What is Divine Healing and how do you receive it?
God originally created us WITHOUT sickness, and sickness is a result of man's
disobedience and rebellion against God. From the beginning, God has made provision for
BOTH our healing and redemption from sin.
In the Old Testament one of the Names used for God is Jehovah-Rapha, God our Healer. Healing in the Old Testament was the result of obedience to God's Laws. Indeed, following the Law actually prevented a lot of illnesses. The coming of Jesus was predicted in Isaiah 53, and the purpose of His suffering was to bear our sins AND our infirmities, diseases, sicknesses, etc. In the New Testament, the very Name of Jesus, meaning Jehovah is salvation, contains the ideas of forgiveness of sins AND healing.
All healing is divine, that is, it has its source in God. There are three basic ways that healing comes to us, according to the Bible: the natural healing abilities of the body, through medicine & doctors, and supernatural or "faith" healing.
Psalm 139: 14 "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
1. Natural healing abilities of the body
God made our bodies with the capacity to heal themselves. If that we not so, we would not survive the first cut or scrape of childhood. This process is marvelous, not yet fully understood, and usually taken for granted. In fact, our bodies are called God's temple or dwelling place. This should make us desire even more to
care for our bodies.
1 Corinthians 3:16 "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"
1 Corinthians 6:19 "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;"
To cooperate with our natural healing processes, we need to get proper exercise, eat a balanced diet and get the proper amount of rest. We disturb our natural healing properties by excess anxiety, abuse of harmful substances and over stressing our selves physically and mentally.
Proverbs 14:30 "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."
A lot of emphasis today is placed on preventing osteoporosis, a degenerative disease of the bone, particularly in women. Calcium is important of course, but don't overlook the importance of a peaceful heart! And envy does all sorts of negative things to the body and mind!
Dr. S. I. McMillen in "None of These Diseases" says: "Peace does not come in capsules! This is regrettable because medical science recognizes that emotions such as fear, sorrow, envy, resentment and hatred are responsible for the majority of our sicknesses. Estimates vary from 60 per cent to nearly 100 percent."
He continues: "Emotional stress can cause high blood pressure, toxic goiter, migraine headaches, arthritis, apoplexy, heart trouble, gastrointestinal ulcers, and other serious diseases too numerous to mention. As physicians we can prescribe medicine for the symptoms of these diseases, but we can not do much for the underlying cause - emotional turmoil. It is lamentable that peace does not come in capsules."
Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." And how about the health benefits of a cheerful heart instead of a crushed spirit?
Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Pleasant words, especially words of life from the Bible sweeten the soul and bring healing to the bones.
As these natural healing processes usually don't come to our attention, we must not forget how wonderful they are and do all we can to take care of ourselves and cooperate with the way God designed us. A very interesting book along this line is "The Chemistry of the Blood" by Martin R. DeHaan, MD.
If you are struggling with a health problem, are you doing all you can to take care of yourself, eat properly, get enough rest and get moderate exercise? Do you have a cheerful and peaceful heart, or one full of strife, worry and envy?
Paul had great advice along this line: Philippians 4:8 Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable --if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.
So the first provision for our healing is the natural healing processes that God our creator designed in our bodies. We need to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, moderate exercise, and work on our thought life! This is part of healing that to a large degree lies within our own hands.
2. Medicine & Doctors
When our bodies fail to heal themselves due to accident, illness, birth defect, disability or abuse, we call on medicine and doctors for help. Doctors have been granted much wisdom by God and often have the remedy for what ails us, by a combination of medicine, various therapies, life-style advice and perhaps surgical intervention.
Colossians 4:14 "Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings."
The physician Luke wrote the books of Luke and Acts in the New Testament, and practiced medicine in conjunction with his ministry. There is no sin in seeking medical advice, but it should be used wisely.
Matthew 9:12 "On hearing this, Jesus said, It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.'"
Notice that Jesus did NOT say it is a sin to go to the doctor! He said the sick NEED a physician. Of course, Jesus is the GREAT physician! The Pharisees taught - that sickness is ALWAYS a result of sin, but that is not always the case.
In a way the entry of sin into the world when Adam rebelled IS the cause of all disease. BUT in an individual's life, sin may or may not be the cause of any given disease or disability. Aging certainly causes problems, as do accident, contagion, etc.
Personally I can't understand the logic of those who refuse the help of medical intervention. All that doctors to is try to cooperate with the healing processes of our bodies to make them work better.
3. Divine or faith healing
Although technically ALL healing is divine, since God is the source of it, divine or faith healing is the term given to miraculous healing that comes about when your body cannot heal itself and the doctors have given up hope.
Healing is available for anyone, as is salvation, according to the New Testament. Healing is received in several ways:
a. By faith in the Name of Jesus:
Acts 3:6-7"Then Peter said, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man's feet and ankles became strong
Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see."
Peter and John were going to the temple one day, when a man crippled from birth, who was lying at the Beautiful Gate (what a contrast!), begged them for some money. God had in mind something better! Peter simply told him to walk in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Peter reached out and helped him up, and THEN his feet and ankles became strong. Peter confirmed later that the healing was in Jesus Name and the faith that comes through Him.
Now how the beggar was able to have such instantaneous faith, we are not told. But he was healed in Jesus Name! What awesome power - to instantly heal a man born crippled!
Acts 4:30 "Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
One of the prayers of the early church that we have recorded is for God to stretch out his hand to heal and perform signs and wonders in Jesus Name. Wonder what would happen today if we made that petition an earnest and heartfelt prayer?
b. By the prayer of faith of elders with laying on of hands and anointing with oil:
James 5:14-15: "Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven."
I have heard of many testimonies where someone was deathly ill and had no hope from medicine. And they would read the Word, take it at face value and call for the elders of the church to come and pray and anoint them with oil - even where their particular denomination didn't believe that healing is for today! And they would be raised up to the glory of God, and the elders would have to make a "theological adjustment" in their way of thinking! LOL
Many churches anoint with oil for healing as a usual practice. And notice that this
method of healing also carries a provision for the forgiveness of sin, if the person is
guilty of something. Again we see where salvation involves forgiveness of sin AND healing
for the body.
c. By confession of faults and praying for one another:
James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
This may be the LEAST popular mode of healing! LOL To have to confess your faults is certainly difficult. But oh, the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit when we do admit our faults and shortcomings.
According to the scripture, healing may be blocked if you do NOT confess your sins one to another and pray for each other. Another reason why we need unity in the Body of Christ!
d. Through gifts of healings given to a member of the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit:
1 Corinthians 12:9b " to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit";
1 Corinthians 12:28 "And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having GIFTS OF HEALING, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues."
There are those in the church that have been given gifts of healing - becoming supernatural conductors of healing virtue on a regular basis. The fact that there aren't many in the church in America is more a function of our unbelief than a lack in God's provision.
Could God give YOU gifts of healing that would flow out to the hurting and sick among us? Could YOU be the one He is calling into this much needed ministry? Ask Him.
Acts 10:38: " how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him."
We should follow Jesus' example because He has given us the Great Commission and the authority to use His Name. We should go about doing good and bringing healing and deliverance from the power of the enemy. AMEN
Are you afraid to pray for someone else's healing because they might NOT get healed and
you would feel responsible? Remember you are a SERVANT, not the SAVIOR. You pray, and if
God heals fine, if He doesn't, it's not your responsibility. NEVER hesitate to pray for
the healing of others.
3 John 1:2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
As we mature in Jesus, and our soul "prospers" or gets along well, it should also come to pass that we enjoy good health and that all may go well with us also. After all the more we become like our Healer and the closer we get to His heart, the more our physical bodies should reflect that life.
Now don't get me wrong here. As long as we live in the flesh, we will be subject to disease, and if the Lord delays His Coming, even to death. And if you are struggling with a chronic condition of some kind, it doesn't mean that God loves you less or that your faith is necessarily lacking. We should NEVER make someone's illness an occasion for condemnation!
Isn't it odd how easily we accept and EXPECT our body's natural healing processes, and most have no problems going to the doctor and expecting results, but somehow to have faith that the God that created you can also heal you without yours or the doctor's help is VERY hard for us?
To receive your healing, first settle it in your heart that it IS God's will to heal. Then ask for it by faith. Then submit to HIS timing ... after all, when Jesus comes or when we go to be with Him, our healing is complete isn't it? I respect God too much to DEMAND anything. But as His child, I do have the right to claim any promise that He's given in His Word, trusting in Him to bring it to pass in HIS timing.
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