[Lesson Index] [Healing-School Mini-Series Index] [Next Lesson]
The best way to get started in healing is to lay a groundwork or foundation, then to build upon it. The goal is not for the pastor or teacher or great spiritual leader to heal people; the goal of this teaching series is for you to heal some people. I want you to take your finger, point it to yourself and say this, "I will heal sick people because the Holy Spirit lives in me, and the Holy Spirit is who empowered Jesus to heal the sick. He wants to empower me to heal the sick, and I choose to stop fighting Him and let Him do it." Amen!
The first thing we need to examine is: "Does God really heal the sick today?" Some of you are all going to say, "Yes, but it is over there in Africa somewhere, or it is over there in Nigeria somewhere." Others may say, "Yes it happens through healing ministries like Benny Hinn or Randy Clark, but not through everyday believers like me." If your first thoughts were something along those lines, it is time to change how you think about healing. God wants to heal the sick today through us--the church. Since you are a part of the church, that means He wants to heal through you!
Have you heard of Randy Clark? He has been a bit of a mentor to me in healing, and I have traveled with him a few times. Randy has had a big impact on a lot of people (including me). I want to share part of that impact with you, because I think that it will help you to start thinking like someone who expects God to heal the sick through your prayers.
Randy had this saying: "God can use little 'ole me. I am so amazed that God can use little 'ole me."
Randy is a very humble man and in the early days of his healing ministry, he was amazed at what God did. He was (and still is) excited when God heals people. Randy does not lift himself up; he genuinely thinks of himself as a "little 'ole me." Of course, in my eyes, he was "somebody" because he was already moving in God's power by the time I met him. That is why it took me a long time to "get" what he was actually saying.
I remember sitting in Moscow where Randy was speaking. It was the fifth time I had heard him preach that particular sermon and it suddenly dawned on me, "Hey, if he was a little 'ole me, and God used him, then maybe God will use me too. I certainly qualify as a 'little 'ole me.'" So I said, "Okay God, here I am, and good luck."
Some of you might thing of me the way I thought of Randy: as a "somebody" instead of a "little 'ole me." If you happen to be one of the folks who think of me that way, it is simply because God was able to use me for His plans and purposes--it is all Him and not me. I was so much of a "little 'ole me" when I started praying for the sick that no one who knew me back then would have through that I could ever be in any sort of ministry. God doesn't used "the qualified" so much as He qualifies "the available." Don't even entertain the idea that I am doing something special when I heal the sick--I am only doing what God wants each of us to do. It is not an exclusive club. If you believe in Jesus and received Him as your Lord, then the Holy Spirit lives in you and you can do it too.
What I want for each of you who sees yourself as a "little 'ole me" to give yourself to a "great big 'ole God," so that God can use you too. The goal is to learn to do is let Jesus do the things Jesus wants to do through you.
You might not be at the place of being "used powerfully" yet--but you can get there. Healing the sick is not some grandiose or unobtainable goal. In fact, we are going to move from where we are towards that goal (healing the sick) by using a combination of learning fundamentals and practicing what we learn.
This teaching series is transcribed from the first session of a healing conference I did in Kentucky a few years ago. The people who attended that conference practiced what we were studying right in the conference. They had the experience of praying for people who were sick, and they got to see God heal them. It will be a bit harder to implement "practice" in this teaching series because we are not meeting together face to face; we can't practice together like we did at the conference. But I hope you seek out opportunities to practice this--seek out sick friends and pray for them as you study this series. Begin to ask God to point out to you those people around you who He would like to heal, so that you can pray for them.
Please be proactive in practicing and applying what we study Otherwise, you might not gain much from reading this teaching series. Let me draw a parallel from the sport of tennis to explain what I mean. You can read a book on tennis and learn all of the fundamentals of what constitutes a good serve, etc. But it won't really help your tennis game unless you actually get out there on the tennis court and practice. The same thing applies to healing: you can't just learn about it academically, you need to practice, to actually start applying what you read about.
So, back to the basic question: does God really still heal today? (You will probably say, "The answer is yes." But are you sure? It is very important that we believe God is at work today to heal the sick, or else we shouldn't be praying for healing.
Why would I say that? It is because we do not want to be doing anything God is not doing. So if God does not heal today, we do not want to pray for the sick, because we would not be getting power from God. If God is not doing it, then we would be getting that power from another source, and we do not want it from another source. The other source (e.g., the devil) does have power and can heal people. I have seen him do it--but he attaches all kinds of nasty strings and bondages, and we do not want that. So it is God or nothing.
Now here is the problem, most of the church has settled for nothing. That does not please God; we want to do what we see the Father doing. Is God a healing God? Are you sure He is? If so, how many people have you healed this week? Do you really believe that God is a healing God, or is that just something you tell yourself that you believe? When you really believe something, you act on it.
Let me tell you something that I do at conferences to emphasize this point. I pantomimed about an "invisible" chair. Of course, that chair doesn't really exist--it is pretend. But I say, "I have got a chair, I am going to put the chair right here, It is nice, has really pretty woodwork, a really nice velvet cushion seat, do you see it, it is gorgeous. This is the kind of chair you find in Buckingham Palace, like at the dining table. Do you believe it is a great chair? Okay, will someone pleaes prove that belief by coming up and sitting on it?"
Everyone laughs, but no one comes up. Why? It is because they politely humor me about the chair, but they don't really believe it is there. I continue, "What, you do not have confidence that you can sit down and it is going to hold you?"
A lot of us believe in healing like we believe in that chair. We can see it in our mind's eye when someone describes it to us. We can agree about it, but we are not going to go sit on it because we are not convinced that it is really there.
Then I make a gesture like I am about to sit on the chair. I say, "Do you believe this is going to hold me if I sit on it? Are you sure?" (Of course, I get mixed reactions from the congregation. Some play along regarding the "pretend" chair, and others advise me not to try and sit on it. Then I choose something "real" to sit on (the steps to the platform, a real chair, etc) and I say "I do not need a chair because I am sitting on the stairs." Then I make this point, and it is an important one--when I sat down on the steps, I acted on my faith. The steps are real, so my "faith" is rewarded and they don't collapse beneath me. They hold me up. Would the same thing have happed if I acted on my "faith" in the pretend chair? Would the nonexistent thing hold me up? Of course not--and the reason that I did not try to sit on the pretend chair is because down deep, I knew it wasn't real and it couldn't hold me.
What is the difference between my faith in that stairs and that beautiful extravagant "pretend" chair? The difference is that one is real to me, and the other chair is not real to me. It is gorgeous, even extravagant. You can talk about it, you can boast about it. But you would not dare sit in it, because it is not functional. Do you see what I am saying?
I want to take us away from believing in healing like my pretend chair (where you do not want to actually do the stuff) to believing in healing like the platform steps (where you can actually sit down and you do not have to think about it or worry about it).
So the question before is not about a chair. It is about healing, e.g., does God still heal today? Of course, we believe He does. But the goal is to move our confidence/faith in healing to the point where we can sit on the chair with aboslute confidence that it will hold us up.
God is a healing God, Who wants to heal people through each of us. He wants to make that fact more real to us, to cause our faith to grow to the point where it is easy to close our eyes adn visualize God doing healing miracles through our hands. The more this becomes real to us, the more we will see healing take place.