“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Wow. I don’t even know where to begin.
This weekend the elders (that is, our elder candidates) of our Renew church family, along with their wives, went away for a weekend of prayer and seeking the Lord, through the Scriptures, regarding His will for healing. As many of you know, this past year has been a journey for me of allowing God’s Word to be the only and final authority on the subject of divine healing, and specifically His will for us regarding various forms of suffering.
I shared a lot during the spring, posting tidbits along the way, trying not to use too many exclamation points and all-caps and italics because this stuff was blowing my mind. I kept reading and re-reading the gospels and walking around like a crazy lady, holding up my Bible and asking whoever would listen, “Have you read this?!”
Who knew? I had already read through the entire Bible 16 times at that point and had never noticed that Jesus healed every single person who came to Him. I never noticed that every time He commissions and sends people out, he includes preaching and healing/deliverance. I never noticed that Jesus spends more time healing and casting out demons than he does preaching. I never noticed that Jesus never tells people to “just be grateful” for their sickness or to “focus only on their spiritual needs” or to “only care about souls.” I never noticed that Jesus clearly distinguishes between suffering persecution for His name (for which we are blessed!) and suffering sickness which He came to heal and bear away, on the cross.
How have we gotten so off track? How have we come to celebrate the evil of sickness as somehow being a gift? Why are we embracing what Jesus bore away on the cross? Why are we encouraging people to stay locked in prison when Jesus came to set them free? Why do we see it as more “spiritual” to endure sickness, and somehow “shallow” or “weak” to ask for healing?
On Mother’s Day I preached a message on this, my journey, including this handout giving verse references for all the places in the gospels and Acts that we see examples or commands for healing. This past weekend we journeyed through many of these passages, allowing the Scriptures to be our authority, asking the Holy Sprit to open our eyes and see afresh the truth of God’s Word. We chose to submit our lives, our experience, our fears and our doubts, to the truth of His Word, and obey, to the best of our understanding, what He commands.
It was an incredible time. For 28 hours we searched the Scriptures, prayed, talked, discussed, prayed some more, laid hands on each other, prayed some more, ate, slept, read the Scriptures, prayed some more, cried, confessed, and prayed some more. God met us. I believe it was a watershed moment for our church, and our individual lives. Although I already fully believed, I came to know His heart for this more than ever before.
Have I seen evidence yet? Well I’m slow to lean on what I see, since faith is believing what is unseen, but I can testify and rejoice in two small “victories” I have witnessed by the power of God.
- First, I can praise God that since preaching that message on healing, and fully embracing this truth, submitting my mind and heart and spirit to God’s Word on this subject, my kids and I have not been sick a single time. That was almost 5 months ago. I praise Him for this!
- Secondly, Jeff has suffered back pain for 21-years because of a broken vertebrae when he was in High School. He always has this pain, especially severe during changes in weather, or when sleeping in uncomfortable situations. Friday night, the elders gathered around and laid hands on Jeff, asking for complete healing in Jesus’ name. He has had absolutely no pain since then. He slept on the floor that night (!) and the weather changed significantly, and he still has had absolutely no pain. We praise God for this as well!
So I simply ask you again: Search for yourself.
- Listen here, if you like.
- Click on the links to read along the journey.
- Download this free ebook (The Gospel of Healing by A.B. Simpson)
But most importantly, search these Scriptures. Look directly to Jesus and see what He was like. What did He say? What did He do? What did He tell us to do? Just as we pray, “Your kingdom come,” we then act. By His grace, we live out His love and bring His kingdom here, conduits of His healing power, His grace and forgiveness, His truth and freedom. For His glory. Amen!