WHAT ABOUT PHYSICAL HEALING AND
By: Norm Rasmussen
If you are a reader of the New Testament, you know that it is God's nature to heal people until their time is finished on this planet as God ultimately determines. (God controls our heartbeat.) Otherwise none of us would recover from sickness and/or disease, now would we? Nowhere in the New Testament does it hint that God doesn't delight in healing His people. Yet just because God's nature and character is to heal doesn't mean that every person who prays for healing is going to receive it from God prior to dying, are they? Experience teaches us that.
Having said the above ... why is it that some people believe it is God's will to heal physically 100% of the time, yet never receive their physical healing? Is it always simply because of a lack of faith? Sometimes maybe yes and and sometimes probably no, depending on the individual situation. There can be other factors to take into account when seeking healing, and I pray that God will help us understand many of them, especially if you are desiring a healing, or a loved one is desiring a healing.
Before launching forward through this "contentious and often-times painful rat maze" regarding healing issues, I strongly believe Christians would do WELL to comprehend all the possible ramifications of what one solitary scripture passage addresses. This scripture passage is found in 2 Chronicles 16:12-13:
And in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was very severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign.
Every implication suggests that God was offended by Asa not going to the Lord first and inquiring of Him about his disease. Rather, he took his diseased situation to the local doctor/s. End result? No healing. Death, in fact, two years later.
Had Asa diligently sought the Lord before just going to his local doctor for advice and treatment, Asa may have had the Lord reveal some things to him that God wanted taken care of first to then receive his healing. But for whatever reason, Asa couldn't be bothered doing that. Maybe guilt kept him from doing so. Maybe fear; doubt. (Maybe insurance wouldn't cover it, or he simply couldn't afford to pay a doctor out of his own meager means?!). Who but God knows. It makes no matter, really. God apparently was offended.
Yet in this day and age, especially in more economically prosperous communities, how many Christians run to their doctor for help the moment they have something wrong with them, being told no less by their spiritual authorities in many cases "that God uses doctors to heal," so "YES! Get to your doctor right away!"
Hold on a moment. Maybe - just maybe - that might be a major insult to God if we follow that advice, or assumption on our part. Maybe ... God first wants us going to our Elders, requesting them to anoint us with oil and pray for us first, and showing a willingness to hear whatever they believe the Holy Spirit might be saying to them about our relationship with God. Or if we don't even have Elders easily available to us, maybe God simply wants us dropping to our knees and inquiring directly of Him what He may want to communicate to us about our situation, before just assuming that God is going to use our doctor to help effect our healing. Running to our doctor for help and THEN asking others to pray for us to receive that healing yet never getting that healing may be because an ASSUMPTION God will honor what we're doing may be a very deadly assumption.
We have Christians confessing "that by His stripes I've already been healed some 2,000 years ago,"... when how many Christians do we see end up dying from that very sickness or disease, when maybe God WOULD have healed them, if they hadn't just ran off so quickly to their doctor/s before first inquiring diligently of the Lord in what the Holy Spirit might want to say to them? (Like getting disobedience out of their life, getting some good counsel on proper nutrition; wisdom and knowledge of implementing some detoxing/fasting; proper sleep; adequate exercise; stress reduction; and/or dealing with some issues of unforgiveness, unrepentant sin (not the SAME as confessed sin. Just because we confess our sin to God and ask forgiveness for it, does not mean we have repented of it. Repent means to CHANGE; stop committing the sin over and over), or an attitude of thanklessness. Many Christians fail to realize that a grumbling and complaining spirit, which can include attacking spiritual authority without cause; gossip; slander, backbiting ... can fall under our lack of thanksgiving. It was for a lack of thanksgiving that offended God and motivated God to keep many of the Jews from entering the promise land).
Consider this possibility as well. If we call for the Elders to pray the prayer of faith with us as James 5:14-16 says we are to do (no where does God tells us to go to our doctor/s first, THEN go to our elders for prayer secondly. The implication is that we need to be very sensitive to the Lord's leading about WHICH should take place first in my very strong opinion. (In emergency situations, of course we need to receive immediate medical attention if it's available. Let's not get unwise about all this, okay?).
DON'T OFFEND GOD
Consider this as well. Consistent with New Testament scripture is the wisdom of executing faith (unwavering confidence in God and His Word, in other words) to receive our healing, especially if we have a serious sickness or disease. How many of us really have more faith in our doctors than we have in God's ability to heal us without using our doctors? How many Christians have their back-up plan mentally in place before even giving God a chance to supernaturally heal them ... and that back-up plan being their local doctor? Faith and lack of faith may hinge a great deal and just how much one refuses to diligently inquire of God FIRST before listening to everything one's doctor says about their situation. So ... my point in saying all this: Don't offend God like Asa did.
On the other hand, don't go off on some wild tangent and demand that God heal you without ever having to go to your local doctor either. Many Christians have done that and have died from their sickness and disease, simply because they were so demanding of God to do something the way they either assumed He should do, or that they wanted Him to do. Assumption and presumption is not something God warms up to when it is flesh motivated and not Holy Spirit directed.
Now then, let's first look at some New Testament scriptures about healing:
Mt 4:23: And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Mt 9:35: And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Lu 9:6: And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
Lu 9:11: And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spoke unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
Ac 10:38: How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Mt 10:1: And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Mt 10:8: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Lu 9:2: And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Lu 10:9: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
Jas 5:14-15: Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
GOD'S NATURE IS TO HEAL
To give the slightest suggestion that God isn't for healing after reading the above scripture verses, would be a false accusation against God, I truly believe. God's nature is pro-healing. I also believe there is something that has higher priority with God than physical healing, and that is: Wholeness. God desires that we allow Him to make us whole ... spirit first, soul second, physical body third. Nevertheless ... when God determines its time to translate a person to eternity, I believe we need to let all parties concerned be at peace with that option as well. None of us are going to get healed physically to live indefinitely. Besides - in this wacked out world getting even MORE wacked out, I can't imagine who would even WANT to if they are secure in Jesus Christ their Savior - Redeemer.
Having said such, maybe you have never thought about it before, but notice that it is not recorded that Jesus healed even one individual prior to being baptized in the river Jordan by John the Baptist. It was after the Holy Spirit descended on Him from above, and after He had been tested in the desert for 40 days that He began to manifest the power of delivering people from demonic spirits and healing people, not to mention manifesting his power to effect miracles.
His ministry of power and compassion seemed to officially begin shortly thereafter when He began to proclaim: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." -- Mark 1:15 (NKJV)
Luke 4:18 (NKJV) gives us a little different account of this official beginning:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
Then as we read the remaining passages of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we are made aware that God transferred His divine power to deliver and heal onto the Apostles and obviously other disciples.
We then read that the gifts of healings was one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit given to believers in 1 Corinthians 12:9.
So ... to make the slightest mention that it is not God's character to heal is a great, great misnomer, and I believe an insult to God.
Yet here, I believe, is where wisdom must truly be applied. Though it is very obvious to me that God is for healing -- wholeness of all kinds -- we need to take a hard look at a portion of the Bible that often gets overlooked as non-applicable to us today. Atmosphere can be crucial for faith to prosper!
Jesus went to His home town and was hindered from flowing in the miraculous like he was free to do in other places. Let's read about it in Mark 6:1-6:
Then He went out from there and came to His own country, and his disciples followed Him. And when the Sabbath had come, He began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing Him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things? And what wisdom is this which is given to Him, that such mighty works are performed by his hands!
"Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?" And they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives, and in his own house."
Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the village in a circuit, teaching.
Before making a few important points regarding this above passage, I first feel to say that I don't believe Jesus was hindered at all of being able to do "mighty works there" had it been the Father's will for Him to do so. He might have had to go on an extended fast -- pray longer -- preach and teach more ... but evidently the Father didn't find it that important enough, I'll assume. In fact, the Father may actually have been greatly offended, because they were more focused on Jesus being a "good ol' hometown carpenter's boy" than the long promised Messiah.
Nevertheless, I believe God allowed this moment to be recorded in the Bible for our sakes. I believe He wants us to realize that Satan has been given the weapons of lies, doubt, fear and unbelief to shut down the supernatural power of God from flowing into our lives much more than what many may realize.
Bottom line here, is that if you are in need of a healing ... stay out of "Nazareth" to maximize your odds of receiving one!
IS HEALING IN THE ATONEMENT
Some believe that physical healing is in the atonement (See: 1 Peter 2:24) - it's the "right" or "promise" for the believer - which means that it automatically is God's will for people to be physically healed. Other's believe every blessing from God is ultimately because of the atonement, which few mature saints would disagree with, but some blessings from the atonement can be progressive in our full realization of them before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, some saints believe that though it might be God's will for an individual to be healed from a sickness, and that right is granted because of the atonement, God still may allow that person to pass into heaven because of the illness simply because God knows that individual will be happier in heaven than remaining here on earth, healed.
(I personally give this last sentence a lot of merit. Who of us can say every person is better off being healed and remaining here on earth, when we haven't a CLUE what is waiting for that person in heaven?)
Others (for instance) in the Body of Christ believe 1 Peter 2:24 is speaking about spiritual healing, (as I personally do) which speaks more specifically of Jesus taking the punishment or wrath for the sinner, and if you read this portion of scripture in it's contextual flow, I agree that it is in fact speaking about spiritual healing or spiritual wholeness first and foremost. Isaiah 53:1-7 strengthens this position. Spiritual wholeness means to have power over our temptation to sin.
The "meat" of 1 Peter 2:24 is to "die to sin and live to righteousness (obedience)." Christians have been granted the power of the Holy Spirit to stop sinning, (though let no one assume I'm speaking of attaining sinless perfection prior to our being given glorified bodies). Non-Christians are not given that power until they become spiritually born again.
If one believes it assures believers that it addresses physical healing as well, certainly those same people should have no difficulty believing it is also addressing spiritual healing ... power to say no to sin.
Whoever has the correct interpretation/s, I believe it will do virtually nothing to manifest a physical healing (even if a person chooses to believe that they were already physically healed some 2,000 plus years ago at the Cross because of the atonement) if there is a demonic "covering" of Satan's influence over an individual that seeks the healing (as their was in Jesus' hometown). Faith must be strong enough to blast through Satan's cloud of doubt, fear and unbelief that destroys faith (unwavering confidence in God) in most cases.
[Side note here: Is it possible to be so motivated by fear that the mere thought injected by Satan that the healing "may be coming from the devil and not God at all" keeps believers pressing forward to receive supernatural healing from God? On another level, can the fear that one will be made to "look like a fool" if the healing doesn't manifest be a disguised fear in many cases, which cancels out faith? Can the fear "of not having enough faith" be another weapon Satan could use?].
I believe Mark 9:16-29 supports my position. The disciples ran up against a major stronghold of demonic unbelief while trying to bring demonic deliverance, which was first needed to then manifest a physical healing in the boy. When they asked Jesus what they could do about this dilemma, Jesus told them that an intensification of prayer was needed by them, and fasting, which alludes to an increase of their faith for the situation at hand, and a tearing down of the demonic stronghold in and/or around the possessed boy in the spirit realm.
Allow me to share something that opened my understanding regarding this matter. I had not been a born again believer for very long, and I had been attending a large church in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area that most definitely believes in miraculous or supernatural healing. For about two years running, I began to constantly ask God why we were experiencing such few healings in that church (not to mention other churches in the area who also believe in healing, but don't seem to get very many either). The associate Pastor of this church at that time had traveled to a remote part of South America to be a part of a week-long evangelistic crusade. Upon returning home, he spoke one Sunday evening about his experience -- especially on the last night he was there. He shared how it was his time to give a message, and after giving the message, he felt led of the Lord to tell the audience that Jesus was present to heal, and that if anyone wanted to be healed, come forward, and Jesus would heal them.
Now the amazing thing, at least it was incredibly amazing to me, is that this Pastor became incredibly transparent and "vulnerable." He opened up and shared how he himself was not feeling all that good physically at the moment on that last evening - wanted to be back home with his family in the States - didn't really have any faith to believe others could get healed ... yet still told the audience that "Jesus was present to heal" because he felt the Holy Spirit wanted him to do so.
THE PLACE WENT ABSOLUTELY NUTS
Paraphrasing what he then shared: "Folks ... what happened next was like something right out of the Book of Acts! As people came forward for healing, deformed limbs grew back, people got up out of wheelchairs, sicknesses and diseases of every kind were healed ... the place went absolutely nuts! I dare say that I believe every person there that came forward to get healed got healed!
This Pastor then became even more soberly "transparent."
"Folks ... I don't get it. I simply don't get it. Here in this church we have the very best teaching and revelation about God's will for people to be healed, yet when we have a healing line, if one out of 200 people get healed of a common cold, we are ready to publish their testimony, while the other 199 who didn't get healed -- well, we walk away feeling terribly disappointed about it all with no concrete reason/s why. Yet down there where we were in the remote parts of South America where many never even heard of the name of Jesus before we showed up -- I tell them that Jesus was present to heal; they come forward, and God did more miraculous healings in one evening than I've personally experienced in all my years of being a pastor. You tell me why?!"
This Pastor then quit speaking and closed his eyes as though he was expecting God to answer him, with his arms outstretched. I sat there dumfounded. First off, I couldn't believe a Pastor of a church of this size in America would be admitting such a thing! Secondly, I wanted to know the very same thing. I ... like so many others who believes God delights in healing ... I too wanted to know why God heals in third world countries, but why it seems so difficult to get miraculous healings from Jesus here in America anymore?
I had my eyes closed, asking God the same question, when suddenly I heard a voice in my spirit say with almost anger in His voice: "I'll tell you why!: Satan has not concentrated his efforts in all third world countries like he has in America. Satan has blanked America with doubt, fear and unbelief to the degree that it covers America like a dark, thick cloud, and it is now no different over America than it was in my home town of Nazareth when I went there and was unable to only do a few healings. When the church in America realizes the demonic résistance they are up against, I will do many more miraculous healings in their midst like I do in third world countries."
I sat there dazed. First off, it was hard for me to believe I was actually hearing the voice of God. It was so new to me. Secondly, after asking God for nearly two years why we were getting so few healings in America, why NOW would He be giving me an answer?! As this was all going through my head, with my eyes closed, suddenly a recognized brother in that church who often gave public prophetic utterances ... this brother suddenly burst forth in a forceful prophetic utterance to all those there saying almost word for word what the Holy Spirit had already spoke to my spirit just seconds earlier, but with this addition:
"Doubt, fear and unbelief now so covers America that it has become an idol to most of my church. When my church recognizes it as an idol, repents of it, and wages persistent unified warfare against it ... I will do more miraculous healings in your midst!"
Well - at that moment the Pastor on stage who had been standing with his arms open ... waiting for God to answer him I guess ... he went to his knees and began to repent. The whole church began to weep and ask for forgiveness after that. (As a P.S. to this -- nothing really changed in the church after that, meaning ... no more healings followed that evening).
Years have passed since that episode, and I have many things I could share about what I believe God revealed to me about that evening. If God impresses me to share it in the future, I'll do so as a continuation of this writing, most likely.
This much I do have liberty to share however: God can release miraculous healing power any place - anytime. Don't walk away from this writing believing that God has been stripped of His power to miraculously heal in America and execute miracles, or in any other part of the world, for that matter. If God sovereignty wants to blast through Satan's cloud of doubt, fear and unbelief, he certainly can and will. Yet because God has entrusted certain responsibly to His Church - The Bride of Christ ... He most likely won't, because a great deal of His church is so divided - so blinded - so apathetic, and really - fearful. Much of His church is very content now to shy away from "divine, miraculous healing" and let the medical profession be God's main source of healing today. I'm not bad-mouthing God's Church either. I think we must come to grips with what I believe to be "a great falling away (from the miraculous healing power of God -- not to mention other important things to God)" in the church of America as I believe 2 Thessalonians 2:3 alludes to. I've been long convinced that Satan wants the bonafied miraculous power of God to be diminished in the Church for one primary reason:
Simply to keep the Bride of Christ from being all the heavenly Father and Jesus Christ intends her to be -- to function in Kingdom power. The more the Church functions in the kind of power Jesus Christ gave to his first Apostles and disciples, the more difficult it becomes for Satan to advance his kingdom of darkness (control, if you will) here on earth.
I would like to share another testimony right now to help reinforce the understanding that atmosphere is so vitally important when it comes to having divine healing manifest.
Evangelist Benny Hinn was having an outreach in Flint, Michigan somewhere around 1998. My wife wanted to go; I had a lot of "negatives" about going, because of what often happens on stage to people who testify after being healed. Don't get me wrong; I'm not questioning that God heals many people at those crusades. It's what happens after they get healed on stage is what I'm not convinced is all that much of the Holy Spirit's doing. I think there may well be a lot of "flesh" involved, though I want to confess that I don't claim to be any authority on the matter. I am just being honest with my thoughts). Be that as it may, I thought rather than judge from T.V., I would give God an opportunity to "enlighten me" if He wanted to by going to a live outreach, and sense in the Spirit what I felt then.
It was an extremely hot, humid day as we stood outside the arena ... for hours ... waiting to get seated inside. No one knows how much I detest long lines after being in the military, and not really wanting to go to this crusade in the first place ... please believe me, I was not sensitive to the Holy Spirit at all. My flesh was in full control! People were falling down ... not from the power of God ... but from the power of heat-exhaustion!
At long last the lines began to move slowly, and when I got about 10 feet away from the entrance of the arena, I walked into a dimension of faith I had never been in before. It was like ... one foot toward the arena parking lot which was at my back, and it was the old atmosphere. But with one step forward, there was an atmosphere of faith I had never experienced before. And let me say ... for being so dull and insensitive to spiritual things ... for me to sense what I was sensing - I was totally amazed.
It was at that moment that the Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to me and said, "The reason I can do healings at these crusades is because the faith level -- the expectancy level for healing -- is so high. This is the quality of atmosphere that must be made for Me to do the healing miracles I am able to do in third world countries that people hear about."
That dialogue with God at that moment was worth the entire trip! I saw Benny Hinn crusades in a total different light after that. It isn't brother Benny's faith that is releasing God's healing power to touch people (though no doubt it surely helps). It is the prayer and fasting of so many people that goes into those crusades weeks before they happen, and the expectancy of so many people at those crusades that builds the atmosphere for God to touch people in the audience before they even get on stage to testify of how God touched them. It is greatly enhanced by the praise and worship as well. I'm not trying to take anything away from brother Benny -- I'm just sharing it openly the way I felt about things after leaving the crusade, and something I believe is very vital to see divine healing manifest for those who are seeking for it.
(By the way, God used me to speak a word of truth to a young girl who had very poor eyesight and her grandmother couldn't afford to buy her glasses. We were waiting for brother Benny to come back out on stage when the young girl tapped me on the shoulder and asked me if I thought Jesus could heal her eyes so she wouldn't even need glasses. Well ... by the grace of God, what could I say, but, "Sure, honey, He can heal you. All you have to do is believe He will." I sort of cringed for having no faith to lay hands on her and pray for her healing.
JESUS HAS HEALED MY EYES
She fell asleep and woke up several minutes later. I was half-asleep myself when she tapped me on the shoulder a second time. "Mister -- guess what? I can read everything in this auditorium. Jesus has healed my eyes."
She said it so nonchalantly, like it really wasn't all that big of a job for Jesus to do at all. God gave her that child-like faith, I guess. She had this grin on her face that grew wider and wider, as I asked her to read all the banners all over the arena. She read them perfectly, and when I had tested her earlier, she couldn't see clearly much more than about 20 feet in front of her. Me -- I was dumbfounded!).
Before ending this ... For anyone pressing forward in Christ to be used of the Holy Spirit to help others be set free from demonic oppression and receive healing when needed, keep one thing in mind regarding Benny Hinn's crusades. He doesn't spend hardly any time, if any at all, teaching about healing from the scriptures. His format has always been to bring everyone in attendance into the presence of God through intimate praise and worship. That is no mere coincidence, nor a means to "tickle people's flesh." God desires our intimate worship and praise more than we can humanly comprehend. When we will simply determine to worship and praise Him simply for who He is ... his angels are sent forth to clear the spiritual air of demonic spirits seeking to hinder God's miraculous power from getting released. As the spiritual air is cleared of these demonic spirits, the Holy Spirit is freed to do as the Father wills in a much greater way ... and the most likely reason for it is simply His way of showing His appreciation to those who purposed to place praise and worship above their need for a healing.
If you're never heard it said before, "God delights that we seek Him (His presence) -- not just what He can do for us. Said a little differently, "God desires that we seek first His face -- not His hand first."
I toss this out like a "little golden nugget" for those God may want to receive and respond to it: What would happen if Pastors and Elders of the CITY-WIDE church came together, say once a month ... crossing over denominational and sectarian lines -- putting doctrinal differences and fears aside -- for the purpose of doing ONE thing: Intimate praise and worship? I'll bet we'll never know ... unless a few brave, courageous Pastors are willing to suffer the venom initially thrown at them for the sole purpose of moving forward in Kingdom power, instead of slowly going backwards, as the Church has been doing now much too long of a time here in the United States.
If God can use Benny Hinn to create an atmosphere where God chooses to release His miraculous delivering, healing power, how much greater might it be released if the CITY-WIDE Church sought to do essentially the same thing brother Benny is doing?
My own strong belief is that we haven't seen near any of the full potential that lies in James 5:14-16 regarding healing until the CITY-WIDE Church meets to simply praise and worship God, with prayer and fasting bathing it all.
There is another place recorded in scripture that addresses the importance of atmosphere for healing and/or a miracle to take place. Luke 8:41-42 reads: And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
Then in verse 49 it states: While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher."
Jesus then tells the distressed father of the daughter in verse 50: But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, "Do not be afraid; only believe and she will be made well."
Now for the "interesting" part. Starting with verse 51: When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl.
Verse 52: Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, "Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping."
Verse 53: And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
Verse 54: (Now here is the KEY): But He put them all out, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Little girl, arise."
Verse 55-56: Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And he commanded that she be given something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.
What can we learn from this? We can learn that the doubt of Peter, James and John, and the parents at the time was a hindrance to the Holy Spirit in bringing the dead girl back to life, and healing her.
DON'T LET ANYONE ROB YOU OF YOUR FAITH (UNWAVERING CONFIDENCE IN GOD AND GOD'S CORRECTLY APPLIED WORD)
We can learn that just one person can rob you of your faith for a healing, if you are not careful! If you are believing God for a healing ... be extremely careful in who you tell. Tell only those who have the evident desire to believe along with you - not doubting - not doubting that your healing will manifest. This can include James 5:14 "elders," for the perceptive. Just because someone holds the position of an elder or pastor does not mean they are walking in faith, sadly, for your healing, okay?
If you are in need of a healing, believing that God wants to heal you is vitally important. Secondly, tell God so. Tell God you are trusting Him for a healing. Secondly, ask and patiently keep seeking God as to what your part might be in seeing your healing manifest. Obedience to God is what maximizes results. How God healed someone else may have no bearing on how God will heal you. Never be presumptuous in how you think God may desire to heal you. God may desire to heal you in a way that has never been done before.
When you think about it ... healing is nothing more than answered prayer in most cases. Sometimes God simply doesn't answer our prayer/s because of something we've done in the past that we have not repented for -- have not got alone with God and allowed Him to reveal to us what may have been an offense to God. An offense not dealt with years ago can keep God from answering your prayer for healing today.
Now lets move in another direction. This is the part most will dismiss as absolutely irrelevant to the whole topic of healing. The devil has something else going for him to prevent God's people from receiving healing that many in the nutrition area have known for quite some time. God can desire for a person to be healed, but most likely, it may not come from being anointed with oil by elders and the prayer of faith being prayed over a sick person, nor will it come from other believers laying hands on the sick person ... in many cases, if not most ... unless the sick person is willing to seek God what he or she must do to work in cooperation with God in wisdom to receive the healing. Hence the next paragraph:
God very well may only grant (manifest) the healing by fasting (intelligent detoxing/detoxification) and getting off the foods and liquids that have caused one's temple to be sick in the first place, and replacing the junk foods with nutritious foods and liquids that build up your temple ... instead of slowly destroying it. Proper exercise also plays a huge important role in getting healthy and staying healthy.
Many who understand the necessity to give the human temple of God a periodic "vacation" are getting a more clear understanding of why it is becoming more difficult to see divine healing manifest, especially in America. Christians want a "healing zap" from God in a prayer line, but absolutely refuse to change what they are putting into their temple.
Everyone who works a stressful job realizes they need a vacation now and then ... to refresh themselves. The organs of a person, especially as they get older, also needs a "vacation" for the very same reason: It needs a break from stress - a break from overwork.
God instituted fasting for this very reason, though He doesn't take the time to go into detail about it in the Bible. Fasting is a spiritual weapon for the spirit, soul and body of a person. The overflow benefits of fasting is to let the immune system have a break from the battle of fighting deadly viruses and deadly germs day in and day out. In so doing, the immune system gets restored to greater capability again. Furthermore, it gives the blood an opportunity to eliminate poisons it can't eliminate completely otherwise, and it gives all the major organs of the body not only a chance to eliminate toxic buildup, but to heal themselves as well, to function at full potential.
Think about it: if you need a vacation once a year from you job -- do you find it so strange that your blood and your body organs don't need a vacation as well?
Here is a more in-depth writing on this topic I would encourage all to read:
Give Your Insides A Vacation, For Goodness Sakes!
Most people deplore hearing the would "fast." It hints of caffeine and sugar withdrawals, and hunger pangs. Consequently, most won't fast period. I'm in this camp of struggling with going without food, so please know I can well identify. There is a very popular detoxification strategy that I would like to make mention of if you loathe fasting as much as I do. It is called the Pure Lemon Juice - Maple Syrup cleanse, or better known as The Master Cleanse. This particular cleanse has been around for years, and is one of the most beneficial and safe cleanses on planet earth. Pure Lemon Juice has most of the nutrition one needs to go on an extended period without solid food, and here's what I love about it. It greatly helps curb your hunger pangs! Pure lemon juice also is one of the best sources to cleanse the body there is. The pure maple syrup provides the necessary energy one needs to function very normally for most people. In late 2005 I went on this detox-cleanse to put my irregular heartbeat (high stroke potential!) back in proper rhythm, not to mention the need to give my organs and blood a much needed cleansing from years of pain killer abuse for my messed up lower back (degenerative disc disease, among other things). Let me tell you, going for nearly 10 days without food is not something I've ever been able to do in the past, but having a glass of fresh lemonade in my hand at all times kept away the hunger pangs most of the time, and enabled me to complete the cleanse necessary to get my heart back in rhythm.
I would strongly encourage everyone reading this to check out the following links to familiarize themselves with this particular detoxification cleanse. I now look at it as a huge weapon to put in my quiver of arrows to help battle sickness and disease if I am afflicted, and every bit as important ... as a once a year preventive measure to keep from getting sickness and disease. I would rather be healthy and not have to ask God for a healing and praise Him for that, rather than get sick and then have to seek Him for a healing. I'm just not into physical pain and expensive medical bills - sorry.
Here are some different links that will help you gain more understanding of this particular cleanse:
I would strongly encourage you to obtain a copy of the booklet that tells you everything you need to know. You can obtain a copy by clicking here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0963926209/002-8118969-9874455?v=glance&n=283155
In dealing with issues on sickness and diseases and healing . . . I think we need to keep one very important fact at the forefront at all times. When we are sick and seeking God for healing ... is God allowing the sickness and pain in our life to get our attention? To get us to dig in with Him and hear something from Him that we may not care to hear otherwise?
Mature saints in Christ have learned that God sometimes allows either the devil to afflict us with sickness and/or disease, or simply our body to break down ... so He can get our attention. We often-times want only His healing - wanting Him to heal us so our pain will go away and/or so we can better function ... but we may truly never get it if we aren't willing to seek Him for something that may be far more important in our relationship with Him than just healing. He may be trying to elevate us to a higher place in Him for our very own good.
This insight isn't just relegated to the realm of healing either. In all our trials and afflictions, our number one question to God should be: "Are you trying to teach me something through this? Are you trying to get me to understand something I've never cared to understand before?" If we're honest, He won't leave us hanging for very long. He'll give us peace with were we are with Him on the "spiritual growth scale."
There is a passage in the Old Testament that merits examining regarding healing. I realize it was before the Cross, but I believe it still warrants taking a look at. Hopefully you are familiar with the prophet Elisha. Elisha was the persistent prophet that discipled under the prophet Elijah. Just prior to Elijah being caught up into heaven by the Lord, Elisa requested to have a double portion of Elijah's anointing ... presumably twice the faith Elijah had to effect miracles. The Bible tells us that his desire was granted.
Then in 2 Kings 13:14 it reads: "Elisha had become sick with the illness of which he would die." Just a few verses later, in verse 20, it reads: Then Elisha died, and they buried him."
Do you find it at all "amazing" or "troubling" that a prophet who received twice the power from God that Elijah had was unable to trust God for his own healing?
There was a time in my Christian walk that I would have, but now I don't. Why? Because I believe I understand some things about living here on this planet now that I didn't when I was a younger Christian.
Of course this is only speculation, but I believe the Holy Spirit has inspired me to say this, so I will: Directly (or indirectly from The Adamic Curse of Adam and Eve), Satan was the one responsible for Elisha's sickness. God was not. No one was more delighted to see Elisha sick than was Satan. Yet Elisha was tired of living on this planet. Elisha was tired of the spiritual battles he had fought. Elisha was tired of the evil that popped up faster than what it could be curtailed, or it so often seemed. Elisha wanted to go to that place where Elijah was ... where evil was not allowed to visit. Elisha wanted to go to his real home - heaven.
Most young and middle aged people can't identify with this type of thinking. Life is to be lived, and let's get on with it! Mostly only people who have lived many, many years on this sin-sick world come to a place in this life where they long to depart this wicked world and go to a heavenly world where evil is not allowed to enter. For those who are in Christ and have the assurance from the Holy Spirit that heaven will be their next world once they leave this world ... it really doesn't matter much to them how they get there -- they just want to get there as soon as possible!
SICKNESS AND DISEASE CAN BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
For the elderly, sickness and disease can then become their "ticket" to exit this life and move on into glory. Could it be that God simply doesn't impart sufficient faith to people like this to get healed because He knows that they have had enough of this world and He's really doing them the greatest favor He could possibly grant and that is to allow the sickness and/or disease to be the means to usher them into heaven?
I believe this was the case with Elisha. I choose to believe Elisha didn't want to be healed, though I have no concrete scripture to substantiate my belief. I believe He probably wanted to be in the presence of God, the angels, and the saints.
Or ... here would be the other possible scenario. There just weren't enough people praying and believing for Elisha's healing who had sufficient faith to effect his healing. Elisha may have been so "battle worn" at a stage in his life where his faith was essentially all drained out. This can not be underestimated.
Or ... perhaps both issues were facing Elisha. Perhaps he didn't have enough people covering him with prayer and faith ... and he was tired of the "battle" here on earth. Perhaps his will to keep going down here was dying out.
Only God knows, but here is the point I feel to make. If someone longs to go to heaven ... God may just grant them their desire rather than effect their healing. Who of us can make a judgment call that that is a wrong desire for a person to have, for people who have lived many, many painful years on this sin-sick planet?
SICKNESS UNTO DEATH
John 11:4 speaks of a "sickness unto death." Lazarus had died, whom Jesus loved. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus purposely delays in getting to him in time to heal him of this sickness, we are told in John 11:6. The clear understanding of why He does this is so that the glory of God could be manifest by raising Lazarus from the dead. Does the sickness of Elisha fall under this "sickness unto death?"
God gives us very little insight in the scriptures into what the full meaning and understanding is regarding a "sickness unto death." Can we safely assume that it means literally what it seems to imply -- that the person is going to die from the sickness they have, and nothing is going to change it - not even God - for reasons known only by God?
If this happens to be the case, so be it. Nevertheless, it still does not imply that God gave them the sickness, as some Old Testament scriptures seem to imply. Sickness and disease either comes from the Adamic Curse, which came because of Satan, or it comes directly from demonic powers assigned by Satan and/or a combination of improper nutrition - stress - improper or lacking of exercise imbalances. It is not sent directly from God. God may allow it ... and even get glory out of it ... but He didn't directly "send" it.
My biblical premise for stating such? We are told in the Book of James that God does not, nor cannot, temp anyone to sin. Where then, does temptation come from? James tells us it comes either from our own selfish sinful lusts, and/or from the devil. The correlation I make is: How can a kingdom divided against itself stand? Jesus asked this question. How can the Kingdom of God stand if on one hand if our heavenly Father inflicts sickness and disease, and on the other hand, heals it? It certainly makes no reasonable sense to me. If you see it differently, let us disagree in love.
Here are some additional thoughts you may want to ponder if you are in need of healing: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/p-t/SevenTips.htm
SOME HEALING WILL ONLY MANIFEST BY DEMONS BEING CASTED OUT OF THE SICK/DISEASED PERSON
(To be continued. This is most likely a writing in progress ...)
(PLEASE NOTE: Norm has written about “The Prayer Of Faith”. You can click on it The Prayer Of Faith to read it.)
Here is a list of scriptures from both the Old Testament and the New Testament on healing: Scriptures On Healing
If you would like to read Norm's born again testimony, you can click on this link: http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Norm.htm
Here are some very INSIGHTFUL testimonies I would recommend reading that reveals how powerful "pleading the blood of Jesus" over sickness and disease can be: http://www.bible-knowledge.com/Testimonies.html
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