Before The Battle

HEALING PROMISE TO CLAIM:


My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23)

INTRODUCTION

Before you begin your study of healing and deliverance it is helpful to understand some of the current attitudes you will face as you begin to minister in this area. In regards to healing and deliverance, many believers have...

IGNORED IT:

One theologian reviewed some 87,125 pages of theological writings in libraries of evangelical seminaries. Of these total pages, there were only 71 pages devoted to healing; 131 pages to miracles; and 85 pages to signs and wonders. When the high number of verses devoted to these subjects in the New Testament is compared with the low number of pages written on the same topics in modern theology, we see a trend to ignore the subject in many modern evangelical circles.


Some ignore healing because of Biblical warnings against false miracles. They regard this as a warning about all miracles (Mark 13:22-23). Some believe healing in theory, but ignore it in practice. Others ignore it because they cannot answer all the questions associated with sickness and suffering. Some ignore healing because of fear of failure. We seem to have a double standard. We pray confidently for finances, wisdom, and guidance but we are fearful to pray for healing. Others do not realize how rationalism and materialism have affected them. Many must "see to believe" and are consumed with the natural, materialistic world.

DENIED IT:

Some people deny healing and deliverance are for today because they have no theology, model, practice, or experience with it.

The New Testament Gospels contain 26 accounts of physical healing. The book of Acts contains five. Physical healing is mentioned in I Corinthians 12:8-11 and 28-30. James 5:13-16 gives specific instructions on how to pray for the sick. There is nothing in the Epistles that modifies the Gospel's teaching on healing. Praying for the sick was taken for granted at the time the Epistles were written, and there is no hint that divine healing was controversial in the early church.

COMPLICATED IT:

Many people have complicated healing and deliverance with traditions of man contrary to the Word of God. Others have complicated it with experience. They may have prayed for healing and did not receive it. But you must base your beliefs on the Word of God, not on experience (except where experience supports the Word). Bad role models of healing have also complicated this issue. People have seen personality cults, healing for money, deception, and undue focus on physical healing instead of wholeness. Healing and deliverance have also been complicated by imbalance. Any truth, no matter how valid, emphasized to the exclusion of other truths is practical error.

DELAYED IT:

Some people delay ministering healing and deliverance because they do not have the answers to everything. They do not understand why some are healed and others are not. It is not necessary to understand everything about healing in order to minister or receive it anymore than you understood everything about salvation when you were saved and began to witness to others.

Some answers come as you minister and experience God's healing power. Other questions will never be answered. If you knew the "why" and "how" about everything, then you would not need God. The Bible says "we know in part." Healing concerns sickness and suffering and there will always be mysteries because the mystery of iniquity is at work (II Thessalonians 2:7).

THE NEED FOR PROPER TEACHING

This review of current attitudes towards healing and deliverance illustrate why we need proper teaching on this subject. Many are being destroyed physically and spiritually because they do not know what God's Word teaches regarding healing: My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6)

Healing (wholeness) is part of the Gospel of the Kingdom which we are commissioned to spread (Luke 16:15-18). Jesus called us to preach, teach, heal, and deliver. Healing and deliverance should not be left out, but neither should they be emphasized to the exclusion of teaching and preaching the Gospel. The Bible reveals that our churches are to be healing centers (Luke 14:16-24). We are to see people healed rather than turned away:

And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. (Hebrews 12:13)

As believers, it is sin if we do not share the good news of healing and deliverance with a lost and dying world. The Bible says:

...to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)

Applying this verse to healing means that to know we are commissioned to minister healing--and yet not do it--is sin. God gives some stern warnings to leaders who do not minister healing:

...Woe be to the shepherds...The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them...I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick... (Ezekiel 34:2,4,16)

STARTING WITH THE PROPER ATTITUDE

As you approach the subject of healing and deliverance, you need to do so with a proper attitude. Always remember that seeking and ministering physical healing is secondary to spiritual reconciliation through Jesus Christ which is the greatest miracle of healing.
As you approach this study you must disregard past experiences and the traditions you have been taught. You must be teachable. One of the marks of wisdom from above is that it is open to reason (James 3:17). You are in danger spiritually when you stop being teachable. Remember that the sin of presumption is putting God in your little "mold." Job's friends sinned in this way. Universal application of individual experience is wrong.

Start this study as though you have never heard the traditional teachings of man or your denomination on it. Accept what God's Word says. If it says you are healed, believe it. If it says to lay hands on the sick, do it.

Do not enter this study seeking formulas and methods to receive or minister healing. The Bible gives no specific formulas, although various principles are revealed and we will deal with these. Instead of seeking formulas, understand that the Healer is within you. Seek to increase your knowledge of and intimate relationship with Him.


Jesus and the Holy Spirit are resident within. Healing is not something you seek from the outside, but something you learn to release from the inside. You are seeking only to understand principles that release that resident power within.

THE MINISTRY OF HEALING

Before you begin the ministry of healing and deliverance you should know that if you truly follow the example of the healing ministry of Jesus you will:

-Be a servant instead of a lord: Mark 10:44
-Grow weary, not rich: Mark 6:31; John 4:6; Acts 3:6
-Encounter unbelief of others: Mark 5:38-42
-Experience persecution from religious leaders. Some of them are like the Pharisees--more concerned with law and tradition than life: Luke 6:6-9
-Experience persecution from those closest to you: Mark 6:4; Matthew 13:58
-Avoid publicity instead of seeking it: Mark 5:43; 8:26; Matthew 8:4
-Reject any personal gain or material benefits from God's power: Acts 8:18-24
-Reject personal glory: Acts 14:8-18

WORKING IT OUT

Examine your own attitude regarding healing. Check those which apply. Have you:
___Ignored it?
___Denied it?
___Complicated it with traditions, experience, bad role models, and imbalance?
___Delayed it?

Write out a plan to correct your attitude: 

If you are a spiritual leader, have you been preaching, teaching, and ministering healing consistently? If not, write out your plan to correct this:

If you are already ministering healing, how does your ministry compare to that of Jesus in terms of:


-Being a servant instead of a lord: Mark 10:44
-Growing weary, not rich: Mark 6:31; John 4:6; Acts 3:6
-Encountering unbelief of others: Mark 13:58
-Experiencing persecution from religious leaders: Luke 6:6-9
-Experiencing persecution from those closest to you: Mark 6:4; Matthew 13:58
-Avoiding publicity instead of seeking it: Mark 17:36; 8:26; Matthew 8:4
-Rejecting personal gain or material benefits from God's power: Acts 8:18-24
-Rejecting personal glory: Acts 14:8-18 30

Study the healing promise for this lesson:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:20-23)

Note that you are to:
-Attend to God's Word.
-Incline your ear to God's Word.
-Keep His Word before your eyes.
-Keep it in your heart.
-Keep your heart with diligence.
God's Word is related to health. His commandments are:
-Life to those who find them.
-Health to their flesh.

Note also in verse 23 the relation of the condition of your heart with the issues of life (the life processes of your physical body).

Acknowledging Jesus Christ as the source of true divine healing is vital with the rise of what is called the New Age movement. This movement uses humanistic techniques and seeks help from ungodly spiritual powers. New Agers use spirit guides, channeling, crystals, herbs, and other unscriptural rituals to effect  physical healing. Such methods should be rejected as they violate God's Word.