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There is a biblical basis for healing. It stems from what Christ did for us upon the cross. When Jesus died and rose from the dead, He purchased our salvation and He also purchased our physical healing. We know this because He bore our infirmities and by His stripes we are healed (Is 53:5). Also, there is no sickness in the kingdom of God. So, when we pray for healing, we are simply asking God to manifest His kingdom now. That is in accordance with how Jesus taught us to pray, for He taught us to pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven" (Matt 6:10). He also told us to expect to do the same miracles that He did in John 14:12-14. And He commanded us to heal the sick in Mark 16:18. So there is a clear biblical basis to pray for the sick.
But the obvious question we asked after that is, if that is true, then how come everybody is not healed? That is why we talked about some of the hindrances that keep us from walking in healing and shut off the flow of grace to be healed.
God is sovereign and He does not always ask my opinion on how He does things. And God can and does override our perceptions. So God does heal whenever He chooses to because He is sovereign. Even when hindrances to healing are present, God is not limited by those hindrances. God may choose to by-pass that because He has another purpose in mind.
There are several reasons why God may not heal a person -- and guess what? He doesn't have to tell you what they are or justify Himself to you. There will be times when you will pray for someone and you will have done everything you can think of and the person will have a repentant and right heart with God, be full of faith and still not be healed. And when people come to you and ask "why didn't God heal that person?" you won't always know the answer.
The fact is, God is the one who decides, according to His own reasons, when and how and who He will heal. In general it is God's will to heal the sick, we know that from Scrpture. If I had to guess as to whether or not God wanted to heal a specific person, I would say "yes" and I would be right almost every time. Sometimes there would be things in their life they had to deal with before they could receive their healing. Maybe they needed to forgive someone or to renounce a past occult involvement. And as a healing minister, part of my job is to help them identify these things and deal with them.
But occasionally God chooses not to heal a person. He does this for His kingdom purposes, and we don't always understand those. For instance, Jesus was friends with Lazerus. Lazarus was sick and had something fatal that needed to be healed. Jesus chose not to come to Lazarus and heal him -- He let Lazarus die instead. In this particular case, Jesus planned to glorify God by raising Lazurus from the dead. He could not have done that (raise someone from the dead) if He did not let him die first.
And at times God will allow someone to die for His kingdom purposes. Perhaps observing their fearlessness and peace in the face of death will be the only thing that will touch someone and bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ. We don't always understand God's kingdom purposes because He doesn't always explain them to us. And there will be times that people will ask us why so-and-so was not healed, and we will not have a good answer for them. We don't have all the answers and we probably won't on this side of eternity.
However, God has given us several principles regarding healing that help us to understand a lot of situations. And in most cases, these principles will show us keys to knocking out whatever is inhibiting healing and allow the person to become whole. We will spend our remaining lessons looking at these principles.
When I pray for the sick, I look for the healing instead of looking for the hindrances. Then, if the healing does not occur, I go back and ask "why?" and I begin to look for what might be hindering the healing process. So my prayer approach is kind of a progression.
First I just ask God to heal. And many times God does. God heals very quickly. God heals very instantly. But if healing doesn't happen immediately, then I go back to God and ask, "God, how do I need to proceed as I continue to pray for this healing?" I try to determine what kind of situation we are in.
For instance, are we in a situation in which the healing is given to us like a seed, e.g., a progressive healing? In those cases, it needs to be nurtured, contended for, fought for, guarded and protected. It is like a seed and this seed is planted in our heart. Sometimes even when that seed of healing is put in us, even the things around us and even our symptoms can even get worse. Yet we are standing on the healing of the seed that God has put within us. And so we stand upon that and we fight for it and we contend for it. There's nothing wrong with that.
Some people think it shows a lack of faith when you do that. Baloney. Sometimes healing is a process we have to go through in order to see the healing take place. It is a battle that has to be fought. Heidi Baker talked about her healing and the multiple sclerosis she had and how she contended for that healing. She fought for her healing and she gained it, but it wasn't an immediate thing. And she gave some examples of some other people that had contended for healing and they pursued healing and they fought for healing. My own mother had MS and we contended for her healing. It wasn't an overnight thing, but over a period of time we began to see the healing of the Lord.
The healing came like a seed that was planted, and we had to cooperate with it. And eventually the healing had full manifestation in her life. So sometimes it is not an immediate thing. Sometimes it is a seed thing. Rolland Baker shared about the child that was born without the skull over the brain right there and he prayed for healing and nothing immediately happened, but when they came back a few months later, that part had grown into that child's skull. It was a period of time, it was a seed, and basically it followed afterward, it wasn't immediate. Sometimes healing takes place like that.
Other times it may be a situation in which ground had been taken by the devil and you need to take it back again from the devil. Maybe there is a spirit of affliction involved, and you have to confront the spirit, to remove the right for it to be there. You may need to deal with the demon before healing starts to flow.
Or it could be the situation you are in has a spiritual root and that root has to be removed. In that case, we have to address the spiritual root because it is preventing the flow of grace. God can by-pass that, and sometimes He may choose to. But most of the time God will say, "I want you to get rid of the root. If I get rid of the symptoms of the disease, you are not going to address the root." In those cases, God is interested in the heart. In fact sometimes He might even allow some things in order to get access to our hearts because He is interested in our character, in our motivations and attitudes. But if it is a spiritual root that is causing the spiritual problem, we have to deal with the spiritual root. If you have a spiritually rooted disease, the only way you can adequately deal with it is through spiritual means. Otherwise, all you have is disease management. Spiritual things need to be dealt with in spiritual ways.