It is always exciting to me to see evidence of God at work in people’s lives. The greatest miracle is, of course, a changed life in which someone dedicates their life to Christ and is so radically different as a result and so assured with the inner peace that comes from knowing that they will spend eternity with God in Heaven. I am also encouraged, though, by the physical healings that are increasingly evident in church life as people either respond in faith to the praying or encouragement of others, or as God just works the miracle anyway. So how does this happen?
Without wanting to establish a formula for healing and to underplay the sovereignty of God, I would say that there are, nevertheless, some principles that encourage healing to occur. Knowing that God is the healer and that His children are the instrument of healing is a good start. In no way can I guarantee the healing because God is the miracle worker and I am just a conduit through which he flows. My job is to exercise faith and His is to produce the results. Not all people are healed, as much as I would like them to be. Maybe this is due to a lack of faith, but to always say so could be insensitive. In short, we can’t know outcomes and God’s ways are not ours (Isaiah 55:8). We have to hold on to the hope that, in heaven, the perfect will come (1 Corinthians 13:10) and there will be no more pain (Revelation 21:4). Just as the three Hebrews delivered from the Babylonian’s fiery furnace were able to attest, whether or not God actually does, He is able to deliver us (Daniel 3:17-18).
Secondly, faith is always an element. It is the evidence of what is not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1) and the key to receiving (Mark 11:22-24) This is not just believing that He will heal when we pray, but that He can reveal a need. This ‘word of knowledge’ about a situation which I have no natural knowledge of is a spiritual gift. God usually reveals something because He wants to stir the faith in the receiver and, importantly, wants to heal them. Again, though, no guarantees. Quite often, I also need to help stir the faith of people to respond by having them do something (respond to an invitation to pray, lift their hands in anticipation, thank God for partial healing before the full healing comes, etc.). After all, faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Sceptics can question a word of knowledge as being too unspecific, or say that stirring people’s faith is really manipulation, but the results come because people look to God, He heals them and the results can’t be denied. People sometimes try to explain this away because they don’t want to countenance the idea that there might be a God to whom they should be accountable.
Seeing people healed of foot, leg, arm, hand, back and neck injuries, various rashes, cancers and other pain and sicknesses, and healed of vertigo, poisoning and so on, can only be the work of God, and definitely not me!
More tomorrow on some of the key principles of Divine Healing.