- Tami McCandlish
Preacher, the dog-cat, will do anything for a treat. At least, I thought he would.
Preach is a wild man at heart. He would take full advantage of our countryside if he were released on his own. But I want him to stay nearby, so I use treats as an incentive while training him to take walks.
Preach usually trots alongside Itty-Bitty, staying attentive to my high-pitched cue “treat.” But one day, he sniffed his own path and wandered out of sight from Itty.
When the two met back up, Preach forgot what his best friend looked like. He bushed and darted toward her. I stopped the attack and reconnected them with treats. I thought all was well until Preach jumped off the porch and made a beeline for our woods.
“No, Preacher. Treat! Treat!” I said as I shook his canister of crunchies. But the cat went primal and slipped into the woods.
This is not happening again, I thought. My mind flashed to three years ago when our indoor-only cat, Woodsy, was lost outside for 16 days. For most of that experience, I didn’t sleep. I had anxiety attacks. And I begged God to bring her home.
Since Woodsy's episode, I have learned one of the most impactful truths of my life.
I don’t need to beg God for anything. I can proclaim what I’ve already won through Jesus.
As I knelt at the edge of our woods, calmly repeating “treat,” I couldn’t lure Preach out. He stuck his head in a hole. He climbed a tree. He rolled in poison oak. He acted like I wasn’t even there. But God had charged me to care for this creature. Preacher was under my authority, and my authority, I would assert.
Instead of whining or giving in to thoughts of defeat, I seized my emotions and spoke directly to the problem like this:
NO. Satan, get away from me. You get away from my cat. These woods cannot have him! This is my cat. God gave me this cat to protect and love. Angels of the One, True, Living God, deploy to this cat. Guide this cat back to me now, in the name of Jesus. I declare safety over him. He will return to me.
In less than three minutes, I had my cat back.
Notice I didn’t ask God to bring Preacher back.
Jesus didn't ask God to bring Lazarus out of the tomb. Rather He commanded, "Lazarus, come out!" (John 11:43). Neither did He ask God to calm the storm, but He spoke directly to it, saying, “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39).
We don’t need more of God’s power. We don’t need to beg Him for what we already have. His power backs our authority. And because we are co-heirs with Jesus (Romans 8:17), we can speak with the same authority and do even greater things (John 14:12).
What we see is not always what we get. How we speak to our situations—or how we allow our situations to speak to us—matters.
The more we learn about how God’s Kingdom operates and agree with the rights we have in it, the more effectively we assert our authority. This is how we speak over fear, sickness, debt, depression, and all of the things that limit us. This is how we change our mindsets, words, and actions, and stop living defeated. Whether we command our cat out of the woods or sickness to leave our bodies, we can change outcomes no matter what our circumstances look like because our victory is undeniable.