Updated: Mar 30, 2020
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge"
- As I was sitting in church during a Monday night prayer service, my Pastor gave the familiar alter call for all those who are sick to come to the alter for healing.
- This time I thought: How many times over the years have I gone to the alter to be healed of my afflictions? How many times have other brothers and sisters done the same? And how many times did many of us NOT receive the hoped for healing?
So, I thought to myself ... What does it take to receive a miraculous healing?
(1) Is my FAITH strong enough for God to heal me in a miraculous way? Can I move a mountain with the faith currently within me? We read in James 1:6-7,
"But let him 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."
--Do we really believe with all our heart God is pleased to heal us? Or, are we praying with DOUBT, that if God doesn't heal me I can always go to the human doctor." "Is this back up plan demonstrating FAITH OR DOUBT?"
(2) I try to OBEY God at every step ... I try to SUBMIT to His Will even when my will wants to take a different direction. IPRAY. IFAST, though not as often as I should.
(3) Then I thought: Does healing escape us because of what is written in James 4:4,
"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?" "Are we more friends to the world than to God?"
OR, in James 4:11, "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren." "He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law." "But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge." "There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy." "Who are you to judge another?"
OR, in James 5:9, "Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned."
--How often do we judge others and grumble against them, something God tells us not to do." "But does God withhold healing because of this sort of disobedience?
--I've asked these questions many times, but have not yet been given an answer. "Who can know the mind of God," if we do not hear clearly from the throne.
(4) But, what God DOES tell us in James 5:14-16 regarding 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." "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
-- "So, why are many believers still not receiving healing in the numbers that were healed in the first century church?" "Is there something we contemporary Christians are neglecting to do according to God's Word?"
--"What did Jesus do to heal the lepers, the blind, the child with the seizure disorder, the woman with the issue of blood?" "How did Jesus cast out Legion from the Gadarene demoniac, and put the devil to flight during His temptation in the wilderness?" Well, some may say, because Jesus was God incarnate on earth!
--The Bible tells us Jesus was perfect in all His Ways and there was no sin in Him. We are nowhere near Jesus' perfection nor will we ever see that kind of perfection this side of Heaven.
BUT, Jesus promises us in John 14:12,
"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do..." (What works? Raising the dead, healing the sick, casting out demons)
--And in Luke 10:19, Jesus tells us:
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you."
--And Mark 16:17, "And these signs will follow those who believe: 'In My name they will cast out demons ... ' "
--And in James 4:7,
"Therefore SUBMIT to God. RESIST the devil and he will flee from you."
--So, if God promises us this kind of power through His Holy Spirit, why aren't we witnessing more healings? Let's assume God doesn't hold our sins against us so that He withholds healing, are we missing something?
Let's digress for a moment. I'd like to ask the following questions:
Question 1: Unless God allows it to chasten us or to get us back on track, is sickness such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, a good thing or bad thing?
Question 2: If sickness is a bad thing and if James 1:17 tells us: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights ... , " then from where or from whom does sickness come?
Question 3: At what point in time did Christians begin to make a human physician their primary, go-to healer as the world does? And Jesus, the Great Physician, become the back-up healer when man cannot heal them?
Psalm 103:2-3tells us: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases ... "
"MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE"
SOME EXAMPLES OF THE 'GREAT PHYSICIAN'S' WORK
(Ex 1). How did Jesus heal the boy with seizures?
In Mark 9:20-24, we read: "Then they brought him to Jesus. And when he saw Jesus, immediately the spirit convulsed him (the boy), and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth." "So He (Jesus) asked his (the boy's) father, 'How long has this been happening to him?' "And he said, 'From childhood.' (Generational curse?) "Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.' "Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Then in Mark 9:25, "When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" "Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him." And then in verse 29, Jesus said:
"This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
So, we see first the submission to God by the boy's father. The boy could not do it because he was actively seizing, or too young to understand. According to scripture, Jesus was always praying to His Father. So the requirements of submission and obedience to God were met. Jesus then commanded the demon causing the seizures, out loud, to leave the boy. And the boy was healed.
"Therefore 'SUBMIT' to God. ' RESIST' the devil and he will flee from you."
As an aside, what is the definition of resist: It's an action verb meaning to 'fend off,' 'oppose' or 'work against,' 'to take a stand or withstand', 'to fight against something or someone that is attacking you.'
(Ex 2). How did Jesus cleanse the leper?
In Luke 5:12-13, "And it happened when He (Jesus) was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, 'Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.' "Then He (Jesus) put out His hand and touched him, saying, 'I am willing; be cleansed.' "Immediately the leprosy left him."
The leper first submitted by acknowledging who Jesus was and His power to heal by saying, "Lord, if You are willing, you can make me clean. The leper also demonstrated the faith to be healed. Jesus then commanded the demon to leave by saying out loud, "be cleansed."
(Ex 3). How was the woman with the issue of blood healed?
In Mark 5:25, we read: "Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse." "When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment." "For she said, 'If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well." "Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction." "And He (Jesus) said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well.' 'Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.' "
The woman had the faith to be healed: "If only I may touch His clothes.' And she submitted to Jesus before being healed by recognizing His power, dominion and authority. Jesus then commanded the demon causing the issue of blood to leave the woman by saying, "Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."
"Therefore SUBMIT to God. RESIST the devil and he will flee from you."
(Ex 4). How did Jesus defeat the devil during His temptation in the wilderness?
(Comment) Jesus had first prayed and fasted for 40 days. He was submitting to His Father by praying and fasting which also gave Him power over Satan. Remember, in Mark 9:29 Jesus tells us, "this kind can come out only by prayer and fasting." So, with each temptation by Satan, what did Jesus do?
(First temptation): Matt 4:3-4, "Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, 'If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.' "
But Jesus answered him, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
(Second temptation): Matt 4:5-7, "Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.' "Jesus said to him, ' It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "
(Third temptation): Matt 5:8-10, "Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory." "And he (Satan) said to Him, 'All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.' " "Then Jesus said to him, 'Away with you, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.' "
So, how is Jesus teaching us to fight Satan through these temptations?
We fight by Submission to God, Obedience to His every Word, then Resisting the Devil.
1. Jesus first SUBMITTED to The Father by praying and fasting forty days.
2. He OBEYED His Father's every Word.
3. Jesus then RESISTED the devil by taking up the sword of the Spirit and slashing the devil ... by quoting scripture.
Obedience, Prayer, and fasting prepares us to do battle!
So, what is Jesus teaching us by these examples? I believe the following:
1. We must have the faith to be healed:
In James 1:6-8, "But let him 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."
2. We must pray and fast regularly:
The following are ten reasons why we should pray (Fox news on national day of prayer):
1. Prayer reminds us that we are not the solution to the challenges that grip our world but we have access to the one who transcends those challenges.
2. A prayerless nation has no hope beyond the headlines.
3. Prayer aligns us with God’s heart, purposes and blessings.
4. Prayer is an act of humility that precedes honor.
5. Prayer enlarges the heart beyond selfish motive.
6. Prayer provokes the heart to consider not only what is but what can be with God’s help.
7. Prayer is best prioritized when one asks God to change one’s own heart first.
8. No matters of eternal value will be accomplished outside of prayer.
9. Prayer is properly prioritized vigilance in a spiritually passive world.
10. Prayer at its best is an offering of one’s self to be used by God as a part of the answer.
In Rom 12:1-2, we read: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."
Reasons why we should fast: (from Got questions.org a Bible teaching website)
"... the Bible presents fasting as something that is good, profitable, and beneficial. The book of Acts records believers fasting before they made important decisions (Acts 13:2;