DOES GOD STILL HEAL TODAY? - By Pastor Mike Taylor - http://www.churchofgod-usa.org/1/post/2015/05/does-god-still-heal-today.html
James 5:14 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
We live in an era of intense suffering all over the world. Here in the land of free, home of the brave, we have had it better than most other countries around the world. But disease and affliction still can invade our sense of security, our sense of peace, and shake our faith in God’s ability to heal.
In our church, we have had disease rear its ugly head and one of our own has come down with a life threatening illness and we are all devastated. I can only imagine what I would feel, what the parents of this young person feel to learn that their child has a deadly disease. Prayers go up and we have believed the healing power of Almighty God to deliver our sister from the clutches of her mortal body turning on itself and afflicting her with the dreaded “C” word….cancer. But the question is “Does God still heal in our ‘modern’ age of advanced medicine and scientific treatment?” I believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever and He has not changed.
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”
So why is it that we don’t see the miracles of healing like was present during the times of ministry of our Lord Jesus and the lives of His followers, the apostles?
I’m not talking about TV evangelist that we see on TBN, to the likes of Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar, as personally, I believe they are using God’s grace to further enrich themselves to unsuspecting masses that do not understand, or discern real healing and the practices of a charlatan. It gives healing a bad name.
In our world today, physical healing is looked upon with at least some skepticism, if not outright doubt. Much of this skepticism results from these charlatans who play on the misery of the infirm, often performing their spectacles on stage and on television for the entertainment of thousands. What a contrast to Jesus' humble, circumspect miracles of healing! His miracles reflect His character, naturally expressing His love and sympathy for suffering mankind. God will reward those who make sport of His ability to heal and deceive other men, and emptying their wallets, even of the poor and those who can least afford it. Remember, “God is not mocked, as whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.
No, what I’m talking about are men of God in the trenches taking hold of the horns of the altar of God and praying through and will not be moved. They speak to the mountain of their affliction, or the affliction of their loved ones and will not do anything, but believe that God will do it. They pray and fast, they lay hands on the afflicted, they speak the Word of God over those who need the healing and will not give up, or until God says no and the loved one is taken home. Many times God says “yes” and the person is healed, sometimes instantly, sometimes after much prayer having been sent up. This is the time to give God all the glory and praise His name as a witness to others who need Jesus in their lives.
WAIT ON GOD
It is hard to wait on God, as we want what we pray for now. We must not be discouraged when our healing or the healing of a loved one takes longer than what we pray for. Immediate gratification and answer to those prayers may not come instantly. It is an excellent opportunity for us to exercise our faith and wait on God’s intervention. We put God to the task of meeting our needs, and we claim His promises. We lay our needs, our afflictions at His feet and believe in our hearts that He will do what He said. He doesn’t mind that you keep coming again and again before Him to pray the same prayer over and over, as He wants to know that you believe what He said. God wants to heal, as it is His character and nature to give us the desires of our hearts. Our God wants to forgive, He wants to apply mercy and grace, He wants to heal not afflict, and he wants to restore, not destroy. That’s our God and we must take Him at His Word.
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Men of God must pray the prayer of faith and if they have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, then anything is possible. Remember the story of when Jesus rebuked His disciples for their lack of faith? Matthew 17:
17:14 “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
God is not limited in power, it is we who pray with fear, doubting that God will answer our prayer, and we bind the Holy Spirit to meet our prayer request. We must pray not doubting. Hebrews 11:
11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
This comes from what is called the “faith” chapter and Paul writes what we need to receive answers to our prayers. Further in the chapter, Paul writes:
11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
But a word of caution here to those who are seeking healing from God for themselves or a close loved one. God did NOT promise us a bed of roses or a life without trials and tribulation. God is not so much worried about our physical comfort, as He is worried about our spiritual growth and our growing in His grace. We must be relying on Him alone for our every need. God answers prayers for healing our physical bodies, not according to our wants, but according to our needs and His will and purpose. In everything that we do, we must give God the glory for His abundant provision to meet our every need. Now God can use illness, or other trials to get our attention, to turn our face to Him and Him alone. It all depends, are we listening to Him?
WHY DID GOD BECOME A MAN, NAMED JESUS?
God, the Eternal Almighty God forsook His glory to take on mortal flesh. It was His desire from the beginning of time, and before the foundations of the world was even laid, to redeem what He knew would be lost due to man’s rebellion against His laws. Our first parents only had one decree, one command from God our Father and that was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sounds simple to me, but Adam was not deceived as Eve was from Satan’s deception, for the choice was to follow God or follow their own desires. The choice was God’s way or man’s way. To submit to the will of God out of love, devotion and obedience willingly and know that He only wanted what was best for mankind is God’s desire. Man made a choice to follow his own way. Now some say that Adam showed that he chose Eve, as she would be condemned and his love for her, made him follow her in her sin and sin himself. Sounds plausible, as we don’t know how long they were joined as husband and wife as it could have been a 1000 years. We just don’t know, but Adam made a choice, and God knew what He must do to reclaim what man had thrown away, eternal life and a close and personal relationship with his Creator.
Isaiah explained it so very well in chapter 53 of why Jesus came to die for His creation. I quote a few verses, but the whole chapter is all about Jesus.
53:3 “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
53:4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
The whole chapter is pregnant with the reason God came to bear our sins, our transgressions, and our falling away from Him and bound for hell and separation from God for all eternity.
Notice that Jesus came and bore what we deserve, death and separation from Almighty God. Jesus bore that horror by being separated from God on the cross to take the burden of our sins upon Himself. But understand, Jesus didn’t come to only save our miserable hides from disease and affliction, our physical bodies from physical death by taking upon Himself the stripes we deserve to heal us of every affliction, but oh, more than that. Much more than that as Jesus came to rescue our spirits, our souls, and our eternal life, to be with Him forever. He came to heal us, completely, mind, body, soul AND spirit from eternal death and separation from God our Father.
I’m reminded of the leper that came to Jesus and made His way to Jesus through the crowd. Obviously, men stood back and avoided touching the man, as the leper’s condition was contagious. What did Jesus do? He reached out His hand and touched the leper and healed him. Matthew:
8:2 “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
8:3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
The scene of the leper is an example of divine reconciliation. Usually uncleanness or the profane does not mix with holiness, but Jesus overcame this by reaching out and touching the man and Himself was not made unclean, at least not yet. As Jesus took his infirmity and all mankind’s infirmities upon himself and made us clean, holy and clothed with His righteousness and able to stand before Almighty God filled with what He accomplished at the cross, forgiveness of our sins and unclean condition. Jesus made us righteous through Him and not of ourselves. Proverbs 20:9 says, "Who can say, 'I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin'?" The leper could no more pronounce himself clean than we can pronounce ourselves sinless (I John 1:10).
To heal our bodies, to heal our minds and souls, He must first heal our spirits. If we do not have God in our heart in the name of God’s only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, then we cannot and will not receive healing of other aspects of our lives. People can pray for you all day long, but unless you come to a awakening in your spirit that you are lost in your sins, then their prayers may not be answered as they would like them to be answered. Why? God wants to save your spiritual lives, not only your mortal lives. Don’t misunderstand, as God wants to heal every part of you, mind, body, soul and spirit, but remember what I said above? God is less concerned with our physical comfort and more about our spiritual condition. He is making us ready to reign with Him for a thousand years and on into eternity. God may even use the disease or affliction to get you to turn to Him in love and gratitude and convict you of your sinful nature. Remember, the bible is full of examples where God allowed disease and affliction to turn the person around and teach them that they are nothing without Him. They owe Him their very lives, their allegiance, their love and devotion willingly. God does not want slaves, but sons and daughters who love Him for who He is.
GOD HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT HEALING SINCE THE GARDEN OF EDEN
Healing didn’t just start with Jesus when His ministry healed the blind, the leper, the lame, and raised the dead.
15:25 “And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,
15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
In this passage, God reveals Himself as Yahweh Ropheka, or "the Eternal-Who-Heals," at the incident at Marah. Nathan Stone writes in his book, Names of God, that this name means "to restore, to heal, to cure . . . not only in the physical sense but in the moral and spiritual sense also" (p. 72). Dying to sin and living for righteousness are a kind of healing through Jesus Christ.
We who have Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord of our lives, look to Him for making us clean spiritually and healing our mortal bodies of disease. We give Him praise and glorify His name for both. Praise Him for saving our souls from eternal death, and praise Him for healing out bodies of disease. When God through His mercy heals our sister in our church from disease, (we will continue to pray until God gives us an answer and the victory) then we will raise the roof to give Him glory and praise. I pray God uses this disaster to bring her victory in Jesus and solidifies her faith and resolve to trust in Him and Him alone. We want it to be a testimony of God’s divine healing power and a witness to the living men and women in and out of this church.
In answer to the question, does God Heal Today? The answer is yes. He heals every part of the condition of mortal man all to His glory and praise. He heals us spiritual, foremost, and heals us emotionally, mentally and finally physically. It all comes down to how much faith do you have? Do you believe what He said?
Have you put your faith and trust in the only person who ever lived that can save your immortal soul? That person is the Son of man, God in the flesh, Jesus the Christ. Jesus said “ I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh to the Father but by Me.” John 14:6
When Jesus Christ became sin for us, on Him was transferred all uncleanness, diseases and physical as well as spiritual uncleanness. For those who have repented and accepted His sacrifice, there is increasingly more responsibility to continue this cleansing process in cooperation with and submission to Him. Peter summarizes this idea in I Peter 2:24, "[He] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness - by whose stripes you were healed."
Jesus will heal every unclean condition you have present in your life. Sin, disease, mental anguish, and emotional turmoil. He will cleanse your mortal body…all you have to do is ask Him in faith, no wavering, but in faith not moving to the right or to the left, but keeping your eyes upon Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying healing in your life from the source of all healing, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. If you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, God bless you all, till we meet at Jesus feet.