Out of the Abundance of the Heart / Healing Help 14

Healing Help 14: Jesus is God’s Will, Friend.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV)

Faith begins where the will of God is known.

F. F. Bosworth

When I first came in contact with the so-called “Word of Faith” crowd, one of the first things that struck me was the way they prayed. There was a confidence, a sense that they actually expected God to answer. It seemed a little cheeky, but I liked it. I certainly believed that God existed, that He had saved me, and that He did answer prayers. On the other hand, He was not obligated to answer, and He had the option to simply ignore me if that was what He deemed best for me. You know, “if it be thy will.”

As I soon learned, we can have confidence toward God for specific answers to prayer. The key to that confidence is knowing that what we are asking Him is in accordance with His will. When I know that something is the will of God, I can ask Him to perform that will in my life. I know He hears me. If I know He hears me, I know that my prayer is answered. This is true in the area of physical healing. Before I can have confidence that I’m healed when I pray, I must have a sure knowledge that it’s God’s will to heal me. This is an issue for many precious people. (See Healing Help 2: Get Located)

I have found that lots of church people, believe it’s God’s will to heal in general, but that there are lots of “ifs, ands, and buts” attached to that will when it comes to their specific situation. When people are struggling with healing, take time to listen to them and they will eventually tell you what they really believe. We have a boatload of spiritual sounding lies to tell ourselves. Though we could spend a whole book on the subject, let’s just mention a few of the devil’s favorites: “God is in control.” “God is sovereign.” “It will come in God’s timing.” “I guess I need more faith.” “God’s teaching me something.” And my personal favorite, “Well, I’ll be healed, here or in Heaven.” All these, and the many others you may hear, have just enough truth in them to sound pious. Some are true statements, but don’t apply to the question at hand. What they actually do is allow us to feel better emotionally while staying sick physically. They subtly deny or deflect from the truth: God wants you healed. He wants you healed now. You are qualified just the way you are.

In the quest to receive God’s healing, bold, confident faith begins with becoming absolutely convinced that it is God’s will to heal. To heal now. To heal you. There are three primary threads of evidence that establish the will of God for healing:

  1. God’s nature. He is good. Sickness is not good. God does only good. In Exodus 15, He calls Himself Jehovah Rapha, “I AM Healer.” It’s not only what He does, it’s who He is. Acts 10:38 / Exodus 15;26 / Psalm 118:1 et al
  2. The work of redemption. Forgiveness of sin and physical healing are inextricably tied together. The same sacrifice that purchased our salvation from sin also paid for our healing. Therefore, the same faith that received forgiveness is also sufficient to receive healing! Isaiah 53:3,5 10 / Matthew 8:17 / Psalm 103:1-5 / Luke 17:5-6
  3. The example of Jesus. Jesus walked the earth as a perfect representation of the Father. He always did the will of the Father. How did Jesus approach sickness? Answer that question by reading the gospels, and you have a perfect statement of God’s will.

The first two of these threads of evidence are the subjects of much debate. While the logic seems obvious to me, there are many good Christians who believe that God sometimes uses sickness to judge and/or teach His people. This seems to say that either sickness is good, or a good God uses evil to bring about good. There are also those who say that the healing referenced in the Scriptures on Jesus’s atoning work is referring to the healing that is ours in the sweet by and by. I don’t think so, but honest people disagree.

The third evidence, the example of Jesus, seems to me almost inarguable. The number one way we learn about the nature of the Father is by seeing Jesus. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus had this interaction with Philip:

“(8) Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” (9) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

(John 14:8-9 NKJV)”

Jesus perfectly reflects the Father’s will. John opened his Gospel with this amazing statement: “No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:18 NLT)” Jesus boldly said,” If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; (John 10:37 NKJV)” He spoke what the Father gave Him, did what the Father showed Him, went where the Father led Him. Hebrews quotes Him on the day of His incarnation as saying, “Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.’(Hebrews 10:7 NLT)”

When Jesus hears Philip say, “Show us the Father,” on the eve of His crucifixion, He seems startled and incredulous. Don’t they not know who I am? How is that possible? His response tells us all we need to know about the will of God: “”Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:9)”

Reading the Gospels give us a clear picture of how Jesus dealt with sickness and disease of every kind. No problem was too difficult. Maybe more importantly, no person was too unworthy. He never disqualified anyone by telling them that, in their particular case, that He was not willing to heal them.

He was not moved by religious affiliation or social stigma. To the woman taken in adultery, He said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more. (John 5:11)” He healed a man held in bondage for 38 years because of his own sinful behavior. He healed him first, then sought him out to give him some follow-up counsel, “”See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” He even healed a leper, one with a condition so vile as to be banished from social contact. In so doing, He forever answered the issue of His will:

“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” (41) Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.

(Mark 1:40-41)”

Jesus dealt with all kinds of issues. He was particularly hard on religious traditions. He healed a woman with an issue of blood who was supposed to stay away from all crowds. She was unclean, but she was healed. He was notorious for healing people on the Sabbath, a particular no-no for the religious elite. When they questioned Him on it, He told them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27 NKJV).” Think about it: even Old Testament regulations were given to bring blessing, not bondage.

Jesus also caused an uproar by showing that God was not the author of sickness, and that individual illnesses were not necessarily the result of someone’s personal sin. In dealing with a man who was born blind, the disciples asked Him, ‘”Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind (John 9:2)?” His response rings out to us today: “”Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. (John 9:3-4)” No matter what or who caused an illness, it is the work of God to heal it. In every instance were the individual’s own behavior caused the problem, Jesus healed them first, then corrected them so they could avoid further problems. Jesus healed them all!

Peter gave a great description of the ministry of Jesus in Acts 10:38.

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

(Acts 10:38 NLT)

God anointed Jesus. The anointing comes to give power. What did it empower Jesus to do? Go about doing good. What kind of good? Healing. Who did He heal? All. What was the matter with them? They were oppressed by the devil. Who is the source of sickness? The devil. Why did Jesus do all this? Because God was with Him. God is the author, the motivator, and the power source for healing.

In the area of healing, we don’t have to ask, “What would Jesus do?” We need only ask, “What did Jesus do?” He healed all that were oppressed of the devil. He did it because God was with Him. Case closed.

NEXT STEPS: We have been programmed to believe things about God and His will to heal that are simply not true. God is not making you sick, He is healing you. Jesus said that He was the visible image of what the Father is like. Listen carefully to what you say about God and His will to heal you. Your mouth will tell you what’s in your heart. He wants you healed. He wants it now. Case closed.

Take the time to, read through the 4 Gospels. When you get to a story of healing, read it carefully. Don’t get in a jury, this is too important to brush over. Focus on the attitude and actions of Jesus. He is showing you the Father. In each story, think about what you learn about Jesus and His will concerning healing. If you can find anyone that came to Jesus for healing and was turned away, please let me know. I can’t find one. If it’s the will of God to heal all, then it’s the will of God to heal you. Start saying it to yourself: “Jesus is the will of God in action. It’s His will that I be healed.” Keep doing these exercises until you are convinced: God wants you healed. He wants it now. Case closed.

Pastor Virgil Stokes

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