I woke up rehearsing in my mind what I had said in my last post about feeling as powerless as ever. What a can of worms…
So… are we powerless?
Well, not according to God’s Word… yea, the God who cannot lie. He says that if you trust in Jesus for salvation you have the same power that raised Christ from the dead living in you. Here are a few Scriptures I have read over the past couple days:
“We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.” (Colossians 1)
“I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” (Ephesians 1)
My family has been sick for the past two weeks. Like really bad. My wife seems to often suffer physically… for as long as I have known her. My daughter Ellie’s teeth had been rotting out of her face for no apparent reason for the past couple years (and we have good hygiene around here so don’t judge). My daughter Emma has been suffering with bad sickness too. Even my dog got so sick last week I had to put him down. (He was really old for a dog and it was his time, but that didn’t stop me from praying that God would reverse his aging and heal him.)
All of this has been prayed for… a lot! And seemingly with no results.
It was Ellie’s teeth situation that got me inquiring about and pursuing the gift of healing in the first place. I had the elders of the church come and lay hands on and anoint with oil with no results. Does this mean I think that the Bible is lying?
“Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him…” (James 5:13-15)
I guess we didn’t pray with any faith… whatever that means. What a can of worms… right?
What am I supposed to think?
But, here is what I know about the gift of healing:
I have personally experienced God healing someone through me. There was no second guessing it. God was present in and with me and moved in compassion for someone else and literally healed them.
I personally know someone (Bill) who, without even knowing who John Wimber was, found himself at a Wimber meeting. Wimber started getting words from God about people in the audience. He pointed straight at Bill and said, “You there. Pray for the woman next to you. God is going to heal her teeth.”
Ok… he turns and looks at this woman whose teeth are all crooked or missing and not knowing what else to say he mumbles a, “God, heal her.” Instantly he heard a crackling sound as he literally watched new teeth grow in and straighten much to her and his shock and delight.
Bill decided to become a pastor after that. (This is the stary as I remember it being told to me.)
John Wimbers journey started with a desire to see the gifts of the Holy Spirit operating. He had just come to faith (I think back in the 70’s) and would read the Bible and ask those in church,
“When do we get to do the stuff?”
“You know, like the hearings and miracles I’m reading about in here?”
“We don’t do that anymore,” he was told.
John Wimber wasn’t convinced. Once he became a pastor himself he started praying for the sick most every week. By his account no one ever got better instead some even became more ill and died. A year passed but he faithfully persisted in praying for the sick. One day a man calls him up on the phone, “Pastor, will you come over and pray for my wife? I have to get to work and she needs to watch the kids.”
Discouraged though he was he agreed to go over and pray. He prayed for her and then turned to the man and started to explain why these things sometimes don’t work. Meanwhile the man looks over his shoulder and sees his wife get out of bed and casually thanks John for coming over. She was healed!
On the way home John gets an open vision of a honey waterfall (representing healing or the gifts of the Spirit) and some people were loving it and entering into it. He saw others, however, reacting with disgust.
That was the beginnings of the gift of healing being released in John Wimbers life. He proved Jesus words true, “Ask and keep on asking and you will receive. Seek and keep on seeking and you will find. Knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened.”
(the following is his testimony and some really great teaching):
Persistence is required.
Jesus said, “men should always pray and never give up.” People have had visions of angels bringing the answer and about to deliver on a prayer request but actually being turned away by the very ones who prayed because they gave up and “let God off” making some excuse on his behalf.
So… I keep praying for my daughters teeth to be healed. She is likely going to have the healthiest teeth you’ll ever see with all the prayers that have gone up for her. And I am believing that God is going to “do exceedingly abundantly above all we can ask or think.” Perhaps God will release a gift of healing in our family like he did for John G. Lake. (Read his amazing story here – FREE book!).
My wife recently prayed for a young girls ankle and the next day it was better… at least according to the report back we received. My friend who had come over and anointed my girl with oil and prayed has now seen a miraculous healing and recovery in his nephews life.
So are we powerless?
Not according to God’s Word… yea, the God who cannot lie. So put that in your pipe ‘n smoke it.
“Seek the LORD while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the LORD that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.” Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT