Why are some healed and others are not?


A couple of weeks ago, we had a woman stand up in church – holding a report from the doctor – which revealed she had been healed from cancer. Yesterday, we had a church member – full of faith – die from cancer.

To those of us who live within the confines of this earth – its concept of time and the confines of our own finite minds, these two events seem to conflict one another in our faith.

Both persons have the same promises of God’s healing. Both have the faith to be healed. One lives on here and one goes on to heaven. To us, a great mystery.

We so want to stem the flow of death. We so want to know what will cause the apparent “leak” in our faith (some prayed for and not healed) to stop.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 2:24: “By His stripes we are healed”. This echoes the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53:5. Psalm103:3 says, “Who (God) heals all your diseases.”

So, if all are healed by Jesus, why don’t we see it?

As a studier of the Word, I have to depend upon it to answer such questions. It is easy to blame those who pray or the sick one saying they have a lack of faith. I don’t dispute that faith is necessary. But, how much faith does it take?

A closer look at scripture may give us another clue into this apparent mystery.

You may remember Elisha, the great prophet of Israel who received a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. Elisha performed many supernatural miracles. Tucked inside scripture, we see this written:

Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. 2 Kings 13:14. So, Elisha – the great miracle worker was sick and died of a disease. And if this were not confusing enough – after Elisha died, he performed his last miracle by raising a dead man:

Once while some Israelites were burying a man, suddenly they saw a band of raiders; so they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s tomb. When the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet. 2 Kings 13:21

There is another man – powerful man of God – miracle man – who I’ve noticed some things about.

The Lord performed signs and wonders through the apostle Paul. Handkerchiefs were carried from his body and laid upon sick people and they recovered (Acts 19:11-12). In the letter to Timothy we know as Second Timothy – in chapter 4, verse 20, Paul told Timothy that he left one of his companions – Trophimus behind in the city of Miletus and that Trophimus was sick when Paul left. Couldn’t the prayer of the apostle Paul heal Trophimus? But in this case, he was still sick when Paul left.

We all remember Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Many argue that Paul’s thorn was a person who persecuted him. I believe there is just as much biblical evidence to say that Paul’s thorn was a physical malady – most likely a problem with his eyes.

As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. Galatians 4:13-15

As Paul was signing off, he mentioned how large his writing was because of his eye problem:

See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! Galatians 6:11

Have you ever wondered why believers are martyred?

My point is this: if every situation ended in healing in the “here and now”, why do we have these biblical accounts? Why are some believers killed for standing up for Jesus?

I am a huge believer in divine healing. I believe God heals now. I’ve seen it with my eyes. I’ve laid hands on people and they have been healed. But to say that it manifests in this life in every single instance…….I’m not sure we see that in the Bible.

Here is what I know: every believer in Jesus in healed through the covenant they have with God. It is already done and when we pray, it is released. The question is not “if” they will be healed. The question is “when”. In this life or the moment they step into glory – all are healed!

Some don’t like that answer but doesn’t the Bible itself reveal that to us?

Our job is to pray and believe. God’s part is to heal. If you are sick, I’ll pray and believe. I know you are healed so, let’s pray. God is awesome! And, He is Sovereign. You can trust Him in all things!

But, this place is not heaven and according to the apostle Paul:

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:25-26

In this life, believers will be healed. In this life, believers will die. But, all have the same destiny and promise. By His stripes we ARE healed. Be at peace in your faith in the Lord.

Character


There is a lot of emphasis on the use of spiritual gifts in the church and in ministry. I agree that they are very important. Spiritual gifts reflect the ability of God. Through them, the ministry works of Jesus are displayed.

It is just as important to have present among us the operation of the fruit of the Spirit. While the gifts reflect God’s ability, the fruit of the Spirit reflect God’s heart and character. Gifts used apart from the fruit of the Spirit give an inaccurate picture of Jesus.

You remember the fruits of the Spirit? They are found in Galatians 5:22-23:

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Fruit is grown not developed. Spiritual fruit is a product of the Spirit not our development. The role we play in their growth is submission to the Spirit and rejection of the ways of the flesh. Spiritual fruit gives context to the gifts – it reveals why they operate the way they do.

When gifts are operating in the absence of fruit, an incorrect testimony of Christ occurs. Remember, gifts are given to to reveal the heart and character of God.

So, focus on the fruit of the Spirit as much as you do the gifts. When the gifts are motivated by the fruit, you have an accurate representation of our Savior!

In Him, you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge–because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 1 Corinthians 1:5-6

Identity


Identity is a gift from God. It is difficult to relate to the world you live in if you don’t know how you fit. Our identity or sense of self begins with several important factors.

One of the most fundamental is our sense of sexuality – am I male or female? Isn’t it interesting that one of the first identifiers parents are given when they become aware that a child is coming or has arrived is the child’s sex. We don’t have to wait years to discover what sex the child is.

While sex is not a final determiner of destiny, it is basic in our understanding of self.

Every society has expectations related to the sexes. Some of those are healthy and some are not. I don’t believe that society is the final determining factor regarding destiny – God is.

There are many factors of life that I don’t control, yet play into my journey: where I was born, my ethnicity, my family, etc. My sex is one of the factors I am given at birth and have no control over.

We all face obstacles or battles in this life. Some face a battle over their sexuality. When I say “battle”, I mean confusion regarding sexual orientation. Often, this confusion is caused by teaching, feelings, abuse, or other factors.

Life is a journey of truth. I know when I say “truth” some get upset because they believe that truth is “relative” to the situation and individual. But, a honest evaluation of life tells me that absolute truth is real because absolute identification is real. No matter how hard I try, I cannot change the patterns of the earth – the amount of hours in a day, the seasonal patterns of winter, summer, spring, and fall. Earth is identified by its position in the universe and its patterns.

I can’t change the makeup of the genus. Each animal has its own makeup and its genetic makeup is how it is identified.

There are things that are determined by the Creator that we don’t control. Not trying to change that which we do not control is a key to peace.

Our sexual identity is a product of genetics. Flowing with it is a key to peace.

Someone just thought: “I’ve never had peace trying to accept my genetic sexuality.” Remember when I said we are influenced by teaching, abuse, feelings, etc? I’ve learned throughout my life that teachings need to be tested for truth. I’ve also learned that feelings can’t always be trusted. And, I’ve learned that abuse can seek to create it’s own system of protection and these systems don’t always work in sync with other needs and truths in my life.

Jesus created you to live in this world within its created order. The good news is that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He will lead us to know when our feelings should be followed and when they should be ignored. He will teach us the way of truth which does not seek to change the unchangeable. He will heal our trauma and deliver us from the lies created to “protect” us from further pain.

When you try to live against what is unchangeable, such as your sexual identity, stress is a result. It is hard work to get past lies and abuse and the feelings that are associated with them, but living in conflict with what is “real” is even harder.

Jesus will heal us all if we will just call upon Him and follow Him in truth.

At the heart of what it means to be a Christian is to receive a new identity. In Jesus, we do not lose our true selves but we become our true selves, only in Him.

Here is a simple prayer: “Lord Jesus, I am struggling. I am confused. I need you to bring me into the truth and to heal me and deliver me. I submit myself to follow You and I believe that You will give me peace with myself. Thank You for dying and resurrecting from the dead to give me the power to overcome that which seems impossible. I trust You.”

Finding Your Way


An important key in completing a journey is to know where you are at any given point during the trip. If you get lost along the way, there are two keys to getting to your destination:

  1. Know what direction you are heading.
  2. Know how to discern that direction relative to where you currently are.

If I’m lost, I must be able to find the direction leading to my destination. That begins by finding some type of reliable object to which you determine what direction you need to go. A reliable object is one that doesn’t move – that stays steady.

If you are lost, here’s a couple of things you need to do:

One, know where you want to go. There are some things that you can’t change. You can’t create destinations that don’t exist. Heaven and Hell are real. Life is real. You can’t create a fantasy land and hope to live there. You must decide in relation to what exists – where do I want to go?

Second, if you want to move toward heaven – you must set your destination by what is reliable and does not change – the Lord. Move toward Him. He will lead you to a life of peace, blessing, and an eternity with Him.

It’s that simple. I know – there are questions you need to have answered but if you will move toward Him, He will guide you to the answers to your questions.

I’m praying for you today. I’ve been lost. I know what it is like. All I did was orient my life toward the Lord Jesus. He leads me and I know that I’m heading toward the destination I desire.

Okay, but remember this: at some point you have to set a course or you have no guarantee that you will end up at a desired destination – like the kingdom of God. You can’t “wander” you’re way there. Going there is intentional.

Be intentional today. Jesus will do the rest.

Resurrection


Praise and Condemnation

Love and Rejection

Behold God’s selection

Heaven and Earth dissection

Part of the Election

Sin’s final Detection

Satan’s last Protection

Removed by blood and Resurrection

Happy Easter!!

Limitless


Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14

When you enter a relationship with Jesus, you are baptized into the life and presence of God. In Christ, all things are possible.

Let me ask you a question:

How many times has the devil defeated Christ?

The answer is none.

Okay, so look at 2 Corinthians 2:14 again. It says, “God ALWAYS leads us in triumph in Christ!

Notice the word “always”. Are there any exceptions to “always”?

You are free from the condemnation of your failures and the control of your flesh and you have victory over the devil through the cross of Christ.

This is divine liberty but you have also received the Spirit of Christ which cannot be defeated by anything in this world!

        I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. PHILIPPIANS 4:13

This type of power takes the limits off your life. In your obedience to Christ, you can do anything and meet any challenge in front of you with victory!

A wise person knows how to use this power under the authority of Jesus.

Do you remember when the devil tempted Jesus to jump from the temple heights saying that the angels would catch Him?

What did Jesus know that we must know?

The power Jesus carried worked in conjunction with His submission to the Father.

You don’t tempt God with evil – you overcome evil with good! See Romans 12:21.

When you are commanded by God to do something, His power accompanies the command.

Same God who saved His servants from lions – who gave His servants victory in the face of indefinable fatigue, insurmountable odds – through fire and water – and finally – death itself empowers you to fulfill His will.

In Him, you cannot be defeated!

So, let’s recap:

What do we have in Christ?

  1. Predestined success
  2. Predetermined love
  3. Divine liberty
  4. Righteousness
  5. Limitless ability

These endowments are part of your inheritance as an heir of God.

The Hardest to Grasp


When you were saved, you were baptized into Christ. What does that means to us? The three previous blogs have revealed three realities of our position in Him:

  1. Predestined success
  2. Predetermined love
  3. Divine liberty

Let’s look at another now:

Righteousness

I think this is one of the hardest for us to grasp. First, we know ourselves – our motives, desires, thoughts, actions, and attitudes. We know how imperfect we are. Second, in this world – in the created order – we have nothing that we can point to and say, “That is perfection”. Therefore, the concept of “perfection” is hard for us to relate to.

I don’t understand this “righteous” thing!

Jesus is the only thing in this world that is absolute righteousness.

The good news? The Lord has covered us with His righteousness!

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. ISAIAH 61:10 NKJV

And may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith Phil. 3:9

Say out loud: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!”

Isn’t that awesome!

It can be hard for us to reconcile our position as righteous in Him with the fact that we sometimes still do things wrong.

The issue for the believer is not perfection of character but lordship. If Jesus is your Lord, you will have much less sin in your life than when He is not and the power that makes you sin is broken.

Therefore, even if you do sin, you will truly repent and you will grow to be more like Christ in the area you have fallen in!

The outcome? Continuous sanctification.

To Sanctify: (hagiázō) means “to make holy, consecrate, sanctify; to dedicate, separate”

When you are set aside as dedicated to God, the Holy Spirit will transform your life to line up with God’s Word.

Sanctify them according to Your truth. Your word is truth. JOHN 17:17 NKJV

We are living in righteousness while righteousness is taking over our nature!

My favorite scripture that describes our growing in Christ while we are righteous in Him says this:

This is the reality of being righteous in Christ.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 JOHN 2:1 NKJV

Now, the enemy will try to discourage you through past failures and current ones: “You are not righteous – look at your behavior!”

What is your response to such an attack?

“My righteousness is found in Christ. I have been changed and I am being transformed daily by His Spirit to be more like Him. My status in Him is not a point of discussion with Satan since he plays no role in my change and salvation”.

Righteousness is a reality for us as we abide in Christ!

For our sake (God) made (Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Divine Liberty


Part of your inheritance in Christ is freedom!

Since Jesus is the true Heir to the kingdom of God, in Him – we are joint heirs to the kingdom:

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. ROMANS 8:16-17 NKJV

In Christ, we are heirs of God. Heirs to what?

Every spiritual blessing!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

Divine liberty is one of the spiritual blessings we have in Christ.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. GALATIANS 5:1 NKJV

Liberty to do what?

Liberty to do things that manifest my relationship with God. Liberty to omit things having no relation to salvation.

One important factor to my divine liberty is power. Since there are enemies to my liberty in Christ, i.e., the flesh and the devil – Holy Spirit power is essential to my freedom. Liberty through strength is a real factor for me.

Another important factor to my divine liberty is freedom from religious law. I am not bound to the punishment of the law nor am I bound to serve God through regulations of the law.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. ROMANS 8:1-2 NKJV

In Christ, I have been set free from slavery to the dictates of the flesh and the devil. I have also been set free from the condemnation of the law and serving God through legalistic bondage to the law.

Some are deceived into thinking that unrepentant sin can be forgiven through false repentance.

A grace that allows me to live without change in my nature is no grace at all!

Real divine liberty is freedom through the possession of the divine nature.

The Holy Spirit is not addicted to anything other than the will of God. The Holy Spirit is not striving to be in relationship with the Father and the Son, He is in relationship with them. The Holy Spirit is not seeking any glory other than the glory of Jesus.

You have the same Spirit living in you.

This is not freedom through striving or religious perfection but freedom through submission to Who God is.

Your liberty is the liberty of Christ and it is found as you abide in Him!

The enemy doesn’t want you to realize this. He wants you to depend upon yourself – to resort to the failed system of freedom through keeping rules.

Or, he wants you to deceive you into settling for a life of bondage that is covered by some type of “greasy” grace that really doesn’t exist because it is powered by false repentance.

The life of God has set you free. This freedom is yours from the foundation of the world. It is realized in Christ Jesus your Lord!

Predetermined Love


When you are saved, you are baptized into Christ. This is not just an external baptism but an internal saturation.

Since Jesus is the true Heir to the kingdom of God, we must be in Him to be joint heirs with Jesus.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. ROMANS 8:16-17 NKJV

I am an heir of God!

All benefits of salvation, deliverance, fellowship, and inheritance are reckoned to you “in Christ”.

Your success has been predetermined in Christ – you’ve been empowered to do His will. In Christ, you have another great treasure:

PREDETERMINED LOVE

Because of disappointments, failures, and hurts, many of us believe that we are simply not worthy of God’s love. It may surprise you to know that God determined to love you before the foundation of the world.

The love that God has for you could be called “inseparable”.

Jesus can reach you!!!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ROMANS 8:38-39 NKJV

But, you don’t know what I’ve done, where I’ve been, what I’ve been through.

Well, isn’t it great that God isn’t choosing to respond to you according to your own merit. God chose you in Christ. In Christ, all your reasons for rejection by God have been removed and all that is left is love.

Jesus said in John 15:16: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you.” And, His choice was specific and deliberate. Notice the word from which “choose” is translated:

eklégomai (from /ek, “out of” and /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – properly, to select (choose) out of, by a highly deliberate choice (i.e. real heart-preference) with a definite outcome (as with the destination of divine selection for salvation).

Think about predestined success. That can be determined without affection. It can be done as a process of selection. But, God predetermined your success because of affection.

Therefore, your success is determined because you are loved.

One of the most stubborn obstacles to our life in Christ is the development of an:

Orphan Spirit

What is an orphan?

Someone in need of care who doesn’t get it.

How does this shape a world view?

“I better look out for myself since no one looks out for me. I better hold on to what I have since you don’t get much. I can’t be loveable otherwise I would have someone to care for me. I am alone”.

Adults can possess an “orphan spirit”.

What did Jesus say about the orphan spirit?

I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. JOHN 14:18 NKJV

You are not an orphan.

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. JOHN 14:23 NKJV

Notice in each of these verses there is a specific promise: I will come to you. If you don’t matter, why is God coming for you?

Notice something else: God provides for you a loving home filled with the presence and provision of God.

In Christ, you are deeply loved. God has determined to move in with you! You are not alone but living in the presence of God!

Predestined Success


Surrounded by Christ. Immersed in Him.

If you are a true child of God, then you are “In Christ”.

What does that means for you?

The first important understanding should be:

God the Father relates to you “in Christ”.

All benefits of salvation, deliverance, fellowship, and inheritance are reckoned to you “in Christ”.

Christ is the conduit through which everything you receive in relationship to God are dispensed.

He is the benefactor because of Who He is and What He accomplished as our Savior.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

I’m not just in Christ….
Christ is in me!

There are several amazing truths for those in Christ. One:

PREDESTINED SUCCESS

To understand what I’m talking about, you must first understand the biblical definition of success:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Success in the kingdom is doing the will of God

No matter where you came from – no matter who your family – no matter how messed up you are – God has predestined your success. He is with you to perform the will of God!

(God) saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began. 2 TIMOTHY 1:9

God predestined your success before time began.

What about my failures? What about the obstacles?

According to the book of Ephesians, here are some things predestined for you before you were born:

  • You are chosen in Him.
  • You are forgiven in Him.
  • Your brokenness is put back together in Him.
  • You have an inheritance in Him.
  • Your failures are serving His purpose.
  • You have been given the same Spirit Christ carried.

All released for you before the foundation of the world.

According to Revelation 13:8, Jesus is:

The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

He was sent so that you would not experience loss of what He has for you.

You were predestined by Him to be successful!

It is all accomplished “in Him”!

Don’t allow any voice to say otherwise!