HEALING BY WHOSE POWER?
Let me preface this by saying I believe in healing, but I do not believe in “Healers”. The following is from a popular preacher regarding “HIS” healing ministry.
“It’s God’s will to heal every single person every single time.” Healing is a done deal. It’s part of the salvation package. Look at the meaning and use of the word “saved” (sozo) in the Bible and you will find that it covers forgiveness, healing, and deliverance. It means to be “made whole” in every aspect of life. In Psalms 103:3 and 1 Peter 2:24, the benefits of salvation are described as the forgiveness of sins and physical healing. You cannot separate one from the other. It is offensive to Jesus and His finished work to treat healing as merely a fringe benefit. There are at least 17 occasions in the Gospels, where Jesus healed everyone who came to Him sick. It was His habit to heal everyone!
The problem with the quote above is that none of those people are alive today. THEY ALL DIED LATER.
Now I am not saying God does not heal. I have seen and been part of a miraculous healing before. But I take exception to the idea that healing is an absolute right and a given if we have enough faith.
And I question the quote; “It was His habit to heal everyone”. Jesus did not automatically heal everyone in the room, town, or countryside just by being there. He did not walk into a village and everyone suddenly got up from their sick beds.
Those who have a “healing” ministry would do good to ask “What was the purpose of Miracles in Jesus’ ministry?” What was the purpose of healing? Especially if you consider that eventually everyone got sick or old and died.
Consider the apostle Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. Although there is no Biblical proof what it was, many think it was cataracts or another sort of blindness. But by Paul’s own writings, he was never healed of it.
“I’ve failed. I don’t see healing come to pass. I’ve seen some people very close to me die, family and friends I’ve loved with all of my heart. I’ve had to accept partial responsibility. It’s a complex issue. I’m not saying that it was all my fault, all their fault, or anybody’s fault. We’re still learning… (On one occasion where a girl died) I believe I did fail… But am I condemned by that? No, I’m not condemned at all. I believe that God loves me.”
Healing because of something I do or say? This puts the power in me, not God. It obligates God to act or react to me, my faith, or my prayer. The idea that the responsibility for sickness or death is mine by obedience or lack thereof, is elevating the believer to the state of god-head.
Jesus said you need to exercise your God-given authority and speak to your mountain (Mk 11:23). In a manner of speaking, this is His law for dealing with mountains. You don’t have to understand how that works anymore than you need to understand how electricity works in order to benefit from it. Another law connects faith with action – you need to act on your faith. If you believe that you’re healed, but “continue to think sick, talk sick, and act sick,” then you won’t see the manifestation of your healing.
This is from the belief that the spoken word of the believer can create. As far as I can understand the Bible, only God has the power to create. There are nuggets of truth in this preacher’s teachings. I am not at all saying that everything he has said is totally wrong. I just believe that the scriptures are being twisted and “proof-texted” to fit his agenda and belief systems.
It is true that our attitudes do affect our health. Modern medicine, especially in the treatment of cancers deal with this. Most of us can think of the person we know who is the perpetual sick who seems to revel in their infirmities. And conversely we might know the person who is always upbeat and positive and does not let illness slow them down. But to make this a spiritual truth that leads to guaranteed healing?
Personally I like the verse in John 15:16 You should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16b
From the sermon several weeks ago in Church, we were taught to look at the phrase about fruit. What fruit? The list is in Galatians. “Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Can you have joy in the chaos? Or does your moodiness hover over everyone like a cloud? Not that anyone should be joyful about the hard times, but rather your joy comes from #1) God is with you through it and #2) God uses every trial to help you become stronger in the faith.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8).
Is your inner person wrecked with anxiety and worry when everything falls apart? Or can you rest in God’s peace? There is no peace for the wicked; however, for believers it is available every time you pray and leave your concerns with God.
“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).
Can you be still and wait on God? Or are you tempted to always move ahead so you can stay in control? Forbearance is a fruit that will grow with your experience of being stretched in faith especially in times of trial.
Perhaps when our prayer life seems powerless, we need to inspect out fruit, and its quality. We might look at our sincerity of each fruit. God knows our hearts, and our motives. Perhaps the healing we so desperately want or need is to teach us and refine the fruits in our lives.
We have the promises from Jesus that whatsoever we ask, it will be given. I can quickly list 7 times Jesus told his disciples that the last night they were together before the crucifixion. But each time Jesus said it, there was a qualification.
John 14:13, 14:14, 15:7, 15:16, 16:23, 16:24, 16:26.
In my name, abide, bear fruit, doing greater works… these were the qualifiers for the promise. Exactly what do they mean? I understand them to mean that when the believer has shaped his/her life to be like Jesus, we will see power in our prayer life. It is the result of close fellowship and walking with the Master. Asking “in Jesus name” means in His attitude, His likeness, His mentality regarding the object of prayer. It is not a set of magic words to be tacked onto any prayer we might sputter. Is not a magician’s formula to move God into doing.
Abiding, bearing fruit, and doing the will of the Father, does not leave room for spurious prayers. When we are in close fellowship with Jesus, we will not pray for the lottery, winning the sports game, and other frivolous requests.
Health and healing? When we are abiding in that closeness, if the Spirit places the desire into our hearts, it will be done.