What to Say…and What Not To!

by Lester Young

Here’s a somewhat unusual verse: “…The inhabitant [of Zion] shall not say ‘I am sick’: the people that dwell there [shall be] forgiven [their] sins” (Isaiah 33:24). Come on now, how many times have you heard that one taught in Sunday School? Not one of the standard ‘mainline’ Scriptures, to be sure; but then, upon further review, it actually should be.

What does this passage mean? Are we supposed to believe there won’t be any sick people in Zion? Well, now, that’s not exactly what the verse said. It literally tells us that “no one who’s living in Zion is going to say, ‘I’m sick.'” So, no one’s going to be sick in Zion. Nooo, that’s not what the verse said. It said, “No one who dwells in Zion is to say, ‘I’m sick!’ Why? Because they’ve been forgiven of their sins!”

Jesus played out this passage of Scripture perfectly for us when He told a paralyzed man to get up and go home – and the man got up and went. Now, it’s interesting to note here that the very first thing the Lord said to that palsied man was “Cheer up, son; all your sins have been forgiven!” (Matthew 9:2) Of course, certain members of the peanut gallery that typically followed Him around became indignant at those words (as they did about pretty much everything Jesus said or did); to which He dropped a proverbial bomb on them by asking a very simple, possibly even simplistic, question: “Which one’s easier to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or, ‘Get up and walk’?” (Matthew 9:3-5)

What Jesus was cryptically saying is that all the ‘curse’ (every bit of it: all sickness, all poverty and lack, all “progressive” death in whatever form it takes [see Deuteronomy 28:15-68]) is inextricably tied to man’s inherent condition of ‘sin’ (Proverbs 26:2; Galatians 3:10, 22). Where one is, the other’s there, also. Take away one – either one – and the other must be gone, too; leaving only God’s Blessing in place (Galatians 3:13-14). So, when Jesus told the man, “Your sins have been forgiven;” though unspoken, He was also automatically saying to him, “All the curse is lifted, and it has no more right to affect you; so get on up from there, because now you’re blessed!” But, just for good measure, He went at it from the other angle too, telling the invalid man to “get up, pack up your bed and go home.” And, by summarily getting up and leaving under his own power in front of all of them, the man proved that his sickness (and therefore the curse) was gone, and so his sins must have been gone, too. One problem, but two different (though intimately related) directions for solving it.

Okay, fine…but exactly who is it that’s living in Zion? Well, if you’re in Christ Jesus, you are – or, at least, you should be. Isaiah 33:20 tells us that Zion is, of course, Jerusalem; and the Jerusalem that’s above (our ‘Mother’ from which all in Christ are born, as ‘children of [the] promise’) corresponds to the New Covenant – that is, the salvation of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 4:22-28). We’re all citizens of that Kingdom, New Jerusalem (Galatians 4:26; Philippians 3:20; Revelation 21:2).

But, are you truly living there? Is your mind dwelling, centered and grounded, on the promises of that new covenant, promises which have been ratified to you by the blood of Jesus? Regardless of how you might feel or whatever symptoms your body may be showing, are you nevertheless praising God (who can’t lie, by the way) by boldly declaring, “I don’t care what the natural looks or feels like, by Jesus’ stripes I’m healed!”? (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18; 1 Peter 2:24) Are you speaking and confessing the solution, or do you continue to talk the problem?

Remember, Jesus said, “If you’re truly believing what you’re saying, you’re going to have whatsoever you say” (Mark 11:23). You may be living with a ‘fact’ that your body is sick or your bank account is below empty. But, first and foremost, we’re citizens of that ‘above’ Kingdom, not this one below. As citizens of Zion, we should therefore not be saying, “I’m sick;” or, “I’m broke;” or, “Woe is me” (about anything); or any other words that are obstinate against God’s promises of salvation (Malachi 3:13). We’ve been given the right, the power and the luxury to live in the Truth (John 17:17); and that truth says, “You’re healed, you’re rich and you’re prosperous in every area of life, because you’re blessed” (Galatians 3:14; Deuteronomy 28:1-13). Never lose sight of the principle that Truth will always change ‘facts’ (Isaiah 55:11).

The Lord Jesus has already told us, “Cheer up! I’ve handled everything. Your sins have been forgiven. And, not just forgiven – your slate’s been wiped completely clean! So, what’re you waiting for? Get on up from there, because now you’re blessed!”

Maybe that verse isn’t so unusual, after all.

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8 Comments to “What to Say…and What Not To!”

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us, Lester.

  2. Hi,
    Thank you Lester. So many of our dear brothers and sisters who are walking in Christ do not know that healing is for today. That we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven. Thank you for explaining this so beautifully. By his stripes, I am healed.

  3. Amen. As the redeemed of the Lord, and partakers of the New Covenant, we need to get our minds thinking the right thoughts, not the wrong thoughts of unbelief and the unregenerated mind. Thank you, Lester. Dee

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