The greatest obstacle to receiving a “gift of healing” is usually the person and not the disease. Almighty God has no difficulty raising the dead, healing cripples, restoring sight or setting captives free from oppression. John Wesley once said, “Get on fire for God and then let people come and watch you burn!” It’s because a pursuit of God and righteousness is not the greatest priority of professing believers that the Church finds itself feeble when it comes to healing and miracles. Instead of seeking the face of God, churches are filled with those merely seeking the hand of God if the truth were recognized.
Many chase signs and wonders including healing instead of seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. For it is in seeking a righteous life that we receive the best God has for us. John Wesley once said, “Get on fire for God and then let people come and watch you burn.” I grieve over how today’s church is failing to address lack of zeal for God as well as failing to call people to repent of sin often responsible for their disease. Let me illustrate with one example of a great many which took place while I served as a volunteer physician at a Free Clinic located in our city.
Rosa, a middle age lady, had long been treated for hypertension when she presented with extremely high blood pressure and two-day history of stroke. Her right arm hung limply at her side and she could barely walk because of right leg weakness. Questioned if she had taken her blood pressure medication, she answered “Yes” in a slurred voice. And when I asked as to her being upset recently, she spoke of distress over a son who was incarcerated at the local county jail. This opened the door for me to inquire if she had a relationship with God. She replied with enthusiasm, “Oh, yes! Jesus is my Lord and Savior!”
I asked why she was then subjecting herself to such anxiety instead of praying and trusting the Lord to look after her son. I suggested she repent and ask forgiveness for serving fear instead of having faith. She did so, following which I prayed for her healing. Immediately Rosa said in a voice which was no longer slurred, “I’m just fine now!” Her blood pressure was taken again and found normal. She had full use of her right arm, and left the clinic without a trace of the limp. Years later after having the practice of medicine to serve as a volunteer chaplain at the county jail where Rosa’s son had been incarcerated, another inmate came up to me after reading Hooked on Hope (see website}, and said, “It’s so nice to meet you. Rosa is my aunt and she’s still doing fine.”
It confounds me that spiritual leaders are not only unaware of the relationship between spiritual roots and development of disease, but resist accepting the reality of the causal relationship because of unbiblical denominational catechisms. They’ll insist in error that the curse of disease caused by sin no longer exists because of Jesus atonement at Calvary. They are deceived by the same enemy who led Adam to disobey God in Eden and is now continuing to deceive the whole world (Revelation 12:9). The wiles of Satan and his army of devils described by Paul in Ephesians 6 have never changed over the ages. The great deceiver Satan is still the “father of lies” and finds a great many who will listen to him.,
The manner by which forces of evil bring “diseases of Egypt” on the people of God is no mystery (see Deuteronomy 28). The same methods were used on God’s chosen people in the OT and we’re told to learn from what took place: “Now all these things happened to them for examples: and are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). Paul says what happened to the Israelites should be warning so we don’t fall as they did by opening a door to demonic attack through our disobedience to the will of God. “If you shall hearken diligently to the voice of the LORD your God to observe and to do all His commandments….blessings shall come” (Deut 28: 1-14). However, “If you will not hearken to the voice of the LORD your God to observe to do all His commandments….all these curses [blessings of Satan] shall come upon you and overtake you” (28:15-68).
These declarations of blessings and curses are never said to no longer exist in NT times. Deceived pastors claim the curse no longer exists because of Calvary, using Galatians 2:10 which says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, “being made a curse for us.” We are redeemed in not having to depend on our own works for salvation (Galatians 2:8). This applies in no way to disease being a consequence of sin. As discussed earlier, the gospels make it clear as a general rule that disease is a consequence of disobeying the ways of God revealed in the Word of God, instead doing things our own way.
We saw how the Israelites, led by Moses out of Egypt, were under the grace of God. They had been saved and redeemed by the blood of a “Passover” lamb (Exodus 15:3,13) and healed of all sickness (Psalm 105:37). God’s grace was on them such that even clothes did not wear out (Deuteronomy 8:4). And yet not obeying God by failing to enter the promised land at Kadesh (doubting God) kept an entire generation from entering Canaan apart from Joshua and Caleb. The bodies of those who rebelled fell subject to disease and they died in the desert over the next thirty-nine years in spite of having been redeemed and being under the unmerited favor of God. Paul warns us to learn from their examples and to not fall away from grace by repeating their mistakes (1 Corinthians 10:1-12).
Another warning has Paul telling us to examine ourselves before taking the Lord’s Supper. This is often not taken seriously. A person who eats of the bread and drinks of the cup in an unworthy manner without first examining himself and repenting of known sin will eat and drink damnation to himself for not recognizing the Lord’s body. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [have died] (1 Corinthians 11:27-30). A lack of reverential fear in the Church has led to ignoring Paul’s admonition, merely giving lip service to his words, Such has been my repeated observation regarding participation in the Lord’s Supper over the years, and the consequences have been as Paul warns.
We have a Godhead aware of everything which takes place in thought, word and deed. Scriptures confirm that all of us are under a continual watch by God as we live this life of probation on earth. It is deception to believe we can live with one foot in Egypt and the other in the promised land by trying to serve two masters at the same time. Jesus warns that we’ll come to a place in time where we love one and turn our back on the other. Satan will use every possible measure to interfere with having intimacy with our Savior and with the Father. Seduction by the world can be so gradual and subtle as to our becoming ensnared without awareness unless we exercise our senses to discern good versus evil on a continual basis (Hebrews 5:14).
If seeking divine healing, do not be deceived. “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will receive eternal life” (Galatians 6:7,8). This warning is given to believers in the church, not to unbelievers. Thoughts can enter the spirit of man from both the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. This is why we find ourselves commanded by the apostle to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and cast down everything which exalts itself against the knowledge of God as found in His Word (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
One may have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is presently living in a manner pleasing to God. Most in the Church today are not sufficiently informed as to what God says about righteousness and the consequences of not continuing to walk therein. Many are unfamiliar with God’s warning about turning from righteousness as was given three times to Ezekiel (chapters 3, 18,33).
“When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die thereby.” Ezekiel 33:18
When a righteous person habitually turns to unrighteousness, the blessings of God abate and such a person becomes subject to spiritual death and separation from God. Are we not warned that Satan prowls around looking for believers to devour (1 Peter 5:8) and that we are to resist him by continuously submitting to Christ so that Satan will flee? (James 4:7). Dare we ignore warnings by Jesus that Satan, “prince of this world” (Joh12:31), is always challenging our determination to live by faith and walk in righteousness. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.