God's Wants You Well.

We love and worship a "Good" God who wants the best for us and wants to give us the best that he has; more so than we realise. Recently I've been thinking about how our concepts in regard to God's love and mercy torwards us may impact on our expectation of 'healing' and other help from Him. Because of this, it seemed that it might be useful to put my thoughts into order in writing.

Can "God's Sovereign Will", for instance, be a reason why He would overide His word and we not get healed, or is His word His bond? As humans we are told that we should consider any promise that we make as a debt. What about God though. Are His promises debts or can he go back on them whenever he feels like it?

Just what is the meaning of 'sovereignty' when referenced to God's dealings with us and especially in healing?

As a definition I think 'God is sovereign' means that he cannot be dictated to. He is above all things. He is all powerful. He is independent (not dependent on anyone or anything for existance). God is at the top of the chain.

So two questions come to mind.

1. Is everything that happens according to God's will?

2. Is it God's will to heal and help? Then why isn't everyone healed and helped?

Let's take a look at how God acts when dealing with and through his people as revealed in the bible.

When God wanted to deliver Israel from bondage and take them into the promised land he raised up Moses and took them in hand. Later on though we read this passage which he inspired to be written.

Psa 78:40-42 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

Could God really be limited by what his people do or what state of spiritual development they possess? Can his inspired scriptures be right in this?

Fast forward to the New testament. God wanted to deliver people from opression through Jesus' disciples and they were sent out with authority to cast out demons amongst other things. In Mat 17:20-21 the disciples experience a failure and ask Jesus why they could not cast out a particular demon. Jesus says this...

Mat 17:20-21 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Be moved from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you. However, this kind (of unbelief) does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Here we see that it was God's will to heal, but he could not do it through the disciples because of their unbelief. God's will here was limited by their unbelief.

Although God is sovereign, and has all power and can do anything, what the above scriptures show is that people's faith and unbelief decided whether someone was healed, a devil cast out, a land taken or some another kind of mountain moved! There was no problem with God's ability and it was his desire and according to his will but with unbelief prevalent it did not come to pass.

There are different kinds of unbelief though and some are so ingrained or the fear causing it so great that prayer and fasting is required to get our faith released and that unbelief removed according to Jesus!

Now what about the carrying out of God's plans? Could they be affected adversely by our actions? God doesn't lie and he tells us quite clearly that he's had to change direction at times because things have not gone according to plan! Look at the example in 1_Sam_13:13-14.

1 Sam 13:13-14 And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you."

According to God's word in 1 Samuel, God's plan was to establish the throne of Israel in a dynasty from Saul. He was first in line for the lineage that would lead to Jesus but his actions threw off those plans and as a result his son Jonathan lost his opportunity to be king after him. Had he been faithful we might have heard of Jonathan slaying his ten thousands but instead it's David that we hear about!

Did you ever notice that Abraham might not have been God's first choice for the role of "Father of the faithful"? Actually it appears that God called his father Terah first to go to Canaan.

Gen 11:31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there.

Notice that this reads that Terah was the leader in first going from Ur to Canaan. He took Abraham & Lot and their families towards Canaan but he settled for Haran and so later on God called Abraham instead.

What this tells me is that while God macro-manages; he does not usually micro-manage! In other words he has an overall plan of salvation, but if his first choice for carrying out a part of the plan drops the ball, God will look around for a back-up and go to plan B!

There are times when God tells us quite plainly that if we let fear cause us to lose heart and lose faith in him then He will not be able to do what He wants to do for us! In Deut 7:17 God says this to the people of Israel as they are about to advance into the promised land.

Deut 7:17 "If you say in your heart, 'These nations are greater than I'. How can I (God) dispossess them?"

If the people let fear overtake them because of their imaginations, then the people's unbelief because of that fear would mean that God would not be able to bring them in and dispossess the inhabitants in favour of Israel.

God is a faith person and in the same way that 'the just shall live by faith', God's plans for mankind run on faith also!

That's just a few examples. But they show us that what happens in the world of the individual and the nation is not only dependent on God's will; we have a part to play in the matter.

The unbelief of people around him could even affect what Jesus was able to do in circumstances where unbelief was prevalent. In fact the level of unbelief in some areas and the effect that it had even made Jesus marvel.

In Mark 6:4 etc, we see this...

Mar 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred. And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them. And he wondered because of their unbelief.....

The people of Jesus' home area did not accept him and as a result he COULD NOT do any great works, except heal a few people. He wanted to, but could not. He had power to heal everyone and his will was to do more, but as in the wilderness he was limited according to people's unbelief. The resisted and would not come to Him to be healed.

It's not just a question of God's will. The part that people play in the events has a bearing on the results.

It's the same today! We know that God has put his Holy Spirit in us. The same spirit that was in Jesus Christ. But look at this in Eph 3:20

Eph 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, forever. Amen.

God can do exceedingly above all that we ask or think but in reality it's limited according to how much the power (Holy Spirit) is able to work in us. And that depends on our faith, or more accurately upon our doubt and unbelief not getting in the way.

There are other examples that could be quoted but this gives a flavour of what I believe God's sovereignty is really like. In some areas like healing and miracles and ministry, God works through us. He has given US the ministry of reconciliation and as a result his will is that we have to be in co-operation with him in those areas. The just shall live by faith.

The results are according to our co-operation and he does not say yes and no according to a whim. The apparent yes and no to seemingly the same situation is according to the faith of those people who are involved at the time. So, to my understanding, God being sovereign does not mean that his will (on the micro-level) always comes to pass. Our unbelief can deny events.

I realise it's not a palatable idea for many people. It's much more convenient to blame lack of results on "God's sovereign will" than to think that WE might not yet fully understand what affects 'faith for healing', for instance, and so we have limited what God could do in the situation. See Maybe It Wasn't God!

Properly though, instead of blaming it on God's will, if we realise the results in part are down to us then we know that God's word will show us the way to have the results that John and Peter and the rest of 'the seventy' had when they were in faith, as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ. It means that as WE learn we can see better results! And, we stop blaming God because we realise He always does His part in healing or any other promise.

I heard someone say one time that God will have to wipe away the tears from our eyes when they are finally opened and we see how much of his blessings we missed and how much suffering we allowed while living here on earth after we were born again, because we didn't have the faith, or rather had so much unbelief!

Now let's look at examples from the New Testament to show how to increase the 'success rate' of our prayers...

Mar 8:22-26 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, but they look like trees, walking." Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. And he sent him to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village."

This is an interesting case where Jesus walked a man clear out of the village near his home in order to get him away from the people before trying to heal him. Then after the healing is manifested he tells the man not to go near the village! Would we accept the Holy Spirit's discernment that there was so much unbelief in an area that we had to take the person away before praying for them? Do you follow-up when you lay hands on someone so that if, because of unbelief in the person (or yourself) there's only a partial result, you can use that 'gain' to encourage faith and remove unbelief for complete healing?

Jesus Christ's power was the same the first time he laid hands on the blind man as it was the second time. Jesus' faith was the same the first time as it was the second time. God's will was to heal both times but full healing only took place after the second laying on of hands. The only variable was the blind man! It can only have been his level of unbelief which caused healing to be only partial at first. But it didn't have to stop there!

Let's look at another example of healing a blind man. Just as with us, healing was not the same every time with Jesus either!

John 9:1, 6-7 As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.... Then he (Jesus) spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing!

Another blind man but Jesus did not just lay hand on him and pray for him to be healed. In this case he made a poultice to put on his eyes.

If this were us and we just laid hands on the man and he was not healed would we say it was "God's Sovereign Will" not to heal in this case or would we ask God what the hindrance was? Might God then tell us that "the Man" expected some salve to be put on his eyes and you needed to do this for "His" faith to be at a level to receive his healing?

What if the person you are praying for believes that annointing with oil is essential for healing to work? If you just lay hands on them their confidence will not be for healing. God is willing as always, but their faith is not!

This is not to say that this always happens, but to give scenarios to show how expectation, fear and other factors can alter the level of faith a person exhibits and the unbelief that they have in any situation.

Could it be that Jesus asked His Father what hindrances there might be to a healing "before" asking for healing so He could allow for those things and heal ALL who came to him, All the time, like God wants?

There can be so many factors that affect the faith of the person receiving God's healing, but people who don't know better prefer to blame God....

Joh 14:12-13 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Whoever believes in Jesus will do the works that Jesus did. That's what He said; that's what he meant! The power to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons is IN the believer. We have to command it to happen just as Jesus and the earlier believers did. We do it in Jesus Christ's name. We do it in faith and not in unbelief. We take responsibility! We check with God regarding hindrances to faith! We use our authority!

This has been the situation since Jesus' day. Our healing has been provided, but some don't believe and don't receive, and some believe but have doubt and fear and unbelief and thus limit God. The fact is though that God says "by his stripes you WERE healed". It's a done deal, but we have to receive it or lose it!

Jesus told us through the disciples that WE must tell our mountain to be removed and it would be.

Mark 11:23-24 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' if he doesn't doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. That is why I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.

The statement is true. It's God's sovereign will to heal every time just as Jesus modelled for us. {See Resist the devil} There was no time when Jesus did not want to heal. That's why Jesus told us to ask and we shall receive, but to ask in faith, never doubting.

When we look for instance, at the faith needs shown in the bible for healing, in the New Covenant, a few things become evident, at least to me!

1) You cannot expect to live forever in the flesh. God has plans to give you a spiritual body, not keep this flesh going on and on. We live in a fallen world and age and/or age-related diseases will get you in the end. God has not promised to keep healing these bodies for eternity! He has a better one prepared for you.

2) Jesus modelled the way healing came to confirm the truth of the gospel and at no time did he reprimand someone who needed healing for lack of faith. He checked if they wanted to be healed, so were not in unbelief but they did not have to supply the faith needed. Some had the faith like the lady with the issue of blood and could draw the healing from Jesus, but other times as long as the recipient did not object they were healed through Jesus' faith. In the same way today, if you have the faith you don't need someone else to pray for you. But, if you call for others to pray for you then (as modelled by Jesus) the onus is on them to suppply the main faith. See also Jam 5:14-15. This should be obvious because by definition if you call for the elders it's because you cannot do it all yourself!

3) We see in the lives of the disciples, as they were the pioneers of Christian training, that the ones praying for the sick were repremanded if they were walking in unbelief. And, those hanging around also had to walk in faith and not unbelief because unbelief in these two groups could block healing, deliverance, and other miracles. Not many people want to accept this responsibility though and "God's sovereign will" can provide a convenient, but false, 'get out clause'. None of the disciples ever tried to use God as an excuse for failure though!

4) You cannot judge what happens under the New Covenant by what happened in the Old Covenant. Under the OC you were under law not under grace, so sins brought condemnation and death and this could even be carried into following generations. A child could sicken and die as a result of a parent's sins because this was the penalty of the second commandment; and if you live by them and break one you break them all. But we live by faith. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus You can be healed or bring healing to others.

So, what faith do we need and what faith do we have?

The word of God tells us that we have all the faith needed to do the things that Jesus did! You can see this in one of many places that it's stated if we look at 2_Pet 1:1. This is I understand a general letter, so it's for everyone and it tells us this...

2 Pet 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of our God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Here Peter tells us that we (fellow Christians) have obtained like precious faith with him! We have been given the same (like precious) faith that he was given by God (Jesus). So it means that we have all the faith we need to do the works of God, just as we have 'The Holy Spirit' as 'The' earnest (or guarantee) of our salvation.

We already have as Christians all the power, life, love, faith; in fact every good thing that we can ever have, in our spirit. Our development is to release that into our soul and body so that we can be effective as new creations in Jesus.

Phm 1:4-6 I thank my God, making mention of you always in my prayers, Hearing of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is (already) in you in Christ Jesus.

The big problem we can have though (as mentioned before), is that while we have the faith of Jesus we can also at the same time have doubt. That unbelief will stop us receiving (or releasing) the healing God has already given us through the stripes that Jesus suffered. We can be like that man who said "I believe, Lord help my unbelief". He had belief and unbelief at the same time and he's not unique!

Mat 17:20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Be moved from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.

These disciples had been operating in faith and doing miracles. That's why they couldn't understand why this time it didn't work! They had faith, but Jesus says the problem was their unbelief. They had belief and unbelief at the same time. They were affected by the 'attitudes of men' that it was too hard or that God might not want to heal.

So what we have to do is learn to apply more of the faith we have (though even faith the size of a mustard seed will move a mountain and we have the faith of Jesus) and work at eliminating the unbelief!

For a long time I thought we needed to get more faith, but now we should see that what we need is less unbelief and to apply more of the faith we already have.

Jesus said we just needed the faith as small as a mustard seed - but don't doubt! Then you can heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. What God can work in us is truly amazing! Do we ever truly appreciate what God has given us so that we'd have the faith to use it!

And everything points to God always wanting to heal and always supplying the power to do it. Healing is one of the things that Jesus' sacrifice (the beating) brought us along with forgiveness of sin and peace. It is his will but we must have faith and remove unbelief for it to manifest.

Isa 53:5 But, he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

There we have forgiveness of sin, peace and healing. Jesus provided for ALL our healing for ALL our diseases 2000 years ago. Jesus is not being beaten and tortured today for someone who needs healing today, just as he's not being chastised today so that as Christians we can have peace (Shalom - Mat 10:13) in us today. He's already done it for ALL people, for our forgiveness, our peace (shalom) and our healing, for ALL time!

Now by faith we receive what Jesus has already provided. It's too late for Jesus to NOT be beaten with stripes for your healing. You've already got it and God prophesied that you would have it!

Mat 8:16-17 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: "He took our illnesses and bore our diseases."

We can look at Psalm 103 verses 2 and 3 also and see that God heals ALL our diseases.

Psa 103:2-3 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,

Just as God forgives ALL our iniquities, he heals ALL our diseases. Both things are benefits of faith in our God, for salvation - and Healing. Either we can trust him for both or we can trust him for neither. And the answer is that we can trust him for both. Jesus was beaten with stripes for the one and died for the other 2000+ years ago! (Look out for upcoming article "It's in the Spirit").

It's us who limit what God can do through us; always!

Psa 78:40-42 How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.

If we could only believe God like Paul & Peter did after they were filled with the Holy Spirit and understand the glory God has put in us and the power he has placed in us (Act 3:6-7)!

Act 3:6-7 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

Peter gave the cripple what 'HE' had! The power of God is 'IN' the Christian. We need the faith and the lack of unbelief to 'GIVE' it to others! The healing of Isa 53:5 covers both spiritual and physical healing and more, just as the peace (Shalom) of the same verse encompasses spiritual health, physical health, and well-being and more!

God has made us partners with him in bringing salvation to the world and as a result we can limit what can be done at any particular time regarding healing and deliverance and miracles according to our faith and the level of our unbelief.

Joh 10:10 The thief (False shepherds who leave the sheep open to Satan's attacks) does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

God's will is that we might have life, and have it more abundantly (John 10:10, 3_John 1:2). God's will is always to heal as he said (through Jesus) to the leper who came and asked him, as recorded in Mat 8:2-3.

Mat 8:2-3 And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Jesus said that it was his will to heal and Jesus is the express image of the Father; so we know that it's the Father's will also.

In this present age though he has given us the authority to do it as ministers of reconciliation, bringing people to a close relationship with him. What can limit the power that is at work in us though is our unbelief.

That's what Jesus always said - and I believe him!

Mat 17:19-20 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly I say to you, if you have faith like a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Be moved from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible for you.

There is other evidence in the bible of just what the death of our Lord bought us. The information in the scriptures about communion tell us more about what benefits we can have or throw away according to our discernment. We can be healed through the eucharist because the bread represents and reminds us of His body broken for our healing. When we discern this we will avoid much sickness and will not die prematurely as some have in the past, as Paul pointed out!

Because of Jesus' death on our behalf our sins are forgiven. It means that we are reconciled to God. He was beaten and tortured for our healing; By His stripes we were healed. We are to remember all of this and in this way the Communion will not be a ritual. It will be a remembrance of what Christ has done for us in the spiritual realm and a prayer for our healing in the physical, mental and emotional arenas. Just see what Paul says about the communion symbolism in 1 Cor 11:26-30 - See what the Lord's death signifies?

1Co 11:26-30 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you show the Lord's death until He shall come. So that whoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, he will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and many sleep.

It would appear from what it says here in 1 Cor 11:26-30 that because some had lost sight of what the body of the Lord represented in his suffering, that on becoming sick they were not made well when they could have been. And some had died! Healing was available in remembering the Lord's body and what He had accomplished, but through lack of discernment they did not receive it.

When the Lord returns we will be changed to have spiritual bodies and will not have any need for physical healing but in the meantime let's remember the Lord and what He accomplished in His body for us, till he comes.

There may be many factors which can cause us to have unbelief so let's get close to God and the word, look into the law of faith and eliminate doubt and unbelief and thus, as part of our ministry, we will - heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons. As God confirms the gospel we teach, these signs will surely follow.

Because there can be many reason for unbelief, we have to ask God what the factors are that could affect people's faith so that we can allow for them and get nearer to bringing healing 100% of the time, like Jesus did.

So to summarise. Healing is part of the promise of redemption/ salvation and so it's not sometimes 'yes' and sometimes 'no'. It's always 'YES' and 'AMEN' in Christ Jesus. It's us who can limit the manifestation of what God has already provided. It's always God's will to heal.

2Co 1:19-20 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us; by me and Silas and Timothy; was not yes and no, but in Him was, yes! For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God by us.

We know God always does his part, in fact has already done it; but we can either -
a) Limit what he can do in the situation, because of our unbelief
    or
b) Remove unbelief and "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons, as we do the work of advancing the kingdom."!

Let's start taking the limits off!

Attlee.


Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.
Grace and Law in Ancient Israel. Click Here.
What do you mean - Grace? Click Here.
The Heart Of God Click Here.

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