Thursday, 25 June 2015

Why some aren't healed?

I've heard this question asked in many ways. But probably the most unhelpful way to ask it is "Why God doesn't heal?". The reason I say 'unhelpful' is because it implies that God still has to do something and that either He WILL or He WON'T. And many have put forward elaborate theological ideas as to why God Will or why God Won't. 

The bad news is that the reasons for either the Will or the Won't lies in what the recipient has done or hasn't done in order for God to DO. It's theologically argued that we have a say on whether God chooses to or not; and that is down to whether we have done something or not. It boils down to the person. 

So, from the outset, I'm drawing a line in the sand and saying that I believe that God has done everything He needed to do in order to make healing possible for everyone who believes. His work is finished. He is SEATED. He is done. Asking why God doesn't heal is actually the wrong question (to those on my side of the line in the sand). The question is "If God has made it possible for all to be healed, then why are some not?" And I will endeavor to answer that question!

My theological stance from the outset is that God has made healing possible for all believers as He has forgiveness of sins. Healing was included in the atonement. As JESUS paid the price for the forgiveness of sins, so He also made a payment for healing of our bodies and souls. Healing is one of the benefits on this side of Heaven. Without going into detail, the summarized version of this position is:

1. Salvation doesn't just include forgiveness of sins. "Sozo" includes forgiveness of sins, healing of body, freedom in the soul, peace in the mind, etc. Christians have had a limited view of what salvation (sozo) means. It's MUCH MORE than just forgiveness of sins. It includes healing. And we have received salvation as a gift. Do the word study for yourself, but it's used 101 times in the NT alone and used when describing JESUS saving people from their sins or/and healing their bodies. And salvation is given as a gift to a believer. Get mind around what exactly that includes!

2. JESUS made the payment for our healing as detailed in Isaiah 53. Healing encompasses deliverance and healing of our souls as well as healing for our bodies. The whole package was included in Jesus' death. He paid for it all. As the Psalmist said "Forget not all his benefits. He forgives ALL your sins and he heals ALL your diseases." 

3. Jesus healed them all. Jesus was the exact representation of Father. If you've seen me, you've seen the Father. And He healed everyone. I believe (on this side of the line in the sand) that Jesus came to show His WILL towards sickness. He doesn't like it one bit. He desires healing for all the oppressed. And that WILL has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. 

So, if God desires healing and His will is to heal all, and Jesus paid the price for healing for all, then why aren't all healed? Fair question. In attempting to answer this, I want to make it clear that I believe that we must never lower scripture to match the experiential. Our experiences must always line up with scripture. (Big deal!) So my position on this point is to do this very do we lift our experiences when we encounter sickness so that it lines up with the truth of the scriptures.

So here we go....(drum roll...)

Although that doesn't sound very 'Eureka!' we as Christians have got to come to a place of satisfaction in learning to embrace the mystery of "I don't know". There remains a mystery as to why some are healed and why some aren't. Bill Johnson recounts a story about this point. Bethel was experiencing the most amazing breakthrough in the healing of sickness and disease. They were seeing extraordinary miracles taking place: the blind were seeing, the deaf were hearing, blood diseases were being healed; you name it and they were seeing it. They reached a point where cancers were getting healed; lover, colon, lung; cancers of all kinds. People were sharing amazing testimonies. This was happening for a few years and it was becoming normal that every Sunday, three to four testimonies of healing were being shared. 
Then one day, Bill received a call at home. His personal secretary had come home from the doctor. He had diagnosed her with stage four cancer. It was big news. But it wasn't something they hadn't seen God heal in the past few years. If He had healed members and visitors, then why not one of the daughters of the house? She died a few months later. They had prayed, they had fasted, they had decreed, they had proclaimed, they had done everything they had done on every other person who had been prayed for with cancer, and yet nothing. Did she have faith? Of course. Till the day she died. Did the leadership have faith? Absolutely! So why wasn't she healed. The elders said in unison "We don't know. But we will not stop believing God to heal people with cancer."
In one of Oral Roberts' tent crusades, a mother brought her twin boys for prayer. They were young. And they were blind. Oral prayed for the first boy and immediately his eyes opened and place erupted with praise. The place went berserk. The crowd, full of faith, they had just seen an incredible miracle, now watched as Oral prayed for the next twin boy. For more than an hour Oral prayed and prayed and asked and prayed. He went home blind that night. Did God love one more than the other? Did the one have more faith than the other? Both are "NO" answers. So why? 
Believers have to settle this issue in their heart. Like other things we go through in this life, at times we just have to embrace the "I don't know" while still resting in the truth that God is good. And it's not a "I don't know" that's cast in unbelief but rather in faith; a full confidence that even though we don't understand, we will still trust the Lord in the midst of our finite understanding.

The more I've received revelation about grace and truly had my mind renewed to the Gospel, the more I've seen (and I don't mean this in a derogatory way) how many are ignorant as to what JESUS HAS ACTUALLY DONE FOR THEM. I have been gobsmacked at the continued unraveling of the truth of the grace of God over the past 5 years and it's made me realize how many believers have no idea at how much God loves them, how much JESUS has done for them, that their sins - past, present and future - have actually been removed from His memory and will never be brought up again, how we are included in CHRIST, how He has set us free from sin and death, how we have been brought into perfect union with God himself, how proud He is of them, how He accepts them with out conditions and totally and utterly qualifies them. I believe that if we truly understood (having our minds renewed) and believed what our minds were renewed too, we would see far more healing in the church. Guilt, condemnation and shame hinders people from receiving their healing. They still don't think they are good enough or have done enough for God to heal them or to see themselves worthy of receiving their healing. They don't KNOW that they are the righteousness of God, they haven't been established in righteousness and because of this ignorance, they haven't received the abundance of grace that is available!! 

For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. - Romans 5:17

What is the abundance of grace in this verse? Its SOZO! Its forgiveness of sins. It's healing. It's deliverance. It's freedom. It's all by grace. It's freely given by our God who has qualified us in His Son. Many are still ignorant of what they have been given and what they have access too. They are like the older brother who didn't know that all of what belonged to His Dad actually belonged to him as well. He was still trying to earn it. He was still trying to work for it. He had no idea that he had access to all the fattened calves on the farm and could have thrown a party with his friends every day if he liked. However...he was ignorant. Many sons still are.

"Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live." And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.  - Mark 5:22-24
Jesus gets to the other side of the lake and Jarius comes to him and asks for help. Jesus says "OK" and goes with him. While he goes a woman with an issue of blood stops him, He stops and deals with her. Do you know that JESUS never said "No". He went to wherever He was welcomed. When someone asked for help, He went. And you know what...Jesus was the exact representation of Father. They are one. Full of grace. Abounding in mercy. Overflowing in love. 
The sad reality is that the devil has done a really good job at distorting how good our Father is through false propaganda, incorrect understanding of theology, messed up depictions of Him in the media and misguided teaching. Christians still think of Father being at odds with Jesus. They read the Old Testament and the New Testament, and can't reconcile how they could be one. 
A right knowledge of who Father is comes by understanding grace and it comes by encountering Him experientially. Reading the Bible should lead us, make us hungry, to meet with Him and encounter Him for ourselves. And when we do...WHOAA!!!

"...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him..." - Ephesians 1:17
Other translations say "...revelation so that you may know Him better..." When we receive a revelation of Grace, we are receiving a revelation of HIM...our eyes are being opened to HOW GOOD OUR FATHER IS. 

Revelation renews our minds. Once our minds are renewed to the truth of the Gospel, we are then transformed!! (ROMANS 12:1-2) Transformed believers are believers who have had their minds renewed by truth. 

When we see Him as the Father in the story of the Prodigal Son and have our mind renewed to what He has done for us (as he did for the son who was found), we are on the start of the journey to discovering how good He is and how much grace He has lavished on us.

Yes, I believe Jesus has paid the price for healing on this side of the cross. Asking "Why God doesn't heal?" isnt the right question. Healing, like the forgiveness of sins, is by grace through faith because of CHRIST. Faith is agreement in what JESUS has already purchased for us. Healing comes because of grace. Not because we have DONE anything, including hyped up enough faith. The correct question we need to be asking is "If JESUS has paid the price then why are some not healed?" 
I believe it all centers around the revelation of the Gospel. A revelation of His goodness. The free goodness that God has given to all who would believe. Jesus has done His part and He is seated in his finished work. We have received His abundance of grace and His gift of righteousness; and when our minds are renewed to this, we will discover HIS AMAZING GRACE. Jesus has done it all. 

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