When’s the last time you received word that an event, or appointment, or meeting you were looking forward to was cancelled? How about a cancelled airline flight home for the holidays that kept you waiting in the airport lobby for an extra day?
Once, early on in my music career, I had been scheduled to be part of a warm-up performance for a popular singer named BJ Thomas. He recorded such songs as “Rain Drops Are Fallen on My Head”. Some of my friends had planned to attend that concert and I was so excited. But the concert was “unavoidably cancelled” just a few days before.
I have had weather-related cancellations since that long-ago concert, which I welcomed with a cup of hot chocolate, as the snow swirled in the wind outside my living-room window.
The word “cancellation” has been on my mind since early last week. At the end of our weekly women’s prayer time, as we sat quietly in the warm afterglow presence of the Lord, a song floated into my head, which I began to sing. It’s an old anthem entitled “Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”. I had not sung that hymn for many years. Our church Sunday worship music consists mainly of contemporary worship songs and choruses.
The lyrics and melody of that old hymn stayed with me all week. One verse stood out in my mind and resonated with my spirit:
He breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisoner free. His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood avails for me.
The particular line that has returned to me over and over again is “He breaks the power of cancelled sin”.
As I sat in our Sunday Celebration and listened to words that were shared from the congregation – words of praise, words of what God was doing in individual lives, words of struggle and submission – an awareness of the importance of that phrase, “the power of cancelled sin” exploded into my understanding, as a revelation from the Holy Spirit.
I believe that there are many people – both Spirit-born believers and those on-their-way-to-becoming-believers – who haven’t understood or believed that our sins have been cancelled by Jesus’ death on the cross. We don’t need to struggle any longer under the power of past sins. And we don’t have to keep paying for them over and over again.
There are people to whom many bad things happen – often a procession of bad things throughout their lifetimes – people who feel that God is punishing them for the sins of their past. I do understand that when we break God’s laws, there are natural consequences: jump from a plane without a parachute and you’ll discover such consequences; commit murder and there are definite consequences.
However, the Scripture does not support the idea that God punishes us over and over again for confessed sins that are under the blood of Jesus. For He, “breaks the power of cancelled sin”. In case you are thinking, that’s just a line from a song, I’d like to share a Scripture that supports the beautiful and significant verse of that song.
Col. 2:13-15 – “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the un-circumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him [Jesus], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him [in Jesus]. (English Standard Version)
Are you an ex-drug or ex-alcohol addict? You don’t have to exprience that addictive substance continually calling you back into your past sin. Were you a liar, a cheat, a sex-offender, an adulterer? Jesus has broken the power of that “cancelled sin”. Satan no longer has a right to condemn you, hold you as a prisoner to that addiction or sin, or to continue to collect payment for the sins of your past. Christ hung on that cross to pay the full price – which cancels your debt – and to break the power of that sin. His death paid the debt – his resurrection settled the issue of who’s in control in the spirit realm.
In Colossians chapter three there are a couple lists of sins of the human nature which include: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, greed, anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language and lying. Then, in (Col. 3:7) the apostle Paul continues:
“You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. . .” and then he adds: “ . . . you have taken off your old self with its practices and put on the new self which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Col. 3:9)
So what’s the problem? Understanding and believing what God’s word says:
- that the debt of our sin has been cancelled
- that the power of that cancelled sin has been broken
- that the one-time prisoner, has been set free
Let’s take this one step further: often the penalties or consequences of unacknowledged, un-confessed sin show up in our minds (negative thinking, confused thoughts, frustrations, doubts); in our spirits (bad attitudes, hopelessness, anger, resentment, bitterness, control issues, judgementalism, un-forgiveness); in our reactions (fear, self-protection, anger, rage, revenge); and eventually in our physical bodies (all kinds of ailments, symptoms, and diseases).
These same things can also manifest in us when we fail to realize that the sins we have confessed are forgiven, and not simply forgiven, but cancelled. The enemy no longer has a right to wield power to harm us mentally, spiritually, or physically. The power he has held over us, often even after conversion – is because we haven’t fully realized what our salvation has provided for us – “the broken power of cancelled sin”.
When we don’t know or believe that the power has been broken, we remain under bondage to past sin and its power, which has already been defeated by Christ Jesus on the cross.
Are you still suffering from the power of “cancelled sin”?
Yesterday has been cancelled. You don’t have to live in the past any longer. Believe it! Repeat it to yourself as often as you need to. Start living post crucifixion, post resurrection. Allow Christ to set the prisoner free and bring healing to mind, spirit, and body.
©2012, Marcy Alves
- Hallelujah! We now live in a time when all our debts to God have been cancelled and all the things the devil stole from us have been returned (bummyla.wordpress.com)
- The Call To Fight (garrettventry.wordpress.com)