Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Bleeb I'b Eeled (Part 2)

Some Christians believe God doesn’t heal today like he did in the first century church. On the other hand, many believe that God is a healing God, that he is the same yesterday, today and forever, and that includes the arena of healing. But these often have difficulty finding congruency between what is believed and what is experienced. And some of these feel compelled to say, “I believe I’m healed” though every visible sign suggests otherwise.

I am not a cessationist. And my belief that God heals today isn’t first based on experience (mine or others), rather it is based on my understanding of Scripture. If I could find a Biblical basis for believing that supernatural works ceased with the early church, then I’d become a cessationist. However, I’ve read the Bible many times, and have found no basis to support this view.

Well Intended Cliches
What do “non-cessationists” say when someone isn’t healed? “They didn’t have enough faith.” “It must not be God’s will.” “God is trying to produce a greater good than what the actual healing would have produced.”

These well intended responses do little to glorify God, and often bring more internal struggle than anything else: guilt about not having more faith, frustration with God not wanting them to be healed, or confusion about what God is trying to teach them.

What is God Saying?

The above responses may at times be true. But until we seek the Lord, and find out what he has to say about the problem, we are just stabbing in the dark with trite answers. And well meant cliches are complicating the issue. (Almost reminds me of Job’s ‘comforters’.)

If you are unsure about whether God speaks to us today, I’ll just throw out a couple of passages: “My sheep hear My voice” (John 10) and “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives generously... and it will be given to him” (James 1). Jerry Lamey points out that many people who deny that God speaks to us today, will readily admit that the Devil puts thoughts in our heads. Let’s not doubt any longer that the Lord speaks today.

And if it was his will to heal the majority of the people in Jesus’ ministry, and in the apostles’ ministry, maybe there are some extenuating circumstances as to why we don’t see him healing more people today. We ought to find out what he has to say about the present situation we are praying about. We might find more success in praying for those with physical afflictions.

James’ Simple Advice (which so few of us heed)
One thing God has already spoken about healing is in the book of James, but so few of us seem to believe. James writes:

“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 one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:14-16

A Real Life Example
A friend of mine who suffered from chronic pain for probably more than a decade refused to call the elders of our church to pray for her, simply because she didn’t what to be a burden. So she suffered alone. However, after a surgical procedure that didn’t resolve one of her physical problems completely, she finally asked us to drive to her house one Sunday after church and pray for her. And of course, we did – gladly.

Two days later her testimony went beyond help with the surgical procedure. She moved an inch toward God, and he moved a mile. That day, God delivered her from pain all throughout her entire body.

This was about two years ago. This week I asked her again (as I sometimes do) how she was doing in the area of pain, and she said she was pain-free.

There are many people in our church that will tell you how God has met them, and brought help and healing, after simply calling on the elders of the church for prayer. As elders, we would first listen to what God was saying about the situation, and then we would pray accordingly. And as a result, many times people are healed.

Coming Up Next
In "I Bleeb I'b Eeled (Part 3)" I plan to discuss the connection between authority in Christ and healing.

Please share your feedback by posting a comment below.


Sunny said...

A very "sensible" answer! Duh, I wonder why we don't just take God at His word. He is not hard to comprehend, but we tend to make things so complicated and/or "figure" things, relying on our "inner feelings" out instead of going to His word. Thanks for the this valuable reminder. It has blessed my day!

Template by - Abdul Munir | Daya Earth Blogger Template