteousness, and redemption, and wisdom, and sanctification and holiness is concerned. Yeah, you believe God and you don't do nothing 'cause Jesus already did all of that. But when it comes to your spiritual authority.
Everybody say, "Spiritual authority". Authority is the right to command. The authority that God has given you through his grace is a right to execute spiritual law on and in the earth. The right to execute spiritual law, not the law of Moses, not natural law, but spiritual law. And there are spiritual laws that he has given us, has graced us with these spiritual laws and your authority - you're authorized to execute spiritual law just like a policeman is authorized to execute carrying out the law and enforcing the laws of this land, of the city. They are authorized to do so. Glory to God.
You and I have been given the authorization to enforce spiritual law. So you could see how we had to rightly divide the law of Moses with spiritual law, with the law of Jesus. All of these things have got to be rightly divided. You throw 'em all in one bucket, I could make a comment if you don't rightly divide it, you're instantly confused 'cause it sounds like it's contradicting. It's not contradicting. We are now talking about the necessity of you doing something to activate spiritual laws, of you doing something to enforce spiritual laws. A spiritual law is submitting yourself to God. "Resist the devil and he will flee". Well, if you don't enforce that, and resist the devil, he won't flee.
You have the authority over the devil and he says, "Resist him and he'll flee". So, if he messing with you, you don't sit down and say, "Oh, hallelujah. I'm under grace. Take all the wrong truths and apply it the wrong way. I'm just resting in the Lord". No, no. Honey, it's spiritual authority. Spiritual authority. Now, faith appropriates the same way. So when I execute my spiritual authority, praise God, then I can rest in what I've executed but I've got to do something. Does everybody follow what I'm saying? I got to do something.
Now, look at Matthew chapter 10 in verse 1 and we'll begin to look at this. Matthew 10, verse 1. And then, let's go to verse 1, and I'd probably want to read the whole thing, and then verse 7 and 8. See if I could get you out of here early. People were just rejoicing last week, talking about, "Wow, we got of church and it was still light. Can you do that again"? I'll do my best. All right, verse 1, "And when he"... Somebody, somebody said, "You got to catch a plane tonight"? Amen. All right, now watch this, "And when he had called unto him his 12 disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits".
Now we, we're rock and rolling this thing a little bit. Now, most people, what you mean unclean spirits? Most people don't believe in that. Some Christians have never seen somebody that demon possessed. Don't even think that an unclean spirit exists. Boy, it is one of the most fascinating things if you ever have a chance to witness somebody who's skilled in the Word and know their spiritual authority, to cast the devil out of somebody, and to see that devil come out, and then that person get up saying, "Well, you know, what in the world just... I don't even know what was going on". They didn't even recognize.
I just used to be a fanatic about it. Like I went a little bit too far with it. I just, every time was looking for a demon. You got a demon? I walked in this room one night, it was perfect scene. It was a Sunday night and this lady, she was sick but it was demonically orchestrated. And you know one of those, you know, the beds that used to be made out like an iron or metal, she was sitting on that bed when I walked in there, and she one leg down just like a bird sitting on that bed. And she was rocking back and forth, and there was lightning outside and coming in the room, and she was doing all that. And she turned around, she says, "I know you". I said, "I know you know me. I ain't scared of you".
Now, I got to admit, chills when she said, "I know you". Chills went up my arm like, "Oh heck". And then I remembered the movie, "The Exorcist". You know, you get scared, demons jump on you, you know what I mean? I'm like, and then the Bible talks about the seven sons talking of, Sceva. You know, they coming in there talking about, you know, "I cast you out in the name of Paul". And they said, "Now Paul, we know. Jesus, we know. Who are you"? And they jumped on them, stripped them of their clothes and ran them out the door. Church folks today don't even believe belief stuff like that happen. And yet, there is more demon oppression and possession in the world today, and it's with comfort, 'cause there's nobody who understands enough spiritual authority to recognize 'em and cast them out.
Now, I done lost half my folks on the internet, "Like whoa, he talking about demons. That's that weird stuff". No, look at what Jesus said. He said, "When he had called him, his 12 disciples, he gave them power". A power is defined as an ability to get the job done. How many of you know that you're anointed with power to get the job done? He did not put you on this earth powerless, and I'm telling you in these last days, it is time for the body of Christ to stand up in the power and the authority that Jesus has given unto us, and it is time to let the world see us operate in this authority, and in this power, and I'm excited about it. Amen?
"So he gave unto the 12, power against unclean spirits". Power to do what? "To cast them out". Do you know that every born-again... oh, I just saw something. I just saw that. I just saw it. Oh yeah. How come we hadn't seen much of this power? Because you didn't understand grace enough to keep condemnation off your life. And shame and condemnation kept you from functioning in the authority, in the power that is given in you, 'cause when you were perceived to try to operate in power, then that self-doubt would come up and say, "You ain't holy enough. You're not righteous enough. Who do you think you are? You're not perfect enough," and then you would stop and wouldn't operate in your power.
And then you would twist Scriptures like, "The Bible says, 'This kind commeth not out except by prayer and fasting.' And it wasn't referring to kind of spirit, but it was referring to this kind of unbelief". And what happened is your condemnation and your shame, it dwarfed your confidence, and you wouldn't proceed to do it because you didn't think you were, watch this, worthy. Oh, that ends tonight, praise the God. I said, "That ends tonight". And anytime you have that thought when you're starting to operate into your spiritual authority, and anytime you have that thought, that's when you open your mouth and say out loud, "I'm still the righteousness of God. Now come out in the name of Jesus".
Boy, that's strong. Every devil in hell trembled when I just said that 'cause I just removed the mask. They're trying to talk you out of your ability to walk in your spiritual authority. Hallelujah. Man, I tell you, I'm so stirred up. I almost kept my mouth closed and wasn't going to open it no more, because I'm like, "I'mma just sit here in this for a minute". This is where we are now, and I am believing God for a church that will begin to function in their spiritual authority, until all hell begins to tremble, that no devils can be nowhere near us when we have our church services because they afraid people know about their authority. They know about their power. They hunting for demons. They're looking for somebody that need hands laid on 'em. Praise be to God.
And we're there now. We're here. This whole thing is about to experience a switcheroo. You're about to go from people that have been powerfulness, you never were powerless. The power just laid dormant. Now, we're getting ready to wake up the sleeping John on the inside of you. Oh, y'all ain't hearing what I'm saying. You not hearing what I'm saying. If somebody messing with you at work, I dare you to go home before work tomorrow and just sit there and say, "In the name of Jesus, I take authority over that spirit that's operating against such and so, such and so against me, and I command that spirit to cease in its ability to function against me, and I receive it in Jesus's name".
And you go there tomorrow and she's standing at the door, "I wanted to give you some coffee and tell you I apologize for everything I ever did to you". You ain't going to know what I said is true unless you do it. You sit up there and look at me like, "For real? Is that how that happens"? Or you can go do it. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise God. Hallelujah. Glory to God. Oh, you better double pin down your wig, honey, because there's a mighty wind getting ready to blow through your household, getting ready to blow through this church, getting ready to blow through your life. You better get ready, honey. Put your seatbelt on. Hallelujah, glory, glory be to God. Hallelujah. Well, thank you, Jesus. Yeah, glory.
He said, "Cast", He gave you power to cast them out. All right, now watch this, "And to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease". Oh, boy. You know what's the big problem with healing? You keep talking to God about your problem instead of talking to your problem about your God, and what he has already done. Think about what I just said. You keep talking to God about your problem 'cause you don't see yourself with power. You see yourself powerless. So, what does a powerless person do? They go to God. And God is like, "Why are you talking to me about healing them when I have given you the power to do it"? And even when you do it, you say, "Well, I didn't do nothing. The Lord did". He provided the power, you used it.
It's time for you to start using what he gave you. Quit acting like a bunch of spiritual sissies and use the power he gave ya. So when you're confronted with stuff, quit sitting there being scared and wondering what this and that. First things first, "I lay hands on you because I've been given the power by the Almighty God of creation, and now I'm using your power in Jesus's name. I command you to be healed and in Jesus's name I speak to sickness, I speak to this disease. Be healed". You know what we did? He talking to every Christian right here and you limited that power to a few people. Say, "Well, I can't do that 'cause that ain't my gift". No, he gave you the gift of grace, and grace, grace without you earning it has given you power to use. Say out loud, "I have been given power. Anointing. Ability to get results. By the God of grace. To use".
Go to 7. "And as you go, and as you go, preach". And he says, "When you preach, preach saying. As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Jesus is at hand. The kingdom is at hand. Dominion is at hand. So what do I do? Verse 8, "Heal the sick". There it is again. What's the implication? "You heal the sick". Isn't that amazing. Nobody believes in that. Not talking to you, I'm talking about generally in the world, nobody believes that's possible anymore. It is. It is.
I remember, you remember when we did that meeting at Madison Square Gardens. We had a healing service, and the ambulance was bringing people from the hospital that lady that was on the bed. There was all kinds of people coming. I think we, Taffi and I laid hands over everybody. We laid hands on everybody. We dispensed the power. I laid hands on a guy 20 years ago who had leprosy and his sores were still bleeding. Hadn't had anybody touched him in half his life. And the Lord said, "Do you trust me"? I said, "I do". He said, "Hug this man". I grabbed him and hugged him. I finished. Blood was all over my clothes and everything. I laid hands on over 10,000 people that day. They had to carry me out.
Now, I believe that you know, you can pray... I've heard all kinds of weird things about, "Well, you can pray. You don't have to lay hands". And I reckon you don't but he's given me power to heal the sick, I'm going to use it. We come up with all kinds. "Well, I ain't gon' use it till the Lord tells me to". We keep coming up with religious, spiritual excuses because we don't believe. Believe what? That we have power. "Yeah, but what if they get healed"? That ain't none of your business. It really is not. He's already declared it. You and I believe we receive it and we lay hands, and we heal the sick.
One of my confessions is, "Father, when I lay hands on the sick, they get well". "Yeah, but what if they didn't"? That ain't got... no. I lay hands on the sick. They get well. Of course, they got to receive it. I could reach out and give you something. You got to receive it, but I'm not going say what ain't working that he told me would work just 'cause you failed to receive it. I'm not doing that. Or you go back and do the same thing. When I lay hands on the sick, they get well. Well, what if they don't fall out? Is falling out a prerequisite of somebody getting well? And so, you're more concerned about pushing them to the ground so it look like they got well?
Man, the miracles this ministry has seen over the last, ooh, 36, 37 years has been amazing. It's weird. You don't hear that too much but nobody's... you know, what's going on with that? We don't hear that too much. About time for me to get Richard Roberts back here. Now, he carries an anointing of healing, but every believer has the power. Every believer can use the healing anointing. Every believer can. Do it. "Yeah, but I'm scared". You can tell it in the room almost. "I'm not really excited about hearing this part because I don't plan on doing it". "You, the preacher, you do the healing". "No, but you're the believer, and as for the believer, they'll lay hands on the sick, and the sick will recover". Amen. "Heal the sick," watch this, "cleanse the lepers".
All right now, you thought healing was something. "Raise the dead". I just want to check out what you're thinking about. "Raise the dead". You ought to get your iPhone, flip it, so you can see how you look right now. "Raise the dead. Cast out devils". There it is again. So there must be some devils housed in some people if he keep talking about "cast them out".