“…A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill.”
Finally, the snow has parted here in Ohio, along with it’s freezing temperatures. And just as the heat of summer starts to roll in…I get Strep Throat. Even as I type this now, my throat is hurting and swollen. However, I’m thankful that it has motivated me to write again. Life has been rather busy, and all my blog ideas have just been quickly jotted down on the backs of recipes and bills, in my phone and between the pages of books. It is almost a treat to be sick enough to be given time, a break from the busyness of life.
That very thought has led me to write this blog, as I struggled to pray for healing over myself when I felt the oncoming symptoms appear, I realized that part of me didn’t mind being sick, it was like I partnered with it, if only slightly. Healing didn’t come and here I am taking penicillin on day 2 of missed work wondering if I would have been healed if I had fully wanted it.
I know there is much we don’t yet understand about healing, why some people are healed and others are not. Why some healings are instant and others take years is a mystery to us all. I believe there are multiple factors at work, limiting us from our full potential. The same Holy Spirit is within us after all. He is the one who worked within the disciples, raising the dead, casting out demons, healing everyone regardless of how severe the ailment. So what has happened?
There is nothing in the Bible that says the power of the Holy Spirit has left us, and how confusing would it be for Jesus to send us the Holy Spirit, demonstrate His power, and then take Him from us. Would it not be the equivalent of holding out a precious jewel and then snatching it away just as our hands were outstretched towards it? Jesus sent us the Holy Spirit in great excitement and with a promise:
12 “I can guarantee this truth: Those who believe in me will do the things that I am doing. They will do even greater things because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do anything you ask the Father in my name so that the Father will be given glory because of the Son. 14 If you ask me to do something, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will obey my commandments. 16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will be with you forever. 17 That helper is the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept him, because it doesn’t see or know him. You know him because he lives with you and will be in you. (John 14:12-17)
Jesus guarantees us that if we believe we will do even greater things than he? And what did he do? He did countless miracles! Not only that, but he goes on to promise that the Holy Spirit is with us forever, not just for a time as many people have come to believe today, simply because they haven’t seen the Holy Spirit work in their lives.
The truth remains that what we seek we find. I grew up believing in the Holy Spirit but failing to see His power. But, what is more likely? To believe that Jesus lied to us or to believe that maybe we got something wrong ourselves? Maybe we have let doubt cloud our hearts, maybe we have forgotten who the Holy Spirit is. Even the disciples had to learn and grow in their understanding. It took an incredible amount of faith and an unshakable trust in Jesus to propel them forward on their journey.
Are we truly surprised to discover that maybe we will be required to have that same faith and trust?
I know a pastor who pursued healing for many years. It seemed hopeless, everyone he prayed for walked away unchanged, and man did he do bold things, putting his faith to the test..as this was going on, something tragic happened, his sister died of cancer. It was a defining moment, would he give up on healing? Instead of feeling hopeless, he became angry. Satan had had the last laugh, it was all or nothing. With renewed passion, he continued to pray over people, and that’s when…the miracles happened. Today, he sees miracles all the time. He believes without a doubt that God is good and his will is for everyone to be healed and restored. I know this man, in fact, he has opened our eyes to the miraculous.
I share this testimony in the hopes that you too will continue pursuing God’s promises. They are all worth fighting for with everything we have. Words alone won’t be enough to change the world, we need to prove that God is good and He is at work through us. That is what Jesus did, he taught and he did miracles, the two went hand in hand and we are called to mirror him.
And Jesus healed every single man, woman, and child that came to him. And those who came to him, whether they were blind, crippled, or diseased…were asked this question, “do you want to be healed?” I find this question is very easy to miss…we think to ourselves, of course, they want to be healed! But Jesus isn’t going to give you something you won’t receive, something you don’t want. Maybe this is a factor we also overlook today, we never ask people what they want, we just pray for them and even pull them up from their wheelchairs in the belief that healing will come by force.
The heart of a person can be the heart of the problem. Everything we do stems from our heart. How easy it is to pray over the obvious, the outward effects, that point to a deeper problem. Our bodies and minds can become warped by sin and brokenness, and only the Holy Spirit knows the heart. We can’t heal without his power, and we can’t heal without his guidance.
Ask him how to pray for someone, get to the heart of the issue, have that person say aloud what they want to happen…their words are just as powerful. And be willing to do what the Holy Spirit asks of you, don’t hesitate.
Believe that the miraculous is possible, seek it out, and you will find it. But be prepared and warned. In order to grow, to see more, you may have to step out of your comfort zones, out of your idea of what healing should look like, you may just have to trust yourself in the hands of the Holy Spirit.
“Faith without works is useless.”