How to Appropriate Divine Healing
It is the truth that sets us free in whatever area we may be under attack. Receiving the truth in God’s word in an area of concern is what brings deliverance and healing. Jesus Christ has already paid for our complete wholeness, including physical, mental, and emotional.
- Matthew 4:23: "And Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness among the people."
- 1Peter 2:24: "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
There is no hooky-pooky in this hub. The subject of healing is presented herein simply as a matter of God's Word accomplishing what He sends it to accomplish. Our part is to know and hold on to what God says, He does the rest.
Before we begin looking directly at the topic of healing let's look at a few foundational points:
i. Walking in Newness of Life
Romans 6:4: “For we were buried together with him by baptism into death: that, as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life”
God our Father has graciously given us a new identity through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Within this new identity we each have wholeness of spirit, soul and body. We experience these truths more and more, day by day, here upon earth in these mortal bodies, by abiding in Christ, “the vine” (John 15), by walking in newness of life according to the renewed mind process of Romans 12:2 (There is much more information on "HOW" to do this in the hubs Growing in Christ - Onward and Upward and THE Armor of God).
- Romans 12:2, 3 "2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. Redeemed means we have been delivered from the bondage of sin and its penalties. Before we got born again we were held captive, but Jesus Christ paid the ransom for us by his obedience, in lieu of our obedience, freeing us from all distress, injury, penalty and liability.
- 1Peter 1:18, 19 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."
- Ephesians 1:7, 8: “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.”
We are God’s children now - what good thing would our Heavenly Father withhold from us?
- Romans 8:16:“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”.
- Romans 8:32: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
iii. "These signs shall follow..."
Jesus said, “These signs shall follow them that believe...they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:17, 18). It’s important to note that “these signs shall follow them that believe”. It’s also important to know what is to be believed from verse 15 - “the gospel". These signs shall follow them that believe the gospel.
Looking forward about seven hundred years, written in the book of Isaiah, is a very sobering record about the Messiah - Jesus, the Christ, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5). Isaiah had believed that his Messiah’s sacrifice was sufficient payment for the transgressions of God’s people, and the consequences thereof. He had seen his Messiah endure a horrifying torture unto death on the behalf of others. The brutality, humiliation, and gore alone are almost inconceivable. God’s love towards us at Calvary can be seen in the face of our lord as he hung from the tree by spikes, spat upon, mocked, despised, rejected, humiliated and brutally beaten – crying out to God, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” And we see our Heavenly Father’s love for us as He Himself watched all of this happening, hours upon hours upon hours, willing it and allowing it to continue on our behalf.
Perhaps about sixty years after Calvary the Apostle Peter declared, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1Peter 2:24). And what difference does it make whether it is sixty years after Calvary or two thousand years after Calvary? Time cannot change truth. The truth remains. At Calvary, ye were healed! The work was finished there. All God asks of us is to accept it. How could we not expend our greatest efforts diligently renewing our minds to gospel truth?
Remission of sins
In the 11th chapter of 1Corinthians we read, “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep” (1Corinthians 11:30). This verse seems to be where most people place the bulk of their concerns regarding this Chapter. But the cause for these tragedies can be found in truth that often gets overlooked regarding this section of scripture; and this is not because God hides it from us. You can even throw out the following literal-according-to-usage translation of verse 29 if you’re so inspired to do so, because even a cursory peruse alone through this chapter can reveal to a gospel minded saint an irreverence among these saints at Corinth to the death, burial and resurrection of our lord Jesus Christ, and irreverence to the accomplished realities we have as a result. But here’s that literal translation nevertheless, “For he that eats of the lord’s body and drinks of the lord’s blood irreverently eats and drinks of a judgment based upon his own conceits, doubting and withdrawing from the benefits of the lord's body.” There were saints addressed here by the apostle Paul that were getting together in the guise of “eating the lord’s supper” to chow down and get drunk! Read verses 20-34 if you don’t believe it. The lack of gospel realities experienced here in verse 30 are primarily the result of failure to adhere to Romans 12:2 and 3, failing to replace defeating thoughts with the gospel.
And as many others have taught, there is indeed a distinction made between the body and the blood, the same distinction Jesus Christ made in his teaching on the subject in Matthew 26:26-28 (the "broken body" sufferings of Jesus Christ were also for our physical wholeness). But even though there is a distinction made between the body and the blood, the emphasis is clearly placed on the remission of sins by the blood of Jesus Christ shed at Calvary. “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28). If you have not yet studied the topic of The Blood Covenant I implore you to do so. But there are untouched heights and depths of understanding for us to set our sights on here, even in the remission of sins alone. Remission is one of the great words of the new covenant. It means wiping out as if it never happened. When an army is disbanded it is remised… it stops being. Sin against us has been disbanded, rendered inoperative, its effects and consequences have been annihilated by way of the precious blood of Jesus Christ shed on our behalf.
Exodus 12 & 13 and Isaiah 53 also make a distinction between the blood and the body. But in those records too God’s emphasis is placed upon the shed blood.
The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ were the most important and significant events to ever have happened on planet earth. As a result of these events, children of God have been made to live in a realm wherein sin and its consequences have no place. We now have newness of life to be walking in, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). This newness of life includes the physical wholeness obtained at Calvary by the horrors placed upon the body of our lord Jesus Christ – “by his stripes ye were healed”.
On the road to Jericho sat a man named Bartimaeus. He was a blind beggar, but he had heard how Jesus had healed the sick, opened the blind eyes, and caused the dumb to praise the Lord. But this was his first opportunity to meet the Messiah. When Bartimaeus learned that Jesus was passing by, he cried out, “Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me” (Mark 10:47). There is no record of Bartimaeus experiencing opposition as he sat, day by day, by the road, cup in hand. People rarely meet with opposition as long as they just suffer in mental descent to their afflictions. But when one begins to cry out to God for help - pressing his way through to victory by faith according to the gospel - Satan's forces start to mount up against him or her. However, “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1John 4:4). Jesus said to those of his, “I give you power...over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). We are not to be defeated. The latent power of God within us is greater than the power of the enemy that is in the world; it's like dynamite, the Greek word for this power of God is actually where we get our word for dynamite, and faith is the match that puts it into effect.
Do not give up - be persistent
The moment Bartimaeus cried out to the Lord for help, many charged him that he should “hold his peace” (Mark 10:48). They were actually trying to discourage Bartimaeus from receiving his healing.
Notice the faith of Bartimaeus (verse 48). He would not be discouraged. He was determined to have his eye's opened. He knew that Jesus was the only one who could help. The more people tried to discourage him the louder he cried, “Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” He had confidence that God through Jesus Christ could and would heal him.
When Jesus saw that Bartimaeus would not be discouraged, He stopped and commanded him to be called. When they brought him to Jesus, Jesus said to him, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” Bartimaeus replied, “Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
Then Jesus said unto him, “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52).
Had Bartimaeus listened to the people, he would have been turned away and never been healed.
God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). One must not be discouraged, “Be anxious for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication (being specific) with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6 & 7). These verses do not say anything about relaxing or mental descent to affliction. A real determination to persist in the gospel, and therefore, allowing the grace of God to labor from within is very important. If a person continues in prayer according to the renewed mind process, casting down that which is in opposition to truth, all the way through to victory, not stopping just to get into the unanswered prayers line, nothing will discourage him. He will press right on until he receives into evidence the healing he has in Christ.
It can be very helpful (and sometimes necessary) to get a believer involved who has a long suit in ministering healing; however, it’s important to recognize that the one who is laying hands upon the sick is doing so under divine authority. We remember that this believer has been authorized by God in Christ to loose us from our infirmities. God in Christ has given him or her power and authority over our affliction. He or she is acting under divine direction. Christ said to his disciples, “Behold, I give unto you power...over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19). He… "gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases" (Luke 9:1). This believer ministering healing to us is more than a disciple; he or she is a child of God, and has a full belief in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and its victory over sin and its consequences. He or she believes in the power of the blood to cleanse us from sin and believes in the power of the broken body to set us free from sickness. In representation of Jesus Christ, by the authority of God in Christ, he or she can bind, rebuke, and command the affliction to depart. The victory has been obtained.
Some people get really crazy over this healing stuff, but the drama of it all is not recorded in the word quite the same as Hollywood would most likely portray it. In the far majority of recorded biblical healings there is generally given a straight forward and simple command telling the recipient to do that which he or she could not do before; such as, “stretch forth thy hand”, “rise up and walk”, “open your eyes and see”. And also, either exclusively or inclusively, something is said to the effect of, “thy faith hath made thee whole”. The really cool thing often recorded is the joy and the thankfulness for deliverance, God being glorified.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is reaching out into the unseen, getting hold of that which is not seen, and holding on until it becomes that which is seen. Faith believes that we possess that which we cannot see or feel. Although it is as yet unseen and unfelt, we believe it is already done. This kind of faith brings deliverance!
The unbeliever says, "Let me feel and I will believe."
God says, "Believe Me, and you WILL feel."
Faith for healing believes absolutely that we are healed in spite of such things as weakness or pain. It simply believes God that we already have the thing we prayed for before we see it or feel it. This is exactly what John meant when he said, “This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1John 5:14,15).
Faith believes God without being able to feel it yet. We are healed according to faith, not according to our feeling. Feeling comes after God’s word is manifested in the situation through faith. So do not look for feeling, look for faith!
Believe God, even if you are in pain. Believe God, even if you have tried to walk and could not. Keep on believing and acting upon Gods’ words. It is God’s word believed that drives out pain and brings people forth from their bed. It is the power of God’s word believed that raises the dead and causes the blind to see.
"Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). The problem is dead faith. It could also be said that faith that doesn't work is dead. Since real faith is alive, it is active faith. It works - it acts. When you absolutely believe that God sent His word and healed you, that by the stripes of Jesus Christ you were healed, you begin to act on God's word. Joy comes into your heart as the realization of what God has done for you sweeps over your soul - “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13). As you rejoice in your victory, do the thing that you could not do. Leave your bed! Walk and run and leap for joy! See through the obscurity and darkness. Do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Because by the power of God’s word received through faith you have been healed and you will do the things you could not do - you will see the things you could not see.
Practical advice gleaned from the Scriptures
We do not say, "If I can only believe God." We leave the “if” out. We don’t try to believe. We simply continue to renew our minds to the gospel even in the face of opposition. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6 & 7).
If healing is needed, talk about God’s healing. Talk about the goodness of God. Talk about God's promises. Talk about your identity in Christ. Quote every new identity affirmation and every promise of scripture for healing that you know.
We speak of belief in God's promises. We tell people what a wonderful work our lord Jesus Christ has done in making us whole and in defeating the power of Satan. We speak of the power of God’s word. We let our testimony glorify God. We overcome the devil by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony (Revelation 12:11). We pursue truth. We pursue faith. We pursue accomplished deliverance in the face of any false evidence of infirmity, injury, sickness or pain. And outside of seeking help to realize our accomplished deliverance, we avoid talk and thoughts about the lie of failure and defeat. We avoid talk and thoughts about our doubts. We even avoid talk and thoughts about our pains wherever possible. Above all, we avoid condemnation by holding fast to the good news of our righteousness in Christ. We introduce light to dispel darkness - we put-off by putting on.
At this point, someone might say, "But I have evidences of sickness, including pain." These symptoms declare that the sickness is not healed. But we dare not submit to what our pain declares or what our feelings of sickness say. God's word says “by his stripes ye were healed!” God declares one thing, our symptoms declare another. Which are you going to believe, and which will govern you - God's word or symptoms? What do we declare? What is our testimony? This is what it should be: "BY HIS STRIPES I WAS HEALED!"
Some might think this is a lie, but it is not, for God cannot lie.
Many times, people and even friends or loved ones will ask, "How do you feel? Do you really feel any better? Can you feel God's healing now?" They are unaware of the fact that they are helping Satan.
We can’t let the devil make us think or talk in terms of what we feel, unless our feelings agree with what God says. Feelings are good if they agree with the word of God. But God's word is greater than our feelings. If our feelings do not yet agree with the word of God we ignore them. We refuse to speak of them. We quote God's word instead. We stand on it by faith and tell those who ask, "God sent His word and healed me; Jesus Christ endured the cross for me, by his stripes I was healed." This takes practice. Right practice will rightly condition us to see right results.
We do not have to lie about our pains. Lying is not the right approach. We don’t need to say, "The pain is gone" when the pain is still there. We don’t need to say, "I can see everything clearly" if we cannot. If we feel bad, it is a lie to say, "I feel good." If we still have pain, we don't lie about it – we just refuse to discuss it. We quote God's word, for it is truth. Faith must be based exclusively upon the word of God. We are not to believe that we are healed because the pain is gone. And we shouldn't refuse to believe that we are healed because we still feel the pain. That pain has nothing to do with our faith. Feeling is not faith and faith is not feeling. Faith believes that we were healed because God says that we were healed!
If a person says, "I believe I got healed because the pain is gone," that person could immediately lose faith if some sign of that pain returns. Then he would say, “I thought that I was healed, but I was not. The pain is back again."
Faith is never afraid to take a stand on the word of God. “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). If our feelings do not agree with what God says then our feelings lie. A person who walks by faith ignores the testimony of his senses, unless it agrees with the word of God.
We make this our testimony: "God says it is done. I believe it. It is done! It is finished. I am healed because God, who cannot lie, declares that I am healed!"
This is the way to experience the wholeness we have in Christ. It comes, not by feeling, but by faith.
God Sent His Word and Healed Us
In John 1 we read, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... and the Word became flesh.” God sent His Word and healed us (Psalms 107:20)! He sent His only begotten Son who paid the price for our complete wholeness in every category. This message about being healed in Christ is a BIG part of the good news – the gospel - the POWER of God unto wholeness! Is it big enough to get the job done? Can God's Word really be that powerful? Genesis 1 demonstrates that it is:
And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.
And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water... And it was so."
And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear... And it was so."
Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds... And it was so."
And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth... And it was so."
And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky... So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind."
And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind... And it was so."
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground... So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
“He sent His word and healed you!” - God’s word powerful enough to resolve whatever it is that YOU are currently dealing with.
THE PRICE PAID FOR OUR COMPLETE WHOLENESS WAS SUFFICIENT