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In our earlier lessons, we saw that God's will is wholeness. God wants
us to remain whole
(1 Thessalonians 5:24-25). Jesus died to redeem us from the devil (Acts 10:38). Man is offered prosperity in both the Old and New Testaments (Psalm 1 and Matt 7:7-11). Now we come to another important truth.
The Will Of God Is Health
One of the greatest human problems is man's search for "health." Millions are spent each year on hospitals and on new equipment, but the patients' waiting lists just keep getting longer and longer. Many are asking Jeremiah's question, (Jeremiah 8:22), "Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"
Why are people sick? Why isn't there a medicine to heal all diseases? Why do doctors fail?
Unfortunately, this is not a new or modern-day problem. It has been plaguing mankind for centuries. Remember the woman who had blood trouble in Mark 5:26? "She had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse."
Sickness Is Not Meant To Be Our Normal State
The bible shows us that God does not intend sickness to be our normal state. God intends for our normal state to be one of holiness and health. God created mankind with excellent health. Sickness entered the world through sin. When we are disobedient, Satan is in a position to inflict disease with God's permission. Deuteronomy 28:27 tells us, "... whereof thou canst not be healed."
Doctors are good but may fail because a patient should first have sought the Lord. King Asa is a case in point: (2 Chronicles 16:12) "And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians." He died for not getting right with God as well as seeking medical help.
This has led me to see in our global ministry that any known sin should be confessed before the healing prayer is offered. James 5:15-16 tells us, "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
It is not enough to simply have vision for healing, you must also pray it through and get rid of all known sins. One man for whom I was in prayer, refused to admit his own responsibility when I asked him about a certain sin in his life. My son Michael saw the angel of death enter his room, as I left it.
You will be healthy if you live a holy life! "Sound" doctrine in the Greek is "health giving" teaching, not merely balanced or acceptable theology!!
Daily Reading And Accepting Of God's Word Leads To Life
I have enjoyed real health over the last forty years, despite flying ten times around the world, because I have been in the word daily. God's words bring health to us (Proverbs 3:22; 4:10).
Did you know that God has a plan of health for us? (Psalms 119:49-50). We learn to understand His plan when we read His word, so that we can follow His plan and reap the "reward" of good health. Memorize His promises! Do not throw out the Old Testament "food laws" for health! They may not save your soul, but the right food and Sabbath rest can surely keep your body healthy! We will explore this in more detail shortly.
God's words are the way to life ... if you allow the Spirit to anoint His word to you! (John 6:63). Allow me to illustrate with a story from my own family history. We had a missionary in our family, a woman of God. She had been diagnosed with cancer that had permeated so much of her body. The doctors told her there was no hope for her. But she read and believed God's promise in John 11:4 that said, "Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death.' She did not die as the doctor predicted. When we buried her twenty-five years later, the post mortem found no trace of cancer in her body! She had lived and been healed by that anointed Word from God!
The Lord Jesus affirmed the Old Testament principle of the importance of God's written word after His anointing by the Spirit. He used it to defeat the devil, as well as fasting the prayer. (Matt 4:4)
God led us to being own healing ministry after a 40 day fast, similar to how Jesus' started (Luke 6:40). And the global healing ministry of evangelists like T. L. Osborne has demonstrated the power of simple people believing Scripture. The bible actually promises that obedience to God's word brings physical health. Proverbs 3:8 says, "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones." There is a specific promise of health made to those who study God's word in Proverbs 4:22, "For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."
Against this background, I believe it is vital to read God's word daily!
God's "Law Of Health" As Revealed In His Word
There is a law of health in God's Word, which should not be ignored. We reap what we sow. Therefore it is vital to sow to the Spirit because Galatians 6:7 tells us, "For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." In other words, sins in the flesh will eventually catch up to the sinner. This will often reflect in our health.
God wants us to be partakers of His eternal nature through His Word. 2 Peter 1:3-4 says, "For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life; He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us! And by that same mighty power He has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us His own character" (The Living Bible).
God wants us to share the very nature of Christ. Ephesians 5:30 tells us, "For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones."
Ignorance can be hurtful. But knowledge that gets rid of ignorance is not a protection from the effects of a wrong lifestyle based on smoking, alcohol, etc. Doctors themselves know this, but often lack the power to get the victory. Let me share some of God's laws, which God has put in His Word, that still apply today. God put these guidelines in place to guard our health, because He wants us well.
Genuine healing can be lost by disobedience or folly. Jesus healed those who He saw His father healing. But he cautioned one person in John 5:14: "Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, 'Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee'."
A lady came to us in Belfast, and was instantly healed of middle ear deafness and delivered from a spirit of fear. Next day, when the symptoms returned, she stood on 1 Peter 2:23. As she repeated "By His stripes I am healed" she took a stand that she would not be robbed of her miracle by giving attention to what she felt, rather than the word of God. The symptoms then left for several years, until she left the Church where healing was taught in a positive way. Within a year, her old condition returned! Healing may be secured by faith in God's promises; but it is kept by discipline of mind, body and soul. In the Rwanda Revival they had constant health, as believers walked in holiness, confessing sin and wrong attitudes.
The power for this health is provided by the Holy Spirit in our present body (Romans 8:11). You need a constant filling with the Spirit!
Finally, right partaking of the Lord's Supper can also be a secret of health ... if it is done in the atmosphere of love and not division! Otherwise you may fall sick and even die. First Corinthians 11:29-30 tells us, "For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."
At Watford, near London, England, a lady returned to the Lord and her whole back was healed. She could touch her toes for the first time in eleven years!
A man asked me to his house to pray for "hardened arteries." "I cannot pray" I replied, "God has shown me you have a hard heart!" The pastor told me afterwards, that he had bitterly fought another brother in the middle of a Communion service in their Church, and had a severe heart attack just one month later! We must learn to discern our relationship with every Christian as part of the body of Christ! I have seen even major healing ministries fail because they began to attack others!