Keys To Healing

One of the confusing aspects of healing ministry is the reason why some people are not healed. After all, Jesus healed everyone who came to Him, so why does this not happen today? It is easy to be discouraged by these apparent failures when we should rejoice in the fact that many are healed.

We have been conditioned by our technological culture to believe that there should be techniques , procedures or methods for every problem. Sickness can be dealt with by a pill or a needle- just follow the directions on the bottle. Of course we ignore the side effects and the cases where this approach fails, because of our faith in medical science.

This is not to disparage medical science. Our lives are immeasurably better because of the insights and knowledge of the medical and scientific professions.

Christians need to take a different approach. If our faith in doctors and medicines is greater than our faith in God, then we have made medicine an idol.

My thinking on this subject has been provoked by a question somebody asked at a recent cell group study of Psalm 91. Here is Psalm 91 in the Passion Translation:

When you abide under the shadow of Shaddai,

you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.

2 He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me,

the only God for me, and my great confidence.

3 He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy,

and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse.

4 His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you.

You can run under his covering of majesty and hide.

His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.

5 You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night

nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you.

6 Don’t fear a thing!

Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you,

nor will the powers of evil be launched against you.

7 Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed,

you will remain unscathed and unharmed.

8 You will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgement,

for they will be paid back for what they have done!

9–10 When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High,

our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm.

How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?

11 God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go,

defending you from all harm.

12 If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you

and keep you from stumbling.

13 You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness,

trampling every one of them beneath your feet!

14 For here is what the Lord has spoken to me:

“Because you loved me, delighted in me, and have been loyal to my name,

I will greatly protect you.

15 I will answer your cry for help every time you pray,

and you will feel my presence

in your time of trouble.

I will deliver you and bring you honour.

16 I will satisfy you with a full life and with all that I do for you.

For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!”

The question was this: are these promises absolute or not? We talked for some time about all the reasons why people do not get healed and we made excuses for God.

When we see texts like this which are absolute promises of peace, healing and protection, we have to either compromise the text (“God didn’t really mean this”) or explain away the reasons why it doesn’t apply in a particular situation.

At the heart of the issue, we need to move our thinking away from a mechanical or technological mode (do this and that will happen) to a relational mode in which we understand that God is drawing us deeper into Him, and He will use physical, emotional and spiritual healing as part of a process.

Here are three important keys to healing:

1. Promise

All through the Bible we see promises about protection, healing, provision and so on. Sometimes these promises are very clear, and other times we can infer them from the narratives.

What we often overlook is that the promises come with conditions, “If you do this, I will do that.” In our eagerness to seize on isolated texts that seem to guarantee some benefit, we often fail to look back at the conditions that are set out. In other words, we have to do our part.

Psalm 91 offers us all kinds of wonderful promises, including the promise that even if thousands die around us we will not be harmed, and that no infection can touch us.

But look at the first two verses:

When you abide under the shadow of Shaddai,

you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.

He’s the hope that holds me and the stronghold to shelter me,

the only God for me, and my great confidence.

There is the condition. We have to make God our refuge. When we turn to Him, rely on Him, trust Him for safety, then we can receive the promises.

When you are sick, where do you first turn to? Is it call the doctor, rush to the Emergency Department? Or do you turn to the Lord?

When you are feeling overwhelmed by life, do you trust alcohol or drugs ? Or is the Lord your refuge at that time?

To receive the promises of Psalm 91, we must make the Lord our sanctuary.

2. Power

Many of us have limited levels of faith. We believe that God can do some things but not others. We may think He can heal a cold but not cancer. Not that we say that of course.

We may believe that God will heal some people but not others. Or that healing and miracles happened in a fairy tale era called “Bible times.”

God has the power to heal today. Sickness was never a part of God’s plan for the world. It is caused by the general corruption of sin, but this does not mean God is unable to heal.

God is able and willing to heal. Faith means putting our trust in this fact.

3. Partnership

We need to understand that God works out His purposes In us in co-operation with us. We might know the promises of God and believe that He can heal but still fail to receive healing.

There are times when we might receive a sudden or miraculous healing, but often the Lord is asking us to do something as well. For example, when I was praying about my chronic issues with high blood pressure, I came under a strong conviction that I must lose weight. In other words, God is promising healing for me, but He wants me to take responsibility for my lifestyle .

Part of our quest for healing, particularly for chronic conditions is that we may need to do something that contributes to our continuing health.

We should not be surprised by this when we consider how often Jesus asked people to do something such as wash at a pool or go to the priests as a part of their healing process.

Notice that for each person there may be a different requirement. For me it is weight loss. For another person it might be that they have to forgive someone, give up drinking or something else. The point is that we must listen to the Holy Spirit to discern if there are things He is asking us to do in their healing journey.

It is important to see that healing (or good health) is not an end in itself. God pours out blessings upon us to encourage us to go deeper with Him. His goal is always relationship with us, and healing may be a by-product of that.

To live in the shadow of the Most High means that we live every day in close contact with Him. As we learn to do that those promises pf Psalm 91, including health and protection, will flow in us and through us to others.