Foundational Truths in Scripture
The scriptures provide three sets of powerful truths which we will need in order to pray and believe for healing with confidence. We need to know what our Lord has written about His desire to heal us. Can we count on Him to "take our side" -- desiring to see us healed, despite our less than perfect spiritual condition? Fortunately for us, our God has not only revealed His will in the matter, He has also demonstrated His position and power, so that we can have great confidence in seeking His help. Finally, He has shown us how to participate with Him as faith partners who trust and obey His leadership. Such confidence grows in us as we study and take to heart the insights we can glean through God's Word.
It is helpful to keep in mind that the healing journey will also be used by the Lord to free us of false beliefs and wrong ways that we may not even be aware of. When He has our attention and we are looking to Him for answers and for help, this naturally becomes a teachable moment. Jesus was never one to pass up such an opportunity!
He may use this time of seeking Him to lead you on paths of discovery of Biblical truths that will bear no direct relationship to your condition. But He may also lead you into times of refreshing and cleansing that will free your body of some of the dead weight in your soul (so to speak) that is dragging you down. Interior peace and freedom powerfully energize our immune system (see Disease and Dis-ease). For this growth into greater wholeness, we will need to combine Holy Spirit given insights with faith in God's Word.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
The Truth of God's Perfect Will
It is God's desire to heal, not afflict. Confusion over this simple truth can become a terrible stumbling block. God is not the author of death or disease -- these consequences of sin came in through our fall from grace. It has never been God's desire to see anyone afflicted with disease. Sadly, human sins have created many ways for the consequences of sin to come into our lives. Our own wrong choices, the sins of people in the world around us, the sins of our ancestors impact our lives in many negative ways. This grieves our Father as much as it does us!
Because of free will and real world conditions (see Truth or Consequences). God has to allow sin and its consequences to be in operation on the earth (disease for instance), but that certainly doesn't mean He desires it or causes it. In fact, His words and actions prove that He wants to heal. If we are not sure of this, then we will pray for people with a divided mind, as if we were somehow going against what God really desires. Such conflicting doubts are deadly to prayer.
Our fight is not against God (as if He has to be made willing to heal us). Our fight is against the powers and principalities of the dark kingdom, whose calling cards are death and disease. Their MO (modus operandi) includes tempting us to blame God for the very things they are doing. The Book of Job is an excellent example of how this works. We are clearly shown that it is Satan who attacked Job. Job, however, didn't understand the underlying spiritual realities and ended up blaming God for all his afflictions. The Lord healed Job anyway, but in the meantime, Job presented a sad spectacle of faithlessness and false belief. His suborn rebellion may even have delayed his healing. Let us avoid Job's error by steadfastly believing this foundational blazing truth: There is nothing of darkness about our God.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
All scripture citations are from the English Standard Version (ESV) unless otherwise noted.
The Truth of God's Own Actions
Our God not only tells us that He desires us healed and whole, He proves His words with powerful demonstrations of His will. Throughout Biblical history, God has healed many times and in many ways. God healed people under the Old Covenant, mainly through the prophets. Jesus healed multitudes of people during the three all-too-brief years of His ministry. On many occasions this included everyone who was brought to Him. The disciples also healed people under Jesus' leadership and direction.
And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. Matthew 10:1
Later, when they became the apostles, these same men healed people by the Holy Spirit's empowerment, beginning mere days after Jesus ascended. The entire Book of Acts records the astounding depth and breadth of their supernaturally gifted ministry. If the Early Church was meant to demonstrate to us what fully empowered Christianity is like, then healing and deliverance must be included in the picture. Here is just one example.
And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them. Acts 19:12
Why would the Lord do any of this, if He was only concerned with saving souls for heaven? As a pastor once quipped, all He would need in that case is one minister to bring us to conversion and another to shoot us right on the spot. In fact, Jesus is deeply committed to healing our bodies as His actions have proven. Again and again, in the gospels we see Jesus teaching, healing and casting out demons. It is as if, after the long centuries of watching our sad condition from heaven, He couldn't wait to get right to work healing as many of us as He could while He still had the time to work in Person. How can we imagine that anything has changed? Is He not the One who is the same yesterday, today, forever? Rest assured, dear saint, about this foundational truth: The God who healed in the Bible is still God today.
"For I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:6
The Truth of God's Decision to Act Through Us
Now it is our turn. Jesus is in us just as He was in the apostles. His work continues through us. This means that just as Jesus desires to save the lost through us, He also desires for His healing ministry to take place through us. Clearly, we cannot heal anyone apart from His authority and power, but He has given these to us and desires us to use learn how to use them (see Commanding Prayer). The simple truth is that we cannot do anything apart from Him, but He doesn't expect us to depart from Him. According to Jesus, we cannot do anything of value apart from Him. Therefore, one goal of our healing journey (and every other journey in life) needs to be learning how to abide in Christ. Any born again child of God can do this! We do this by trusting Jesus with what He allows and being willing to do anything He asks.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
By living in and through Him, Jesus fully expects that we will be able to do "greater works" than He did and that the Holy Spirit at work in us will work through us. Amazingly, He has given us tremendous power and authority to pray for our own healing and that of others. This doesn't mean that our God can't still reach in out of the blue and heal anyone He wants to by His own sovereign decision and mighty power. Of course, He can! However, the scriptures are also clear that He has called us to be vessels through whom He can act. Hence, we will likely make much better progress if we learn the ways of getting with His program. Let your faith be activated by this third foundational truth: The God who works healing wants to work through us.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
The Path of Effective Prayer
Jesus is our Teacher; He is also our Example. He shows as well as tells us how to live the new life of faith and how to accomplish our assignments. Since all of us are called to pray for healing according to clear directives in the New Covenant, we would be wise to pay close attention to how Jesus and others accomplished healing and deliverance. These living examples will be instructive for seeing how He would likely want to work through us now. As you go over the healing scriptures that fill the next five lessons, seek to gain "eyes to see and ears to hear" how the Master and His companions did things. This is the way of a disciple.
A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Luke 6:40
Next Healing Essential
Old Testament In the Old Testament period God "set the stage" for what He would be doing later on through Christ. He clearly announced the connection between sin and disease, He presented Himself as both Savior from sin and Healer of disease, and He demonstrated His ability and willingness to save and heal by many miracles, signs and wonders.
Interested in Going Deeper?
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