If we look at healing as “fixing something broken,” we can immediately see that healing involves contrasting conditions: broken or whole; function or dysfunction; destiny or diversion. Something needs fixing, and healing fixes it by restoring its condition and function.
In Exodus 3, the water is “bitter” and the healing of the water makes them “sweet.” The contrast between bitter and sweet. God speaks into the situation, as is often the case with healing and miracles, to address a fundamental issue in His people. He didn’t make the water bitter and intends to make it sweet, but the condition of the water, in the circumstances of their thirst, brings something deeper to the surface than their physical need.
God heals the water and applies this healing response to their entire lives. “Your heart response to physical thirsty reveals that you are rebellious and ungrateful. Change. Respond with trust and thankfulness to Me, your source and resource in all things, and I will bring none of the diseases the Egyptians suffered upon you. I am the God Who heals you.”
For some people who misunderstand and misrepresent God see in this statement His desire to make everybody sick but the ones who toe the line of His demands as if God sees disease as normal and health as something He hands out as He wishes. [OK, everybody say, ‘That’s stupid!’] That is simply not so and misrepresents both God and healing.
The plagues of Egypt were all the things false religion released upon the Egyptians, things that God held back in mercy and did whatever He could to help them escape; when mercy ran out because of Pharaoh’s hardness of heart, the diseases were no longer restrained. The diseases were sourced in hell, characteristics of the demons behind Egypt’s gods. The sense of God “bringing them upon” was that He was not longer holding them back. It was Pharaoh’s hardness of heart that drove the nation into plague, death, and drowning, not God.
I am simply saying that it does no damage to God’s Sovereignty to say that disease is not “the will of God.” Disease is not God in control but satan out of control.
Observe the mindset and revelation Peter has of the ministry of Jesus in healing: “He went about healing all who were oppressed by the devil.” Peter has no concept of sickness, disease, infirmity, or demonization being some strategy of God to punish, test, or strength His people!
We see a similar picture in 2 Kings 2 when Elisha heals the waters of a poisoned spring with salt. Then, in 1 Kings 18, we see a broken altar: Elijah heals it, and God responds with fire.
Contrasting bitter and sweet water reveals God’s power to make things whole, useful, properly functional, restoring them to the designed and desired state. The contrast between wounded worship and whole-hearted worship speaks to the failed function of the land in drought, the failed function of the atmosphere to release rain, and the failed function of God’s people to recognize their source and resource.
The drought is what baal worship provides but God has held back this demonic condition and curse while His people worship Him. When He is their source and resource, the atmosphere and the land respond to a higher purpose; when they worship baal, they are asking for drought and death. When God lifts mercy, the spiritual condition of drought and death dominates the land. When Elijah prays and the people return to Jehovah, the people, land, and atmosphere get what Jehovah provides. The contrast is amazingly clear.
2 Chronicles 7 brings into the dedication of Solomon’s temple the equation of confession of sin and humble prayer so God would heal the land. The contrast between land dried up and non-producing and healthy land producing crops. “If My people pray, I will heal.”
God is our source and resource. Mercy keeps us all alive, healed and whole. When healing is needed, it is a return to what God wants for our lives. Like Israel at Marah, we may come to bitter waters of disease, sickness, pain, and trauma. Or, if we live sinfully we will reap what we have sown in a physical way. In neither case is God making us sick or imposing His will that we suffer upon us. In both instances, He wants to be our source and resource, and a healing miracle is available.
Several Psalms speak of healing in spiritual, poetic, and physical pictures. David’s bones are troubled by the depth of his brokenness and seeks God healing. The contrast between physical and emotional wholeness and the sickness that goes to the core of a person because of stress, agony, grief, emotional turmoil, and mental anguish.
I can be sick, infirm, in pain, and experience physical, emotional, and mental duress and limitation because of the attack of hell, the pressure of life, and reaping what I have sown. In every case, God wants to heal and restore!
“LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. Be merciful to me, LORD, for I am faint; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long? Turn, O LORD, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave? I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.”
Not What I Deserve
You don’t need to pre-qualify for healing and wait for approval. Jesus did everything for you, so you don’t need to do something to become worthy of healing anymore than you need to do something to become worthy of forgiveness or cleansing or redemption. All your self-help remedies are a distraction from faith in His healing provision and power.
David’s first statements with God are a recognition of dependency upon God’s covenant promises, not a listing of “all the cool stuff I’ve done for You” as justification for help. Prayer for healing isn’t a negotiation with God; negotiation defeats faith. Negotiation continues because you are on opposite sides, have opposite goals, and cannot continue if one side surrenders.
Negotiation defeats surrender, the element of trust necessary to faith.
We don’t deserve healing, earn healing, or create healing with our strategy of self-help. Your faith statement isn’t earning you healing.
I hear people who have enough faith instruction to make them dangerous making these mantra-like confessions but I can discern the heart motivation behind them as same ole-same ole religious formula. It sounds like “I know how to fix this and I’m doing what needs to be done to fix this.” That isn’t faith because it isn’t surrender to the work of Christ. It is simply another self-help formula that makes you feel good because you feel in control of the situation.
One of the fundamentals we learned with John Michael’s victory over leukemia was helplessness in the natural. You don’t know the depth of helplessness necessary to surrender until you stop trying to make it happen. Scurrying around listening to the latest, next, and best—like “if only I could get to some big name’s conference I would be healed,” or “I’ve found the key to healing” are simply distractions.
You need to fill your life with Word, instruction, teaching, God ideas, and you need to learn what you can from the best practices of God’s leaders, but the reality is that you need to experience a level of helplessness in terms of what flesh and blood can do so you can more fully surrender to what only God can do.
I am not saying that you need to feel helpless. I am saying that the cure for your feelings of helplessness will only come from being empowered by faith in what Jesus already did. I hear other people saying the same faith statements and making strong confessions and I discern the motivation of total trust behind them. Same words and confessions. Different hearts. Totally different results.
Faith goes back to the work of Christ. He did it because you can’t. So, surrender totally to what He did for every need you are experiencing.
Enough with the Self-help Already!
Note this phrasing in 2 Chronicles 16: “In the 39th year of his reign Asa came down with a severe case of foot infection. He didn’t ask God for help, but went instead to the doctors.” Note this phrasing in Mark 5: “And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, 26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered , but rather grew worse”
The point is not that we shouldn’t get help from doctors, drugs, and diet, not that we shouldn’t take care of our bodies, take vitamins, supplements, or treatments. The point is that we don’t trust those helps to solve the fundamental issues. And, we don’t allow these “I’ll fix this myself” heart responses to negate God’s promises!
Surrender to Jesus as deeply as you surrender to doctors, vitamins, regiments, and lifestyle adjustments. I’ve seen people who wouldn’t be in the same room with pork, eat soups that would choke a goose, spend hours worrying about whether or not their intake is organic—who are sick all the time! They don’t get fewer colds, flu, or infections, and they don’t sleep well. Etc.
The point is not to do the best you can with what you got physically, but not to trust yourself as the best source of physical, emotional, and mental wholeness.
“So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. The basic foundational truths are in place: turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God;” [The Message]
I can be in faith while in the hospital getting the best care known to man. I can be in doubt sitting in the same hospital getting the same care. I can be in faith or doubt sitting at home with seventeen vitamin supplements on a tray, sipping an energy shake potion, and eating every kind of green herb, grain and spinach wrap known to man.
Do your thing. Get your treatment. Seek good counsel. Take care of your body. But trust Jesus for healing and health.
We have better humanly-devised treatments now than we did before. We also have as many quacks as before. Bottom line is still, “Do the best you can” and trust Jesus. Bodily exercise profits little, but it does profit. You can exercise seven ways to Sunday and still need healing.
Looking to Causes more than Symptoms
While I do apply spiritual “over-the-counter” remedies for symptoms of brokenness, the message we are after today is healing that goes to the deeper causes. God goes to the nature of the brokenness to effect a long term transformation. Healing is fundamental to the kingdom of God, and healing in the kingdom goes for the fundamental cause of the brokenness.
Jesus identifies the core issue behind the symptoms. This often escapes us because we cannot see what is “bubbling in our bones.” David’s feelings are bubbling up to the surface from deeper concerns, stresses, agonies, and pressures. He has enemies. He needs correction. He bears the prophetic burden of a nation. When David speaks of his bones, he is referring to the essence of himself, his innermost being, but that condition of the soul produces symptoms in the natural that involve his body, relationships, emotions, and mental state.
There is a big difference between being poured out like water for the kingdom and being sick. God has the right to push your physical body to a place of exhaustion, call you to the battle that will produce heavy stress upon your soul, and walk you through the valley of the shadow of death. He didn’t promise you eternal spa treatments!
Grief or Loss
Psalm 6:2, David confesses that he is weak. This word is always attached to mourning and grief. A weariness that comes with loss or hopeless “letting go.”
Psalm 107: 16 -22, He shattered the heavy jailhouse doors, he snapped the prison bars like matchsticks! 17 Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life, your bodies feeling the effects of your sin; 18 you couldn’t stand the sight of food, so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead. 19 Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. 20 He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. 21 So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; 22 Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he’s done – sing it out! [The Message]
Your sin can be forgiven, its power over your behavior broken, but you still live with the effects of your previous sinful life. God can heal you in spite of all you have done! You do not have to “learn to live with it” because you were the cause of it. Mercy and grace work together to release restoration. The work of Jesus has power to reverse the physical effects of your sinful life. The lie of hell is that you deserve it, but the message of the kingdom is that you get what you don’t deserve.
Just because you momma had it or your daddy had it, doesn’t mean you get it! The healing power of Jesus Christ has a higher claim upon our body and mind than your generations.
John 9:1-7, Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?” 3 Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. 4 We need to be energetically at work for the One who sent me here, working while the sun shines. When night falls, the workday is over. 5 For as long as I am in the world, there is plenty of light. I am the world’s Light.” 6 He said this and then spit in the dust, made a clay paste with the saliva, rubbed the paste on the blind man’s eyes, 7 and said, “Go, wash at the Pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “Sent”). The man went and washed – and saw. [The Message]
People use this story to argue that there is no such thing as generational infirmity, but Jesus isn’t discrediting the reality of generational curse. He is pointing out that the parents weren’t blind, and nothing they did caused the blindness of their son. This is not a disclaimer on generational infirmity.
Technically speaking, generational curse is a limitation on health and healing that needs to be broken to release you into agreement with destiny and purpose. Jesus became a curse to set you free from every limitation to blessing.
God’s Strategies for Healing
Since He is source and resource, we need to be ready to respond to His strategy for healing in our lives. Jesus’ ministry had some basics, but He also did some really unusual things at times to effect healing and restoration. Avoid formulas and check lists that enable your tendency to be in control; you are making yourself a source and resource again, trusting something or someone instead of receiving Him as source and resource.
If you get a diagnosis or have a condition, or just get sick, the home remedies and spiritual urban legends abound! Everybody’s got a “do this and get healed” scenario for you! Everything from holy hankies to “what sin did you commit this time?”
Amazingly, people of the Bible tend to jump to everything but the Bible when it comes to strategies for healing. Some of the strategies are simple like “Call for the elders.” That is, get some authority into the situation. Submit yourself so you won’t get the idea you can resolve everything on your own.
Get the Word of God into your mind! Read it. Hear it. Speak it. Get the words of the enemy out of your life! Push back the fear words, the unbelief words, and the doubt words. This doesn’t make you the source and resource. It prepares you to be a surrendered receiver of His source and resource.
Fight! Don’t learn how to “live with it” in the sense that you must become expert in tolerating the work of hell against your destiny. Get ready for war when sickness, disease, and dysfunction comes.
Then, get a strategy from God and pray it to pass. Hear His Voice in the matter. It won’t be easy if you aren’t listening well already, and it will require you to get some other voices out of your life. Particularly, your own voice.
Surrender to God’s strategy. Avoid running around to every person who says “healing,” but get to the places and people who have a track record of authority and power.