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In our first lesson, a healing evangelist named Omar Oliver identified three things that can prevent healing. They were:
The previous lesson already looked at curses and pacts with the devil. So now let's begin to examine how God's judgment can effect a person's healing.
The Judgement Of God In A Person's Life
The third thing that can prevent healing is when you are under the judgment of God. I believe it is our choices that put us under the judgment of God; it is the choices of our will. It is not the accidental things of ignorance, it is where we profess to serve God and we simply choose to rebel.
Several things fall into this category to me. I will talk about three of them in this lesson: rejecting God when He has clearly revealed Himself, willful disobedience or an attitude of rebellion, and profaning holy things.
REFUSING TO BELIEVE IN THE FACE OF OVERT EVIDENCE
Number one is simply to reject God when God has clearly revealed Himself. I believe there is a greater judgment that falls upon people whenever they have seen the power of God, the glory of God, yet they reject God even though they have seen Him. It is a greater judgment.
Jesus had very harsh things to say to the people who did that. Look what Jesus said about the Pharisees, who saw the power of God demonstrated over and over and over again. He healed somebody who was blind and they would complain because He healed on the Sabbath. Jesus would heal a guy who couldn't see or was lame and the Pharisees would say, "He should follow the rules, but he broke some of the rules here." They complained about all sorts of little things. "Your disciples are not washing their hands like they are supposed to." It was like they couldn't see through their religion to see what God was doing. God was manifesting His glory over and over again and they were simply rejecting it. There is something wrong.
Look what Jesus said in Matthew 11:2, "The cities have seen the great power of God." Matthew 11:20-24, "What horrors await you Korazin and Bethsaida, for if the miracles that have been done in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have sat in deep repentance long ago clothed in sack cloth and throwing ashes upon their heads to show their remorse. I assure you that Tyre and Sidon will be better off on the day of judgment than you. And you people of Capernaum. Will you be exalted? Never. No, you'll be brought down to the place of the dead. For if the miracles I did for you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today. I assure you Sodom will be far better off on judgment day than will you."
Jesus looked at the places that had a lot of wickedness, and then He said "OK guys, what you did was worse. It was bad. You saw the power of God and you rejected God." There is judgment that comes upon people who see the power of God and reject the things of God, and basically you are under the judgment of God.
If you look at Matthew 23, you will see that in that chapter Jesus is speaking judgment to the Pharisees. Woe to you ... woe to this ... woe to you. And it all is a woe. A woe chapter. And God pronounces judgment over these people who rejected God after seeing it.
Seeing and refusing to believe is one way to fall under God's judgment. There is a greater judgment if you see what God is doing and you reject God than if you didn't see it at all. So, one of the ways you are under the judgment of God is to reject God whenever God has fully disclosed Himself in power.
I remember going to some meetings in Brazil where God did a lot of miracles. One of the things the preachers would tell the people was, "You better believe. There's going to be a greater judgment upon you if you see the miracles and don't believe, than if you didn't see the miracles. And you will see miracles, because God is going to show up here."
Another way to fall under God's judgment is when there is rebellion against God. I am not talking about sin. I don't think sin keeps us from healing, because God is in the business of healing sinners. God is in the business of healing lost people. I am talking about when a heart of rebellion is present -- that stifles the healing of God. When a person has a rebellious attitude toward God and disease comes; it could be a curse from the heart of rebellion.
There is a biblical precident for this in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 28. There are promises of blessing and there are also curses of disobedience discussed in the Old Testament covenant. The curses come when you refuse to listen to the Lord your God. That is stubbornness, rebellion, and disregarding the commands and laws God has given us in His word. Let's read bits and pieces of this section. "But if you refuse to listen to the Lord your God and do not obey all the commands and laws I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overwhelm you (v15) ... the Lord will send diseases among you until none of you are left in the land you are about to enter and occupy. The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, fever, and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, and with blight and mildew (v21-22)."
The thing God is condemning here is not the action of sin so much as the attitude of sin. It is attitude of the heart, or what is the heart like. Is the heart filled with rebellion? I think somebody can sin and sin and sin, and not fall into the category of a rebellious heart. I just think they just have a lifestyle and they will continue in it until God gets a hold of them and changes them, then they will curb it. I am talking about someone who is simply belligerent and just refused to change when God convicts them, and that puts them in blatant rebellion. That is what I am talking about here.
Proverbs 5:11-14 says, "Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body and you will say, 'How I hated discipline. If only I hadn't made it my own way. Oh why didn't I listen to my teachers? Why didn't I pay attention to those who gave me instruction? I have come to the brink of utter ruin and now I must face public disgrace.'" The disease described here came because of a rebellious heart, a stubbornness, an unwillingness to obey. I think rebellion just sort of shuts the door to the grace of God. I think God is willing and able to extend great grace however, if you continue rejecting Him, you are also rejecting His grace. You shut off the flow.
There is an antidote for those who are sick and have shut off the flow of God's grace. The antidote is to change your thinking and form a heart of submission. That submissive attitude opens a person's heart to the flow of grace.
Another thing that I think fits into the judgment of God is when you profane what is sacred. This puts you under the judgment. I know this might be a touchy kind of a subject here but you are not allowed to profane the holy things of God. You are not allowed to pollute what God has consecrated. I don't think you should drag through the mud what is holy and sacred to God. When you do, then you put yourself in a place where the flow of grace is just shut off.
For example, you can see how serious God is about this when you look at the Old Testament books of Leviticus, Numbers, etc. God has a specific guideline for how to treat the things of the temple. He specified who could do it, who should do it, how they handle it. One of His specific instructions was on how to handle the ark. The only ones who were allowed to carry the ark were members of the tribe of Levi. They were instructed to put it on poles, they had so many men they carried the ark by those poles.
And you were not allowed to just go into the holy of holies when you wanted to. You could not say, "Lets go into that back room and have some coffee. You just didn't do that. You treated everything as holy. In fact, they were so afraid of sin entering into God's holiness that they tied a rope around the high priest, so that when he went in there once a year to offer the annual sacrifice they would be able to tow him out if he died because of entering with sin. That way, if he did something wrong and God killed him, they would at least be able to get him out. They wouldn't take up the whole thing with a body, because nobody was going to volunteer to go in and get this corpse, because they were afraid they'd become a corpse too. The penalty for profaning God's holiness was death, and God enforced it enough times that they took it seriously.
There was one occasion that happened when Aaron was the high priest. He had two sons, Nadab and Abihu. Leviticus 10 tells their story. They offered up what God said was "strange fire" to God. What they did was to take an instrument that was consecrated for offerings and to misuse it. The priest had a little frying pan, it had coals in it from the altar. They would go into the tent of meeting there and there would be a little incense altar and they would put that thing right there and they would pour incense on top of this thing and that would be the fragrance that would fill the room and it symbolized worship and intercession. I don't know precisely what Aaron's sons were doing, but they were messing with those pans and they were doing something that they shouldn't have been doing, and God killed them for it.
It was a bad deal. That hurt Aaron really badly, and I can understand why. But you just don't mess with the holy things.
One time, David tried to carry the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem. But instead of following the orders that God gave to let poles go through the holders and letting the priests of the tribe of Levi carry it, he stuck it on a cart. And as it was rambling along the road, the cart hit a bump and the ark was jiggled like it was about to fall off. A man named Uzzah decided he was going to stop it from falling, and he put his hands up to brace it -- and bang, he died.
You don't mess with the holy things of God. The cart stopped and there was a dead body there and after that no one wanted to touch the ark or have it around them. David was afraid to take it into the city. They began to wonder, "What will we do with it?" Finally David figured it out and got it taken to Jerusalem the right way. This story shows us that certain things are sacred to God and that we can't mess with them.