Bible Study Notes:


Hindrances to YOUR Healing
Part 3


These notes are from a transcript of the postings during Bible Study on Monday Nights at 8 PM at Bible Study Chat at churchusa.com.
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Why are some not healed?

Here are some insights that the Holy Spirit has given me about the answer. There may be more reasons than listed here. None of these are meant to be a criticism or condemnation of YOU, but if any of these "rings a bell", maybe it's something you need to prayerfully consider before the Lord.

 

We’ve been studying about healing for several weeks now. In fact, the Holy Spirit strongly influenced me to interrupt our regular studies on Luke to talk about healing. And since we’ve been studying healing, the spiritual attacks against us have intensified. Our equipment has been attacked, our finances, our children, and recently our health.

I used to think that when I was doing what I believed God was telling me to do and an obstacle or hindrance occurred, that I should stop because God was telling me to stop, not through the Word, but through circumstances.

I have since learned better, after stumbling and almost falling several times. Now I am moved only by what the Word says, and realize that hindering circumstances and impeding obstacles are not the work of God, but of satan who ALWAYS opposes the Word and God’s work.

So when all of these hindering circumstances started appearing, I rejoiced. Because satan doesn’t bother to hinder something that is NOT exalting God. However, despite all this, I became very ill.

I appreciate your prayers and am on my way to full recovery. But while I was sick, the devil taunted me because I had gotten sick. "Some teacher you are. Teaching on health, and here you are sick." Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Well l know that the devil is a liar, and began to resist him, standing firm in the faith, confessing my healing and looking to the Lord as my healer. And decided not to worry about WHY I got sick until I got better and heard from God through the Word.

And God gave me the answer this morning, calling to my remembrance certain scriptures, which we will go over in a minute. But this also points out several truths. No matter how close we are to God or how long we’ve been Christians, we always must be on the lookout for the deceits and stratagems of the enemy. And it also points out how much we need to lift each other up in prayer and stand together against satanic assaults.

Hindrance to Healing # 16: ANXIETY

    Proverbs 12:25 An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

    Doctors and scientists today believe that ANXIETY is the #1 cause of illness today. From heart trouble to asthma to stomach disorders, anxiety takes its toll on the human body, "weighing a man down", destroying his health and causing thousands to die prematurely.

    Dr. S. I. McMillen in "None of These Diseases" states that: "With every passing year, we obtain a wider comprehension of the ability of the mind (psyche) to produce varied disturbances of the body (soma): hence the term psychosomatic. Invisible emotional tension in the mind can produce striking visible changes in the body, changes that can become serious and fatal."

    Dr. McMillen continues: A large percentage of most physician’s practices are made up of patients whose illnesses are directly or indirectly the result of emotional stress… stress often reduces a person’s ability to fight off infections."

    Ecclesiastes 11:10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body… Even the Preacher who found little comfort in any of his hard-earned wisdom acknowledged the fact that anxiety in the heart was related to troubles in the body.

    How does anxiety affect the body chemistry and bring on disease? Dr. McMillen states: "The brain, where all emotional stress is processed, is the control center of the entire body. From the brain millions of nerve fibers course out to every organ in the body."

    "Chemicals released from these nerve fibers control or influence every chemical reaction in every organ of the body. Because our health is dependent on the proper balance of all of these chemical reactions, it is no wonder that emotional upset in our brains can disrupt the chemical reactions in a far-removed organ and cause disease."

    Dr McMillen states that: "The brain produces these widespread changes by means of three principal mechanisms: by changing the amount of blood flowing to an organ; by affecting the secretions of certain glands; and by changing the tension of the muscles."

    Examples of this process in action are: blushing when you are embarrassed, "butterflies" in your stomach when you have to make a speech, and a "tension headache" when you are "stressed out".

    Dr McMillen lists numerous diseases caused or worsened by anxiety, including: ulcers, high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, headaches, neuroses, diabetes, allergies, asthma, backache, arthritis, infections, lupus, anorexia, addiction, and cancer, among many others.

    Matthew 6:25-27 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?"

    Jesus very simply commanded us NOT to worry. How many believers consistently and constantly obey this command? Why are we told not to worry about our life and our body?

    Because first of all our true life is more important than these things we spend so much time fretting about. Our true life, our inward life, the development of our spirit is what we should concern ourselves with primarily.

    Mathew 6:26-27 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

    Besides, Jesus said, the REAL cure for worry is understanding how much your heavenly Father cares for you and that He is going to take care of you. After all, He takes care of the little birdies, and they don’t even work for a living. You’re stressing out because of your needs, but it is unnecessary, because God already is aware of them and has made provision to take care of them.

    Luke 12:25-26 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life [Or a single cubit to his height]? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

    The third reason that Jesus gives for not worrying is that it doesn’t do any good anyway. Does worry add a single hour to your life? NO, it actually SHORTENS life. Can worry make you taller, or grow hair, or cure disease, or meet any of your other needs? NO, it actually does the opposite! Worry will press you down, make you stoup and actually get shorter! It can cause you to lose your hair, or make you sick.

    1 Peter 5:7-8 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

    Another reason to get rid of anxiety is that it makes you DEVOURABLE by the devil. He’s prowling around looking for anxiety in believers so that he can use it to eat them alive. But Jesus wants us to CAST, throw, fling that anxiety out of our hearts and on to Him.

    Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Paul tells us to rid ourselves of anxiety through prayer. Anything and everything that causes us to be anxious, we are to present to God, to bring them before God’s throne, AND LEAVE THEM THERE. And then peace will station itself as a guard for your hearts and minds, and the devil can’t devour you with illness or trouble.

    Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, 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.

    Human beings are funny things. If you tell us NOT to do something, that’s the very thing we want to do. If I say do NOT worry… you only hear the verb "worry", and that’s what you do, if nothing else, you worry about worrying so much!

    That’s why the Bible gives us something POSITIVE to do in place of worry. Instead of our thought life being a cesspool of worry, fear, dread and doubt, we are to fill our minds with truth, nobility, righteousness, purity, love – and other admirable, excellent and praiseworthy thoughts!

    This is more than just "positive thinking". It involves cleansing ourselves of the worry also. In other words, after we have prayed about our worries, cast the anxiety onto Jesus, and let peace guard us, then we fill our cleansed minds with positive things, so the process to eliminate worry is complete.

    So what did the Lord reveal to me about the cause of my illness? Somewhere I had grabbed hold of the "care" over my problems with equipment, finances and children’s health, and had neglected to cast it upon Jesus. I tried to carry it; I took on the heavy load that wasn’t meant for me to carry. I tried to figure out how to solve all these problems in my own strength, and suffered an illness as a result.

    OK, you are a Christian and believe the Word and all that and don’t want to worry, but somehow anxiety crops up anyway. How does that happen? Something occurs that makes you uneasy, you being to fret about it, and before you know it, you are worrying.

    For example, when we watch TV, whether we are watching shows or commercials, we are presented with certain ideals in life to live up to. White teeth, fresh breath, shiny hair, low weight, etc., are all presented as "norms" that we should compare ourselves to. WHEN we fall short, as we always do, it causes an uncertainty, a worry, an anxiety to attach itself to us.

    If not dealt with, anxiety will continue to grow and add to itself as more and more moments of worry collect in our minds. It’s a sneaky thing, we need to guard against this happening.

    Anxiety runs the gamut from full-blown paranoia to a subtle form of unbelief that masquerades as duty, responsibility, compassion, or concern. As we’ve said, it not only is one of the foremost causes of disease, but can also hinder healing.

    How can you tell when duty, responsibility, compassion or concern sloshes over into anxiety? You can tell when you don’t cast the care over on to Jesus, when it repeatedly becomes a topic of conversation, when it causes your anger to flash and when you begin to lose sleep over it.

    Luke 8:14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.

    This quote is from Jesus’ parable of the sower, and talks about the seed of the Word that fell among thorns and was unproductive. Note that the "thorns" represent life’s worries, which will choke out the Word of God and make it ineffective in our lives.

    Before we talked about confessing your faults to one another and praying one for another that you may be healed. So I’m following my own advice. I have a problem with anxiety at times, and ask for your prayers that NEXT time I will cast my care on Jesus and not try to carry it myself!

Hindrance to Healing # 17 Don’t want to "bother" God.

    Some do not get healed because they DON’T WANT TO "BOTHER GOD" with it. "Oh, it’s just a headache or a cold", they say, "God’s MUCH too busy to fool with it." This is masking a VERY subtle form of unbelief that in actuality is saying, "God only cares about the big things, I’m not important enough for Him to care about this little thing."

    But JESUS said in Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

    God’s attitude towards our "every day" aches and pains is much different than some think! He takes care of every tiny sparrow, and you are MUCH more important to Him than birds.

    Jesus ALSO said in Luke 12:7" Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

    God knows the very number of hairs on your head! And He has to keep a constant count, because we are growing and losing hair every day. If He is THAT concerned with you and your well-being, is any ache or pain too small to "bother" Him with?

    Jesus, who knows the Father better than anyone, said in Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom."

    It is God’s PLEASURE to give you the kingdom, and all it entails, along with healing of your "every day" aches and pains! You don’t have to be afraid or hesitant to ask for the minutest thing, because you are part of His beloved LITTLE flock!

    Does God WANT to be "bothered" with your small problems, little aches and pains, etc? YES!!! It gives Him great pleasure to give even small gifts to His children!

    Matthew 25:21 "His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

    There is also a faith principal involved here. As we learn to trust God for the LITTLE things, our faith is built up to be able to believe for the BIG things. If you can’t trust God to heal a headache, what are you going to do when CANCER, or HEART DISEASE, or LUPUS or something major comes knocking at your door?

    Do you want to make God HAPPY? Come to Him with your small cares and hurts, let Him touch you and bring you back to health. Not only will you feel better, but you will be building up your most holy faith in Him! And what a testimony! That God cares about even the tiniest pain! What a mighty God we serve!

Hindrance to Healing # 18 "Thorn in the flesh"

Some believe that they are not healed because God has given them a "thorn in the flesh". Paul had one they say, and it was probably eye trouble or a lisp or something. But they honestly believe, that Paul who believed in healing, and who healed the sick in Jesus’ Name was himself NOT healed. What was Paul’s "thorn in the flesh"?

In the context of 2 Corinthians 12 where the "thorn in the flesh" is mentioned, Paul is talking about the futility of boasting, and compares himself to the false apostles that the Corinthian believers have been listening to. He recounts all of his credentials in chapter 11 as an apostle, which include all sorts of suffering – BUT NO ILLNESSES ARE MENTIONED.

Then he talks about an experience he had about being caught up into heaven or Paradise, seeing visions and hearing things that he was not permitted to share with anyone. Then Paul brings up the "thorn in the flesh".

2 Corinthians 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

Notice here the purpose of the "thorn in the flesh" – to keep Paul from becoming conceited. Now Paul had a problem with pride, and learned humility through weeping: Acts 20:19 I served the Lord with great humility and with tears, although I was severely tested by the plots of the Jews.

Saul was not by nature a humble man. He took it upon himself to be judge and jury over the new believers and Christ, and did all he could to persecute the church. He had a very high opinion of himself, and boasted that he was a "Pharisee of the Pharisees", blameless according to the law. He was self-righteous, ambitious and proud.

But one day Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and his life was totally changed. The haughty Saul became the humble Paul, who was now willing to give his life for the very church he had been persecuting. That humility came at a price - it was hard for Paul, and indeed for any of us, to get rid of pride and vain conceit. It took many trials and weeping before Paul could say:

Philippians 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put NO confidence in the flesh--

Paul eventually came to the place that he learned humility and could say that he placed NO confidence in his flesh. But Paul wrote this when he was imprisoned in Rome (about 61 AD), several years after he wrote the letter to the Corinthians (about 55 AD).

2 Corinthians 12:7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.

So Paul had a problem with pride, and this "thorn in the flesh" had something to do with keeping him humble. Now the word "messenger" is aggelos in the Greek and it is translated angel 179 times and messenger 7 times. It is NEVER translated disease or physical infirmity.

Now what would a messenger or angel of satan be? A demon! Who GAVE Paul a demon to harass him? The devil! What did this demon do to Paul? Torment, buffet, harass and afflict him.

In the Greek, torment is kolaphizo {kol-af-id'-zo} meaning to strike with the fist, give one a blow with the fist or to maltreat, treat with violence and contempt. So satan sent this demon to batter and assault Paul.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Paul was not happy about this of course, and pleaded with the Lord to take it away from him three times. But the Lord refused. Although satan sent this messenger to buffet Paul to try to harm him, the Lord allowed it because it forced Paul to rely on Jesus grace and strength instead of his own.

And when we rely on Jesus instead of ourselves, we have nothing to boast about, and we are able to receive Christ’s power. Therefore, our weaknesses are occasion for rejoicing, because when we are weak, Christ is strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

How did this demon torment Paul? The things that Paul suffered for Christ, which brought weakness, insult, hardship, persecutions and difficulties, were caused by people who resisted him under the influence of this demon.

Was Paul’s "thorn in the flesh" an illness? Thorn here in the Greek is skolops {skol'-ops} meaning a pointed piece of wood, a pale, a stake or a sharp stake, splinter. This word never refers to a disease.

Numbers 33:55 "`But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live."

When the phrase "thorn in the flesh (your sides)" is used elsewhere in the Bible, it also does not refer to a disease. In Numbers, Moses is warning the people that if they do not drive out the pagan inhabitants of the land, that they will give Israel "trouble" as thorns in their sides.

Ezekiel 28:24 "`No longer will the people of Israel have malicious neighbors who are painful briers and sharp thorns. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD."

Here Israel’s malicious neighbors are referred to as "sharp thorns". These neighbors had attacked Israel repeatedly and caused much pain and anguish, but were not a disease.

Now when someone says that they can’t get healed because of a "thorn in the flesh", they are first of all stating that they are of Paul’s stature and merit having a demon assigned to hinder them alone.

They are claiming that their ministry merits the same exaltation as an apostle, and that they have had surpassing revelations from God. They are also stating that they have a problem with pride, and need the buffeting of a special messenger of satan to keep them from being conceited. They are also claiming to have been severely persecuted for the cause of Christ.

In addition, they are claiming that their "thorn in the flesh" is a disease, when in the context of 2 Corinthians 12 and elsewhere in the Bible, the Greek word skolops translated "thorn" refers to harassment by others, not an illness.

So tonight we’ve looked at these hindrances to healing: anxiety, not wanting to "bother" God, and falsely believing you have a "thorn in the flesh" that God refuses to remove. If the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart about any of the hindrances, my prayer is that you will quickly remove them from your heart and life, and be healed in Jesus Name!

 

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned! And put it into practice.

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Original lesson 2/22/99
Revised: May 02, 2001