Sunday, 18 September 2016

Jesus Healing ~ Ganeida

What we are looking at today is Healing. Last time we considered the part forgiveness plays in healing.  Today we are going to consider one aspect that Faith plays in healing.

The 2 texts you need to keep in mind are Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. & Mark 16:17~18 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.

Have you ever thought that church was very, very dull? I can remember very clearly how I thought when I first began reading the bible for myself.  I was struck by the incongruity of how the bible talks about God & what actually happened in church. I thought church was nothing like God. Where was the parting of the seas? Water flowing from a rock in the desert? People raising from the dead?  Walking on water? Where were the earthquakes freeing people from prison? Angels leading believers? The power of the Holy Spirit?

Not only did the church I grew up in not talk about these things, they didn’t really believe them either.  They might have happened once upon a time, like in a fairy tale, but they were not for now.  Not for us. The signs & wonders & miracles had ceased with the last apostle.

However we have a problem.  Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that signs & wonders have ceased.  In fact scripture teaches the complete opposite.
Malachi 3:6  "I am the LORD, and I do not change.”

Hebrews13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

So who do you believe?  Do you believe what the word of God says or do you believe what men teach?

Mark is absolutely blunt about it: These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe… He doesn’t say they may follow, they might follow, they will only follow 1st century believers… NO!  He says they will follow.  There are no qualifications except one: that you believe.

The qualification that one must be a believer is very simple.  I cannot heal anyone; nor can you.  However a believer has the power of Jesus Christ within them & every person Jesus ever laid hands on for healing was healed.  He raised the dead.  In fact He carried so much power & authority that one woman didn’t even bother to ask Him for healing.  She just reached out to touch the wings of His garment & was instantly healed!

What’s more Jesus Himself said very clearly that we have this power & authority as believers.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12~14

Mark 11:24 says I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you've received it, it will be yours.

John 16:23 At that time you won't need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

As believers you have direct access to the Father because of your belief in His son, Jesus, & Jesus says whatever we ask for in His name is ours.
Despite this some people hesitate to ask for healing ~ let alone receive it.

Well, they say, God is sovereign. I’ll be healed if it is God’s will.

I tell you it is God’s sovereign will that you are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 is a favourite verse on healing:
"He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed." But there are many, many verses about God being our Healer, about Him healing.

Proverbs 4:20-22
My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.

Jeremiah 17:14
Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.

Psalm 41:3
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.

And that’s before we get into the New Testament!  As Paul says we have a better covenant based on better promises. Hebrews 8:6

Jesus said that He came that we might have life, & have it abundantly. John 10:10 It is the adversary who comes to steal, kill, destroy ~ to in any way possible mar the image of God in Man. The Greek word for life is Zoe & according to Strong’s refers to the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature.
There is no sickness or disease in Christ, therefore there is neither sickness or disease in the life He imparts.

So what are we to think when we lay hands on someone for healing & it seems like nothing happens?

We know from Scripture that war in the heavenlies sometimes prevents God’s messengers from getting through:

Daniel 10:13

1 Thess 2:18

The word Paul uses is egkopto & means to elbow a runner out of the race, to so tear up & destroy a road it is impassable.

We know faith plays a part. Numerous times Jesus told people their faith had made them well.  If you don’t believe God can do it…well, it’s not going to happen. Even Jesus can’t over~ride unbelief. Mark 6:5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them.
It has always bothered me that the Church so often seems to be powerless but as I was starting to prepare this message God led me to Todd White’s Testimony & if you remember nothing else from today’s message, remember this!

God radically saved Todd from drug addiction. By his own testimony he was a bad, bad man.  He enjoyed a cocktail of different drugs.  He was violent.  He was barely literate, had never read a book & never worked a day in his life. Yet God turned his life around & today not only is he a free man because He who the Lord sets free is free indeed, he has a miraculous healing ministry.

Now there are those who stand in the Office of Prophet or Teacher or Healer & I am convinced that Todd is one of those.  What I am not convinced about is that Todd was always a Healer.

Todd got saved & like so many others he looked around him at the church & went, Wow, nothing like the church I read about in the bible.

See Todd read Mark… They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed… and he went, Well, I’m a believer; I can lay hands on the sick & they will be healed.

So while he was at the shops he began approaching people & praying for them. He prayed that they would be healed and… NOTHING happened. So he prayed for some more people. He prayed & he prayed for healing & NOTHING!!! He was so embarrassing about it his wife refused to go out in public with him. 

Day after day, week after week he prayed that people would be healed in Jesus name.  Day after day, week after week nothing happened. He was averaging at least 10 people a day. That equals 10 failures a day. Now if that was me I’d’ve gone, Well, I tried. Not Todd.  He went back to his bible & read: They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed then he went Well, I’m a believer so I can lay hands on the sick & they will be healed, then he went & prayed for some more people. He wasn’t deterred. Then one day He prayed for a man & healing came. The man lept up shouting: You have the Power!!! You have the POWER!

Todd has no more power than you or I have & he’s smart enough to know that. What he has is the Holy Spirit & an unshakeable belief in the word of God. See, we get a little setback.  We pray with all the faith we can muster, we quote our favourite verse on healing & if nothing happens we retreat defeated & satan crows with glee.  Another Christian down & out!

Why do we do that?  Why don’t we believe what the word actually says & hold fast to that?  I think often we are afraid.  We are afraid of looking foolish.  Afraid of embarrassing ourselves.  Afraid God won’t show up.  Afraid we haven’t got enough faith. Afraid of what people will say or think.

We need to get over ourselves. In Luke 11 Jesus tells a story about 2 neighbours. Neighbour one comes banging on neighbour 2’s door after he’s locked up his house & gone to bed for the night.  He doesn’t want to get out of his nice warm bed to answer his neighbours plea for bread to feed an unexpected guest but Jesus says: But I tell you this--though he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
It is in the context of this story Jesus says: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.…

Sometimes we have to be persistent.  If we give up at the first hurdle we can be absolutely sure nothing will happen. If we persist then we are acting as the church is called to act so if you are a believer I want to encourage you to look for people you can pray for & step out confidently knowing you are doing the will of our Father. If you are in need of healing today I invite you to come forward & we will pray for you in Jesus name because He has promised us that whatever we ask for in His name He will give to us.

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