Sunday was awesome, wasn’t it? I was deeply moved by how many of you came up to be prayed for. I was thankful for your faith and hunger. Let’s continue to contend for God’s kingdom together!
I felt Sunday’s teaching was clear, bold, and powerful. Our guest speaker brought a very good message on faith and how to get healed by meditating on God’s Word. This is how I was healed. Many of you have shared with me how much you liked it and how it has inspired you to spend more time in the Word.
On the other hand, some of you have reached out to share your concerns – namely that you felt the teaching laid the entire burden of getting healed squarely on the faith of the sick person, which can produce a lot of pressure and shame. Honestly, to a certain degree, I agree with you. Therefore, I want to take this opportunity to share a broader perspective on what the Bible has to say in regard to the subject of divine healing.
Faith is essential. First of all, Jesus pulled no punches when it came to the subject of faith, or more accurately – our unbelief. The Bible clearly says that He could not do many mighty miracles in His own hometown because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:5-6) He also told His disciples, who couldn’t cast a demon out of a man’s son, that it was because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 17:20) And the Palmist said that Israel limited God by their unbelief! (Psalm 78:41) Conversely, Jesus often commended individuals for their faith and accredited their healing to it. So faith, or a lack of faith, is clearly taught in the Bible as one of the reasons a person is or isn’t healed.
For me, if a lack of faith is my problem, I want to know about it so I can go get some more. Jesus clearly said, “This kind does not come out but by prayer and fasting.” (Matthew 17:21)
That being said, this is not always the reason someone does, or does not get healed. Here are a few other Biblical reasons:
Timing. Not all healings are instantaneous. Not even in Jesus’ ministry. One time Jesus prayed for ten lepers, (Luke 17:11-19) and nothing seemingly happened. Jesus told them to go tell the priest what God had done for them. Then it says that “as they went, they were healed.” Their obedience proved they believed. So, they had faith, but it didn’t happen immediately. (Think Naaman dipping in river 7x – 2 Kings 5:1-19, Elijah praying 7x -1 Kings 18:41-46, Hezekiah healed in 3 days -2 Kings chapter20…)
Another time Jesus’ friend Lazarus was sick, and Lazarus’ sisters called for Jesus. Jesus waited four days until Lazarus died, then He raised him from the dead. It was in His timing, not theirs. (John chapter 11)
The word recover in Mark 16:18b, “…they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” is a medical term that constitutes anywhere from instantaneously to gradually. Healing will come, but sometimes it’s a process.
Satanic opposition. Daniel is the classic example of having to contend for the kingdom. Daniel saw a promise in the Bible and began to seek God about it. Twenty-one days later the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and told him two things. First, that he had been sent by God from the very first day that Daniel began to pray. And secondly, that the reason it took so long was because of Satanic opposition. (Daniel chapter 10)
Paul, the apostle, clearly told us in Ephesians chapter six that we are in ‘hand to hand combat’ with the enemy who is actively opposing God’s blessings in our lives. Spiritual warfare is not neutral. We have to fight!
Sin. James says that if ANYONE is sick among you (not the ones God chooses to heal), let him call for the elders of the Church and let them anoint him with oil and that the prayer of faith will heal the sick and the Lord will raise him up. He then goes on to say, AND if he has committed any sins he will be forgiven.
James knew that SOME sickness is connected to unrepentant sin. This is a clear teaching all throughout the Bible, in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Jesus told a man that He healed of blindness to “go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon you.” And in the Book of Revelation Jesus said that He gave Jezebel time to repent of her sexual immorality, but because she didn’t, He was going to throw her and her disciples into a sick bed. (Don’t get mad at me, I’m just telling you what the Bible says.)
This makes me think of Dennis McNally’s testimony that he gave at our church recently. He had a nasal condition that he could not get healed for years – thought God was using him to heal others. Then a prophet told him that he had to forgive his dad. The moment he did he was completely healed.
Some don’t want to be healed. Now you might think that is crazy talk, but it’s true. Jesus asked two blind men what they wanted Him to do for them. Why in the world would He ask them that? Well, some people don’t want the responsibility of life. They would have to get a job – without having any skills. They would have to find a place live and pay rent. They had no friends or social security. They would have to pay taxes…
We just had a man in our church recently who had an injury and we wanted to pray for him. He actually said he did not want to get healed because he felt the Lord wanted him to spend the time of recovery after the upcoming operation to get an online ministry degree. We prayed for him anyway and nothing happened. That week the pain got so bad that he came back the next Sunday and said he wanted to get healed. Someone prayed for him and when they opened him up on the operating table the damage that had previously showed up on the MRI was completely restored!
You have to want to be healed.
The sovereignty of God. There are times when God just does what God chooses to do. Period. So often Jesus would see a multitude and just heal them all. I guarantee you there were a thousand different stories, and thousands of people all over the map when it came to faith, unbelief, sin, knowledge of the Bible, etc. And yet Jesus just healed them.
This is how our guest speaker’s first healing came. According to her own testimony she knew absolutely nothing about healing, and yet Jesus healed her anyway. Hallelujah! I wish all healings came this way. Don’t you? But they don’t. This brings us to our last category…
I don’t know. This last category is one that some people are not comfortable with. Sometimes we just don’t know, and when we try to come up with an answer, we do more harm than good.
What if Dennis died before he was healed of his nasal condition? (Sorry Dennis). He would never have known on this side of heaven that it was because of unforgiveness. And neither would have those who knew him. But I bet some would try to give an answer! How accurate do you think they would have been?
One thing I refuse to do is to conclude that God does not want someone healed because we prayed, and nothing happened. I think the Bible is crystal clear that salvation, healing, and deliverance are in the atonement – what Jesus accomplished on the cross. When I pray for someone, and they don’t get healed I ask God for divine intel. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. But what I never stop doing is praying for the person to get healed.
“Then Jesus told them a parable that people ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1)
These are just some of the reasons why healing doesn’t happen. There may be more. Please feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions or comments on this topic. I do not propose to have all the answers, but I will search out the Scriptures with you as we continue to contend of the kingdom!