DAILY DISCIPLINE #188
By Colleen Donahue
IS HEALING FOR TODAY?
There are three attitudes towards healing today. The first is that miracles don't belong to this present day and age and therefore healing is not for us today. The second attitude suggests that God heals in answer to special prayer and according to his own will in the matter. Finally, the third attitude is that healing is the legal right of every child of God. We receive healing for our physical body, including our soul (mind, will and emotions) on the same grounds that we receive remission of sin for our spirit. This study will examine these teachings according to what the Bible has to say so we can come to a conclusion for our own life.
The first attitude is wrong by definition of a miracle. Daniel Webster (who wrote Webster's Dictionary) says that a miracle is an act or happening in the material or physical sphere that apparently departs from the laws of nature and goes beyond what is known concerning these laws.
Miracles happen whenever God comes upon the scene. When God comes into immediate contact with men a miracle is performed. Every answer to prayer (regardless of how small) and every "new birth" is a miracle. An act of healing whereby God comes into immediate contact with man's physical body is no more a miracle than the "new birth" in which God imparts his own nature into man's dead spirit. Pouring His life into a dead spirit is God's greatest miracle.
To say that miracles don't happen today is to relegate God to the status of mere observer in the universe He has created. This is utterly false for we see God at work all the time.
Let's move onto the other two beliefs. If we can prove the second belief correct then the third must be false and vis versa. So we must consider what God's Word says about this.
ORIGIN OF DISEASE, SICKNESS, AND DEATH
Before we can understand healing we must understand the origin of disease, sickness, and death. When Adam and Eve chose to do the one thing God asked them not to do (a test of free will) they were choosing to live their lives independent of God by their own knowledge of good and evil. This choice, called sin, resulted in the Holy Spirit leaving man's spirit so that we died spiritually. Every person born since, comes into the world with a dead spirit -- and this is the soil where sin, disease, and death grow and ultimately reign over man.
Sickness, disease, and death in man's physical body are but the manifestations of spiritual death. To say it in reverse would be to say that if man had never died spiritually then disease and death would never have been part of his physical body. For man was made to live forever.
Through sin, Satan became the god of this world unleashing a reign of evil that has caused many to reject the fact that God is a God of love. Evil is the direct result of Satan's reign in the world over man. There are two divisions of evil: pain and sin. Pain can manifest in different ways but the main cause comes from disease. Sin and disease are twins born out of spiritual death and both are the work of Satan. Sin is a disease of the spirit and sickness is a disease of the body.
WHAT IS GOD'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS DISEASE?
In short, God looks upon disease as He looks upon sin, the work of Satan in the life of his creation - man. Jesus came to reveal the Father to men. By carefully following His life we can learn what God's attitude towards sickness is.
Jesus had a two-fold ministry. He brought peace to our souls through the forgiveness of sin. He also brought healing to our bodies. Over and over it says that "he healed them all." Healing had a major place in Christ's ministry. He healed physical bodies and he also delivered those who were oppressed by Satan.
1. If disease didn't originate with Satan then it must have had a place in God's original plan for man. But what do we see Jesus doing?
Matthew 8:16-17 / Mark 1:32-34
2. If disease was part of God's original plan for man, then Jesus was acting contrary to God's will. But Jesus tells us directly that he never acts on his own. He only does what the Father tells him to do.
3. We see that Christ's ministry brought healing and blessing to the physical side of man as well as the spiritual side.
Mark 2:1-12 / Luke 13:10-17
In both of these cases Jesus was dealing with the bondage of man to Satan.
HEALING IN REDEMPTION
4. What did Jesus come to earth to destroy?
1 John 3:8B
5. Jesus came to earth to completely redeem man from the effects of Adam's sin by identifying himself with humanity.
Romans 5:12-21 / Hebrews 2:14
6. If our redemption from spiritual death is to be complete, it must be a redemption from disease as well as sin. God shows us this through the prophet Isaiah.
Note: Verse 4 in the King James Version says "griefs and sorrows" but the literal translation is "disease and sickness". This means that Jesus was made sick with our diseases, and He was made sin with our sins. If Jesus already bore themfor us, then why should we want to carry them as well?
7. When Jesus was raised from the dead, man was made right with God.
"The body of sin (or our inherited sin nature), was made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin." (Romans 6:6 AMP)
Sin had lost its power as well as disease. Therefore, we can conclude that with the ministry of Christ, our Father-God revealed that it was His will to heal men physically.
Satan who had the authority in the realm of spiritual death, has been brought to nothing.
Jesus has the victory over sin, disease, sickness, and final death.
if Christ's ministry was two-fold -- i.e. renewing man's dead spirit and healing his body, then so is ours. And we see that when he gave his disciples the Great Commission in Mark 16.
8. First, the commission will meet the spiritual need of man. What happens to anyone who believes in Jesus and what He has done for us on the cross?
Every child of God applies this commission to himself.
Then comes the second part of the commission. What signs will accompany those who believe?
The act of believing brings one into the family of God and then the rich promises of Mark 16:17-18 belong to those who believe.
The early disciples and apostles went forth with the same two-fold ministry that Jesus had. They preached a New Birth for the spirit, and healing for the body.
9. God always watches over his word to perform it.
Isaiah 55:11 / Jeremiah 1:12
10. Our right to healing, given to us in His redemption has the authority of Jesus' name behind it. Jesus is watching over His Word to confirm it today as he did in the days of the apostles.
WHAT THE WORD OF GOD IS TO US
11. God and His Word are one. Jesus is the Word -- the living Word.
John 1:1-4 / Hebrews 4:12
In Greek "The Word" is called the Logos. Jesus is the Logos and the Logos is a living thing. We are indwelled by the Logos or the Word.
John 15:7 / Colossians 3:16
Since Jesus and his Word are one, then the Word dwelling in you is the equivalent of Christ personally being in you.
12. We are convicted by the Word.
13. We are recreated by the Word.
2 Corinthians 5:17 / James 1:18 / 1 Peter 1:23
14. Our minds are renewed by studying the Word and acting upon it.
Romans 12:2 / James 1:21-22
15. We are built up by the Word.
16. We are healed by the Word.
17. When Isaiah 53:4-5 becomes a reality in our spirit then it can operate in our physical body.
18. We can know the Father through the Word.
19. Faith comes to us through the Word.
It leads us to Christ who in turn perfects our faith.
20. Because the Word and Jesus are one, when we read the Word and act on it then Jesus comes on the scene immediately. Scripture is dead until we act on it. And every time we act on it, our faith increases. It's the word on our lips that counts.
Jeremiah 15:16 / Romans 10:9-10
ACTING ON THE WORD
21. When we give the Word of God its place, then we give Jesus his place. Acting on the Word is letting Jesus Christ act through you. The problem of believing is made simple when we know that it is acting on what God has spoken.
Matthew 7:24-25 / Luke 6:46-49
"The Rock" is doing the Word. If you don't act on the Word then you never build a solid foundation. Eventually you will be destroyed. The wise man is a "doer" of the Word. All others hear the Word, maybe give mental assent, have a vague indefinite hope, but don't "do the Word". If he has faith it's usually in what man can do through science, medicine etc.
It's only the doer of the Word whom God honors. We often delude ourselves into thinking we are doers when we aren't. Here are some examples:
-You come to a hard place where you need money. You resolutely turn to the Lord because you know, "My God will supply every need of mine...." You stand firm knowing God will supply.
-Or, you or a loved one becomes sick. Instead of being frightened you remember the Word. "He has borne my sickness and carried my disease..." We act on that Word and do not fear. We are not disturbed because the Word says that, "....with his stripes we are healed."
-Or, maybe some calamity has come, some rumor that the adversary has stirred to our detriment. We remember in Isaiah 54:17 that "no weapon formed against us will prosper..." Then you trust God to make good on his promise.
22. Doing the Word lets you walk in quiet, restful confidence.
The doer of the Word abides in Jesus and His Words are living in him -- in the measure that he lives in them, does them and practices them.
All his decisions are made by the Word.
23. And when you are a person who lives by the Word, then fruit comes from it and the Father is honored.
24. Unless you are a doer of the Word, you are not really a believer.
James 2:20, 24
At best you have mental assent or a mere profession of religious words.
1 John 3:17-19
25. When you are a doer of the Word then you get what you pray for. We hear the Word and then we go with Jesus before the throne to ask God for it. We go with boldness and confidence and so we please the Father just as Jesus did.
And we receive what we ask for.
1 John 5:14-15
26. You may ask, "How can I obey God's Word? I don't have the ability!"
Matthew 28:20b / Ephesians 3:20
God has the ability to work as he wants through us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to indwell our life. God has all the ability we need. His ability becomes our ability. As we begin to "do" the Word He begins to do in us and through us. We begin to experience what John talks about here:
1 John 4:4 (especially 4B)
The Holy Spirit in us is taking out of the Word all that we need and bringing it into us as we study it.
THREE MIGHTY FACTS TO RECOGNIZE
27. FIRST -- In Jesus we have redemption from Satan's dominion (or authority).
The word "forgiveness" in this verse should be translated "remission" (Greek word: aphesis). Remission means to wipe out everything we have ever done up to the time we come to Christ. The minute we are born again we stand before God as NEW CREATIONS without the smell of our past life upon us. We are no longer defined by our dysfunctional families or the circumstances of our youth. It's not that they didn't occur, but they can no longer have their evil effects upon us. The instant we are born again we become the righteousness of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21
And the moment we become the righteousness of God, Satan's dominion is broken. We are no longer slaves to what he puts onto us. We now become the master of our circumstances. Satan can no longer lord it over us -- unless we let him. The days of weakness and failure are ended for the person who knows the Word and dares to act on it.
28. SECOND -- It is an eternal redemption. The fact that our sins are forgiven and Christ has raised us up with Him to the Heavenly places is our legal standing with God today and the foundation of our legal rights as his children.
Ephesians 2:6 -- According to this verse WHERE are we sitting?
29. THIRD -- Our redemption is OPERATIVE NOW! It is not just theological fact but it is operative now.
2 Corinthians 5:17
"If any man is in Christ" (i.e. we accept Jesus as our Savior and confess him as our Lord) then we become part of the true vine or one with Jesus.
We become partakers of the divine nature escaping the destruction of spiritual death.
2 Peter 1:4
We receive eternal life. The word "life" here is the Greek word "zoe" which means God's divine nature.
John 3:15-16 / John 10:10
Believing is possessing.
1 John 5:13 is a reality in the new creation
In the mind of God, the old sinful man has stopped living and a new man has taken its place.
THE AUTHORITY OF JESUS' NAME
30. God knows our enemy very well. He also knows Jesus paralyzed the death-dealing power of the enemy. So he gave you and I Christ's ability to dominate Satan and all his works knowing that the enemy would soon enough take advantage over us.
2 Corinthians 2:11
31. The sword of the Spirit (spoken of in this verse) is the Word of God. It is not meant to wound men but to be used against the adversary. For our combat is against the dark forces that surround us.
Along with the weapon of the Word of God, Jesus has given us the power of attorney to use his name in the fight against Satan and his demons.
John 15:16 / John 16:23-24
32. It is not good enough to pray TO Jesus or FOR his sake. We are to pray with intelligence to the Father the very things that the Holy Spirit is putting on our hearts to pray. The Holy Spirit will always lead us according to the Word. We are to come boldly using Jesus' name. The Father always honors that name. And Jesus as our high priest comes right alongside of us so we can go to God confidently.
THE LIVING WORD IN US
33. We come into the family of God by confessing the Lordship of Jesus over our life.
"Lordship" means "bread provider". Jesus is the one who sustains, protects, and cares for us because He owns everything. So from the beginning of our divine life, he assumes the responsibility as caretaker of our life. Here is the Father's attitude to his children.
34. If we are His children and He is our Father, then He is bound to take his place as a Father.
The ability of God then becomes ours when we're in the family.
This will be the end of worry and fear when we know clearly that our Father has assumed the responsibility for our life. It means that we trust him.
35. The Father wants our heart trust and our full confidence. He wants us to know that He can make us wiser than our enemies and master over our circumstances. He wants us to know that we have his ability.
1 Corinthians 1:30
36. You and I have God's ability in life's fight. The Father is watching over us to meet every need in every crisis.
Psalm 27:1 / Psalm 56:9
Note: Light = wisdom
Psalm 46:1 is yours.
37. Man had been made to be the dwelling place of God. But when Adam and Eve sinned, the Holy Spirit left man and left the earth. When Jesus came to earth he brought back the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 3:11 / Luke 3:16
38. And before Jesus left the earth, He made sure that the Holy Spirit was given first to his disciples, and then a short while later to all believers.
John 20:22 / Acts 1:4-5, 8 / Acts 2:1-4
(Notice in Acts 1 that Jesus was very definite that we not start our ministry until we are baptized with the Holy Spirit. He knew that without the Holy Spirit filling our lives we are powerless against the enemy).
39. In the work of salvation, Jesus took care of our past by forgiving all the sins we had ever committed -- known or unknown.
Matthew 26:28 / Hebrews 9:22
40. But because we have a sin nature, we just naturally keep on sinning. So God took care of our present by putting our old sinful natures in Jesus on the cross so that we wouldn't just continue to sin with that old nature. It would be "rendered inoperative" so that we could be free from having to sin. It was a cosmic miracle that God did for all of us right down the centuries.
Notice two things:
1. Paul writes this as FACT. He says, "We KNOW".
2. Then he uses the PAST TENSE. "Our old sinful selves WERE crucified" and "We (our old selves) died..."
41. It's the Holy Spirit that carries us into the future. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God AND the Spirit of Jesus (Romans 8:9). So when he dwells within our lives it's like the reset button has been pressed. It's the Holy Spirit filling our own spirit that makes us new creations in Christ. We return to the way God originally made Adam and Eve -- men filled with His own Spirit.
Romans 8:16 / 2 Corinthians 5:17
42. It's the Holy Spirit (God's own nature) that replaces our sinful nature that died with Jesus on the Cross. And when we ask Jesus for the Holy Spirit to fill our lives, we are no longer controlled by our old, sinful nature. The new nature of God fills our lives.
Notice in Romans 8:9 that anyone who does not have the "Spirit of Christ" -- i.e. the Holy Spirit -- does not belong to Him. Too many who call themselves Christians today have only had their past sins forgiven but they know nothing of their old natures having died on the cross with Christ and even less about having Christ's Spirit replacing their old nature. The result has been frustration --- Christians "trying" to live for God but without His power.
43. It's the Holy spirit that gives life to our mortal body in the same way that he gave life to Jesus in the tomb. The life that raised Jesus from the dead is the same life that can raise us up from sickness and disease -- or dis-ease -- of any kind.
44. This means that we will have the strength and ability to do all that the Father requires in our work for Him. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is with us and within us.
(Notice the words "I am with thee." This is the Old Covenant)
But NOW things are different.
1 John 4:4
When things press hard on us we can say, "Thank you Holy Spirit that you are God inside of me. You are greater than all the forces coming against me!" Then you rest quietly and praise God for what HE is going to do!
SAVED TO SERVE
45. The Christian world has made salvation the focus of everything. This has created a sad state in our lives and the church. Salvation is God's gift to us so that we can get back on track. We are meant to walk in partnership with God to have dominion over some part of the earth. He wants us to not only meet our own obligations but to help in the cause of Christ. And therefore 2 Corinthians 9:8 is ours.
46. For example, you will be able to distribute literature, speak with others about eternal life, and give to others out of your abundance because God will enable you to "abound in every good work." How?
2 Corinthians 9:10
47. We are now the righteousness of God in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21
This means that in partnership with the Holy Spirit we can have dominion over demon forces coming against us.
48. We become strong in the Lord's strength. We can love because His love is shed abroad in our hearts.
You can rule the forces of darkness the same way that Jesus did. You are not afraid of disease or anything else that will come. You are the master.
When we take the Word of God seriously, knowing that God means exactly what he says, then we are lifted out of our old realm of weakness and failure. It is no longer "I can't" but "I can do all things through Him who is my ability."
49. You are saved to serve and he is anxious to "increase the harvest of your righteousness."
2 Corinthians 9:10
He will enable you to meet the needs of others around you which means he wants to make you strong and able physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It will all depend upon your attitude towards who you are in Christ. If you do not limit Him, then you too are limitless.
Let the Holy Spirit (the same Spirit filling God the Father and the Lord Jesus) dominate and rule you. Count on Him to heal and raise what has been broken for his use. He will give life to your mortal body, but not just so you can say that God healed you. No, he gives us supernatural life so that we can serve Him all the days of our life.
TAKE YOUR PLACE
50. As a child of God your righteousness means that you have the ability to stand in the Father's presence without a sense of guilt and condemnation.
51. You are "in Christ" and you can go boldly to the throne of grace to receive mercy and grace for your time of need.
52. Do you go to the Father first or to others? If you don't go to the Father, then you will never enter the rest of faith that He has for you.
53. You will be in His family without a clear sense that He is caring for you and therefore you need not be anxious ever again. Do you have a clear sense that this is true?
Do you have a clear sense that your Father is greater than all your circumstances?
If not, then in some way Satan and his demons continue their work to hold you in bondage -- to keep you afraid of sickness and want -- to keep you stressed and anxious in certain circumstances.
54. Jesus as our high priest is always making intercession for us, but if we don't know the quiet rest of faith that our Father cares for us, then we will not enjoy that intercession.
Can you pray with confidence, "Jesus is always praying for me. He is holding me and therefore I am at rest."
55. If you don't act on the Word of God, then you'll never enter the rest of God. You'll be like the Israelites that strived diligently to have it, but never succeeded. Why?
The Israelites actually disobeyed God by not believing and acting on His word.
56. The fruit of righteousness is rest in the Word of God -- a quiet confidence that God will keep his word. What will be the result for you?
Psalm 23:1-2 / Isaiah 32:17-20 / 2 Timothy 1:12
You will have no fear of demons, circumstances, or lack because you know that the Father cares for you. You have found the Kingdom of God. You are a new creation in Christ Jesus. You possess the Father's nature through the Holy Spirit who indwells you. The Holy Spirit in you means you are in right-standing with the Father. Therefore you can live and walk in fearless quiet.
57. And when you walk in partnership with God then you can take your place as contributing members of God's family. You can now help others.
58. Every one of us (in our own circle) is meant to be praying for sick folks, carrying the burden of others, and leading family, friends, and acquaintances into the Kingdom of God. If you choose to act on the Word then you become qualified to help others. Why?
2 Corinthians 3:4-6
59. The sufficiency of God is your sufficiency. His ability becomes your ability and he gives you this challenge.
2 Corinthians 9:8-11
The fullness, sufficiency or ability of God belongs to every believer.
This abundance and ability of God will not only spill over to others in the way of money, but also in time, ability, wisdom, and in intercession.
60. With the Holy Spirit indwelling you, you will always be a child of God walking in victory. There will be no more need to remain a weakling, for the strength and ability of God are yours.
2 Corinthians 2:14
The first step into this wonder life is recognizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Then, as a citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven you have rights. God's Word is yours to count on and it governs your life with the Holy Spirit as your indwelling teacher.
61.God's nature within you will first bring change to you so that you can take your place in helping others. You have a unique role to play in the lives of others. The Holy Spirit will start leading you out to do the good works God has planned for you.
And then Ephesians 4:11-16 will become a reality in you.
62. God never intended that any of His children be dependent in their old age upon the world. He himself wants to supply your every need.
Have you learned this?
You must learn to trust God absolutely and Philippians 4:13 must become a very real part of your being.
Jesus has been made unto you wisdom.
1 Corinthians 1:30
Wisdom is the ability to use knowledge. This means that the knowledge you have gathered from the Bible, from books, from others, and from experience can be used to help yourself and others. The Holy Spirit will guide you in using that knowledge to meet your own situation or for others. He will always be leading you in victory.
Healing for the body is for today, the same way that the forgiveness of your sins is for today. Jesus constantly forgave sins, healed diseases, and drove out demons so that men and women could get back on track to serve God and others. We are not healed to simply enjoy our life. We are healed to serve.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
1. Healing the Sick by T.L. Osborn
2. God's Will for your Healing by Gloria Copeland
3. Divine Healing by Andrew Murray
4. None of These Diseases by S.I. McMillen M.D.
5. Jesus the Healer by E.W. Kenyon
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