System Of Inequality and Divine Healing?!

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 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

3 John 2:2

I have been in hot pursuit of divine healing for upwards of twenty years. Healing is promised in the Bible and numerous verses can attest to that fact. I have read them and memorized them and confessed them and put my trust in them and still I am not healed. My pursuit continues.

I read this verse a while back. No doubt familiar to those in search of divine healing  – every book on the subject I have read has included it. But this day, I saw the promise differently.

Instead of seeing it as an iron clad promise of healing, I saw it as an algebraic equation. Weird, right? It struck me as a system of inequalities. On one side of the equation are the variables of prospering and being in good health. On the other side would be the variable of our soul which is our mind, our will and our emotions. Three variables on one side and two on the other.

The question becomes what symbol is between the two sides. Is it an equal sign or not equal, greater than, less than?

My desire to be free of physical pain has so occupied my quest for divine healing that I never even considered the other variables that combine to make my health, holistically speaking.

I simply didn’t care so much about the others; I wanted to live free of physical pain. But God, in His wisdom, knows how much I need all of these variables to be healed if I am going to live the life abundant that has been promised. He is a holistic healer.

I have had to relinquish my ideas about how my healing would manifest and give God permission to heal other areas of my life, even if that means I continue to live with chronic pain while He balances out the equation.

What about you? Are you in need of healing?  I would love to pray for you and join my faith with yours for your healing.

If you have a testimony of how God has healed you, I would love to share it here with others who need encouragement.  

pic credit: pinterest.com

Hurricane Ike Band

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He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.

Psalm 107:29

In September of 2008, my son and I flew to Houston for a weekend. My daughter flew down from Montana and we all stayed at my sister’s house.  We made these reservations long before we knew Hurricane Ike was headed right towards Houston.  Having grown up in Houston and being very familiar with hurricanes, we began the work of preparing for possible disaster.

We bought food and water and put things up that were outside and boarded up what windows we could, rounded up flashlights and batteries and the radio.  All that was left to do was pray and wait.  Hurricane Ike hit Houston in the middle of the night.  The winds were howling, rain was pouring and all power went out and the city was dark.  When we got up the next morning, we surveyed the damage and realized we were housebound for several days along with the rest of the city as workers worked to get roads open and power on.

My sister has two guitars, a piano and a keyboard that didn’t require electricity and we started playing songs.  We spent a long time singing and playing instruments and laughing at our not so good songs and marveling at our great ones. We called ourselves the Hurricane Ike Band!  It was a wonderful, memorable time together waiting out the storm.

You may not be going through an actual hurricane.  I certainly hope not, but what storm howls at your door and causes you sleepless nights? What answer are you waiting on?  Are you in need of divine healing that hasn’t come? Waiting stinks, but it doesn’t have to.  We could have huddled over the radio listening to all kinds of bad reports and wrung our hands and made ourselves sick with worry, but we chose instead to create music.  Peace in a storm is possible.  Remember when Jesus was sleeping on the boat when the storm hit the lake and the disciples freaked out?  Jesus woke up, calmed the storm and the disciples were left scratching their heads.  Who is this Jesus?

Jesus is the calmer of the storm, the peace in the midst of bad reports, the Comforter who holds us through difficult times.  Whatever the storm of your life is, He is greater and He is for you not against you.  Isn’t that something to sing about!

Jesus, calmer of my storms, thank You.  You are always present, always here for me no matter what the circumstances of my life may be and I am so grateful.  Thank You for keeping me safe through the storm and giving me new songs to sing.  Help me, I pray, to remember that when the storm comes I can count on You. Amen.

 

pic credit: texascoastgeology.com

He Breathed The Word

The LORD merely spoke,

and the heavens were created.

He breathed the word,

and all the stars were born.

He assigned the sea its boundaries

and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.

Let the whole world fear the LORD,

and let everyone stand in awe of Him.

For when He spoke, the world began!

It appeared at His command.

Psalm 33:6-9

Faith is treating the Word of God as you would treat the Lord Jesus if he were personally present.

F.F. Bosworth

I’ll be honest here, sometimes, days go by and I haven’t picked up the Bible one time. There have also been weeks and months when that happened.  I can say I treasure the word of God, that I believe in the word of God, that I have been transformed by the word of God, that I have been healed by the word of God, but sometimes, it’s just easy to put it aside.  There, I’ve said it.

I think if I could really get my mind around the fact that the word of God should be treated the same way I would treat (hope to treat) Jesus were he personally present as Bosworth said, then I wouldn’t leave it sitting, unread.

“The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook. God’s Word generates life, creates faith,

produces change, frightens the Devil,

causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character,

transforms circumstances,

imparts joy,

overcomes adversity,

defeats temptation,

infuses hope,

releases power,

cleanses our minds,

brings things into being,

and guarantees our future forever!

We cannot live without the Word of God!

Never take it for granted.

You should consider it as essential to your life as food.

Job said, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread”. 

Rick Warren

When all is said and done, God’s word will stand. When the doctors reports are conflicting, when words spoken to you in anger cut to the bone, when a loss is so great that words fail, God’s word will still prevail. I don’t know about you, but I can surely use a miracle right about now, actually more than one.  I could use joy and hope and the ability to overcome adversity and I could really use character building. And I can find these things in God’s word. He didn’t give it lightly, He hasn’t forgotten it, He didn’t speak it impulsively, He watches over His word to perform what it says in our lives. What an amazing gift!

Father, You have revealed Yourself to me in Your word and You have also revealed myself to me. I am lost without You; I need You every minute of every day, even if I don’t acknowledge that fact. I need Your word, thank You for giving it to me and standing behind it and causing it to have its perfect work accomplished in me. Forgive me for the times I have not treasured it like I should and help me to not take it for granted. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hurry Up and Rest

Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest…  Hebrews 4:11

I consider Saturday and Sunday my rest days.  After I have caught up on laundry, done the serious house cleaning, prepared a grocery list and actually gotten the groceries and put them away, done the dishes, cleaned up after the dogs, moved the piles that accumulated during the week, etc.  Resting gets put off and too many times doesn’t even happen ’til bedtime.  I hurry and rush around so that I have time to rest.  Sound familiar?

It was suggested that yoga might be good for my body; might help with pain.  I watched (notice I didn’t say I did it) a yoga video today and he talked about the importance of waking up and greeting each daily peacefully and slowly, giving our bodies and minds time to ease into the day.  He actually suggested setting the alarm for a half hour earlier.  Really? And not pushing the snooze button even once? Just one more obstacle in my quest for peace and healing!  I’m willing to try though.  Tomorrow.

Getting stuff out of the way so I can rest doesn’t work.  I have come to know that rest needs to be a priority. But here we are deep into the holiday season and rest, well, rest just might have to wait. Rest is too easy to put off.

There is a rest promised to us as children of God. Not just a rest from our labors but also a rest from the issues and concerns of life that keep us in a state of unrest. A rest that comes from believing in the promises of God even when there is no evidence of their fulfillment in our lives. Rest in the Christian life comes from complete trust in God’s word, His promises and full surrender to His will in our lives. The promise land is fulfilled in me in that place of faith, in that place of rest. Sometimes, the labor I have to do to get to that place of rest is to work at changing my unbelief into belief, by purposing to take God at His word, regardless of what I see around me. Some Israelites failed to enter the Promised Land because of unbelief, some of us could fail to inherit the promises of God because of our unbelief.

Lord, I want to enter Your Promised Land, I want to walk in the healing You have provided for me, the provision You have promised and the plans You have purposed for me. Help me to still my anxious thoughts and rest in the comfort of Your promises. When I waver in my faith, shore me up. When I refuse to rest, nudge me. When I become anxious and fearful, calm me. Heal me O, Lord and I shall be healed, Save me and I shall be saved. Amen.

‘Tis the Season

As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

I promised a kid at work we would make Christmas ornaments out of Rice Krispies in time for Christmas. ‘Tis the season and guess who forgot that promise! She looked at me shocked and horrified when I admitted I had forgotten. Promises are especially precious to this little girl. She is in foster care and for over a year her mother has promised her that she would get clean and get the family back together. It hasn’t happened yet and it’s easy to see that, at times, this girl’s hope is fading. I reassured her and together we made a grocery list of things we need to make these treats.  We will make them next Monday. I know she won’t let me forget again.

God doesn’t give out His word and then forget it. Even with the myriad of things He no doubt has on His mind, He still remembers His promises and performs them. I don’t know why some take longer than others to materialize but I know His word and His character and both are trustworthy.

He sent His word and healed them,

And delivered them from their destructions.

I don’t know about you, but there have been more than a few destructions that I have needed God to deliver me from – addictions – cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, co-dependency, mental torment, debilitating fear, bad temper… the list is longer, but enough said. I am delivered by His word and healed by His word. The God who delivered me from addictions can and will deliver me from arthritis, chronic pain syndrome and carpal tunnel. This I believe. His word sent to me, sent to you, will not return void, it will accomplish what it is sent for. What word are you standing on? What deliverance are you in need of? It’s not too much for God to heal.

Lord Jesus, be Lord of my life. In the good days and in the not so good days, thank You for Your presence in my life and for watching over Your word to perform it in my life. Thank You for delivering me from my destructions when I couldn’t deliver myself. For this little girl who has heard a few too many empty promises, would You show up strong in her life? Help her to know that You never break Your promise and that she can depend on that. I ask in Your name and because of Your saving grace. Amen.

The Baby With the Bathwater

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I believe in divine healing even though I still have pain in my body. I first learned about divine healing experientially. Members of my family were healed because someone prayed.  But experience isn’t the same as biblical doctrine. While living in Tulsa, I encountered the Word of Faith teachings of Kenneth Hagin, Bob Yandian, Billy Joe Daugherty, Richard Roberts and more. It was new to me; I had never in all my years of attending church, heard this message of healing. Since I needed healing, I gravitated towards it.

Having been healed instantly on occasion and not having been healed instantly led to many questions and I began digging deeper, which is also the purpose of this blog. Is healing really for today? Is it really for everyone? What happens when the healing doesn’t come?  The Word of Faith movement has quick answers for these questions and maybe they are spot on. Maybe they aren’t. The WOF movement has received much criticism and much praise. Neither of which makes it right or wrong.  I personally know people who have been hurt by this teaching when faith didn’t produce the results they were after and I know others who have dismissed the whole thing because of a healing that didn’t come. That, however, strikes me as throwing the baby out with the bathwater because I also know people who have been healed by this.

Have some people gone off the deep end with this? Probably.  Have some misused it? No doubt. But do those things make the underlying truths false?  I don’t think so.

When we build our doctrine on our experiences (or lack of experiences) or build it simply on the message preached by some or dismissed by some, we are in danger of rejecting truth. The very truth we may need to turn our live around.

My doctrine needs to be based on the word of God. Period.  Did God say it? Then it must be so. If I don’t understand something about God’s word the place to go is to other parts of the Bible and let it lead me into a better understanding. The Helper I need is the Holy Spirit who is available to help me understand truth. Listening to preachers and teachers is good and has it’s place, but it can’t take the place of doing our own homework and building our faith on what God teaches.

Let’s don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, let’s examine scriptures and build our faith on what God says and find our healing in His word.

Lord Jesus, sometimes the questions demand answers, answers I just don’t have, answers You have chosen not to give me. I know, by reading Your word, that You are my healer God and that nothing is too difficult for You. With You all things are possible, even my healing. Thank You for standing by Your word, for establishing Your word in my heart and giving me the Helper to lead me into all truth. Where my doctrine is off, would You lead me into Your truth. In Your name, I pray, Amen.

 

picture credit: pgannon.com

Not This Mountain- Again?!

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When Pharoah let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter.

For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt’

Exodus 13:17

I have been told it could have been a 10 day journey at the most, leaving Egypt and heading to the Promised Land.  But it ended up taking 40 years. The only reason I can see is that their thinking had to change and it took a very long time for that to happen. They had to have time to learn God’s ways and to learn to trust in His word.  God knew that taking them too quickly through the wilderness would only cause great fear and perhaps they would retreat when they encountered opposition.

I wonder how many of the 14 years I have been in pain were only because I couldn’t get my thinking to line up with God’s. Would this journey have been reduced to something measured in days or months instead of years?

When I was 19, I was diagnosed with arthritis. Not knowing any better, I accepted that diagnosis and didn’t spend time expecting it to go away. Even after becoming a Christian and learning about divine healing and having received some miraculous healings in my life, I still didn’t address the arthritis as something that had no place in my life. It was so much a part of my life and I just thought I would live with it as I had always done. Kind of a captive mentality.  I see it differently now.

The purpose of leading the Israelites out of Egypt wasn’t just to get them out, it was to get them in. In to all the promises God had laid out for them, hence, the Promised Land. It isn’t enough to leave a captive situation we must also learn to walk in the freedom, all the freedom God has for us. Freedom His Son, Jesus paid for.  Arthritis is a form of captivity, one God never intended for me to live in, but to come out of that captivity, I have to have a new mindset about it. I have to see the promises of God as they pertain to disease and joint deterioration and such. I have to reject that diagnosis given me so many years ago and embrace a new diagnosis – one given by God, that Jesus paid it all, took it all, and arthritis is among the all that I have been freed from.

Father God, I am ashamed of how long I have just accepted this captivity. I have wandered in the wilderness for so long, not realizing that it may very well be my mindset keeping me there. How I long to enter Your Promised Land, to be set free from the pain and limitations of arthritis. Help me to line my thinking up with Yours and to speak words that line up with Yours, help my unbelief and help me to inherit the promises You have provided for me. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Qualified

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…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 

 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

Colossians 1:12-14

My son, who is homeschooled, is in ninth grade and the curriculum we chose this year has a built-in grading system. The kind most of us grew up with A,B,C,D,F. This is his first encounter with grades. I never used them because I have such an aversion to them. The first time he got a grade lower than an A, he was devastated. More than once when he got a “bad” grade, he would tear up, push away from the computer and leave the room. It took a lot for me to not trash the curriculum. Instead, I helped him over a period of weeks to recognize grades for what they are – a method designed to help us understand where he needs to develop more mastery of a subject and what grades are not – an assessment of his value or worth.

Grades are part of our lives for good or for bad. Even into adulthood, long after schooling is done, grades enter our lives.  I recently had my evaluation done at work. It felt a lot like being graded. And it was. The evaluation is done only to show me where I need to improve and what I am doing that meets expectations. Knowing this though doesn’t change the barbs that enter my brain for a lower mark. Grades and evaluations are also used to evaluate our qualifications to move on or move upward. I got a raise because of my evaluation. People get qualified for college scholarships for good grades.  This is how things work in our kingdom.

The problems come when grades and evaluations become something we internalize and allow to eat away at our sense of self worth or when they become a source of pride and cause us to puff up.

In the kingdom of God, however, things work differently. I am qualified to receive my inheritance (which includes healing) simply because Jesus made the grade, passed the evaluation on my behalf. I am qualified because He qualified me. When I tend to qualify myself based on my assessment of myself, I recognize quickly that I don’t make the grade and feel disqualified to ask for healing or anything else for that matter. Implied in the ability to disqualify myself though is the reciprocal of that thought – that there is something I can do to qualify myself for His blessings. And that is just plain wrong. I can’t do anything to qualify myself nor can I do anything to disqualify myself except to believe in the qualifying sacrifice Jesus made for me. Then I can boldly come to God and ask for and receive my inheritance.

Jesus, thank You for rescuing me from the domain of darkness and transferring me to Your kingdom where there is redemption and forgiveness for my sins. Thank You that qualifying to be in Your kingdom isn’t based on my ability to perform satisfactorily. Thank You for my healing and for allowing me to share in Your inheritance with You and all those that call upon Your name. When I am tempted to disqualify myself, would You please remind me that You’ve got that covered. I ask in Your name. Amen

picture credit:  amandastaysatchurch.com

Reflected Light

 By your words I can see where I’m going;
    they throw a beam of light on my dark path.

Psalm 119:105

I’ve been looking for answers. Not just about this pain but about other areas of my life that I feel need changing. I  haven’t as yet gotten any definitive answers. But I am reminded of a teaching I heard Larry Huch give. He said the priest that entered the temple wore what is best described as diamonds or jewels on the shoulders of their robes. The light from the lampstand stand reflected off of those stones and onto the letters of the Hebrew alphabet that were on the lampstand. Every letter  (all 22) was on there. One letter would be illuminated at a time spelling out a word from God for the people. It was a way for them to discern God’s will.

I don’t have a lampstand or a robe with diamonds on it (would that I did!) I do, however, have God’s written word, His indwelling Spirit, and a heart to follow where He leads. He hasn’t lit my way with floodlights but He has illuminated my path, one step at a time. And for now, that is enough.

Through the maze of prescriptions and supplements and tests and diagnosis, I have at times been so lost that I couldn’t even tell which way to go. It was in those times when God’s word throws a beam of light on my dark path and I know the next step to take. One step at a time can be incredibly frustrating for a planner like me. I want answers and I tend to want them now, but that isn’t how this has been working for me. Among the many things I have learned about healing through this process, this may be the hardest. I’m not totally content with this one step at a time thing but a lamp or beam of light only illuminates a small portion of ground at a time and it moves as I move illuminating the next step.

Some years ago, at a Tim Story healing service, God told me that this was a complete healing. He said my body has been out of whack for a very long time and He is putting it back in whack (His words, really). I had no idea some 18 years later, I would still be looking for that healing to be completed. My body must be more out of whack than I thought! I hold on to His word and His faithfulness to His word and trust that as I take this one step, He will show the next.

Lord, You know how difficult this has been for me. Probably the worst has been all the unanswered questions and the not knowing when it will all end. I am not asking for those answers anymore, I am asking that You continue to guide me one step at a time until this body is back in whack and then even beyond that incredible day. I can’t make this journey without You or Your word, continue to illuminate my path and grant me the grace to take those steps in faith without complaining and murmuring. Forgive me for all the countless times, I have demanded answers. I ask in Your name, Jesus. Amen.

picture credit: nzorzin.com

Brick Wall

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Along the way in this healing process, God began showing me some areas of my life where I have harbored unforgiveness. Even more than just the unforgiveness was the wall I erected between me and other people because of hurts. I built the wall using bricks, each brick representing a hurt I refused to let go of. God, being a holistic healer, knows that my healing needs to be more than skin deep or joint deep, it needs to encompass all of me.  Unforgiveness is a poison, a toxin, if you will, that hinders my life from the healing God desires to bring me.

In I Corinthians we are taught some aspects of love, one of which is that love doesn’t keep track of wrongs done to me, it doesn’t keep score of other’s faults against me. Love can’t build walls between people because love has no bricks to build with.  My brick wall was built as any brick wall is built, one brick at a time until my heart was so covered and obscured from view that I could hardly feel anything except bitterness.

I have to tear down that wall and the good news is, I don’t have to do it alone. By God’s grace, I can forgive. I can declare forgiveness for that person that hurt me and I can’t pray for forgiveness for that person and even if my feelings don’t line up just yet, they will one day and my brick wall will come tumbling down completely.

Love is an awful lot of things, but it is not bricks.

Jesus, sometimes You just ask what seems to be impossible. How am I to forgive some of those hurts? How do I let them go? If I tear down that wall, what protects me from further hurts? You see how hard this is and yet You still ask. Help me in my journey of forgiving to  let go, to leave those unanswered questions with You and just pick up the grace You provide in return. Release ________ from the unforgiveness I have held and forgive ________ . I choose to forgive, I choose to forgive, I choose to forgive. Jesus be my helper, and thank You so much for the forgiveness You have purchased on my behalf. Be with me, be with _______ I ask in Your name. Amen.

picture credit: diane reid