Most of us believe that God can heal.
We sing songs about it.
Sadly though, many of us aren’t convinced that He wants to.
If you are familiar with the Bible, you know the first time God identified himself as Healer. In Exodus 15, Moses led the Israelites on dry ground through the Red Sea between two walls of water. Their exuberance for watching such an epic miracle subsided only three days later when they ran out of water to drink in the desert heat of the Sinai Peninsula.
The available water near the camp was bitter, so Moses asked God what to do about it. The Lord told him to put a piece of wood in the water, and the water became drinkable.
In that context, God spoke to them, revealing what the future course of action should be in regards to needs pertaining to health:
If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord Who Heals You.
In other words, I AM THE SOURCE OF HEALING, COME TALK TO ME ABOUT IT. I have the answer to every question, commune with me and I will tell you what needs to be done.
It is MY NAME. WHO I AM. FOREVER THIS IS WHO I AM FOR YOU. This permanently settled the question of whether the Lord wants to heal.
Receiving the answers for healing requires relationship. He set it up this way.
- Hard Truth #1 —
As we search for answers in relationship with God, we may find out there are things we have to deal with that don’t *seem* to have to do with the situation at hand. What God may reveal to us can be anything from the existence of bitter emotions that are holding us back, to agreements with the enemy in past generations (which give the enemy legal right to inflict now), to detrimental physical habits that result in a breakdown of health in the body.
Only He knows the answers, and He is capable of letting us know what they are.
- Hard Truth #2 —
The Lord wants wholeness for us. This means that at times, healing the physical body is not his first priority if there are other issues in our lives chaining us. What good does it do if your body feels good and works okay but your spirit, emotions, or relationships are toxic, keeping you from true wholeness? We generally want the quickest path out of pain, while He is walking with us on the perfect path to make us whole. Physical healing is part of wholeness, but the stages of healing may not occur in the order we would choose.
Often the spirit and soul of a person are neglected and beaten down because internal pain has been ignored or shoved aside for too long. Instead the person grasps at any number of numbing effects, self-medicating into an oblivious stupor. Excessive alcohol consumption, shopping, eating, distracting, obsessive hobbies, extreme dieting, overworking and social media addiction are some common indicators. (These are somewhat easier to spot in other people than ourselves.)
No matter the source of the pain, Jesus has the answer. His desire is to know you and be known by you. We take our needs to Him and listen to Him in full trust for the answer, while being open to the idea that the answer at first may not seem to fit the problem in our own human reasoning.
When God told the Israelites he was their Healer, He was offering them a choice. He stated who He was, what He was willing to do for them, and the only two requirements on their part:
Listen carefully and do everything I tell you.
Why was it so hard in 1313 BC? Why is it still so hard today?
—> Because listening carefully to the Lord takes work.
Time. Investment. Wholehearted dedication to being quiet before Him. Belief.
Focus. Listening. There are no short cuts.
We can’t hear if we are too busy to be quiet. He isn’t fooled by 30 second prayers, much like our spouses are not fooled when we “listen” to them while staring at our phones.
Relationship with God is commitment and has nothing to do with church attendance or service. Gathering with others and serving flows out of relationship with God, not the other way around.
—> Because doing what He tells us may make us look weird.
Unstable. It might not make sense.
We might have to step out not knowing the whole plan. It might be a simple answer or it may be a 5-year endeavor. If doing what he tells us isn’t going to *seemingly* provide us with a quick result, then more questions arise inside of us:
How bad do we want help? What are we willing to let go of?
Is the pain of staying the same worse than the difficulty of embracing the uncertainty of where God is leading us?
Family or friends may not get it. Respectfully, that has to not matter.
God loves us so much He didn’t make things complicated. He didn’t leave us on the earth without telling us what to do, but it was an offer that is ours to accept. His offer is simple and still stands. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Many of you are in the physical fight of your lives. My heart is broken for your suffering. I know the tremendous weight of being either a patient or a caregiver and feeling like you can’t take on another thing. I don’t have all the answers but I do know the nature of God. Part of the reason there is much suffering is because for generations we have not believed Him or expected Him to be our Healer. Forgetting this important part of His nature didn’t go well for the Israelites either.
When Jesus said his “burden is light” He meant it. That seems harsh and unloving to a person in deep suffering, but it is truly the opposite.
He never meant for us to be sick and oppressed without answers. In 1313ish BC He told us what to do.
So invest in building a living relationship with Him. (This may involve putting away your phone for a while.)
You’ll never look back.