Called To Heal

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“Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our inequities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

-Isaiah 53:4-5

I still have yet to witness a profound miraculous healing. I have seen many people healed of small afflictions, and have seen serious illnesses healed over time, but never have I witnessed someone’s leg grow out instantly, cancerous tumors visibly dissolve, or the crippled walk. Despite having not seen, I still believe. It is a choice we all have to make, and yes it’s a choice. Satan tries daily to increase our doubt and wrap us up in the worldly reality that writes miracles off as impossible fantasies. For those that believe in God, satan tries to twist our view of Him, “is God really good?” we begin to question, “if He is good why would He let bad things happen?” Unfortunately most, if not all, of us have blamed God at least once, for something He didn’t do because we fell into satan’s trap and forgot who He is.

It is crazy how easily one can twist the Bible. Picking out verses here and there like a bag of skittles and tossing the more nasty or “offending” parts out. We see this happening more and more as people try to justify their sins and force God into their self-created box. I’ve even seen people take it as far as to believe that there is no hell or satan….no judgement at all for their actions. There are extreme opposites too, that live in the old testament and believe God to be constantly furious and unforgiving towards His creation. Both, I am happy to say, are not true. All it takes is looking at the entire Bible, not just the savory parts, for us to reaffirm who God is and what constitutes right and wrong.

The old testament, in so many ways, has many still bound. Just like the pharisees we gravitate towards laws and structure instead of the miraculous and spontaneous acts of God. If it wasn’t in their religious scrolls they instantly labeled anything new as from demons, giving credit to satan for what God actually did. They had studied the Word and held that as the complete picture of who God is, not realizing until late that God was still writing and revealing His nature to us. Even now, we do not know God completely, that’s what makes a relationship with him so much fun! He reveals more of Himself as we partner with Him. I didn’t know everything about my husband coming into marriage. I still don’t. We had been friends for years but even then I had much to learn about his heart and what living with him would be like. I honestly believe that to be one of the greatest joys of marriage, discovering one another more deeply. God is the same way.

Our God is miraculous! keep that truth in your mind when the world tries to tell you something else. God’s nature, heart, and intent are clearly expressed in the Bible, however do not limit God to only what you know. One thing I’ve heard through multiple testimonies is that God often works in ways we would never have guessed. We can’t be like Moses striking the rock (Numbers 20) instead of obeying how God wants to do something. We serve a God of infinite ideas and He loves expressing them through us, for the sake of our faith and trust, but also for the sake of those we minister to.

The new testament is what brings it home for us. In the old testament we see God as restorer and healer, then He sends His Son, who is restorer and healer..lastly Jesus dies for our sins/debt and is resurrected…before he returns to heaven He promises the disciples that they will be receiving the Holy Spirit in His place. Keeping that in mind lets look at what Jesus says earlier in John 14:12-13:

“I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things I’m doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father. I will do anything you ask the Father in my name so that the Father will be given glory because of the Son.”

We will do even greater things than Jesus? Yes, it is now our commission to carry out, we are called to heal, restore, raise, cast out, and perform many other signs in the name of Jesus. What about the next part, “They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father,” In order for the Holy Spirit to come, Jesus had to ascend. He even tells the disciples that it’s better that He goes so that the Holy Spirit can come and rest upon them. It is through the Holy Spirit we receive power to do the miraculous. Remember, our debt has been paid, our old selves have died along with the old covenant. God is not mad at us, if he was that would mean that our debt has not been paid! Jesus is now alive in us, God sees Him reflected in each of His children. Now we are the ones called to heal and restore.

That is why I believe in the power of healing. Our God does not punish us with diseases and disabilities! Do not blame God for the works of the devil. “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) We live in a fallen world, however we have a weapon in the Holy Spirit. Through co-laboring with Him we can change the world. We are the ones called to release heaven’s realities on earth and destroy the works of the devil. But we have to say yes, we have to make a choice. Do you believe in the power of healing?

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the captives and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” (Luke 4:18)

The Game of Chance

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“We exist for such a minute time, he mused. We perform a great many inconsequential nothings and call them Acts of Significance, realizing the futility of our lies all the while. Yet we constantly strive for the postponement of the inevitable end which would bring peace to all. Such is the nature of man, and it does not change with his physical stature.”

Star Trek Log Four: Alan Dean Foster

Out of all the significant resources we humans believe will never become scarce..time is the resource believed above all to be in abundance. It is only upon looking back that we realize that it is the scarcest resource. Time cannot be paused, moderated, or reversed…it is ongoing, unchanging, and unsympathetic towards our wants and wills. It keeps ticking by and with each tick, we say goodbye. Memories, even the most fundamental, are slowly erased from our ever filling minds. And without purpose, we are left with sagging skin and a longing to do something lasting…yet with time as our captor, our legacy blurs surely but slowly from the face of the earth. “Such is the nature of man”, to strive for eternity amidst an hourglass world.

Is it really so hard to accept the existence of God? Those driven by natural logic cannot fathom the existence of a timeless omnipotent God. And on the surface, it would appear reasonable to believe in the hopelessness of our existence. We see today the outcome from accepting this belief…even as you read this, scientists are researching and preparing a future trip to Mars. Many are even already volunteering for such a mission, a mission they will not return from…all in the hopes of buying time. Self preservation is the logical outcome of those who accept a mortal life, what else is there to be fought for than time? That is why we see so many people chasing after their bodily desires and rushing about their day-to-day tasks. Our youth are being solely driven by the phrase, “you only live once”, and using the phrase to justify their lusts.

As we watch the world rushing by, we Christians either get caught up in their rush, or stand apart, and in simply stopping we realize that they are playing a game of chance. Time has become their captor, while we embrace eternity. Don’t get me wrong, our time here is very important, but it is not the end…but the beginning. In rushing about we lose sight of that fact. Many Christians out there are caught up in this….thinking of only worldly things and acquiring worldly treasure…which we don’t take with us by the way. In American culture it is particularly difficult to stand apart. Distraction is at every door, billboard, commercial, or radio station. Many things demand our time and attention…and quite frankly some if not most can’t be avoided. We have to get our kids ready for school, we have a meeting at work, we have to go to class…the list goes on and on. And by the time we finish our daily tasks we slump on the couch, peer at the clock, and wonder where all our time has gone.

As Christians I truly believe that our busyness can be balanced by discipline and renewal of the mind. In other words, when we get too caught up in life we need to step back and refocus/shift our thinking so that we don’t get burnt out and stressed. Our time with God is too essential to pass up, it is a relationship He longs for afterall…not just for us to be acquainted with Him and His presence. I can honestly say that when I have a particularly busy week and don’t pray or spend time with Him…I feel disconnected and sad. After knowing God and having a relationship with Him…how could I ever try to do life without Him? We are made a new creation when we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives and are born again…as new creations we can’t easily revert to our old ways…since they are dead, it actually takes effort and ignoring the convictions of the Holy Spirit to revert to our old selves. If you are reading this and thinking that it is all to easy to revert to your old self, then I must ask if you were truly born again in the first place? If no dying of self took place, then no re-birth took place, and the old self is surely still alive.

So what is the game of chance? It is the game every atheist plays, or every Christian who misuses grace. As an atheist, you have decided to believe the world was created by chance…and that you are a product of chance. To believe in that in itself takes more faith to believe in than Christianity. It goes against our very nature to be more, and to stand apart from the rest of creation. And regardless of explanations it actually leaves just as many questions in the air as, atheists would argue,  religion does. Relativism may be their pacifier and way of justificating all the unanswered questions but it really just covers up the fact that there actually is a right answer. For those of you that don’t know, relativism is a term that can be defined by the internet as, “the doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.” To put it simply, relativism is the belief that everyone is right, and no one is wrong. Again it avoids the obvious truth and is merely a silencer to any opposing views.

You may say, “how is relativism seen as logical? Aren’t scientists and atheist’s solely driven by logic and cold hard facts?” I would say that although they may use the terms logic and fact…they are used loosely and without support. What truly defines logic?…to me logic encompasses common knowledge and reasoning which the Bible states clearly supports the existence of a God, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) His existence has been made plain for all to see, throughout creation and through the very existence of the Bible…a book consisting of many people from different times all in agreeance and support of the existence of God and Jesus as the Savior of the world. All their stories line up and support the core of the book…and that’s coming from an era that didn’t write fictional novels but wrote and recorded only what was essential.

Atheist’s may say they believe in logic and fact, but really they believe in luck. It is by luck the world happened to explode into existence and somehow be the only planet to have and sustain life when all of the galaxies were birthed from the same point in space and have been expanding from that birthplace ever since. It is merely the byproduct of intelligence that makes us long for eternity, a purpose amidst our sufferings. Even Star Trek, a scientific fiction which prided itself on logic and reasoning held to the belief in higher intelligence over chance in virtually every alien world they encountered. What is more believable? That the computer mouse in my hand just sprung into being or that it was created, with purpose and intent? The game of chance…is anything but logical.

This game is played by Christians to unfortunately. Those who abuse God’s grace and forgiveness in order to justify their actions. It is out of the fear of judgement or lack thereof that I have seen Christians fall into sin knowing that tomorrow they can ask for forgiveness and start over. It’s a cycle that’s repeated over and over and it is ignorant of the fact that God knows whether a heart is fully repented or not. They use God’s grace like a debit card and swipe it after every sinning spree…not realizing that Jesus could come at any moment and they could very much miss out on eternity. A dangerous game this game of chance. Would you wager your life for one night of rebellion?

I do not have enough faith to be an atheist, I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with grace…maybe you will call me closed-minded or illogical, I am not offended by your beliefs..no I do not believe in relativism either. To me, it is logical to stop asking questions you already know the answer to, why keep digging in the same hole when you have already found the treasure? That is truly a waste of our scarce amount of time on this earth. Seek God, believe in Him…invest in your eternity. Rest in His purpose for your life..It is more fulfilling than anything we could create, and it leaves a lasting legacy.

“Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will  come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were  from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of the water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.”

“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

-2 Peter 3:3-9 ESV