“…Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away…” 1 Corinthians 13: 8
( Our Biblical Theology class praying for the healing of one our classmates on 10/1/13 led by Dr. Chan—>)
Throughout my career as an undergraduate student at Nyack College, I heard many arguments for and against the move of the Holy Spirit to heal humans beings physically. I listened to professors I respect greatly, use the verse above, amongst others, to explain why the move of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, such as healing, are no longer in function within the Body of Christ today. But I also heard stories of faith from many others who witnessed physical healings, and/or strongly believed on a Biblical basis for the gift of healing today.
I shared in one of my posts “God used words to create…so be careful with ’em.” , my personal experience with the gift of physical healing. As I, last September experienced a complete healing from rheumatoid arthritis, after a time of praying during my “Divine Healing” class here at ATS. That moment changed my spiritual walk, forever.
You see, like many of you, I’d struggled for a long time with the thought that “God doesn’t heal…” and even if He did, He certainly wasn’t going to use me to do it. After all, I was just a little Christian college student, who was still fairly new to the faith and still struggling and working through a lot. During my time at Nyack college, I’d seen pockets of the move of God, but not much in the area of healing. And so while outwardly I looked confident and sure, inwardly I was just as insecure as a person receiving their first swimming lesson, after almost drowning a couple of weeks before.
I’d prayed for healing for people, even though I didn’t believe much in it and for a long period of time I saw… NOTHING… Confession time!! While I do recall the several occasions during the small group “The Fire” (which I led my junior and senior years) seeing moments of healing and restoration, my faith was still small and filled with doubt. The constant reminder that God does not and could not use someone like me, kept my eyes off of Christ’s ability to heal, and on my limitations as a person.
Up until that point I believed that God didn’t heal others, when I prayed, because of me and who I was. Yet all along His healing touch was and is completely dependent on Him and who He is.
As a good friend reminded me of yesterday; “God’s miracles are not contingent on my belief in them.” –Darren Wilson in “Furious Love” (paraphrase)
That evening in class, when I encountered the God who heals, I recognized that it brings God nothing but pleasure to heal the wounds, diseases, sicknesses of His people. I encountered a God who delights in making His kingdom tangible in our bodies. A God who desires to display His authority over sickness, death and sin, by the complete removal of anything that manifests its effects. And a God who works through broken, hurting, disobedient, faithless people to display just HOW faithful, good and LOVING, HE is.
I went on a journey as I took the Divine Healing Class offered at ATS, praying for the healing of several others. And I saw TEN people who that semester were HEALED; physically and emotionally.
My favorite one was when my friend Matt was healed. Matt had severe pain in his foot, his foot was swollen and it was difficult for Matt to walk and stand (both of which he did all day) at work. My friend Bill and I decided to pray and pray we did. We began by asking Matt about his pain, the nature of his injury and so on. We then spent some time welcoming God into the moment. Bill led out in prayer, praying some specific blessings over Matt. As Bill prayed, my right hand felt like it was on fire, I immediately put my hand on his foot and I prayed. Long story short, by the time we stopped praying there was NO swelling, and NO pain and Matt stood up and literally ran around the house. We began rejoicing in the Lord so loudly, we woke up Bill’s mom, who also then praised God for the healing as well. GO JESUS!
Here is the cool thing about that story, Matt was not a Christian, He didn’t necessarily believe in God… but that encounter THAT night, led him to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ!
So here is where I challenge YOU. If you believe God cannot, and does not heal; if you’ve never experienced the move of the Spirit of God in healing, whether personally, or seeing it in someone else; give God a chance to BLOW your theology out of the water and go after healing!
It would please the spirit of God to reveal to you the mysteries of God (Ephesians 3) in healing.
I bless you to “seek, ask, and knock” and see that truly the “fervent prayer of the righteous availeth much.”
(and sometimes the healing we need is in our hearts….)
“Healing – Free for the Taking!”
by Isaac Watson, ATS Graduate Intern
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” – Matthew 10:8
There’s a Mennonite community in South America that supports itself by selling homegrown vegetables at a farmers’ market. A few years ago, a man broke in and stole all of their money. Eventually the man was caught, the money was returned and he was sent to jail. Rather than insisting he get the maximum sentence, the community requested he serve the minimum time. While the man was in jail, the Mennonites began construction on a new home on their property. Upon his release, the Mennonite community found the former thief and offered him the newly built home. Touched by the offer, the man accepted. Now he is an active member of the community, having made a 180-degree turnaround and become a welcomed help to the farmers’ market and a valued member of the community.
The Mennonite community is a faithful one: to the man who had stolen, they offer the forgiving grace Jesus has extended to them, reminiscent of Jesus’ interaction with the thief who asked for forgiveness on the cross found in Luke 23. Sickness manifests in so many ways; so does healing. The Mennonites offer healing to the former thief by forgiving him and providing him with a home. Rather than responding in a vindictive way, which would have been the supposed “realistic,” “normal,” “acceptable” response, the Mennonites took the “unrealistic” and “unexpected” route, providing the ex-offender with much-needed forgiveness and shelter.
Extending the grace of forgiveness like the Mennonites did is the antithesis of the vengeful selfishness that the world is full of. It is up to us to offer to others Christ-like grace in all forms. The result will be many people experiencing holistic healing and coming into relationship with Christ. Transformation! We have received freely from the hand of our generous God; let’s likewise freely give to others, becoming world-healers — like Jesus — in the process.