Maybe you can relate to this. You’ve begged and pleaded God for healing for years. You’ve fasted, had hundreds of people lay hands on you and pray for you, and still…here you are, waging a daily war with fatigue, depression, brain fog, pain or any other number of symptoms.
So if James 5:5 in the Bible says that “the prayer offered in faith will heal the sick” and Isaiah prophetically stated in Isaiah 53 that “surely He (Jesus) has borne our sicknesses” and “by His stripes we are healed…” and Jesus commanded his followers to heal the sick (not pray for the sick, but heal them!), as stated in Matthew 10:8, then why oh why, do some of us seem to get more healing than others?
That’s a huge question that can’t be adequately answered, even in the best of books on healing, because God’s ways are not ours, and life is full of unexplainable mysteries. That said, God does give us insights into the question, and I believe that one of them is found in Matthew 10:8, through Jesus’ command to heal the sick.
When Jesus went to the Cross, He was made an atoning sacrifice not only for our sins, but also our sicknesses. He literally carried our diseases so that we would not have to…but the healing isn’t always automatic or happen when one, or even 100, people pray for us, or we ask God to heal us.
Through my current battle with insomnia, which has at times been agonizing, I have often cried out to God. The voice of misery manifests at times in such demanding phrases as “What do you WANT from me? I thought you said this was over!”
In our humanity, when the pain is intense, we beg, cry and scream at God, wondering why He’s rejected us or forsaken us, or why the promises of the Bible don’t appear to be true. While He understands our pain, if we knew the truth about what has been given to us, and what He gave up for us, we might not hurl so many angry words at Him, or beg, cry and give up, believing He doesn’t want us well.
This past weekend, during my prayer time, He brought to my memory a picture of the face of Jesus while He was dying on the Cross. A face of agony, torn, bruised and bleeding…and His body, lacerated, ripped to shreds and trembling in pain; ….from head to toe….and nails, driven deeply into His hands and feet, through the muscles, tendons and bones…as He suffered in indescribable emotional and physical agony…for me.
And then, it was as if He were saying to me, “I did this for you so that you would have a weapon with which to fight disease…
… That weapon is sitting there, right there at your feet. Do you see it? That beautiful, powerful, shiny weapon, called the Sword of the Spirit….
I know it doesn’t look like much, but do you know that it cost me My life? It is priceless, and it is yours. With it, you can win wars- the war against your body, and the war against disease in this world….
But you aren’t picking up my gift and using it right now, and so it just sits there, at your feet…
…Still, I died so that you could have this gift. I didn’t work 40 hours a day or sacrifice a retirement savings to pay for it…no, I gave up My very life so that you could have it!…
…. How can you ask me for healing from insomnia, when I have already said Yes by this gift that I have given you? I suffered indescribable pain and agony so that you could take hold of this precious gift, but you ignore it because you want something more. You want me to simply rescue you. Well…I already did rescue you, just not in the way you expect. You see, I need you to pick up the weapon…because with it, you can be healed.”
And then I realized that begging God for healing was really another way of spurning His gift; of saying that Jesus’ work on the Cross meant nothing to me, and that the sword of the Spirit; the Word of God, and the presence of His Spirit within me, were worthless.
Because the deal was, “I’ll give up my life for you, and if you receive Me as your Lord and Savior, you will receive My Spirit, and with the Spirit and My Word, you will have all that you need to fight sin and disease.”
With such a great sacrifice made, and such a great gift given, why then, should He bend to my cries to just take away the pain? My wee pain, compared to His agony on the Cross. No, our suffering is not insignificant, but asking us to pick up the weapons of our warfare, such as praise and thankfulness, and by speaking and meditating upon the Word of God- so we can be free, really isn’t asking much of us by comparison.
Just speak a few Holy Spirit-filled words into the atmosphere, and trust in Him- quite often, that is all we need to do, and is all He asks of us, in exchange for the torturous death that He suffered. What a deal!
So can we blame Him when He refuses to simply rescue us? Or don’t we know that He already did? It cost God the Father His Son’s life to free us, but sometimes we need to appropriate that healing. How it must grieve Him to think that He gave up so much, and that we just disregard the sacrifice?
Or maybe it isn’t that we disregard anything, but that we remain ignorant of what His sacrifice means, not only for eternity, but also for our lives here on earth.
I know that when I hurt, it’s as if I totally forget about Jesus’ sacrifice- and that not only did it purchase my salvation in Heaven, but also my victory on earth. But again…with the gift came a responsibility; a responsibility that He doesn’t even expect me to carry out on my own, but with the help of His Spirit. Because His Word states that it is He who works in me to will and to do (Phil. 2:13)
It isn’t about positive affirmations. It’s about, supernatural, holy, Spirit-filled words, and the presence of God, and the healing power and love contained therein, which is released through those words, combined with an attitude of trust, belief, surrender and gratitude toward Him. It is something entirely different than positive thinking. It is about feeding, growing, healing and empowering our human spirits with His Spirit, and His love.
And so God impressed it upon me to put a photo of Jesus on the Cross on the wall beside my bed, so that when I can’t sleep at night, instead of getting mad and begging and crying for help, I might look up, and recall His suffering, and remember what that suffering purchased for me. And then, reach down into my spirit, and pick up my weapons, to fight the lies that assault me when I’m tired…
It’s not an overnight thing. Change happens first in the spiritual realm, and then, over time, it manifests in the physical realm. Of course, God heals us sometimes without requiring a single utterance from us, but at other times, He wants to convince us by His Word of that healing. In my case, I believe that there’s no other way that I will win the battle over insomnia- and no other way that I will know of His healing power for others, until I apply the Word to my own life. Yes, He has used medicine to make me well, but He also wants me to see the body, soul and spirit healing contained within His Word; within Jesus’ sacrifice, and through relationship with Him.
Seek His face, and you will learn more about who He is for you, and how He can make you not only well, but whole, by His Spirit, and by His Word- the most powerful medicine there is.