Recently I read through many of the stories of Jesus healing people. Seeing people miraculously healed is one of the most exciting experiences in the world. It’s the moment when you see that sparkle in someone’s eyes as they start to realize they can’t locate the pain. Because it’s gone! The problem with all these stories of Jesus healing people is that they were all so different. I wish he left us a formula. I wish he did it the same every time, so we could just learn the methodology and go for it. He didn’t do that though. He’s more interested in partnership and relationship, than just giving us a manual for healing people, and leaving us on our own. The stories vary in so many ways. You find various levels of faith, various methods of how Jesus went about healing people. You also find various reactions to Jesus healing people, and that some repented as a result of healing, but some did not. Here are five issues that I have had to deal with for the ministry of healing the sick to blossom in my life.
Use the cash. The issue of delegated authority and power.
Occasionally we ask our kids to go to the store to buy some fresh bread.
Ukraine has some of the best bread, and it’s virtually all organic, and freshly baked every day.
I give them the cash and they go and buy the bread.
Imagine if my son, showed up at the checkout, called me and started asking me to buy the bread.
“I’m here dad. The bread is ready to be purchased, dad. I’m waiting on you, dad. Dad, just show up in this place, and buy this bread, dad. It’s right here, dad. I brought it up to the checkout, the cashier is ready, and we believe You can do it dad. We really need this bread, dad. This store really needs our business, dad. Dad, I’m desperate. Dad… please.”
It sounds absurd, but it’s what we do when we pray for the sick.
To not just pray for the sick, but actually start healing the sick, you have to understand that Jesus not only paid the price, but He delegated His authority to us for healing.
He trusted us with the money to buy the bread.
He could have done it Himself, but He delights in delegating to his creation.
Yes, He is the one who heals. It’s His power. God heals. Not us.
But He told us to heal the sick.
So in a sense He trusted us with the cash.
In Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus heals a centurion’s servant who was paralyzed.
There was no laying on of hands. He just spoke a word.
Here is the story if you have never read it:
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.”
It was a long-distance healing.
One other interesting note is that, according to Jesus, the centurion’s faith level was stunningly high.
Somehow the Centurion understood that Jesus had not only the power to heal, but authority that could be delegated to heal.
I doubt the Centurion had a very intricate understanding of what exactly took place in the angelic realm, and how the healing would actually take place, but he understood authority.
The fact that Jesus was so amazed by this level of faith says a lot about how much authority has to do with faith.
Jesus commanded us to HEAL THE SICK; not just to pray for the sick.
This is an important differentiation that the body of Christ has largely missed.
We have the authority to treat sickness like we treat demons. That is what Jesus did.
We see in Mark 3:14-15 how Jesus gave the disciples authority to cast out demons
In one passage of scripture, God says “ask Me and I will give you the nations.”
So there’s plenty of room for petitions. I’m not trying to bash prayer.
But when it comes to healing, He says “HEAL THE SICK.”
The problem is, with our emphasis on prayer, (which is a good thing!) it’s so easy to get into a habit of begging God to do what He told us to do.
We need to use the delegated power and authority He gave us, and JUST DO IT.
We just have to make sure we give Him all the glory, and make sure we introduce people to the One who really just healed them.
Use the cash.
- The issue of risk, and long prayers.
When Jesus healed the leper in Matthew 8:1-4 notice how long the prayer was.
“I will. Be clean.”
It could hardly be considered a prayer. It was more of a command.
As the leper knelt before Jesus, he believed enough to know Jesus COULD heal him, but he apparently wasn’t so sure that Jesus WANTED to heal him.
“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
Thus Jesus’ answer: “I will. Be clean.”
One of the biggest mistakes we make in healing the sick, is LONG PRAYERS.
When I served in the Healing Rooms in Redding, CA, our leader, Chris Gore, would occasionally talk about how we have to make sure we don’t “pray right past the breakthrough, and miss it.”
In my experience, having people “check it out” and do something, or at least try to do something is just as important as the prayer to see the breakthrough.
The problem is, the “check it out” part is the most scary and risky.
Unless we learn to suck it up, and tolerate the discomfort of risk, we will remain locked up in the prisons of our comfort zones.
Notice how Peter healed the lame man by Gate Beautiful in Acts 3:1-9
Other than the fact that Peter took a huge risk, in grabbing him by the hand and pulling him up, notice what Peter said.
“I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”
You can’t say something like that unless you believe that you have something to give.
If all you believe you have is some eloquent prayers, then that’s about all people are going to get.
If you don’t believe you have the cash, or don’t think you have enough, then you won’t buy the bread.
I rarely feel like I have a lot of faith for healing, but I believe what the Word of God says, so I just go for it, and don’t worry about how much faith there is.
- The issue how of how much He not only loves you but LIKES you.
You can perform just fine with an orphan spirit, but a son is known by how well he knows how much he is loved; not so much by how much he loves or serves.
The threshold of where you not only love God but start to experience how much He delights in you, is where sonship starts and the rags of orphan-hood start to fall off of you.
The more we step into the experience of being sons and daughters of the King, who are at peace with who we are and we know our true identity in Christ, the less stressed out we are about whether or not someone gets healed.
When it’s all about us, and our performance, we’re ministering out of an orphan spirit, and we slip into striving.
It’s natural for us. Hey, if it’s not working, we can always pray harder or louder, or longer, right?
The apostle John displays his level of revelation of how much he was loved, by saying this about himself in his book:
One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom.” John 13:23
If you think about it, it seems kind of arrogant, for him to write that about himself.
But he really believed it. Because he really experienced it. This is the foundation for most breakthrough in healing.
We have to be careful what we’re basing our ministry on.
When I build my ministry on HOW MUCH AND HOW WELL I LOVE AND SERVE GOD, I burn out.
This revelation is absolutely foundational; the understanding and experience of how much He loves AND likes you.
I have four kids, and I don’t just love them. I genuinely like them.
Of course god loves me. But does He like me? Does He delight in me?
Scripture says it’s “because He first loved us, we love Him.”
I remember I was always a bit confused when Chris Gore would share about cases not seeing breakthrough, and in the secret place he would cry out to God, “Jesus I need a new revelation of You!”
I always thought it would make more sense to pray “God, I need more power!”
This leads us to our next point.
- The renewal of your mind.
Healing has more to do with the renewal of your mind than just your relationship with God.
Lots of people I know have a great relationship with God, but don’t ever see miraculous healing.
I’m convinced about this:
Don’t worry about your level of faith for healing the sick.
(1.) Work on how healthy your hope level is and
(2.) Cultivate the renewal of your mind.
There are a lot of things we can do to cultivate those two things.
When you have soil enriched with lots of hope, faith grows organically.
Typically the more you try to measure your faith, the more it dwindles.
Faith comes like the conception of a baby.
You don’t have a baby by stopping and wondering if the conception process is working, right in the middle of intercourse with your spouse.
You just do whatever you can to love your spouse well, and enjoy the intimacy.
And the giver of life does a miracle, and a new life is born.
It’s kind of like that with ministering in the miraculous.
Paul talks about this in Ephesians 4:21-24:
…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
One of the ways we cultivate the renewal of our minds is by making declarations.
If you missed my post about declarations, click here:
- Must we require repentance as a result of miracles and healings?
In my humble opinion, no. It’s not for us to judge or require repentance. However…
God does expect repentance. We see this in Matthew 11:20:
Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.”
At the same time, however, He does not require it as a condition for healing.
In all the stories of Jesus healing people we simply don’t find any cases of Jesus requiring repentance before He healed them.
However, it’s important to note that He told the man at the pool of Bethsaida “Go, and sin no more.”
So it’s not like sin doesn’t matter. It matters greatly.
So the Day of judgment will be more frightening for cities who tasted the goodness of God through the miraculous, yet did not repent as opposed to morally rotten cities full of homosexual perversion like Sodom.
If you read Mat 11:20-24, there’s no other explanation than the fact that even though God is merciful, and He heals everyone who comes to Him, still the following is also true.
To the extent mighty supernatural works of the Kingdom are demonstrated, God proportionately expects a turn of the heart in response.
The more extravagant the miracles, the more severe the judgment is for those who still don’t repent.
But to end on a more merry note, don’t forget that this last issue is not in our hands.
Our job is to release healing power drenched in love, and let Holy Spirit do His job in convicting hearts.
Which one of these 5 points was most relevant to you? Feel free to comment below.
Here’s one of my favorite testimonies of all time. This happened on one of the mission trips from BSSM, when I was going to school there, so I know some of the people in the video.
Image courtesy of HAMZA BUTT on Flickr