Understanding healing for the church - the body of Christ today.
I thought I would dip my toes into the realm of healing and address some of the issues surrounding this subject. The sad fact is that the body of Christ is in just as much need of healing as the world and this should not be the case. Jesus said he has come to give us life and that life abundantly, John 10:10. If therefore you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired, then it’s time for things to change for you and your loved ones.
As you read this article I would like you to picture yourself as the one in need of healing and examine the questions and statements; asking yourself if you hold the following beliefs, and allow the Holy Spirit to set your thinking in a new direction.
With the subject of the prayer and practice of healing the first question that should be asked is; does God heal today?
In answer to this question, the first examples Jesus set before us is when he sent out the twelve disciples, followed by the seventy. Both groups came back to Jesus rejoicing that their ministries were effective; people were healed and demons submitted to the name of Jesus, Luke 9 and 10.
But the ministry of healing the sick did not end there, after the crucifixion Jesus exhorted the remaining disciples to continue the work of making more disciples of all the peoples, in every nation. A disciple is in training to be like the master, in this instance the ultimate master is Jesus who healed the sick, raised the dead, cleansed those who had leprosy and drove out demons, Matthew 10:8.
This is the example the Lord gave us to follow.
In answering this first question, Yes. God does indeed heal today and as followers of Christ we are to not only do the same, but have an expectation that God wants to use you for healing those around you.
However, to achieve this we need to first build hope and faith, and in so doing deal with the hindrances to our personal healing. After-all if you are sick, it’s going to be a challenge to your faith to pray for another person’s healing while carrying the same disease in your body. The cognitive dissonance may well cause you to deny the truth of God’s word, defaulting to your experience as the foundation on which you stand.
So, let’s get you on your journey to health and wholeness, as we continue to deal with the seven remaining most pertinent objections.
As books have been written on the following questions and statements, I will keep my answers brief; and if you’re not in the habit, I would encourage you to search the scriptures for yourself. You’ll never know what amazing words God is waiting to reveal to you.
Is healing for today?
If you’re asking this question you’re in a good place and the answer is, Yes. Healing is for today. The scriptures tell us; God does not change, his character remains the same, Numbers 23:19. Also, He is Jehovah Rapha the God that Heals, Exodus 15:26.
Does God want to heal me?
Yes, because Jesus only did what he saw his Father doing, John 5:19. Jesus said of himself that without the Father he could do nothing, ‘Because whatever the Father does the Son also does.’ And Jesus, ‘Went about doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil.’ Acts 10:38.
Is God able to heal me?
Yes, the bible tells us that. Nothing is impossible for God, Jeremiah 32:27, Matthew 19:26.
Science hasn’t yet been able to make a man from dirt; yet God can. Therefore you can believe He is able to heal what ever is ailing you.
Was medicine used in the bible and can we rely on it today?
Again, the short answer is, yes.
There are many examples of medical practices successfully used in the bible, two of which are the following.
Quarantine is an accepted medical practice that was given to Moses as a direction to the priests as a means of eradicating infectious diseases. Leviticus 13, 14, 22.
Before the understanding of communicable diseases were discovered, the practices of isolation and the cleaning of both the priest and the patient would been seen as purely religious. And yet today, in all well equipped medical establishments, we think nothing of sanitising our hands at every point of contact.
We also see in Isaiah 38:21, the prophet directs that a poultice of figs be applied to the deadly boil the king Hezekiah had developed, this is another example of a medicinal application.
Do I need to pray for my healing if a pill will do?
Yes, is also the correct answer here.
King Asa is the sad example of someone who did not seek the Lord, relying only on the advice of the physicians, ‘Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord.’ And as a result he died, 2 Chronicles 16:12-13. There is a clear expectation that we will call on God for our healing, and not just rely on medicine. And while your disease may not be terminal, why continue to live under the tyranny of a disease that you can be free from? The healing power of the cross will not only deliver you from the symptoms but also the cause.
The following are not so much questions, but rather statements of false beliefs.
My sins are too great, God wont heal me.
To change this mindset we need to remember that Jesus spent all of his time of ministry with the sinners, he said, the healthy do not need a physician, Mark 2:17. Jesus is referring to spiritual sickness – sin being a sickness of the soul. In fact this was a common accusation by the religious leaders of his day, who were baffled and disgusted by his behaviour as well as the company he kept.
Furthermore Jesus had compassion for everyone, Matthew 9:36. And he healed all those who came to him, Matthew 15:30.
God is teaching me through my sickness.
The implication of this thinking is that, ‘God wants you to be sick’. Often Job is cited as the archetype of suffering, as the one who needed to learn a lesson.
However this is a mistake, Job was the object of suffering, but the subject was Satan who was allowed to destroy all that Job held dear, with the intention that Satan would learn the faithfulness of God’s servant – Job who refused to curse God. After the crucifixion there is no precedence that Satan needs to learn the lesson again, by being allowed to inflict suffering on God’s chosen people.
Further more, the danger of this manner of thinking is that there is a justification for your sickness, and you can accept your condition without contending for your healing.
In the book of John 9:1-41, is the account of a man born blind. When asked by the disciples whose sin was responsible for his condition, Jesus replied. ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus. ‘But this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him,’ John 9:3.
This is good news, because neither do you have to suffer under any long-standing conditions. Healing has been made available for you, this happened so that the power of God could be seen in you.
Now, disobedience can result in sickness, there are a whole raft of scriptures where God expressly says and demonstrates that continual sin will result in curses and sicknesses, the most comprehensive passage is in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
But we can be delivered from them all through the Lordship of Jesus, repentance and prayer. James writes. ‘Is anyone sick? He should call for the elders of the church and they should pray over him and pour a little oil upon him, calling on the Lord to heal him. And their prayer, if offered in faith, will heal him, for the Lord will make him well; and if his sickness was caused by some sin, the Lord will forgive him,’ James 5:14-15.
A Final Question
Do you believe?
I hope in the eliminating of some of your objections you’re beginning to see that God wants you well and your faith is starting to rise.
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