Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Bleeb I'b Eeled (Part 1)

You might hear someone with a cold (and perhaps a misunderstanding of Biblical faith and healing) say "I bleeb I'b eeled".

Obviously, scripture proclaims God is a healing God, he desires to heal people, and that Christians can be used by God to bring physical healing to people. Jesus said, "He who believes in me, the works that I do, he shall do also, and greater works than these shall he do" (John 14). But why don't we see more of this today?

Scripture Trumps Experience
One problem we encounter is the difficulty squaring our experiences with scripture. It is difficult to believe that God wants to heal more often than not, because we haven't often seen healings. The fact is that many times we pray for healing and see no results. Thus we reinterpret scripture to match our experiences. And we default to such prayers as, "If it is your will, heal so and so."

Jesus demonstrated God's will in sickness and healing. Paul says that we are to "prove what the will of God is", not guess what it is. Can we truly pray the prayer of faith if we don't know God's will?

One Important Principle For Healing
Learning about healing has been a quest of mine for a long time. I'm endeavoring to conform my experience to scripture (not the other way around). One thing I've learned is the importance of gaining God's perspective on the immediate situation.

There are many causes for physical symptoms and sicknesses. These can be physical, emotional, spiritual, etc. or a combination. But if we merely approach a sickness from a physical standpoint, we may miss the boat, and suffer needlessly in the long run.

God knows the root causes of our ailments, and he can make them clear. Without seeking him, we end up stabbing at solutions. We try to pray harder. Our doctors experiment with treatments. Sometimes God says, "Go to the doctor". But not always.

Deliverance by Man
Here's an example. At least three people I know of have been treated for melanoma. Knowing the danger of this disease and observing for several years a small abnormal spot on my skin, I began to seek God about going to the doctor. Now I never had it diagnosed, but I do know that it was not clearing up, and if anything, it was slowly getting worse. God spoke to me this passage:

Oh give us help against the adversary, For deliverance by man is in vain. Psalms 108:12

So I have believed God, and have trusted in his specific word to me for this situation. After a couple of months, the spot cleared up over half-way. A year later almost all the discoloration is gone.

Pink Eye Hit Home
One more example that occurred in my family is when conjunctivitis took its turn with three of my boys. The first two battled recurring fevers and red, gooping eyes. When prayer did not help them, we took them to the emergency room (of course this happened on the weekend!) and obtained antibiotics for them. Then the third boy came down with the fever and the seeping, red eyes.

I was frustrated. But after God adjusted my attitude, I heard the Holy Spirit clearly say to anoint him with oil (James 5), and I was reminded of Jesus' words about agreement (Matthew 18). So my wife and I anointed him and agreed together in prayer for him to be healed. The following morning the fever was gone, and the eyes had significantly cleared. That night we did the same thing, and the next morning he was completely healed. (Incidentally, it took around four or five days for the other two's symptoms to clear up.)

Jesus is More Accessible than Your Doctor
So why not give Jesus a chance to speak to us about our physical symptoms? We may just need to seek medical help. But maybe God will point us in another direction. He certainly desires to heal us. And we don't need to set up an appointment with him.

"Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers" (3 John 1:2).

Please share your feedback by posting a comment below.


My wife's kids' Dad said...

Thanks for posting your insights on this subject. I look forward to part 2! I'm curious to know your thoughts on 2Cor 12:7-10 (Paul's infamous thorn in the flesh). Apparently, there are times when a non-healing accomplishes God's glory more effectively than a healing.

David said...

Thanks Scott. My thoughts on the 'thorn in the flesh' passage are:
-It seems we automatically assume that the thorn in the flesh is a physical affliction of sorts. Maybe. Maybe not. Inconclusive.
-Num. 33:55, Josh. 23:13, and Judg. 2:3 talk about nations being thorns in the sides of the Israelites, a metaphor for trouble or difficulty, but not necessarily a connection to a sickness, or disease, or illness.
-I do think that if God is using sickness/disease to sanctify us (though this isn't the norm), he will help us make the connection, and it should not be something we will be in confusion about. We have opted for the norm being sickness rather than healing. I think an honest interpretation of scripture would lead to a different conclusion.

Anonymous said...

As I was reading your posting, a scripture came to my mind: “With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.” II Thessalonians 1:11-12 [italics added].
I realize that this is simply Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians, but it is biblical. There may be other interpretations, but I take this scripture as encouragement to go ahead, step out and say a prayer of faith for healing (and other things), trusting that God will follow through. And, in my personal experiences related to healing, He has followed through.

David said...

Thanks for sharing, Anonymous. That truly is an inspiring scripture.

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