There are principles in scripture that apply to divine healing in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. These form a setting wherein “gifts of healing” are more likely to manifest than in absence of these principles being applied. However, they are never to be considered a formula for healing. God does promise blessings for all who fear Him and live in obedience to His commands. But Jehovah-rophi never operates like a spiritual ATM machine where there is immediate response providing a certain number of directions are followed, even in obedient faith.
At times there are circumstances where committed saints continue to suffer beyond all understanding. There appears no reason why Jehovah-rophi does not extend a hand to bring healing, and faith can find itself sorely tested. On the other hand, such times allow faith to shine brightly like a city high upon a hill in darkness. Having the grace and ability to endure adversity while continuing to trust in the sovereignty of God not only brings glory to the Father in heaven but serves as encouragement and inspiration to others who find themselves in similar circumstances.
God is not only compassionate but faithful to hear cries from His faithful ones when persevering faith exists and roadblocks to healing are not present. I have witnessed a number of healings without medical treatment, many instant and others delayed, as described in free books on this website. However, I’ve never thought of having a gift of healing. Were it so, I’d hasten to empty every hospital in America, risking the ire of the hospital administrators and doctors alike. The “gifts” are really for those who receive healing, and do not refer to those used as instruments to bring healing. Indeed it wasn’t even Jesus who did healing but rather the Father as discussed in the last lesson.
I have found that three principles apply to divine healing as taught by Jesus and the apostles. These are herein referred to as Principles from the Farm, the first being the all-important killing weeds of doubt and unbelief. It is recorded that Jesus could not carry out miracles or healings in His hometown of Nazareth because of their lack of faith. People who’d known Jesus from childhood had difficulty accepting He was the awaited Messiah prophesied about by prophets. Instead, Jesus experienced unbelief, rejection and crucifixion by the very people He came to serve and to save from eternal damnation.
Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). One who seeks healing must have confidence that God has not only power to do what is asked, but also desires to heal. What James writes about seeking wisdom is true for divine healing: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord” (James 1:6,7). God does not heal to produce faith. God sent His Word to produce faith in the hearts of men. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Healings usually follow as a consequence of faith, just as Jesus is often quoted as saying “Be it so according to your faith.”
When a farmer plants seed in his field, he’s glad to finish and has faith in nature to grow the seed by providing moisture as well as sunshine. So it is for divine healing. Those sick are to have faith in Jehovah-rophi and not permit doubt to fester. I have watched partial healing begin instantly after prayer with laying on of hands, only to see doubt develop and people seek conventional medical treatment instead of asking for more prayer. Let us not forget that Jesus prayed twice for a blind man whose restoration of sight was only partial after the first prayer, and was then completed by additional prayer (Mark 8:22-25).
As one reads the gospels, we find example after example where faith, the opposite of doubt and unbelief, played a role. A woman with an issue of blood touched a hem of Jesus’ robe. He said to her, “Your faith has made you whole,” and she was whole from that very hour (Matthew 9:22). A number of times, we find Jesus say, “Your faith has made you whole.” But in the case of a man lowered through a roof into the presence of Jesus, and a father who brought his demon-afflicted son to be healed, it was the faith of other than the sick person which played a role. Then there’s faith of a believer which is used by the Father, a spiritual gift of faith as described by Paul (1 Corinthians 12:9) as we see illustrated by Peter healing a man lame from birth at a gate to the temple (Acts 3:6).
My first experience with divine healing was only days after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and not realizing what I’d experienced. I was called to pray for a child six months of age with advanced cancer throughout her body. She was being kept alive with aid of a ventilator although unconscious. Obviously she had no faith, but her mother had faith and insisted that I lay my hand on her daughter and pray. It was a year later before I saw the mother again, only to learn the cancer had disappeared after prayer to the total amazement of the doctors. It was my first encounter with God’s ability and willingness to do the impossible in the name of Jesus by the power of the Spirit.
Not only are doubt and unbelief obstacles to be dealt with to receive “gifts of healing” from God who desires for His children to be healthy. A second principle is also critical, namely plowing up polluted soil in the heart. There can be hindrances in the soil of the heart of those asking God to heal by virtue of issues not consistent with the will of God. So it is James instructs us to confess our sins so that we might be healed (James 5:16). For God to heal, yet allow sin to remain which may have led to disease in the first place, is perhaps not likely and yet often takes place. Once one realizes there is not only mind-body connection, but a spiritual connection to disease as described in Deuteronomy 28 (read entire chapter on God’s blessings and the blessings of Satan called curses). it can be appreciated God’s promises of blessings are dependent on obedience as a general rule, not as an exception.
The psalmist tells us, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). No one should expect God to destroy the work of Satan in our body while we cling to his work in our heart. One example in this regard is that of holding unforgiveness toward someone because of offense. I have watched cancer disappear totally after prayer, only to return years later when a believer took an offense and refused to forgive, instead being filled with bitterness. This not only is an obstacle to healing. To not forgive keeps a person from receiving forgiveness for their own sins, risking eternal damnation. Jesus gives ample warning in this regard: “If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).
Polluted soil includes self-abuse. I’ve seen patients pray for healing of lung cancer as they continued to smoke, and others suffer with diabetic complications while eating foods of high sugar content. The same is true of those controlled by fear and worry over what the tomorrows hold for their life. This was true in my life for years, and high blood pressure required daily medication. Once I recognized worry about tomorrow as being sin and took responsibility for having thoughts of fear, worry and stress….and repented, my blood pressure quickly began returning to normal. The command of Jesus is to not worry about tomorrow and issues which tend to consume much of our attention (Matthew 6:25-34). If we allow fear, stress and anxiety to manifest in our lives, we pollute faith by coming into agreement with a spirit of fear belonging to Satan’s kingdom.
“God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Self-indulgence is another common obstacle to healing: “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3). Peter’s mother-in-law is an example of godliness in this regard. Scripture tells that she got up to wait on others after being healed by Jesus (Luke 4:38,39). What the Holy Spirit had James write about wrong motives must always be kept in mind when one petitions God the Father for healing. Being blessed with restoration of health should motivate one to live for the glory of God. But at times there’s a strong tendency to live for worldly pleasures instead of seeking to advance the kingdom of heaven and glorify the One responsible for healing.
This brings us to the third principle from the farm which is that of planting with the right seed. The seed is the unadulterated Word of God. There is such a great absence of understanding what is meant by the kingdom of heaven (or God). Even few in pulpits seem to grasp the difference between salvation and entering the kingdom. In fact I have never heard a message devoted to this from a pulpit in my entire life. The Greek word translated as “kingdom” is basileia that means the place where a king reigns. Jesus says the kingdom “suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). Greek words referring to violence or violent literally mean energetic. When the kingdom reigns in men, there’s an opposition marked by energetic force, even from within the Church itself at times. Those who would be in the kingdom must take it by energetic force as it does not take place passively. It is the idea we find expressed in two of Jesus’ parables and is a subject treated in more depth in the lesson on the Kingdom of God. In short, entering the kingdom of God is costly to those who would do so.
“The kingdom of heaven is like to treasure hidden in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant man, seeking beautiful pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46
Paul and Barnabas, returning to cities where they had evangelized earlier, exhorted new disciples to continue in the faith and told them “that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). It was similar to what Jesus said about taking the kingdom by force. Not only is cost involved to enter the kingdom, but suffering and persecution must be expected. Those submitted to the will of God at any cost and used to continue the work of Jesus in the power of Holy Spirit enter a spiritual realm of warfare with both visible and invisible foes (see lessons on Spiritual Warfare).
So it is with receiving healing. One must be willing to deal with all issues, spiritual and otherwise, which may play a role in causing disease or dis-ease. This includes forcefully dealing with past hurts which we’ve tried to bury because of pain we once experienced. Planting the right seed is allowing the divine work of Holy Spirit to bring us to a place of not only righteousness, but of peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). When we pray for God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done in earth as it is in heaven, we’re to recognize there is no sin in heaven nor sickness in heaven: no fear, anxiety, stress, feelings of rejection or being unloved, jealousy or unforgiveness. We can no longer permit such issues to rule our lives. Instead we come under the reign of the King of kings and Lord of lords who came to set the captives free.
For too often, we’d like to have someone anoint us with oil, say a prayer, and then find that we’ve been healed of serious illness by taking a single scripture verse out of harmony with the remainder of scripture. The result is disappointment if not despair when healing does not result. Especially here in America, we’ve become a microwave society, expecting rapid if not instant results from nearly everything in life. But such is not the way of faith, that of being confident of what cannot be seen in the natural. Doe qithout faith, one cannot see God. Nor can one often see the healing hand of God .