I want to make three statements to you about the touch of God on someone’s life.
- Once God touches and possesses someone, it isn’t a part-time possession. It’s for a lifetime. The Lord will never surrender to Satan what is his.
- Those whom God possesses, he preserves. We may falter, fail or fall into devastating sin. But once God possesses us he will never, ever give up on us: “For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake his saints; they are preserved forever” (Psalm 37:28). “The Lord preserves all who love him” (145:20).
- Those whom God possesses, he prepares for ever-increasing usefulness. This includes even fallen, discouraged servants. You may be convinced God has given up on you, that he can’t use you anymore. But if you have a contrite heart, you’re being prepared for something greater. God uses even those things Satan intends to destroy us with.
I want to prove to you that once God touches and possesses you, he will deliver you out of every satanic snare, if you call on him. And he will use everything in your life – including your failures, problems and trials – to prepare you for his best, which is still ahead.
Think back to the time when God came to you, supernaturally touching your soul. He called you to himself and filled you with his Spirit. At that moment, God made a commitment to you: “I want you. And I claim you. You are my possession.” He took control of your life, and nothing was going to change that fact. You became God’s purchased possession: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which he purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
The Creator of the universe bought you with the price of his own blood. And nothing has power over that blood. So you remain God’s possession, even when the powers of hell seduce and condemn you. God answers, “No, devil, you can’t have him. Release my property!”
Consider Israel’s leader: Moses, a man possessed by God.
Moses was possessed by God. The Lord preserved him through trial after trial. And all along God was preparing him for a great work.
Moses was touched and anointed by God while he lived in Pharaoh’s household. As a result, Moses refused to be called Pharaoh’s son: “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:25-27).
There was no doubting God’s touch on Moses’ life while he was in Egypt. Moses knew he was called to deliver Israel. But when he killed the Egyptian slave driver, he had to flee the country. Little did he know he was about to enter a long wilderness period. He would be hidden on the back side of a desert for forty years, tending his father-in-law’s sheep.
The wilderness period in Moses’ life is a time faced by many God-possessed servants. They feel stuck in a place far beneath their abilities. Their role is desperately short of what they believe God has in mind for them.
I wonder how often Moses looked at his flock of sheep and prayed, “God, you touched me so clearly. Surely you could entrust me with more than tending these few sheep. You gave me an education from Egypt’s highest learning centers. You showed me mighty things that could be done through your hand. Is this all there is for me?”
I believe Moses was convinced time had run out for him. He had no voice, no message. So, he resigned himself to being a back-side-of-the-wilderness shepherd. But God was committed to this man. And even while Moses was frustrated with his limited existence, the Lord was preserving and preparing him for greater things.
Then Moses had his encounter with the burning bush. A voice came out of it, saying, “Take off your shoes, Moses. You’re on holy ground.” The Lord spoke a message directly to Moses’ heart, and Moses’ life was never the same. God instructed him, “Go, gather the children of Israel. Tell Pharaoh, ‘Let my people go.’”
That burning bush was the fire of the Holy Ghost moving through a natural object. God took a useless shrub and caused incredible changes to take place through it.
What about you? You may be frustrated with your limited existence. But God is committed to you, just as he was to Moses. All the while, he is preserving and preparing you for a new walk with the Lord such as you’ve never experienced, and to minister Christ as never before. Your role is simply to believe God will take you to higher, holy ground.
David also was a God-possessed man.
At the very height of God’s blessing, David was surprised by an attack of lust. This righteous king had just won a string of victories over enemy after enemy. Then David spied Bathsheba and was overcome by a horrendous lust. He committed adultery, conceiving a child with her. David tried desperately to hide his terrible sin, manipulating and lying to cover it up. Finally, he fell so low that he caused the murder of Bathsheba’s husband.
If you lived during David’s time, you’d probably think, “God has given up on that man. He has sinned against such great light.” Yet, what does David’s low point represent to us today? It’s a picture of the God-possessed servant who has been surprised by an overwhelming lust. Satan tries to surprise every servant who’s serious about his walk with God.
Have you been surprised and overtaken by a lust of some kind? You may have had a clean history, an admirable walk with Jesus. But the devil got you in his sights, took aim and shot a hellish arsenal of fiery darts.
Or maybe you’re able to say, “I don’t have any such sin in my life. I have a clean walk.” But what about the mother of all sins: unbelief? Perhaps you came to a place of victory, a peak in your walk of faith, when out of nowhere you were overcome with unbelief. You were plagued by depression, fear, anxiety, even anger at God. Suddenly, you began to doubt God’s presence in your life.
It doesn’t matter what your iniquity may be. There is no sin in your life that would cause God to give up on you. You are still his purchased possession. Even though David despised God by committing adultery, the Lord didn’t quit on him. Scripture says the Lord sent Nathan to David, and the prophet confronted him, saying, “You have committed adultery.” How did David respond? He humbled himself, confessing, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13).
Of course, David suffered dire consequences for his sin. But God preserved him through the whole ordeal. Afterward, Nathan told David, “The Lord also has put away your sin” (12:13). In fact, David was being prepared for even greater ministry after his fall. His voice was heard throughout the land as never before. And today we read his anointed words in the Psalms. Indeed, the Word that God revealed to David through his trial is a Word still being preached today.
Peter was truly a God-possessed man.
The God-possessed disciple committed the worst sin of all. It was one thing for Moses to flee and hide from God. It was another for David to despise the Lord. But worst of all, Peter denied knowing Christ. He even cursed his Lord.
Jesus had said his good friend Peter was a rock. The bold disciple had even walked on water with the Lord. And he had boldly sworn he would die for his Master. Yet later, when Peter was accused of being Christ’s disciple, he answered, “I do not know the man!” (Matthew 26:72). As the crowd persisted, “Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the man!’” (26:74).
Can you imagine such an awful scene? Had we known Peter, we would have thought, “That’s it, Peter is finished. He denied Jesus, helping send him to the cross. There’s no hope for this man. God has given up on him.”
No! God wouldn’t give up his ownership. He was going to preserve Peter. And he declared, “No, devil, he’s my property. Just watch what I do with this man.” Peter was apprehended by the Holy Ghost. And the Spirit brought to Peter’s remembrance what Christ had said: “And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly” (26:75).
The Holy Ghost fell on Peter, convicting and melting him. The disciple was given a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Just a few weeks later, we see a wholly different man. Peter preached the gospel boldly at Pentecost to at least 3,000 people. The disciple who had shriveled in cowardice was now a fearless evangelist, full of fire.
Here is a prime example of how the Lord preserves and prepares his possessions. Peter was being prepared even in his denial of Jesus. What the devil intended as gross evil, God turned into his own glory.
God has made an oath to preserve and make fruitful everyone he possesses.
The Lord makes the following covenant promises to bring you freedom, rest and victory:
- God has promised to subdue all our sins. “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19). The word for “subdue” here means to put down or conquer. The Lord promises to mortify and kill off all our sinful habits and strongholds, through faith and true repentance.
- God has promised to cause us to walk holy. Do you think, “I want to be free but I don’t have the will to forsake my sin”? The Lord answers, “I will cleanse you… I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you will keep my judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 36:25, 27).
- God has promised never to forsake his possessions. The Lord chastens us for our sin but he never forsakes his seed: “If they break my statutes and do not keep my commandments, then I will punish their transgression with the rod... Nevertheless my lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, nor allow my faithfulness to fail. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David: his seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me” (Psalm 89:31-36).
- He has promised to put his fear in our hearts. “I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me” (Jeremiah 32:40).
As you face your own struggle, remember that the Lord will not give up on you. He calls you his friend, and he still has his hand on you. All he asks for is a repentant heart and trust in his promises.
Dear saint, don’t put down this message unchanged. Don’t allow yourself to go away carrying any discouragement, bondage, guilt, stronghold or besetting sin. Instead, lay hold of God’s covenant promises.
You are his possession, and soon he will lead you into green pastures and still waters. By faith, receive his love, power, forgiveness and freedom. Your best days are still to come. Amen!