Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Healing


Healing

 

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.” – James 5:14-15

The Spiritual gift of healing is God’s Holy Spirit working through our hands, words, knowledge and faith to remove a sickness or disease from another. 
God heals us in many ways.  Sometimes healing comes divinely, through the laying on of hands and prayer.  Other times, fasting is needed.  And sometimes He chooses to use doctors and medicine.  But rest assured, as all things, even sickness, come from God, so do our healings.

Many believe that if we live a sanctified life that we will not be sick, and that all sickness is due to sin.  I beg to differ.  Paul boasted in his infirmities (2 Corinthians 11:30, 2 Corinthians 12:5).  Timothy was instructed by Paul to “use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:23). Paul sent Epaphroditus to the Philippians because “he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.”(Philippians 2:25-27).  These and many more were sick but served God faithfully under the new covenant of Christ.  Sickness is not a sign of sin, but God uses sickness for our good, to humble us and reduce us to cry out to him, allowing us to become sanctified. 
Sickness can even be given for no reason other than to work a testimony of healing.  In John 9 when Jesus came to the man that had been blind since birth, they asked him who had sinned that the man was created blind.  Jesus answered in John 9:2, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”  Then he spat in the dirt, and rubbed the mud on the man’s eyes, and when he washed in the pool of Siloam, he received his sight.  Because of this healing, many believed in Jesus.

But sometimes sickness is given due to sin.  Miriam, Moses and Aaron’s sister, was given leprosy because she spoke against Moses’ wife (Numbers 12), and was only healed because Moses prayed for her.  In Micah 6:13 God speaks to Israel through the prophet Micah and says Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you, by making you desolate because of your sins.”
Satan makes us sick just as God does, but we should bear notice that God is ALWAYS in charge.  The words of Satan are NEVER out of God’s power.  Otherwise, God would not be Almighty God, but equal to Satan.  In Matthew 17:14-21 we read of a young boy who had epilepsy, and would often fall into the fire.  Jesus healed him by calling the demon that possessed the young boy out.  He further instructed the disciples, who had failed attempts of healing the young boy that “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

The spiritual gift of healing is spoken of in James 5:14-15, which says 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 chooses to use the elders of the church, the oil, and the prayers of faith to heal.  There’s nothing mysterious about it.  This is God’s choice, His way, and we don’t have to understand, nor can we fully understand why He chooses one way over another at times. 
Does God still heal through this means today?  Oh yes, my heart is overjoyed to testify to that!  In December of 2007 I had a lump in my right breast.  After going to my doctor for the initial exam, I was told that yes, it was there, and it would need to come out immediately.  I was scheduled to have a mammogram, an ultrasound, and visit a surgeon to schedule the surgery all within a week. 

Sometimes it’s only as time passes that you can see God’s plan in your troubles.  He saw something in me that needed fixing, and He used this diagnosis and my healing to accomplish it.  I have never wanted others to pray for me.  I’m independent to a fault, and to be honest, at times I don’t even want to rely on God.  But God humbled me.  He broke me down to understand that I need the church.  I need to be surrounded by those that have incredible faith, and love God above all. 
I went to my pastor before church that Sunday, and through tears handed him the sheet that they’d written the diagnosis on and asked him to pray.  We prayed in his office, but then after church, he called the church together in the altar, anointed me with oil, and they prayed over me.  I praise God for the prayers of faith that touched God’s heart that day!  I went back the next week and had the mammogram.  The technician called the doctor because…funny thing…she saw no lump!  I knew it was gone because I could no longer feel it.  All appointments were cancelled, and God was glorified!  I praise God for the healing of the lump, and the spiritual healing of my independence.

God prepares us to believe in faith for the things that are sometimes nearly impossible to believe.  My grandmother had cancer three times before she died.  The first was breast cancer.  But she fought it with powerful prayer, and radiation, and God healed her.  The second was on her thigh.  She prayed each night, laying her hand on that tumor until it was gone.  The third time, in her wisdom from God, she told me “This time God is serious.  He wants me to come home, and I’m ready to go.” 
She got very sick before she died.  It hurt to see her suffer.  One day she had me read to her 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, which says Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  She explained to me that just as a seed put into the ground has to rot before it blooms on earth, her body was rotting away to receive a better one in Heaven.  She said cancer was her “light affliction”, and I’m certain she was given an eternal weight of glory.  God did heal her, but the third time it was an eternal healing.  She will never be sick again.

Now, let me just say this.  Once you’ve had someone pray over you for healing, be good enough to the God who heals to give him credit.  When the healing comes, don’t say, “Yes, Doctor So-n-So is a wonderful doctor!” or “Yes, the chemo was tough, but it did the job.”  Give God the glory for the work He does.  Proclaim it boldly for all to hear.  All spiritual gifts are given for the building up of the church and it’s strengthening.  We can only be strong when we rest in the power of God.  Don’t rob God of the glory by giving it to another. 
Some will ask why prayers of healing do not always work.  To that I offer two reasons: Your humility, and God’s timing. 

James 4 tells us that we have not because we ask not, and when we ask do so for the wrong reasons, so we can have what we lust for.  Then he says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, and he calls us all to obedience.  In James 4:7-10 he says Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” 
James 1:6-8 tells us to “ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  When you cannot believe God for healing, borrow someone else’s faith.  Have them pray the prayers of faith over the sick.  Have them ask for that healing on your behalf.

Healing comes when God is good and ready to give it.  In His infinite wisdom we can trust that He works for us a greater good.  I had to endure that lump so that He could break the stronghold of independence over me.  Had I not have cried out for help and humbled myself, I am assured that He would have humbled me through it. 
We all are appointed a time to die.  That’s the facts of life.  So get ready for it.  God may heal you through faith 9,999 times, but there’s coming a time when you will die, and it just may be through sickness.  But if you’re ready to see Jesus, you too can see it as your “light affliction”.

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