How do we know what is God’s will in regards to healing?
Is it God’s will to heal all the time?
These were two of the most pressing questions on my heart a few years ago…
At the time, my mom had severe debilitating back pain. She was unable to walk. Prescribed narcotics did not provide adequate relief. She was unable to get out of bed.
I had a pressing desire to pray for her healing. Not just to pray for her privately in my closet, but to lay hands on her (as written in Mark 16:18).
However, I knew that my father would have strong objections to me doing this, based on a passage from James 5:13-16.
I was not an elder. Nor could I ever be one as a woman, according to a popular interpretation within the conservative Baptist denomination.
Although I had no answer to the passage in James at the time, I had a strong, pressing burden to do what Jesus did and what He commissioned His church body to do.
I felt I needed to get some prayer support from other believers and decided to bring this need to the prayer altar at my local church.
Trembling with expectation to have God move, I went up to the church prayer corner after a Sunday service.
More specifically, I wanted to pray for boldness and for God to move in my dad’s heart. I didn’t want to disrespect my dad or his convictions, but at the same time, I didn’t want to disobey what I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to do.
So, I made my way up to the church altar and the only prayer team member who was not praying with other people was a young man.
Great, I thought immediately. Lord, why couldn’t You have someone older and perhaps “wiser” to pray with me?
Just as fast as that thought passed through my mind, the Holy Spirit convicted me.
Here I was, following His leading to go against all that I was being taught at my previous conservative Baptist church, and the same teachings were influencing my judgment of this young man.
I remembered the verse in which I found comfort as a young woman on fire for the Jesus: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). The NLT translation says, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.”
Immediately I said, “Forgive me, Father.”
The young man intently listened to my prayer request. About half way through my short background story, another prayer team member came up to pray with us. (Later, I discovered she was the prayer team leader).
The next 10-15 minutes of prayer were my first intimate experience with God’s presence. I felt such an overwhelming sense of the Father’s love like never before…
This is the short version of the back story on how the Holy Spirit began His work in my heart to understanding God’s heart and His will towards healing.
Shortly after this amazing Holy Spirit experience, I became a prayer team member.
I felt like a child learning to walk.
Just imagine, for years my paradigm was “the Holy Spirit no longer works the same way He did during an apostolic time.”
In a short span of time, I became a witness to physical healing – a woman who couldn’t bend her knee to a 90 degree angle, was able to get full range of motion to her knee immediately after prayer. I also witnessed a deliverance from influences of the occult.
These were amazing testimonies of God’s love and His power.
However, I wasn’t fully convinced of God’s will for healing, because there were many people I prayed for who didn’t get healed.
So, was it God’s will not to heal those people?
Unfortunately, this is the theology of so many believers of our time…
Since so many people prayed for “so and so” and there was no healing, it must mean that it is God’s will for “so and so” not to get healed.
I have so many objections to this erroneous doctrine, that I don’t even know where to start…
But I do get it, because I was a firm believer of this doctrine for many years myself.
In fact, this ungodly and unbiblical belief had to be cast out by prayer and searching God’s Word for His truths and not man-made “truths,” which we often base on our own personal experiences.
For instance, we don’t see the same miraculous healings as in the days of the apostolic church, and we reinterpret the Scriptures to say “the miracle gifts must have stopped with the apostolic church.”
Well, the nation of Israel had a period of complete silence from God for 400 years prior to the coming of Jesus. Did they do the same we do? Did people assume that God was not the same God? Or worse, did the new generations of Israel (those that have never witnessed God’s power but only heard what God did many years ago) all of a sudden determine that God is not real? In the Old Testament, when God did not move or speak, His silence was actually a bad thing…
Our loved one dies from cancer and we jump to “it must have been God’s will go him not to get healed.” Essentially, if we come to the root of this theology, we use God as a coping mechanism. While our loved one is sick, we pray out of a place of fear of losing that loved one. If we lose our loved one to cancer, we then use God and our newly adjusted theology as a coping mechanism: “God must have wanted to take him/her to be with Him.” And then we take on this pious attitude of “I am going to be like Job,” by stating “God gave and He takes away.”
Believe me, I get it…
However, my desire has always been to search for the truth.
Perhaps this desire has always been deep-rooted in wanting to know God more and from the love for His Word.
If it wasn’t for my love for the Scriptures, I probably would never know the fullness of God’s love, I would most assuradly still be in a lot of bondage to PTSD stemming from childhood sexual abuse, and I would still believe that God is a distant-angry-ready-to-throw-me-in-hell-for-the-smallest-sin God. (The smallest “sin” being something like wearing makeup, pants, jewelry, etc).
Oh, how I praise Jesus for the complete victory in my life!!!
So, when I was challenged by the Holy Spirit to take another fresh look at the Scriptures in search of what is God’s will for healing, this journey turned out to be nothing short of amazing.
Since finishing a deep study of God’s Word on everything it has to say in regards to His will for healing, I felt the need to share these findings with you (which I will do in the next post).
A few months ago, in preparation for these posts, I made a Facebook post, asking my friends what their thoughts were in regards to God’s will for healing.
The responses were profoundly enlightening, especially relating to one issue.
What I could not dismiss was the clearly visible correlation between a Reformed doctrine (Calvinism) and how it influenced a believer’s view of God and His will for healing.
Those who hold to any or all points of Calvinism, also hold to a belief that God’s sovereignty plays an integral role in whether someone gets healed or not. The prayer is similar to “If it is your will, oh God, heal so and so.”
Personally, I find this to be unbiblical because God clearly shows His will for healing through the Scriptures.
Moreover, I find difficulties with the view of “it’s not God’s will to heal all the time.”
For instance, if your view is that it is not God’s will to heal all the time, why do you even seek healing from medical doctors?
If your view is that God causes (allows) sickness, physical suffering, and pain, why take medicine for pain, or to treat high blood pressure, diabetes, etc?
By seeking healing from conventional medicine, isn’t it possible that you may be going against God’s will for your life?
If you believe in the doctrine of suffering, then why do you seek relief from suffering?
I just find this view to be dishonest, self-serving, and even hypocritical when believers who teach the doctrine of suffering seek healing and relief from their own suffering.
Really, if God in His sovereignty and, for some “greater purpose” (like improving your character) “allowed” you to have allergies, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, chronic back pain, cancer, etc., why seek relief from what God “allowed” or caused to happen? Wouldn’t you be going against God’s will for your life? Aren’t you trying to stop what God is attempting to accomplish in your life through pain and suffering?
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