Thursday, March 6, 2008

Health, Healing and Miracles.....

So for the past 6 months or so, Keith and I have been experiencing a lot of sickness, and general unhealthiness. We each have had our health issues over the years, nothing major, but enough to be a complete drag.(asthma, allergies, chronic sinusitus, hernias, back pain, sciatica, migraines, excema, rosacea.)  Anyway...... Since  we have come to the revelation and  understanding  about who God is, truly, and His Awesome grace, we are questioning things like the miraculous and healing. I honestly believe we experienced a huge miracle in the restoration and healing of our marriage, and this has built my faith immensely. But what about healing of sickness? We have wrestled with this one, amongst ourselves and with God. We have prayed and prayed, for ourselves for each other and have had others pray for us. NO breakthrough yet. I do not plan to give up until I see the Lord heal us! 
That said, I want to bring up our latest enjoyment of Bill Johnson's ministry. A friend of ours many months ago told us about Bill Johnson, so I looked him up and checked out his website and an interview he did on TV.  I was really eager to learn more and read some of his books. So recently we have been listening to the podcasts from Bethel, Bill's home church in California, and are enjoying them very much. Bill has quite a healing ministry and people flock to his church to be healed. Every week he shares testimonies of healings and in the service they usually always pray for healing and for salvation, and people are getting saved and healed like crazy! This is so amazing, inspiring and faith building to me! This is what normal church should be like according to the Bible! ......
This past week I began reading Bill's first book, "When Heaven Invades Earth," although I haven't finished it yet, I must highly recommend it here. 
One of the things I am learning about healing is that is should be something every Christian walks in, either receiving or taking part in praying for others and seeing them healed. Jesus healed all who came to Him in faith. And the first church, in the book of Acts, healed and saw multitudes being saved and added to their numbers daily.  Healing and health is something that Christ death on the cross has purchased for us, not just cleansing from our sins, but cleansing from sickness and disease. By His stripes we are healed.
So, why don't we see more healing? Good question. One of the reasons is many Christians, myself included, live in unbelief, and accept sickness as normal. We say things like, well God is using this illness or whatever in my life to build my character. Bill Johnson says this, "When I have misconceptions of who God is and what He is like, my faith is restricted by those misconceptions. For example, if I believe that God allows sickness in order to build character, I'll not have confidence in praying in most situations where healing is needed. But, if I believe that sickness is to the body what sin is to the soul, then no disease will intimidate me. Faith is much more free to develop when we truly see the heart of God as good." 
Then he adds a little story, "The same misconceptions of God affect those who need to have faith for their own miracle. A woman who needed a miracle once told me that she felt God had allowed her sickness for a purpose. I told her that if I treated my children that way I'd be arrested for child abuse. She agreed and eventually allowed me to pray for her. After truth came into her heart, her healing came minutes later."
Wow, never thought of it like that! He goes on to say, "Unbelief is anchored in what is visible or reasonable apart from God. It honors the natural realm as superior to the invisible. The apostle Paul states that what you see is temporal, and what you can't see is eternal. Unbelief is faith in the inferior." 
Just because you or I may have never experienced a genuine healing or miracle does not mean we should settle or have a lack of faith that this is not possible. With God all things are possible, and if we are already living in His Kingdom, shouldn't we be living free from sickness, and from disease? 
I just want to finish with this verse, 2 Corinthians 4:18..."as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 

17 comments:

jul said...

very good post Lydia. Have you been listening to Invading the Impossible as well? I'm sure that our little blogging family is about to experience a major breakthrough in this area!

lydia joy said...

Thanks Jul, yes I have been listening to Invading the Impossible, and it too has been impacting my faith greatly - bring on the breakthrough!!!

Aida said...

Another great post, Lydia. That book was recommended to me a while ago and I still haven't gotten it. Maybe I need to go ahead and get it.

Since I began this journey of knowing Father about 10 years ago, my beliefs and understanding have change tremendously but one area where it hasn't changed is in the arrea of healing and health. I still believe it's God's will for his children to be healed of every sickness every time. Actually, I believe it's his will that we experience health and never be sick but, if sickness occurs, healing is available.

Is Invading the Impossible on Bill Johnson's website? It sounds like something I may want to listen to. A breakthrough sounds great!! I'm ready too.

Aida

lydia joy said...

Thanks Aida, yeah I definitely recommend checking out Bill Johnson's ministry, whether in his books, or messages, check out the links on this post....
Invading the Impossible is the series of messages Rob Rufus is doing currently, and they are building as they go....if you are interested you can read the transcribed messages on Rob Rufus Grace and Glory Blog, on my blog links, or check out the messages on Rob Rufus messages in the messages links and go to 2008.....
Hope that helps, let me know what you think or if you have any questions......Grace to you!!

Anonymous said...

I truly believe the Bible shows us that God's perfect plan for us was wellness. That was how he made us in the beginning and that is how we will live in the end. We do however live in a cursed world now and in dying bodies. Even Timothy had a stomach ailment and Paul had his thorn in the flesh which is believed by some to be a problem with his eyes. Paul did not seem to see Timothy's ailment as a lack of faith. Anyway, people were ill and yet strong believers in the bible. Paul is an example of faith as well as Timothy and yet they were not always completely well. I have suffered with legally blind vision as the result of something in my childhood. I had people pray over me and prayed myself for the removal of that illness.... and yet it remains... thankfully there are contacts and glasses in my case that give me near perfect vision... funny thing... one of the guys trying to teach me about faith and praying over me when I was younger wore glasses himself... go figure... healing comes by the mercy of God... Jesus' minstry was followed by miracles... acts of compassion... mercy ... love... but he constantly tried to not draw attention to that part of his ministry so that the message of the gospel would not be overshadowed by a generation of people seeking signs and wonders... I have been at the bedsides of people who died of cancer that had more faith in their little finger than I have in a lifetime and yet God allowed the sickness and took them home... not because he is unloving but because we in our narrow view of things see only our version of events and God sees how that however bad the pain in this life is... sickness, loss, and such... it is but a moment, a flicker in eternity... we will count it as almost nothing in eternity if our faith is in him and we are truly saved... eternity stretches forever... now is just a tiny shadow... the loss we have now is nothing in eternity if we have Christ.... that does not take away from our loss in this life... I have had a huge share of that myself.... I don't long for a perfect body here and prosperity here which will just be nothing later but I long to go there where the riches in glory... the health of bodies without blemish because of Christ wait and last for eternity ... anyway my 2cents....
Angel

lydia joy said...

Thanks for sharing Angel! I appreciate your thoughts on this! I do hear you and agree with a lot of what you say, and by no means am I trying to be flippant about this subject that can be really personal and delicate probably for just about everyone in some regard, right?
I am by no means saying we will never get sick, and yes we live in a fallen world, but Christ has triumphed over all the powers of hell at the cross and Satan's rule on earth has been defeated! So we can live in victory in this life! That said, I do not know all the ways of God, but I do long for all He has for me. I long to see more of what He has supernaturally, not because I want to seek signs and wonders, but because I know it's available and I want to be encouraged and built up by seeing the Lord move in power, and be more in awe of him and because I believe we are meant to heal others as believers, through his power, for his glory, not ours. I also want to see other's lives transformed, especially the lost, how can one refute the power of the miraculous? That's how 3,000 were saved on the day of Pentecost!
There is much more we could talk about regarding this...and I by no means have all the answers....but I do long for more, because I believe God has more for us!
Grace to you!

amy said...

Hey Lydia,

Bill is visiting our church soon.

http://s209572259.onlinehome.us/blog/?page_id=10

His Books are amazing, but when you hear him in person it really blows your mind. He is a wealth of information- and he is a very cool person, to.
If you wanna come- you are welcome to stay with us!
Love,
Amy

lydia joy said...

Wow Amy, thanks for that info and the invite, I think I may take you up on that!!!!

amy said...

you are welcome anytime! it will be fun....just let me know, OK?!
Love,
Amy

Anonymous said...

Lydia,
I would never try to be flippant, sorry if you thought that. My answer was more directed to AIDAs. Actualy what I was trying to do was temper all that expectation with the knowledge that sometimes God does allow some things we can't make sense of but he does work it all out for the good. Of course we should all ask for healing expectantly. Sadly, I spent many years in the AOG church movement where I saw many people have their hearts and lives crushed because they somehow thought it was their fault that they were not healed... or that their non-healing was a punishment from God or such... I felt much the same for many years about a particular area I prayed about again and again... did not understand why the promised healing for all did not happen... sadly many teach it is our lack of faith... it can really undermine the life of a young christian... also people don't seem to know where it ends... even the couple Bill & his wife wear glasses... a minor detail but unfortunately I have seen people crushed by those ideas.... not meaning to upset anyone... my husband and I were memebers of Brownsville Assembly of God when he was still in the military before the big events (putting it mildly) there... I have even seen little children's faith shaken when they are told God will absolutely heal all sickness and their mother or father that they were praying for pass away instead... and they mistakenly feel it is all their fault for not having enough faith in God... I am sorry to offend anyone... I just wanted to make sure no one would lose their trust in God because the promise of instant and always healing might not happen for them... God bless you all... sorry again...
Angel

lydia joy said...

Thanks Amy, we'll talk!!!!

Angel, no need to be sorry at all! I guess there was a lot behind your comment other than just responding to my post, and that is totally okay!
I see what you mean about how people can feel hurt or condemned, and that would not be my heart or intent. I am only beginning to understand many things in my Christian walk that I have been disillusioned about in the past. So I don't speak with a lot of knowledge in this area, I have only just come to the revelation, that it's God's will to heal all, does that mean that's our experience all the time...no....
Jesus death on the cross purchased us freedom in him and God doesn't see our sin anymore, he poured out all his wrath on Jesus so we wouldn't have to be punished, and Jesus became sin for us, so we could become the righteousness of God, so now God sees us as perfect, he sees us as he sees Christ -he can't see our sin, it's gone!!! So what's my point, do we feel perfectly righteous all the time, still - NO, do we still sin, yes.....it's a benefit of the cross, that God sees me as righteous ( and I am not going to argue with Him...:) so that said I also believe he purchased healing for us as well, and has given all believers the ability (whether we walk in it or not) to have the power of the Holy Spirit operate through us to perform healing and miracles......how does this work exactly...don't know, but I am willing to seek and find out more of the ways of God.....okay, I have gone on and on, and I could say much more, but it will have to wait for another post.....Thanks for sharing, I am not one bit offended by you, you can share anytime, whatever God lays on your heart to share....I appreciate your perspective and you have given me much to think about, thanks!!!!

Dan Bowen said...

Awesome post Lydia, and I couldn't agree more with Jul that our blogging family is coming oh-so-close to that peripheral fence of glory that Rob Rufus talks about!! And I somehow get the sneaky feeling that when we do see breakthrough, it is going to errupt SIMULTANEOUSLY with you in the USA, with Julie and Aaron in Canada, with Pete, me in the UK - God is going to demonstrate His power like that! It's just a suspicion so please don't take it as a prophetic word! But I just saw in the future this happening and how we all suddenly are on the phone sharing what is happening!!

I had a non-Christian dear friend of mine over the other night. He's pretty sick with ulcerative colitis and I asked him if anyone had ever prayed for him to be healed. He laughed at me! Now he's got a lifestyle that I guess most Christians would despise, but I wanted to be the loving hands of God to him and I so DESPERATELY wanted this guy to be my breakthrough - He was a non-Christian! Surely this was the time!!

So he let me lay hands on his stomach and pray for him ... and nothing as yet has happened. :( We have to ask ourselves; "Is it God's sovereign plan that he continues suffering never knowing the healing hand of God?". NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!! So the problem is still mine. It can't be his surely because he doesn't have any faith - he's never even "heard that there WAS a Holy Spirit"!!!

Our reaction is always (well mine is anyway) to say; "What must we DO"?!!? But grace says "It is DONE!!". So surely all we have to do is keep drinking. Keep receiving.

I think that us guys who have come out of SGM have been taught so well (maybe even too well) and now it isn't an issue about hearing a Wayne Grudem-type lecture on healing. Now it is a case of receiving impartation from these guys of faith - Rob, Bill Johnson, and so on. That's why Julie and Aaron WILL be in Hong Kong at the conference!! Because surely thats what we all need!

Great post! I love the similar cries of our hearts!

Dan Bowen said...

Oh yes and I just noticed the comment about AIDS. I feel really strongly about this. I passionately believe that this is going to be one of the diseases that becomes eradicated when God breaks out in signs and wonders and power. I believe that the entire continent of Africa that is under a death sentence of AIDS at the moment will see widespread healing breaking out across the millions. God HATES AIDS as much as He does cancer!! Surely!?

lydia joy said...

Dan, Sounds good to me!!!

I love what you shared about your friend, I'd love to hear soon a testimony about that - keep at it!
I get so insistent about embracing my own healing and my families and am begging God to show me and direct me and annoint me in taking part in praying for healings.....we did have a small breakthrough this week with a few issues we were facing and we saw them go away, so that was encouraging!
I feel like the persistent widow, who kept going before the judge and he finally gave her her answer.....she never gave up!
Anyway, it's funny the comment you thought was about AIDS was actually a woman's name, AIDA.......hehe, but I still am glad you shared what you did!!! Yes, I believe he does hate AIDs Dan.....!!

Aida said...

Hi Angel,

I hope I didn't offend anyone. I know this is a sensitive subject. I didn't mean to imply that everyone would be healed nor did I mean to imply that people's lack of healing is always due to their lack of faith. I don't believe we can make that assumption. Each situation is different and Father is the only one who knows all of the circumstances.

I would love to be able to say I'm living in perfect health but that's not true. Actually, as I've gotten older, my health has gotten worse but I still don't think it's Father's will for me to be sick. There are also other things going on in my life that I don't think are his will. However, they're still there.

There is much going on in this world that is not Father's will. Does he work through it? Yes! I believe he does. Does he bring good out of bad things? I believe He can.

There is much that I don't understand. There are a lot of "why's" I wonder about and I am learning to trust Father when things don't turn out how I want them to turn out. Why aren't people always healed when prayed for? I have no idea but I do want to know Father better and cooperate more with what he's doing. Like Lydia, I want to experience the fulness of his life in me and through me.

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was blaming anyone for their lack of healing because I didn't mean that. Father's will is not always being manifested in this world and through the church but, as the church matures as a body and comes together, I believe we'll begin to see more miracles of healing.

Aida

lydia joy said...

Thanks Aida, for your humility and sharing your heart further. This is a sensitive subject and funny thing is I think we all need healing in our minds and our thinking more than physically, since a lot of times people can take things wrong and get easily offended. I don't think that happened here, I am glad for everyone's perspective shared. That said, I have been seeing some breakthrough's in our health. I have had a severe sinus infection/sinisitus, that literally disappeared! So praise God for that and I will continue to pursue him for our health and wholeness!!!

Aida said...

That's great news, Lydia.

I think Father also works by teaching us to correct things we're doing wrong. I was on medication for a female problem but I started getting a reaction to the meds so I stopped using them and did an internet search. Well, I found out that I wasn't drinking enough fluids and I also added a little olive oil to my diet and the symptoms are gone.

Unfortunately, there are still a bunch of other things hanging around but I'm still seeking Father for the answer to those.

I'm also finding that I'm less stressed about my health. As I grow in my relationship to Father, I'm more willing to trust him in this area and I'm experiencing greater peace.