Thursday, August 15, 2013

Healing: Why Does It Take So Long?

Okay, Lord, I Give Up!
by Donna L. Watkins

God has already redeemed us and healed us through Jesus' death on the Cross. He suffered for all that would ever come on us. He took ALL of the diseases and sickness; He took our sorrows and grief all upon Himself. The Bible says that He was beaten so badly He could hardly be recognized. All that disease was inside His body and all the hurts and sorrows ALL men would ever endure was being poured out on Him.

1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sinsand live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.”

The Greek word for “heal,” used in 1 Peter is also used in James 5:16 (bring the sick to the elders for healing). The Strong’s Concordance defines it as both sin disease and physical disease:

2390 iáomai – healing, particularly as supernatural and bringing attention to the Lord Himself as the Great Physician (cf. Is 53:4,5). Example: Lk 17:15: “Now one of them [i.e. the ten lepers], when he saw that he had been healed (iáomai), turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice.” -- Strong's Concordance

But this is where we say it doesn't look like much of the church today is healed, so that Scripture must be misinterpreted. Many prayers go up for people and seem unanswered, or worse yet, are thought to be an answer of "No" from the Father. How often do we try to make the Word wrong and our feelings right? Some people don't let the Word change their theology.

God came to earth in human form to provide all that is promised in His Word and it was deposited in us from the moment we were conceived, but we have to choose to receive it. God says we're healed, but we don't see it. God says He wants all men to saved (I Timothy 2:4), but all men are not saved. We have a choice, He gave us a free will to choose relationship with Him.

He says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers" (3John 1:2). Are we all in health? Is God lying? Is the Bible the inerrant Word of God? If we don't believe so, then we can give up our assurance of Heaven, because if some of it's wrong, who knows what else is wrong?

Or, could it be that WE are the ones not taking the time to study to show ourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). We have to believe the Word in our heart before we can receive it. It's not a mental piece of agreement or tidbit of knowledge. Belief in our heart is what activates our faith to bring it out of the spiritual realm into the physical.

"For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). How often Jesus said, "Only believe" or "Be it done unto you according to your faith" or "Your faith has made you whole."

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Healing is a gift of grace and for those of us who have been confident in ourselves relying on our own strength and wits, it's hard not to make it "works" rather than grace. That's a big block to receiving.

When we operate in our own strength, we can't access His strength. He's not playing power games, it's just a fact of the universe, like gravity. We were designed to trust in Him and we don't we get the results from the seeds of distrust.

I have had a real challenge with trust, which means I'm into the area of pride since not trusting means we think we can handle something better than God can. I've spent a lot of years praying wrong prayers and expecting God to operate on how I thought He should, rather than on what the Bible tells us.  Renewing the mind is a challenge, but we simply have to do it if we want to receive all that God has given us.

We believe we believe, but we have to know that the Bible, God's Word, says that if we believe we will receive (Matthew 21:22). So as much as our brain tells us that we do believe and we have not doubted ... there's still something in our hearts that is causing doubt (maybe hidden fear) which simply counter-balances the faith we have. "God has allotted to each the measure of faith" (Romans 12:3).

In case you don't think your measure was enough, when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn't cast the demon out of the young boy that the father had brought to them, Jesus told them it was "Because of your unbelief" (Matthew 17:20) and in the same verse He said, "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, 'Remove hence to yonder place' and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Again, do we believe the Word even when it doesn't match up with our knowledge base and theology? Do we seek the Lord to get revelation? Do we care enough about Truth to search it out? Or do we feel more comfortable believing what we've always believed?  When the Bible doesn't line up with what we are seeing, do we seek God with all of our hearts to know Him ... or just ask for miracles?

We can justify our beliefs with statements like, "God brings disease on us to teach us something or to make us a better person." The world doesn't want that kind of God.  Jesus said if you have seen Him you have seen the Father.  There is no record of Jesus ever denying healing or putting disease on anybody.  Jesus showed only love to the people who sought after Him.  The only people He condemned were the religious of His day who didn't want to change their beliefs and see their Messiah.

The word "gospel" meant "too good to be true news."  That wouldn't have described a God that puts disease on people. If you have these kinds of thoughts then you can easily see how they would not agree with Scripture that God provides healing.

All of that is in our hearts on a sub-conscious level and brings unbelief to the situation just as it did for the disciples as they watched this man's child having an epileptic seizure. It rocked their faith and yet Luke 10:17 says that when "the seventy returned [from a missionary journey] again with joy, they said, 'Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name'." They had seen supernatural things and here their eyes and ears got involved and negated their faith as they slipped into unbelief looking at the circumstances.

If we've been a Christian for very long it's possible our minds are full of wrong teaching.  It's also necessary to know that our covenant with God is not the one that was given to Israel in the Old Testament.

Salvation is so much easier to receive, but healing is harder because so often we see and feel the symptoms of the disease and if you've had that disease a long time, it becomes part of you because your brain has made so many adjustments to exist with it, and in that manner, it becomes part of who you are. All of that needs to be renewed in your mind, not with our own works, but by looking unto Jesus as we rest and believe in His promises. It astounds me that the Bible tells us that "Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise" (Romans 4:20).

State Botanical Garden of Georgia - Athens, GA
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When you get into the spiritual realm, there's just so much that cannot be reasoned out, so we stay trapped in a gap. We have to determine that above all else we will believe the Word no matter what we see or think, and feelings are definitely not to be considered. They come from what we are thinking. [Read: 75-98% of Mental & Physical Illnesses Come From Thought Life]

We are NOT waiting on the Lord! He is waiting on us. It's our hearts that lack understanding but we can't give up and slide back down into that pit of despair and hopelessness. We're used to operating in our minds and so we think we believe because we look at the Word and comprehend what it's saying and decide it is belief. It's just mental understanding of facts. Out of our mouths our heart speaks (Luke 6:45).

Quite awhile back I was so certain that my belief was where it needed to be and I was getting impatient about seeing complete healing in my body. Every morning I would wake up and try to bend my fingers, or try to wiggle my numb toes, or something else as I praised the Lord for the healing He has provided because I "knew" I was healed.

Well, one morning I woke up and didn't get out of bed right away and in that twilight zone between asleep and awake, I mentally shouted, "When are you going to make this happen, Lord?" I was so surprised and countered it immediately since it is not my loving Father that needs to do something, but obviously it's my heart that is not able to receive. A very rude awakening to what I actually did believe. We have to listen very closely to our thoughts.

We often say, "I just don't hear God." The Bible says, "My sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27) so we know He's speaking. We often have so much clanging noise in our days that we don't hear His still small voice, but He's transmitting. We just don't have our receiver plugged in.

We can fill our minds with great teaching and good spiritual books, but the reality is we're only hearing what God has spoken to somebody else. We need our own revelation of God's word to change our hearts. You've had it happen while reading your Bible ... you get to a Scripture you've heard over 100 times and all of a sudden Holy Spirit speaks it into your heart. It's revelation from Him to you. That's what Holy Spirit was sent to do for us.

If we could visualize sitting at His feet as we read His words, how would it change the circumstances? Do we trust and know that the Father really loves us? Most of us have not been taught that growing up as He was blamed for every news tragedy in the world. We say, "Oh Lord, deliver us from these troubled minds" ... and the Lord says, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

Faith is to trust, rely on, and depend upon God. The Word declares that the object of our faith, Jesus Christ, can never fail us and also says that "faith works by love" (Galatians 5:6). Love allows us to put our faith in a person. We naturally trust those who truly love us. To have a revelation of God's unconditional love for us will make faith leap from within us.

If you're struggling with faith, you may have a deficiency in understanding how much God loves you. Worship Him and imagine all that He is and all that He's done for us.  He holds the entire universe in the span of His hand.

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