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…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven,

and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 

Philippians 2:10

Some months ago, my doctor finally put a name on all the pain and confusion and sleeplessness I have experienced for the last eight years. Fibromyalgia. I expected as much; I had google this and come to the same conclusion. Even so, hearing the diagnosis hit like a ton of bricks. Years of going back and forth to doctors and trying this medication and that medication with the underlying hope that something, sometime would make a difference. One day I would live without pain, sleep without tossing all night, think clearly and move on with the hopes and dreams that have been put on back burner.

In his office, I knew better. I wouldn’t be getting better, not this side of heaven anyway, unless God intervened.

Having a name for this condition helped me because this verse tells me that the name of fibromyalgia must bow its knee to the name of Jesus.

God gave me an image one day. I saw the cross with Jesus still hanging. On the left side of the cross were small, thin rectangular shapes (grass or thin pieces of wood?) and on each blade was printed a name…cancer, lupus, arthritis, fibromyalgia, heart disease, etc.  The line of blades with names on extended far to the left of the cross.  On the right hand side of the cross, however, nothing was sticking out of the ground. While I was meditating on this, the blades on the left, in one accord, bowed down to the ground facing the cross.

In this image God gave me, diseases knew it was over for them. Their legal right to a believer’s body ended when Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.  Problem is, all too often, we don’t recognize that.  We receive a diagnosis or experience a new symptom or the recurrence of symptoms that have hung on for years and start to accept that this is what it is – the symptoms have won.

But this verse tells us differently.  This verse is a beautiful reminder that Jesus has the final say.

Because Jesus humbled Himself through the cross, God has exalted Him above all, so that all will submit to Jesus as Lord.

Philippians 2:8-9

In the image God gave me, there were no shoots sprouting from the ground on the right hand side of the cross.  Why?  I believe that is because the names that exalt themselves against the name of Jesus knew they had lost, the battle won.  The price was paid and Jesus won!

The only time these sicknesses have a right to our body is when we come into agreement with the diagnosis, the symptoms, the doctor’s report and allow them to stay.

So the question becomes, who are we going to join in agreement – Jesus and His word or the names that are named against us that have no legal standing to remain?

Thank You Jesus for settling the issue once and for all.  Thank You for showing me the image of the ugly names of diseases bowing before You.  When I slide into agreement with the symptoms and the doctor’s reports, would You remind me again that the battle for my healing was won and that by Your stripes I am healed. Be exalted in my life I pray. Amen.  

 

 

Live, Really Live!

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Dear friend, listen well to my words;

    tune your ears to my voice.

Keep my message in plain view at all times.

    Concentrate! Learn it by heart!

Those who discover these words live, really live;

    body and soul, they’re bursting with health.

Proverbs 4:20-22

I wonder is that true, that most people just exist?

Do I live, really live or just exist?

Do I just go through the motions day after day?

Could I use these words to describe my life – rut, mundane, daily grind, humdrum, routine?

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Book shelves abound with self-help books. No shortage of people willing to tell us how to live the life we have dreamed of; knowledge does indeed abound. I have read a number of them. I have them dogged-eared and highlighted and sitting on my book shelf. But truth be told, once they are put back on the shelf and life goes on, I am still me, still just going through motions more times than I would like.

Many may consider the Bible to be just another book, full of wise words, but once read, placed back on the shelf, forgotten and gathering dust. This verse from Proverbs, written by the wisest man, Solomon tells us that though that the Bible offers something the self-help books can’t. Words that bring life and health to all areas of my life – and yours.

Self-help books give us snippets of wisdom but they all require self-effort. How many of you know that self-effort is a recipe at times for disaster?

God’s word, however enters our heart with God’s power to perform what He sent it for, which is healing and bringing health to our body and our soul (our mind, our will and our emotions). All that we have to do is take the medicine He offers, apply it to our lives daily (maybe even minute by minute) and let the love and the power of God bring wholeness to our lives through those words.

God’s word applied daily may not change our circumstances, though it might. More likely though, His word will change our thoughts and our heart so that regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we can have peace and joy and a body and soul bursting with health.  That’s good news, isn’t it?

 

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pic credit: fengshuidana.com

Holistically Speaking

 

Holistic medicine is not new. Plato said, “The great error in the treatment of the human body is that physicians are ignorant of the whole. For the part can never be well unless the whole is well”.  Plato was a Greek philosopher and a scientist and his findings date back to several hundred years before Christ came.

According to Quaker theologian Richard Foster, “ancient Hebrews saw persons as a unity, and they found it unthinkable to minister to the body without ministering to the spirit and vice versa”. This I found in Dr. Reginald Cherry’s book Healing Prayer.

I find this fascinating. I remember when doctors looked at you oddly if you mentioned prayer and got real nervous if you thought your physical and emotional symptoms could be connected. I remember being dismissed and regarded as odd. Things have changed, thankfully and it is possible to find doctors who know the wisdom in treating the whole person.

It wasn’t always this way, physicians long ago knew the value of holistic treatment. When  Jesus walked on the earth and ministered healing to the people, they would have understood the concept of holistic healing. They would understand that Jesus isn’t just talking about just spiritual healing when the word “sozo” was used for the word salvation. He was  a holistic healer healing people who were accustomed to being treated holistically. The word sozo is translated saved (Mark 16:16) but also used as healed when the demon possessed man was set free (Luke 8 :36) and whole when the lepers were healed (Luke 17:19).

We are coming back to this place in our society of recognizing the importance of holistic healing but I wonder if we are arriving there in the church. When we hear the word salvation does it quickly make us think of physical healing, deliverance, and wholeness or do we only think of spiritual rebirth? Jesus didn’t separate them in His ministry but somewhere along the way, we, the church did and how many people have not been healed simply because they didn’t know it was God’s will to heal their body and their mind and their heart and deliver them from all forms of bondage?  Jesus touched every part of brokenness in the people He ministered to and He probably wouldn’t have been considered a good healer by that culture had He only looked at one aspect of their brokenness. I suspect that part of what drew the thousands was the belief that He was a great healer and they would leave His presence changed. Do we believe that?

Lord, when I think of all that Your salvation includes I am humbled and blessed and overwhelmed. Forgive me I pray, for any and all times I have limited the Limitless One of Israel by thinking that physical healing was a lesser agenda and not a part of the whole. Thank You for revealing our Father’s will in all that You did when You walked among the people. Walk among us today, touch us today like You did then, bring Your healing to broken people, help us to see Your salvation as the holistic treatment You paid for it to be. And when people are healed and delivered and set right, may You get the glory and the honor. In Your saving name, I ask. Amen.

 

The Magic Pill

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A young girl I work with was starring at my face one day.  Then she reached up and began rubbing her fingers gently on my cheeks.  She said, “You know, you would be a lot prettier if you didn’t have wrinkles.  There’s wrinkle creams that just take your wrinkles away, you could use that.  My grandmother uses some.”

“And did it get rid of her wrinkles?”  I asked.

“Well, no not yet, but you could use some”.

It made me think of how effective commercials are in convincing people that a pill, a cream, a supplement is going to take all our problems and wrinkles and remove them from our lives.  All we have to do is get the stuff and use it.

Well, I have gotten the stuff and I have used it.  More prescriptions and supplements than I can count in the past 4 years. On my nightstand only are three prescriptions, in my drawer are four and under the sink are more.  I don’t even remember why I don’t take them except they didn’t deliver the relief promised.  Even more bottles have been emptied out so that kids can use the bottles in recycled art projects.

I had high hopes for all of these.  I wanted to believe there was magic pill.  Turns out there isn’t.  At least, not one I have found.

We all want quick fixes don’t we?  We live in a drive through world where food and banking can be done from the comfort of our cars in minutes.

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I’ll have healing, patience, deliverance from this addiction, gentleness, compassion, love and kindness.  Oh yeah, and an order of tender mercy. 

Wait, can I add joy and peace?

And for dessert, I’ll have long-suffering, (I really work with some difficult people).

That’s all for now. 

What? It doesn’t work that way? 

        I want all that God has for me and these are things He has for me, aren’t they?

  Process, are you kidding? 

           I’m in a hurry, just get my order please!

Sometimes healing comes instantly.  I have had that happen, my son has had that happen.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes it is a process which involves waiting and trusting and not losing faith.  A pill would be so much easier.  Whatever His reasons, God hasn’t chosen to heal me instantly.  I know He is in this, that He loves me and watches over me and I am daily building my faith and learning to wait with grace.  Oh yeah, a pill would be so much easier.  But in the end, when I get my healing, it won’t be a magic pill that gets the glory, it will be my God, my Healer God.

You are the God that heals me and I praise You.  I am so grateful that You haven’t left me or abandoned me, that You stand by me, watch over me, lead me in the path of healing that is right for me, that You comfort me and lead me to still waters.  How I need You and Your peace during this time.  Help my unbelief when I start to waiver and help me to be an instrument of Your peace to those I come in contact with, In the name of Your precious Son Jesus, I pray.  Amen.