Does God Heal Today?

Jun 02

I’ve been on quite a journey with God in the last couple of months.  Through circumstances that were incredibly painful, I ended up hanging out with some people who might describe themselves as “Word of Faith”.  What that means is this: “This is (the) Bible: I am what it says I am; I have what it says I have; I can do what it says I can do”, to borrow from Joel Osteen.

Now, I grew up Traditional Baptist.  Great Bible teaching, strong work ethic, solidly grounded in the Sovereignty and Lordship of Jesus Christ.  All wonderful principles.  We believed in the Trinity, but the Holy Spirit was more of an accessory than a vital, thriving part of my every day faith.  He wasn’t talked about much.  The “miracle gifts” were acknowledged, but not really practiced.  You didn’t hear a lot of tongues being spoken, have prophecies spoken over you, or see many miraculous healings.  Not that it couldn’t happen, of course, just that it didn’t.

When I became a missionary with Youth for Christ in Germany I was exposed to this side of the Holy Spirit for the first time.  Talk about confusion!  The traditionalists fought for “rational faith”, while the “charismatics” fought to live on the wild side.  Mostly it was all very irritating.  Some called the miracle gifts “Satanic” while others said the traditionalists only lived a small part of the gospel.  Christians can be a pig-headed, irritating bunch of people.

When I met these new folks, things seemed different.  They knew their Bibles like no one else I’d ever met.  They quoted scripture after scripture for the things they believed (not just a single verse out of context!)  They exercised all the gifts – the acceptable ones like those listed in Romans, for example, but the scary ones listed in 1 Corinthians, too.  They were rational, calm, and displayed very little of the “hype” that often surrounds the Charismatic movement.

I saw these folks live lives that were both incredibly open, honest, and down to earth, but there was a kind of power to their lives that I’d never seen before.  A passion for Jesus that enabled them to put up with all kinds of struggle and frustration without wavering in their faith.  I wanted more of that.  I didn’t just want a detached “head knowledge” kind of faith, I wanted my heart thoroughly mixed up in my relationship with Christ, without being full of empty emotionalism.  I wanted to know Jesus in every part of my life, believing He is who He said He is, and can – and WILL – do what He says He can do.

So here’s the adventure.  My 9 year old cousin has ulcerative colitis.  It’s serious enough that the doctors are now saying the best hope is to remove his colon completely.  HE’S NINE!  I have trouble accepting this kind of “choice” for an active, soccer-playing, nine-year-old boy, and while I understand that God’s ways are higher than mine and that bad things can happen to good people for a higher purpose than what I can understand, I have to be honest and say that I find this kind of thing unacceptable.

I also know that the Bible says God can – and will – heal when we ask him.  I see nothing in the Bible that asks me to ask if it’s His will first.  I see that the Bible says, “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” (emphasis mine).  So after much struggle, I asked if  a friend of this new group of people would come and pray for healing for my cousin.

We prayed the first time a couple of weeks ago after a few hours of teaching, confession of sins, and some emotional healing, together with my cousin’s parents.  Nothing much happened in the physical healing department that we could see (though two years of broken relationships were healed, a feat not to be scoffed at!).  It was frustrating, though we all had a sense that God would absolutely heal Nicholas.

This past Sunday, I asked this same friend and the Pastor of this new group of people if they would pray again.  They did.  This time there was a strong sensation of heat that often accompanies a miraculous healing, and the gentleman with us “saw 5 or 6 small black whispy things” (i.e. demons) leave Nicholas’ body in the area of his stomach.

Tomorrow is the day Nicholas goes in for his operation.  I haven’t spoken to his parents yet – I’ll be honest, I’m afraid to hear that nothing’s changed.  I have fought a faith battle today that tends to rise up in rage, and then simmer on the back burner for a while.  Lots of prayers like “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  I’m claiming the scriptures, and believing in the loving character of God, hoping I can handle whatever the outcome is.

Sometimes, we just have to go out on a limb and believe in faith when everything around us speaks to the contrary.

I’ll keep you posted.


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One comment

  1. Susan /

    I am praying with you. I’m certain there is healing there. I don’t think the whispys are anything but illness leaving the body, demons leaving are a little more vocal about it.

    I used to be with a group of people like you describe, it was a wonderful time of growing and learning. I’ve never found a group again that I’ve felt safe in though. Unfortunately the group I was in didn’t end up being supportive when it was most needed, in the end – what was left of it by that time anyhow, and sad to say it started a trend of being hurt by people who should know better! I’m keeping my eyes open for something though, still. Good to hear you are being so blessed!


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