Three spiritual principles that all Christians should have a working knowledge of are transference, appropriation, and impartation. Everything concerning our spiritual growth and ministry to others involves these principles. We will not grow spiritually or have an effective ministry without understanding and applying them.
The principle of transference simply means that things can be transferred in the spirit realm. Time and space are not determining factors; the only determinant is faith. For example, when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, our sins were transferred to Him on the cross. That his crucifixion took place almost 2,000 years ago and several thousands of miles from where we’re located were not factors. The transference took place because we believed; our faith made it work.
Here is another example of transference. Probably all of us have experienced a time when we were having a good day and felt quite cheerful. Then someone came along with a very negative attitude, griping and complaining. After they got through dumping on you and walked away, you were feeling those same negative attitudes. They were transferred to you.
The principle of transference is nothing more than the fact that something can be transferred from one place to another, or from one person to another. If the transference takes place from me to one of you because I initiate it by my faith, then I am imparting to you. That is the principle of impartation. But if the transference takes place not because I am initiating it, but because you are reaching out with your faith and taking it, then that is the principle of appropriation.
The woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years is a good example of appropriation (Mark 5:25-34). She had spent all that she had on many doctors and still grew worse. One day she saw Jesus among a crowd of people. She believed that if she could just touch His clothes she would be healed. So she pressed through the crowd and touched His garment, and instantly she was healed. Jesus felt the healing power drawn from Him, and said, “Who touched My clothes?” The disciples answered, “There is a multitude about You, and You’re asking who touched You?” Jesus did not impart the blessing to the woman; she appropriated it. A blessing can be transferred either by impartation or appropriation. If it is given, it is imparted. If it is taken, it is appropriated.
Now let’s relate this to prayer. You would be surprised how many prayers are just ineffective; they don’t work. James talked about the ineffective prayer. He said, “Ye ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lust” (James 4:3). If all our prayers are “Lord, give me this…do that for me…bless me,” then we are asking amiss. We’re only concerned about our own desires. The focus is on self and not the Lord. We tend to forget that He is not our servant, but we are His.
Prayer should begin with worship. We should worship until we know we’re in His presence. Then we should wait on the Lord. What do I mean by waiting on the Lord? Quietly and intently focusing Him. This is work and it will take practice to become really effective, but stick with it. This is the key to a real walk with God. Refuse to be distracted by the carnal mind and focus on Him only. It is a time of listening and appropriation. Draw in His presence and listen with your spirit. What He has to say is far more important than anything we could think of to pray about. When He has spoken to your heart and you know His will, then stand and proclaim it with all your heart! What you hear in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27. Now you are not asking; you’re making a declaration! You are proclaiming the will of God in the earth!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1. There is the creation. Some want to involve the whole chapter, but that is the creation. Then the second verse: And the earth was (became) without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Something happened to the earth, because it wasn’t created without form and void (Job 38:4-7; Isaiah 45:18). Then it says that the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, “Let there be light!” On the second day God again said, “Let there be…!”, and so on to the sixth day. Each day He spoke a Word and another stage of restoration took place. We want to come to the place where our prayers are prophetic utterances. We wait on the Lord, find out what His will is, and then proclaim it.
Listen to this carefully, because it is one of the most important things you’ll ever hear. What God is going to do in this day, and in the days ahead, will be accomplished by a spoken Word. Hebrews 11:3 says, “Through faith we understand that the worlds (Greek: aion, “ages”) were framed by the Word of God.” Every time a new age has come forth it was because a man of God stood and proclaimed the Word. And a Word from God establishes the new age of His Kingdom, too!
Look at the Lord’s prayer, for example. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name! (It begins with worship and adoration.) Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven! Matthew 6:9-10. This prayer should not be spoken by rote; it should be proclaimed! Wait on the Lord until it comes alive to you, until your heart becomes one with His heart, and the drive of your life is to see His Kingdom come forth. Then stand and proclaim, “Thy Kingdom come! Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven!” All of creation is under futility, and it will remain so until we loose it by a Word from God (Romans 8:19-21).
One thing is for certain. We must learn how to operate this principle of transference. We must learn how to appropriate the presence of the Lord, and then by the principle of impartation loose Him in the earth.
This is also the way that the many-membered Body of Christ is being created. The Body of Christ will be perfected and come into the measure of the fulness of Christ by the principle of impartation (Ephesians 4:11-16). The army of the Lord will be created by a prophetic Word (Ezekiel 37:1-10).
Why are so many Christians immature? It is because they do not know how to appropriate the Lord. We’re talking about a walk with God, a walk in the Spirit. Many Christians are not aware of the Spirit of the Lord, or even their own spirit. Paul said, “God…whom I serve with my spirit…” (Romans 1:9). Did Paul understand the principle of impartation? He sure did! He said to the church at Rome, “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Romans 1:11).
Job 22:28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.
What is meant by “the light shall shine upon thy ways”? The Lord is the light (John 1:6-9). When you are willing to decree His will, then He will shine upon you. You will not walk in darkness; rather, there will be revelation, perception, and a knowledge of Him and His will. “If any man will do His will, he shall know…” (John 7:17).
Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and He shall save the humble person.
How do you pray for your brother when He is downcast? We could say, “Lord, he’s my brother, and I love him. I want You to bless him. Meet his heart, O Lord, and lift him up.” Now that sounds good, and it comes from a sincere heart, but it won’t be very effective. What should we do? First, we should appropriate the blessing from the Lord. Then we say, “Brother, be lifted up! I bless you in the name of the Lord!” Now that will be effective. We must not ask the Lord to do something, and then drop it. We’re to be the channels through which the Lord works. When He wants to bless someone, it is our responsibility to deliver the blessing. When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up!”
Now if you are with the brother, and you can speak the Word in his hearing, that’s good. But remember, time and space are not hindering factors when it comes to transference in the realm of spirit. Even if the brother is a thousand miles away, you can still minister to him. When your heart melts in love for him, then your spirit automatically tunes-in to his spirit. Then you only need to speak the Word with faith and authority. Jesus did the same thing. The Psalmist said, “He sent the Word, and He healed them” (Psalm 107:20). There are many examples of Jesus sending the Word in the Gospels. A very familiar one is when He healed the centurion’s servant. The centurion said that he was unworthy for the Lord to come under his roof, and asked Him to speak the Word only. So He did, and the servant was healed in the same hour (Matthew 9:5-13).
Now you may not be able to send the Word and heal someone immediately. These principles have to be learned. Begin with something simple, according to your faith (Romans 12:6). And as you learn to appropriate more and more of the Lord and your faith grows, then you will find yourself coming into a very effective ministry in the Lord. Learning to walk with God is like learning to walk in the natural. You take a couple of steps, and when you fall, get up and take a few more, until walking becomes second nature – you don’t think about it; you just do it.
Begin with your prayer list. When you pray for your loved ones that are in need, don’t just ask the Lord to bless them and leave it at that. Instead, decree it! Proclaim it! When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and He shall save the humble person.
Copyright © 1997 by Henry DuBose