Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Did Healing Become a Consistent Experience?

I'm sometimes asked by Christians, "How did you get this working in your life? Or is it a special gift God has given you?"

The answer is that it is not a gift at all. It is just merely a promise in scripture that any believer can do. In fact, it should be a normal experience of all Christians. You included. If we take His words seriously, Jesus Himself said:
John 14
12 ¶ "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father."
"The same works" is challenge enough! It shouldn't be, but it seemingly is in our day of a powerless "gospel."

When I started taking this scripture seriously, I decided that if Jesus said this, then it has to be true. So what are "the same works" that Jesus did? That's easy:
  • He healed multitudes of people instantly.
  • He laid his hands on individuals and got them healed instantly.
  • He spoke words and individuals got healed instantly.
  • He walked on water.
  • He raised the dead.
  • He turned a few loaves of bread and fish into enough food to feed a multitude.
  • He turned water into wine.
  • He commissioned others to do His work.
  • He forgave sins.
Amazingly, we can do these things. The biggest part of it is getting people healed.

In our day you see these letters often: WWJD, which stands for "What Would Jesus Do?" but the sad part is that most American Christians think this just means not to cuss, not to get angry, give to the poor, be honest, be hard-working, be faithful, be loving, etc. and other moral characteristics. But one only has to skim over the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John to see that that is not what is pointed out to the reader that Jesus did. It was the miracles in Jesus' ministry that made people take notice of what He had to say. Jesus preached a "Show & Tell" gospel... one that proclaimed liberty to mankind, and then showed that liberty by healing the sick. This is what we must do.

The 1st thing: To get this working in my life I first accepted the truth of John 14:12 above, and decided that if I were going to do the works of Jesus, it must include getting sick people healed instantly, right there on the spot. Something needs to happen right then and there, not weeks later with natural healing, nor weeks later with the help of medicine, because that does not give witness to the power of the gospel. Even unbelievers have access to that type of mercy from God. But it is signs and wonders that testify to the powerful and loving God we have and the life-changing work He accomplished in Jesus Christ.

The 2nd thing: After accepting John 14:12 as a fundamental truth, I then desired to do the works greatly. But I thought, "I haven't prayed enough. I haven't been good enough. I have too much sin in my life. I have too much doubt in my life." These are all hindrances to your faith toward God. But God knew this and gave an incredible promise to eliminate all of that stuff!
Romans 4
5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
As amazing and radical as this sounds, this simply means that you must stop trying to qualify yourself for this ability. You can't pray enough, read enough, be "good" enough to qualify walking in the power of getting others healed. Also, you must stop disqualifying yourself from this ability. You can't sin enough or be "bad" enough to disqualify yourself from this power. It is a gift; a free gift. All you can do with a gift is say, "Thank you!" and then act like it is true. You must stop worrying about your sin and let Father "worry" about that for you. He will correct you as you go, but don't let your sin disqualify you from a free gift.

Understanding this righteousness is what set me free. I now am guilt free forever. Guilt and condemnation is not from God. He is the one that sets you free, not the one that condemns:
Romans 8
1 ¶ So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
There will never be any condemnation! You are FREE from sin and its power completely. So, no guilt, no condemnation... EVER.

Understanding these 2 key things, therefore, allowed my experience with getting others healed to become a consistent normal reality!

The 3rd thing: Next was something I had to unlearn from being a traditional "charismatic" or "word of faith" person. I was taught I must preach the gospel to the sick person and get them to believe it, or they could not get healed. In other words, if the sick person was in unbelief, their unbelief trumped my belief. Looking at the Jesus of the Bible , we don't see this. In His life, if the sick person got healed on their own faith, He was quick to point that out, saying something like, "your faith has made you well" (e.g. Matthew 9:22,29; 15:28; Mark 5:34; 10:52; Luke 7:50; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42). But His normal modus operandi was to get them healed on His faith. He said:
Mark 16
17 "These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe...
18 ...They [who believe] will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed."
This says nothing about the faith of the sick person. And the only instance of failure to get someone healed in Jesus' ministry was not blamed on the will of God, or God's timing, but rather on the unbelief of the minister, not the unbelief of the sick person (see Matthew 17:14-21). This means you can get Muslims healed, atheists healed, Buddhists healed, etc. on your faith in the Name of Jesus, and then there will be no need to argue about anything at all. Why? Because Allah nor Muhammad heals, and atheists know that instant healing doesn't fit in their worldview, and Buddhists know that Buddha doesn't heal... only Jesus has this power. So, you get them healed, and then ask them, "What do you think about Jesus now?" That is the way it is supposed to be!

The next 4 things are practical rules-of-thumb when ministering healing.

The 4th thing: Since Jesus said we could do His works, His very works, and He got people healed instantly, then it stands to reason, if I am going to emulate Him, I should be able to get people healed instantly too. So, believing His words fully, you lay hands on the sick and expect something to happen right then and there. Common things that occur are the ailing bodily part will get warm, or begin to tingle. But, though these are very common things that happen when you lay hands on the sick, they are not necessary. I have seen plenty of people get something without feeling anything at all. So expect something to happen immediately.

The 5th thing: If something doesn't happen immediately, persist; press in. In other words, lay hands on them again. Why? Because you know it is God's will for this to occur, and God is not the one holding back. He is trying to convince us; we are not trying to convince Him to heal. Each time you do this you are pushing against the mountain of opposition (the sickness), and sometimes it takes more than one push! Even Jesus laid hands on a blind man 2 times before the man was completely healed (i.e. He prayed twice):
Mark 8
23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then spitting on the man's eyes, He laid His hands on him and asked, "Can you see anything now?"
24 The man looked around. "Yes," he said, "I see people, but I can't see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around."
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man's eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly.
So, praying again is not "unbelief" as many charismatic teachers have taught. Instead it shows perseverance. When we know what God wants, we persevere to get it. And God invariably wants all people healed all the time. He never wants anything different.

The 6th thing: After laying hands on the sick person, test it. Notice in the passage above regarding the blind man, Jesus asked him if he saw yet! So, test it each time you pray. If they couldn't bend their elbow, ask them to try. They will be very willing to do this especially if there is a manifestation of heat or tingling. You will find that when something feels different to them, they will be even more willing to test it. Their faith then increases which makes things happen even faster!

The 7th thing: Though you've been praying in Jesus' Name, in some form, let them know that their healing is through Jesus because God is not counting their sins against them. Tell them in your own words that Father loves them dearly, and their healing is proof He does. Why? Because this is a Show & Tell gospel... not just a Show, and not just a Tell.

So, with these 7 things in my mind:
  1. Jesus said we could do His very works (and greater).
  2. I can't qualify myself by being good. I can't disqualify myself by being bad. God's righteousness is a free gift all the time.
  3. I can get anybody healed on my faith. I don't have to depend on their beliefs at all.
  4. Expect something to happen immediately; it will.
  5. Persist by praying again if necessary. Push for an immediate manifestation of some sort.
  6. Test it.
  7. Tell them Jesus has healed them, and Father loves them dearly and has forgiven them of all their sins.
...getting others healed became a normal and consistent experience of my everyday life.

Thus, the following bulleted experiences all occurred in 2009 and I wanted to log them because they all happened after my experience with getting others healed became very consistent

  • My oldest daughter (Kimberly) had a painful knot in a muscle in her shoulder. When I laid hands on it in Jesus name, it heated up and dissipated; no pain right then and there, and no pain the next day!
  • A friend (Tyler) of my middle daughter (Karahann) had an 8-yr old knee injury. He said it hindered him from doing what he wanted to do with his golf swing. His knee popped when he extended it. When I laid hands on his knee, it heated up tremendously for about 30 min. It no longer popped, and he said it felt different. Later on, checked with him, he said he could “pop through” his golf swing.
  • A friend of mine's back hurt him (Steven), upper & lower. Laid hands on him on 3 separate occasions. All occasions his back heated up in certain locations where the pain was localized. After the 3rd time, he's not had any more pain! This same friend had tingling in one of his hands. Laid hands on his spine, tingling was removed!
  • Another time, Steven had a sinus infection and asked for prayer. Laid hands on him in Jesus name and commanded the infection to leave. Nothing happened right then. But after leaving his house, he called me about 10 min. later and said all of a sudden he felt tingling in his sinuses and suddenly all the infection was completely gone and his headache disappeared!
  • Another time, Steven injured his knee in an accident. Laid hands on his knee. We had lots of manifestations, and his pain was diminished. Over several days it got progressively better at a rather rapid rate. Last time I checked with him he still had a little discomfort when it was turned a certain way.
  • A friend (Curley) of my older sister (TammyC) couldn't move her right arm across her chest without pain. After laying hands on her, her shoulder heated up and she could then move it freely (no stiffness) without pain!
  • My mom had a lump in her breast being tested. We prayed and only the scar tissue heated up noticeably she said. Testing came out negative. No cancer!
  • My youngest daughter (Kayla) woke up with a stiff & painful elbow. Throughout the day laid hands on her 3 times with minimal results. Then the 4th time I had a thought I followed; I grabbed her elbow & squeezed it and moved it suddenly (this should've been painful); instead it was instantly healed!
  • A lady at work (Julie) said she had a “fatty liver” problem. When I laid hands on her, her right kidney heated up. I asked her about it and she was surprised, but said she normally had kidney stones from that one side. So I didn't know about it, but Jesus did and He was healing her.
  • I witnessed a stranger limping on his porch one day in town. It got the best of me and I stopped and asked if I could pray for him. He said I could. When I prayed for his ankle, he was instantly healed! His entire family witnessed it right there on his own porch... cool!
  • Prayed for my cousin (John's) back, it heated up big time! Stiffness was removed and pain diminished.

14 comments:

  1. Greg, about the healing of your daughter Kayla. I have found that as we are faithful in what we know, stepping out and commanding the healing, that a door will open elsewhere and God will give us a word of wisdom, a specific action plan that once followed will result in healing.

    So keep contending. Keep fighting. Never give up or back down. Like Todd White says, Once we speak to the mountain, the mountain has to move.

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  2. Thanks again, Mystic. You are so right, man. As I press into it to help the person get their healing, I find that I get these seemingly "wondering" ideas... I think it is Father speaking to me, telling me the "how" of this particular case. I need more of that so that less and less people leave my presence disappointed.

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    1. Hi dont know if im doing this right, but i look at your blog every week. I find it encouraging! I want to believe soo badly, but my faith seems to be lacking. I have read where the devil may be involved in some healings and that makes my faith plummet more...I have tried to command things to leave in the name of Jesus, and havent seen any results. I have been a christian all my life but never really got into this kind of stuff.

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    2. Anonymous, most of us Christians have the same desire and experiences you are having. I did most of my life too. What you might be surprised to know is that you are not lacking faith at all. You're a Christian! You already believe in Jesus. When the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith He told them about the mustard seed. Mustard seed is incredibly tiny. He was telling them they didn't need more faith; they already had enough because only a mustard-seed-sized faith can move a mountain! So, you don't need more faith.

      Instead, what you need is simply to remove the doubts. Doubts and faith pull in opposite directions. Doubts are in our heads. This is why the apostle Paul tells us to renew our MINDS (not our spirits). Our minds are logical and reasoning, so to trap a doubt, you simply have to corner it in your mind by logic and reason.

      Here's how: Being a Christian you already believe the Bible is the Word of God and that it contains the truth. Therefore if you can trap a doubt you have by watching Jesus (reading / studying the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), your doubt won't have anywhere to go.

      For instance, I used to wonder if physical healing was included in the cross. I already knew forgiveness of sins was included in the cross and therefore it was freely offered to all. I thought if physical healing was included in the cross as well, then I would have to also say that it, too, was freely offered to all. So I read books and studied the Word of God until I was convinced that the Bible indeed teaches healing is in the cross! What happened to my doubt? Well, since I believe the Bible is the truth, IT HAD NOWHERE TO GO; IT WAS TRAPPED.

      Is healing in the cross? My mind would say, "Well, I don't know..." but then I would shake my head and think, "It certainly is, I just proved it to myself." The doubt died because it didn't have anywhere to go.

      Therefore, Anonymous, I'm going to recommend you buy a book called, "Performing Miracles & Healing" by Roger Sapp. It is a very thorough study of healing in the New Testament. You can order it from http://www.allnationsmin.org. But in fact there is a ton of FREE material up on Roger's site that you download!

      If you can't afford the book, let me know, and I'll see if I can send you one.

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  3. Hi Greg,
    I share all the sentiments of the average Christian. Always believed in healing, had one or two minor breakthroughs when praying for people but never stepped out that much into it.

    Now my husband and I are thrust into this awful situation: my 11 year old daughter has suddenly lost all her hearing. All of a sudden I'm reading everything I can on healing: I've read Roger Sapp's books.

    Do you have any advice for a suffering parent? Like how to put these awful emotions to one side, and resist the temptation to just sob and beg God to heal (which seems the only natural thing to do but just isn't the bibical way of healing). It's so hard to get past that. How did you and your wife do that?

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  4. Raynor, my wife and I went through this with my oldest daughter, Kimberly. She was born with a deformed hip and deformed ear. There was lots of crying, begging. But there came a time in that part of my life where I realized that is just unbelief. Emotions come and go, but emotions (nor even needs!) drive ANY form of salvation, including healing. After we had cried our eyes out, I finally admitted that was doing NOTHING but making our lives miserable. I wanted something that WORKED. I made a decision, that's all. That decision was I was going to take God at His word if it literally killed us all. We kept meditating on the Word of God. I read everything I could get my hands on from people who were having SUCCESS at healing the sick.

    One morning I was reading F.F. Bosworth's book, "Christ the Healer" and he wrote something that just seemed to drop in my heart... He just quoted, "Jesus Christ, the SAME, yesterday, TODAY, and forever." The Jesus of the gospels has not changed. He is EXACTLY the same. "Alright," I said, "how did parents approach Jesus on behalf of their children in the gospels?" I was amazed to find out.

    For example, the woman who asked Jesus to heal her daughter and Jesus ignored her! Jesus called the healing of her daughter "children's bread." That means the bread (healing) BELONGS to the God's children. She argued with Jesus! She said that even though she was a Gentile (a dog in His metaphoric response), that even the dogs got the crumbs under the table and that a crumb of this bread was enough to heal her daughter.

    My advice? Meditate on those passages. Let them become real, instead of just verses in the Bible. Get MAD (sense of justice!), not SAD (self pity and defeat). Don't get mad at God, get mad at the deafness. COMMAND it to obey like David told Goliath. Jesus told us to SPEAK to the mountain and IT WILL OBEY. It has no choice. ESPECIALLY get your husband involved. Don't EVER give up.

    One other thing. What would you do to a person who came into your house to attack your daughter? Would you beg God to get them out of your house and lay in a pile until He did? No! You would kick, scream, throw things, shoot, etc. etc. that person yourself until YOU drove him out of your house! It is the same thing. The deafness is an ENEMY of God... just like Goliath. It is not YOU against deafness, it is God.

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  5. Raynor,for testimony regarding my daughter, Kimberly, see: http://gregoryleonkiser.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-led-to-this.html

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  6. Have you seen many healings with flu's and the 'common' cold?

    Kevin

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    1. Hi Kevin, sorry so long getting back to you!

      I have not seen much instant healing of flu. I have seen a couple, and they were very dramatic. Here is one I wrote up:

      http://gregoryleonkiser.blogspot.com/2009/10/20-jun-2009-saturday-flu-instantly.html

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    2. Thanks Greg. Sometimes it keeps me busy just praying for my own family! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

      Kevin

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  7. Brother Greg, I am seeing the light, so to speak. It really does make all the difference to trust in God's ability to provide a Book that speaks the truth. Our "job" is to believe and walk out that faith, including things that the average church of today simply fails to teach!

    Love ya bro'!
    Bert

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    1. Yes, believing the Bible to truly be a gift from God that He has overseen/protected through the years is vital to knowing God. We always have a copy of what He wants us to know regardless of our feelings and experience in whatever generation we may live.

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  8. Beautiful, exciting days ahead...

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  9. Yes, amen, Chinedu... "The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day." (Proverbs 4:18)

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