At some point in our lives we will all deal with severe sickness and/or death either personally or in a friend or loved one to such a degree that if we are believers, we will have to process the concepts of God's goodness and his ability and will to heal into a personal and experiential theology. I very clearly remember when I heard that my friend Tim had liver cancer to such a degree that he did not have long to live. I had not seen Tim for a couple of years because we had moved away, but when we lived near by him and his family we were very close. My wife and I went to see him on the first Saturday after we found out. We knew after we saw him he would not make it through the night. This was the first time for me that I actually had someone die in my presence, literally in my arms and although I was happy that we were there for his wife and son, somehow it was not enough. I knew that his family had been robbed, the body of Christ had been robbed and we were all seemingly helpless to do anything about it and I was beyond sad, I was mad.
At the funeral, a mutual friend of ours came up and said to me " it just doesn't seem right does it"? To me it wasn't right, and although well meaning people said the Lord wanted to take Tim home and that it must have been God's will and timing, it seemed inconsistent with the nature of God to me that he had anything to do with Tim's death. Why would God give this family a miracle son in their late forties and then take the boy's father away? The truth of the matter was that it was the Devil who came to steal, kill and destroy and the Devil was responsible. Jesus came so that we would have abundant life, not liver cancer. Because God is so amazing and benevolent he is able to work all things for good and even in that tragic situation he was gracious and his peace and comfort was available, even though it was not his will and he was not responsible for Tim's death.
So the next year and a half of my life, I immersed myself in study, prayer, missions, conferences, reading, healing rooms and anything that would give me experience and shine the light on why healing does and does not happen.
The following principles/truths are what I have come to believe and put action to, and although subject to change I feel confident about sharing them. I have at least in good conscience wrestled with what I believe the word of God and Holy Spirit say about healing. I endeavor to follow through and walk in the truth of God's revelation until my experience lines up, not the opposite. I will not let my experience or failure cause me to change my understanding of God's heart or nature and thereby change my profession of faith and actions.
*Some of these statements will expose religious traditions as incorrect and invalid and that is on purpose and by design.
1. First and foremost it is always God's will to heal and deliver someone. He has revealed himself as healer. It is his nature, it is who he is. In Exodus when Moses was leading the children of Israel out of Egypt it was the very first of the seven redemptive ways he revealed himself. " I am the Lord that heals you" Exodus 15,ps. 103:1-8
2. Jesus used healing to validate his message, and we are arrogant to think people will listen to the message of salvation without the same validation. We have changed his message if we are not about healing and deliverance. Our gospel message is just another philosophy if it does not include supernatural healing, I cor. 4:20
3. No one understands everything about healing, but it is revealed more to those who pursue it and practice it
4. Although there are gifts of healings, a special anointing is unnecessary. There is no need for a healing impartation. Jesus has already given his disciples all authority. Obedience to the word of God through faith is all that is necessary and it is considered basic Christianity according to the word of God to heal the sick, cast out demons and raise the dead. Luke 10:1-12
5. Jesus said speak to the mountain, not to God about the mountain. He has given us authority in his name to speak to the Spirit or sickness directly and make it go.
6. God has already done everything he is going to do - in other words healing has been accounted for in the atonement. By his stripes you have been healed. (past tense)- It is up to the believers to walk in faith to make the healing manifest.
7. Faith increases as we walk in our authority and increase our experience to pray for healing.
8. All believers have the ministry of reconciliation - 2Cor 5:17-21. we have been given the authority to reconcile people unto God via Salvation, healing and deliverance.
9. The Bible says 5 times that he (Jesus) healed them all. Not all who deserved it or all who had faith.
10. In ministering healing, We are proclaiming what is already done, get out of the time limit. In a sense, he does not heal one by one, it is already done on the cross and we are just releasing it.
11. Begging God to heal people makes it seem like we are more loving and compassionate than he is, when in fact he wants them healed and delivered much more than we do. That is why he gave us the authority to do it.
12. God's will is done whenever we do it. The provision for healing has been made and the responsibility given to the body of Christ.
13. When healing ceases to become an event, but a lifestyle then it begins to flow.
14. The church says get sin out and you can be healed. Jesus says be healed first then don't sin. Healing is a sign to the unbeliever.
15. We don't need faith for healing, but once we have faith to receive Christ, we get the healing (and salvation, and deliverance) that comes in Christ.
16. Isaiah 53 "we are healed"- 1 Peter 2:24 we were healed- what happened in between was the cross.
17. Healing deliverance and salvation are really one and the same in the eyes of Jesus. Matthew 9: 1-8, Jesus heals a paralytic by telling him "your sins are forgiven".
18. Jesus has committed to (all) his disciples the ministry of healing, not just the twelve. Luke 9,10- Matthew 28 - john 14:12, john 20:21
19. God is never trying to teach someone a lesson or humility through sickness and disease. Jesus never said that and we should not say that. To believe that is to really misunderstand the heart and nature of God.
20. "Believers will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover". It is His reputation on the line not ours. The only thing stopping the healing God has for mankind is the people he has commissioned to do it.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The more I grow in my faith, the more I realize the importance of prayer and how operating in that realm is really where any battle is won. I am an intercessor and I pray for my church and pastors and leaders regularly as well as the city and region and nation and the nations that God has put on my heart. I pray healing for people every week in church and in healing rooms as well. As an intercessor, I stand in the gap of what is missing in someone else's ability or understanding of what is needed or what they lack. I am a go between, an intermediary, taking a middle position. An intercessor intervenes in a situation with the intention of reconciling two parties who don't see eye to eye. A prophetic intercessor reminds God of his promises and brings before him issues of injustice. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of an intercessor, his life is a continual intercession bridging the gap for us (Heb. 7). All believers are called to be intercessors, some to more of a degree than others, but I believe more people would take on the high calling of intercession if they really understood the Spiritual dimension of that ministry. There are some kingdom principles of angelic partnership in accomplishing the intercession that when understood takes the pressure,spotlight and weight of responsibility off of us to pray, but instead make it a joy and privilege. In the battle for souls, healing and advancing the kingdom, Angels are the airforce and we are the ground troops or the army. For too long we have not communicated and strategized with the host of heaven in our intercession and if we did, I contend we would see more results.
Angels usher in the presence of God and his glory, sometimes we are aware of it and many times we aren't. They are the connectors of heaven and earth with assignments from the father that are based on our prayers. That is why the heavens remained open after Jesus' baptism and why Jesus told Nathaniel in John chapter 1 that he would see angels ascending and descending on the Son of man. Angels pronounce God's will, whether that is in a visual manifestation to Mary or dropping the thought into our minds during our prayer time or giving us knowledge and wisdom in our dreams or even visions. In more ways than we think it is really God putting on our hearts his will and giving us direction in prayer through the agency of his angels who are our partners in advancing the kingdom of heaven.
Not only are the angels involved in bringing us into the presence of God and revealing his will, but they are involved in our praise and worship. They come from the throne room where worship is continual and they help us develop and enhance our ministry of worship to the Lord and understanding of his heart so that we can intercede properly. Then in response to our worship and declaring of God's will which is because of the ministry of angels, God sends more angels in response to our prayers. They bring the answers and the provision and come to do the warfare in the heavenly realm. The angels bring healing, deliverance, protection and strength to God's people. They reap and gather for him. I doubt most people could differentiate between the Holy Spirit answering a prayer directly and the response coming from an angel on mission from the heavens. Whenever I pray for anyone for anything it is always with the understanding that there are angels waiting for assignment to fulfill the will of God in response to my prayer and I boldly ask for God to send his angels. Even now as you are reading this I pray that a Spirit (angel) of revelation would reveal this truth to you in such a way that it would increase your faith and the boldness and effectiveness of your prayers.
Friday, October 1, 2010
I love the story of the boy king Josiah in 2 Kings 22-23 and how he was zealous for the Lord God. If you remember, the priest Hilkiah found the Book of the law in the temple when they were doing renovations. They had been going on as a society without the word of God for quite some time, but when they found the book and Josiah read it and had it read for all the people, the most incredible thing happened. He saw a prophecy that called him out by name, revealing his identity and mission even though it was written 300 years earlier in 1 Kings 13. He saw himself in the book, his identity was revealed, and because of that he could turn away from idolatry and sin and lead his people in the worship of God. I am starting to see myself in the book. Are you starting to see yourself in the book? Do you realize that your destiny and identity is known by God, and he is waiting for you to find the book and find yourself in the book. You are a priest and king who has been called to cut down the high places and lead others into a relationship with the true God.