Friday, February 25, 2011

Does God Heal Today?

Luke 18:35-43

Blind dude finds out Jesus is going to walk by him.

"Have mercy on me," He pleads twice.

Jesus stops. "What do you want?"

"To see," says blind dude.

Jesus says, "Your faith has healed you."

And blind dude sees, gives glory to God...others see it and do the same.

So, now we have a few different schools of thought a couple thousand years later.

Some believe that illness and disability can be eliminated if one's faith in God is big enough/strong enough.

Some believe that God has given such revelation and development to modern science that healing is done through medicine.

Some believe that if you have illness or disability it has something to do with sin that you need to confess.

Some believe that it is God's will that those He has saved not be sick and they just need to pray against the devil's attacks.

So what do we do with this? I just came off a five day bout with the flu. Was it because my faith in God was too small to be healed? Was it that I've been living in sin and God is punishing me because of it? Was it because the enemy was attacking me?

This is really complicated...but I think if we get this wrong, our view of God becomes distorted...our view of ourselves becomes distorted and our view of others becomes distorted.

People who say that God's ability to heal is dependent on our faith to believe are misguided. I've seen letters written to saints explaining that the reason they still have cancer is because their faith is too small. This is wrong. People have cancer because the fall of humanity guarantees us all one thing...that we will die. People that believe healing is dependant on their faith are very likely to be distraught if healing does not come their way. And the God they depict is some sort of drill sergeant God who demands that you get your 100 push ups in order to get the reward you're seeking.

God heals and we should be praying for healing in our churches...but the motivation of why we pray is the most important part of this...If blind dude gets healed and that is the end of the story...then the story is a waste of time. But blind dude could see and he couldn't help but GLORIFY GOD. And others saw it and they couldn't help but GLORIFY GOD. That is the point of healing...not so that we don't experience pain or suffering or ilness...we are guaranteed that because of sin. The point of healing is that when it happens it invokes wonderment and praise at the Healer.

So if you are praying for healing because being sick isn't ideal...its idolatry. If you're praying over a loved one to be cured of cancer because you can't stand the notion of being without them...that's narcissism...but if your prayer is "God, bring yourself fame and glory" then you are on the right track! Some people will suffer for a long time with cancer or other diseases and they very may well die. But the point sometimes is that God can be brought more glory in hardship and suffering than He could in healing.

So sometimes your narcissistic prayers for healing may actually be contrary to God's plan to bring himself glory in the lives of the ill, broken and crippled. But sometimes God heals so that the healed and the onlookers can be captivated by the Healer...and that is a pretty sweet gig.

1 comment:

Lil' Chris' Mom said...

Great post, Ben! I couldn't agree more!