Today I hope to challenge your thinking with the results being a better life for you.  As I’ve written before, people for the most part resist change.  We can SAY we like change, but old habits are truly difficult to break, and most of us know that from experience, for we are creatures of habit.  Here’s something to consider very carefully, for it affects every aspect of your life; do your ways please the LORD?
   We live in a covenant of grace, but exploring grace, I find it is mercy to forgive our errors when we are TRYING to do right, and we all fall short of the glory of God, the Bible tells us so.  But grace is like a safety net for a tight-wire walker, to catch him if he falls.  It is not his intention to fall off, but in case he does, there is a safety net to catch him to spare his life.  Grace is a “safety net”, and NOT an excuse to use it like a trampoline.  Some people think grace allows you to live any way you wish and there are no consequences for inattention or disregard of what God says is pleasing in His sight.  Oh, you can say you’re sorry, and you’re right back in God’s good grace, and you can just keep doing that time after time, right?  Wrong.  Jesus said the following in Matthew 5:17-20:
Mat 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Mat 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Mat 5:20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
He did not come to DESTROY the law, but to FULFIL it.  Tell me, is there a difference between putting a glass under a faucet and filling it till it runs over and will hold no more, versus, taking that same glass and breaking it on the floor?  Well, that’s the difference Jesus spoke of.  How we regard those verses must surely affect if our ways are pleasing to God.
   I can preach a prosperity message to you and maybe convince you to give money to get money.  And you could give me some of your money, and if enough people give to me, they can make me rich like some preachers are getting rich by your giving to them.  BUT YOU CAN’T GIVE ME HEALTH!  Only God can do that, and He will if your ways are pleasing to you.  If you want to show God you really love Him, as Jesus said in John 14:15, If ye love me, keep my commandments, and again in John 15:10-12,
Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
Joh 15:11  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
      God freely saved me and healed me back in 1993, and I haven’t had a sick day since.  I determined that day to do all I could to please the LORD, and I believe the reason I have continued to stay healthy is that my most earnest desire is to please Him.  You see, I didn’t go back to my old ways, but I repented of my sins.  Have I done everything perfectly since?  Heavens, no, and I’m so thankful for GRACE for when I fail, but I DO NOT USE GRACE FOR A TRAMPOLINE!  I have reverential fear of the LORD, and I think that is largely missing in the body of Christ today.  Grace is preached so much, that God has been lowered in stature to become our fishing buddy or best friend rather than feared as Almighty God.  As it is written of Moses in Hebrews 12:17-21:
Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Heb 12:18  For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
Heb 12:19  And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
Heb 12:20  (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
Heb 12:21  And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
    Moses had a healthy fear of God, and yet we know that Moses disregarded God’s commandment to speak to a rock and it would give forth water.  Instead, Moses STRUCK the rock, and although it gave forth water, because of his disobedience, Moses was allowed to SEE the Promised Land, but he was not allowed to ENTER it.  GOD NEVER CHANGES, so do you think He views disregard and disobedience any differently today than He did back then?  You tell me.  Grace is wonderful, but how are YOU using it?  Are your ways pleasing to the LORD?
     When I teach on healing, I make it clear we are to understand our healing is already paid for, the promises ARE unto us, and healing is part of salvation, according to Psalm 103:2-3 and several other scriptures.  We are to use those scriptures to speak TO the disease and command it to leave our body, and deny it the right to exist in our body due to what Jesus did.  We have scriptural authority to do so.  God gave us faith to use His Word, and He backs His Word from heaven.  So, when I see people who for one reason or another seem to not be receiving their healing, I start wondering why.  The Word is infallible. God gave us His very own faith to use the Word, and it will work for us, if….IF what?  If we have the right to use it!  The right to use His Name comes from having a relationship with Him.  What happens if we try to use His name without that relationship?  Let’s read about the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-17:
Act 19:13  Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.
Act 19:14  And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
Act 19:15  And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?
Act 19:16  And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Act 19:17  And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
   You see, the devil recognizes the Word and has to obey, BUT, he also knows who does and does not have the right to invoke the Word against him, as we can clearly see by the example above.  When our ways are pleasing to the LORD, He is pleased to back up the Word spoken by us.  And if our ways are not pleasing to Him, we know what to do, and it is simple: REPENT and obey Him.  A man or woman of God can send the Word and heal someone just like the early disciples, but whether or not that person STAYS healed is determined by the person receiving that healing, whether they have determined to make their ways pleasing unto God, or not.
Here’s a really good example in John 5:2-14:
Joh 5:2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Joh 5:3  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
Joh 5:4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Joh 5:5  And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
Joh 5:6  When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Joh 5:7  The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Joh 5:8  Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
Joh 5:9  And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Joh 5:10  The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy
Joh 5:11  He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
Joh 5:12  Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
Joh 5:13  And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
Joh 5:14  Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
   Now, if Jesus healed him, wouldn’t he just automatically STAY healed?  You see, Jesus knew that man’s ways would have to be pleasing to the LORD in order for him to REMAIN healed.  Is it any different today?  Or have we falsely believed we can use GRACE any old way we please?  If we will make our ways pleasing to the LORD by obeying Him, getting and staying healed should not be a problem, and God’s Word will work for us.  We need to eliminate our disobedience before we go thinking God is not keeping His promises.