THE ONLY PHYSICIAN WHO TRULY HEALS
(2 Chronicles 16:12) In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet.
Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.
Well, every so often, hopefully always, the word of God cuts like a double-edge sword and pierces deep, and “exposes us for who we really are” (Heb. 4:12 NLT). So, read the following with Holy Spirit and an open heart. First, I am the pastor of a church and healing centre, as most of you already know. I believe in healing – physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, etc. I believe in it because my God is Jehovah Rapha – “The Lord your healer” (Exodus 15:26). Jesus (God in the flesh) walked this earth and healed a whole lot of people, setting them free from the things that bound them – sickness and demon possession - and He is still doing so today. It was a demonstration of the Kingdom of God invading planet Earth (Matt. 9:35, 12:28) and revealing Jehovah Rapha to the world. Jesus’ ministry only lasted 3 years, but in those three years, He trained and instructed His disciples (the church) to carry on His ministry (Matt. 10:1-8; John 14:12; Luke 10:1-21). When He ascended into heaven after His crucifixion, which shed His blood and purchased our salvation and healing (1Pet. 2:24; Matt. 8:17), He sent forth Holy Spirit to empower the church to continue the mission of demonstrating the Kingdom of God through preaching, healing and casting out demons (Mark 16:15-20; 1Cor.12:28). At no point throughout history has God removed the mandate of the church to advance His Kingdom and demonstrate it through preaching, healing and casting out demons. Contrary to what many churches believe, the word of God is clear: the kingdom of God is one of power to heal and deliver, and the church is the revealer of the Kingdom and its King (Luke 11:20; 1Cor. 2:4-5; 1Cor. 4:20; James 5:14-16). I have witnessed Jesus heal and deliver hundreds of people through obedient followers who desire to see His Kingdom expand, and His glory revealed in and through the church, to a dying, lost world. Here is the rub: God heals today and He uses faith-filled followers to do so – I’ve given my life to it!
Now the tough stuff. I will be 60 years old this year. I’ve had a very physical life working construction for most of it, outside in the winters, etc. I have also been very physically active, skiing, riding motorcycles, adventurous and foolish in many ways, with many accidents, certainly not kind to my body. I have a lot of pain and discomfort from a body well-used. I also seem to be surrounded by people who are roughly the same age as me and experiencing the deterioration of an aging vessel – we are living in corruptible bodies after all. But here is what I noticed myself doing – justifying my pain and “diseased” body because of my neglect and abuse, or just because I’m “old”. I have had to visit doctors to find out what is going on. Although I appreciate their expertise and knowledge, even if it is God-given, I have noticed that the pronouncements they make over me are death – “if you don’t take this drug, you could have a stroke and be crippled or die”; “if you don’t do this you will never walk again”; or after thousands of dollars (thankfully not mine) for tests and imaging, the results always conclude, “there is not much that can be done except medication to manage the pain”. The diagnosis usually comes with a label like “degenerative disc disease”, “pinched nerve” etc. “Thanks for the info Doc, but what I hear you say is that you can’t do anything to help me.” Why did I even go down that road when my God is Jehovah Rapha?!!
So this week we are offering a course on Healing and Deliverance – one I’ve taught several times over the years. It is all from the word of God, equipping the church to walk in the power of the Kingdom, bringing healing to the body of Christ and beyond. In the middle of all that has been happening in my life currently, I come across the above verse in my devotional time: “Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.” OUCH! OK Lord, I hear you! One of the teachings on seeing healing is on getting to the root of the problem – “why is the disease/sickness there in the first place?” In Asa’s case, he was a fairly good king over Judah, doing mostly good things, like getting rid of all the idols, re-instituting covenantal faithfulness with Yahweh, and submitting to the leading of Azariah the prophet (2Chr. 15). For thirty-five years Asa was a pretty good king, but in the thirty-sixth year when Israel was invading Judah, Asa did not seek the Lord and bribed the king of Aram to fight against Israel. Hanani the prophet was sent to Asa to show him the error of his ways, but instead of humbling himself and repenting, Asa put Hanani in stocks in prison – probably shackled his feet. Three years later, Asa developed severe disease in his feet, probably gout which was spreading to other parts of the body. Instead of going to the Lord, he sought out “physicians”, literally “healers” who probably practiced some form of magic arts. He was dead some 2 years later. The Bible (2Chronicles 16) is so clear – Asa drifted from God and leaned on his own understanding, even locking up the prophet of God that tried to warn him. In his distress, he turned to humans instead of God for help…after all God had done for him. The problem was in his feet; the root cause is because he bound the feet of God's prophet.
Is there a lesson here for us? I believe so. There is a New testament parallel, I believe in Mark 5:25-34, with “the woman with the issue of blood” hemorrhaging for 12 years. We don’t know any reason for her blood issue, but what is written is: she “had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse” (Mark 5:26). No more physicians! Her healing was found in Jesus! “I am the Lord that healeth thee! – Jehovah Rapha”. Who heals – the doctors or Jesus? Do we believe the word of God? (Just a sample of scriptures)
- Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:2-3)
- News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and He healed them. (Matt. 4:24)
- Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:14-16)
The Mission of the church is to preach the good news, and demonstrate the Kingdom of God with power. We are a spiritual people who are endowed with the very presence of Jesus the healer himself. The world desperately needs to see a church in action, believing and receiving and operating in the power God gave us for healing and deliverance. Every Gospel in the Bible demonstrates a church that is fully alive in Christ doing what He taught them to do - heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the good news of Luke 4:18-19. Some are speaking of revival. Revival will not happen till the church returns to her first love – Jesus – and to it’s mandate, the great commission of Matthew 28 and Mark 16. I cannot teach and preach what I am not willing to walk in. So, as of right now, because of obedience to the word of God, I am choosing Jesus over doctors. I am choosing to believe by faith, in the healing purchased at calvary, and receive what God has for me. I will walk away from doubt and double-mindedness, excuses and the “but” rationales, and believe God at His word. Are we going to be a church that turns to the world to get what Jesus already purchased for us; or...are we going to be a biblical, New testament church believing and walking in the power of the word of God, and a risen Savior who is Lord of His church. Let's choose this day whom we will serve!
- He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions (Psa. 107:20)
- Just say the word, and my servant will be healed (Matt. 8:8)
Have a convicting week!
"Advancing the Kingdom of God by releasing Spirit-filled followers to serve Jesus in freedom and joy."