Obstacles To Receiving Healing

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1. There are barriers that can get in the way of receiving Christ's healing touch.

SEVEN BARRIERS TO HEALING
A. Sin. Galatians. 6:8, John 5:14, Matthew 12:43-45
Where there is a willingness to embrace sin and leave it unconfronted in oneself, there is also an open invitation for the demonic to come and dwell with us, including every hardship associated with the fall of man. The sinful condition and sickness are inseparable. That's why both are redeemed in the one atoning work of Jesus.

B. A bitter, unforgiving, self-centered heart. Hebrews. 12:15, Acts 8:23
The sin of bitterness builds a wall between us and the Father. If we won't forgive others, God will not forgive us. Where there is no forgiveness, there is no avenue for blessing. Matthew 6:14-15 When we put ourselves and our own interests first, we invite sickness and death. 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Bitterness is like a snake-like vine that wraps around us and chokes our life away. To defeat it, we have to cut it at the root. The axe that can do that has a two-part name: repentance and forgiveness.

C. Not understanding God's provision for healing. Luke 5:12-13
If we don't know that Jesus wants to bring healing, we'll never ask Him for it. We need to understand God’s will and God's heart, not specific doctrine to receive God's healing. Hosea 4:6

D. The undisciplined life. 1 Corinthians 6:9-20
It is inconsistent to engage in a lifestyle, eating pattern, or any other activity that works against God's healing power while at the same time asking for His healing.

E. Unbelief. Mark 6:1-6
We have to decide if we are going to believe the Word or believe the symptoms and causes that bring infirmity. All things are possible for those who believe. Mark 9:17-29 We can overcome unbelief by pursuing intimacy with the Father. Mark 9:29

F. Doubt. James 1:6-8, John 20:27, Mark 11:22-26
We need to live in a place of confidence in God's power, ability, and will for us. The double-minded person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Instead of languishing in a sea of doubt, we should find ways to embrace our faith and step out on the truth of God's Word. In light of what God's Word says about my condition, what should I do now? 2 Corinthians 5:7

G. A willingness to be sick. Luke 18:41
Many, weary from the battle, settle for illness instead of depending on the Lord for strength to contend in the fight of faith. Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Timothy 6:12 Rather than repent of the above listed barriers, we listen to the accusing voice of the enemy and begin to believe that a particular illness is our lot in life. Weariness is overcome by soaking in the presence of the Lord. John 15:9-11, Nehemiah 8:10, Isaiah 40:29-31

2. There are some false teachings that can get in the way of receiving Christ's healing touch.

A. FALSE TEACHING #1: God has caused this illness so that He can better produce His character in the one who is sick.
God is not the author of sickness. Sickness comes to us because of our specific sin, the general fallen state of the world we live in, or by the direct attack of the enemy. If we were to believe God authors disease, then any kind of healing treatment would be in direct opposition to the will of God. Such thinking is nonsense. Of the few instances in the Old Testament where it seems that God sent sickness, it was always the result of people's sinfulness and easily cured through true repentance. Jesus came to carry our sicknesses and remove our diseases. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Matt. 8:17, Mark 3:24-25 God does allow suffering, but this is not the same as sickness. It always has to do with persecution for the sake of the Gospel. Even then, the Lord promises deliverance and a crown of righteousness. Psalm 34:19, 1 Peter 5:10, 2 Timothy 4:8; Acts 5:41 Here is the correct view: God is not the author of all situations, but He will cause all things to work for good if we love Him and respond to His call on our lives. Romans 8:28

B. FALSE TEACHING #2: The only kind of healing that God brings is instantaneous.
If I am not instantaneously healed, then it must not be His will for me. This kind of statement says more about our lack of faith and personal commitment to the Lord than it does about the Lord’s healing power. The enemy uses this teaching to get us to settle for less than full recovery. The Bible commands us to keep seeking the Lord until the answer manifests. Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 18:1-8, 1 Thess. 5:16-18 It is always God's will to heal. [u]We must trust Him regarding the timing of the release of healing into our lives.[/u]

C. FALSE TEACHING #3: God may be a healer today, but He either can't, won't, or doesn't want to heal [u]me[/u].
Our personal situation is not the one exception to the truths of God's Word. This way of thinking demonstrates that we have not been renewed by the Word of God. We have learned to live according to our feelings and experiences. Romans 12:2 To elevate our problem above God's ability, will or desire is to lower and dishonor the Father. When we carry these kind of thoughts, we have aligned ourselves with the mission of Satan.

3. Repentance and renewal of the mind are the keys to removing the barriers and false teaching that block Christ's healing in and through our lives. 1 John 1:9, James 5:16

4. We should beware the act of condemnation that can come by applying sudden labels on others to explain why they have not experienced healing yet. Romans 8:1

A. Love believes the best. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

B. Love speaks the truth without heaping blame, going on the attack, or arrogantly making assumptions.

C. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us ruthlessly search our own hearts, and allow Him to search the hearts of others without our interference. Psalm 139:23-24

Praying In Faith

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Key Scriptures:
[i]
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20-21

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Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt,
not only can you do what was done to the fig tree,
but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,E’ and it will be done.
If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:21-22

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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. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16[/i]

NOTE: There are about 57 different discussions of healing in the New Testament (approximately 90 in the whole Bible), and faith is specifically connected to them 15 times. (More than 1 out of every four mentions and about a third of every healing account in the Gospels).

Definition: Faith is believing and expecting God to do what we know He has said in His Word He will do. It is choosing to step out based on the Word of God, regardless of what we feel or sense in the natural. No matter what, we choose to trust in His goodness.
Hebrews 11:1, 11:6

1. We are commanded to have faith in God.

A. God expects us to live in faith because He has put a measure of faith inside each of us. Luke 9:21; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 12:3, 2 Corinthians 5:7, Galatians 2:20

B. Faith is our whole basis of coming to God, of receiving anything from Him. Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:5-7, Hebrews 11:6; 1 John 5:4-5

C. When we live according to fear instead of faith, turning our face from the Lord, we block off the Lord’s provision from our lives. James 1:6-8

2. We should understand that faith is meant to grow in us. 2 Corinthians 10:15

A. Faith increases as we live out what we hear God’s Word says. Romans 4:19-21, Romans 10:17-21

B. If we don’t know the Word, we don’t know what to believe and how to live.

3. It is not the power of faith that produces healing, but rather the One in whom we place our faith.

A. Faith believes in the nature of God. Exodus 15:26; Hebrews 10:21-23

B. Faith believes in the Word of God. Isaiah 55:10-11

C. Faith perseveres because of hope in God. Colossians 1:23

D. Faith releases healings and miracles that God has already sent our way. Matthew 9:22; Matthew 15:28; Mark 10:52; Acts 3:16

4. There is an unbreakable connection between faith and faithfulness. Hebrews 11:13

A. Where there is faith, there is perseverance. 2 Kings 4:20-23, James 1:2-4

B. We must choose to contend for our faith. 1 Peter 5:8-9; Jude 1:3

C. We should never forget that we are in a spiritual battle and are called to fight the good fight of faith! 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Timothy 6:11-12

Why God Heals

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DEFINITION: “Healing”* – The divine impartation of wholeness to our lives, including:
Forgiveness of sin
Restoration from sickness
Breaking the hold of poverty and oppressive social structures
Deliverance from demonic powers and influence
Raising the dead.
* [i]NOTE: This five fold definition of healing is used by John Wimber in his book, Power Healing, p.38. [/i]

Greek Words:

Therapeuo – “heal” – used 42 times in the NT – means to be completely cured. KEY VERSES: Matthew 4:23; Luke 4:40, 10:9

Iaomai – “heal” used 26 times in the NT – means to be restored. KEY VERSES: Matthew 15:28; Luke 6:18-19; 1 Peter 2:24

Sozo – “save” and “heal” – used 106 times in the NT – means to save, to rescue, to keep from harm, to preserve, to make whole. KEY VERSES: Matthew 9:21-22, Mark 16:16, Romans 10:9

[u]15 Reasons Why God Heals Today[/u]

1. God heals because of His love. Matthew 14:14

2. God heals because of His covenant. Galatians 3:13-14, Deuteronomy 28

3. God heals in response to faith. James 5:14-15

4. God heals because He wills it. Matthew 8:1-3

5. God heals where there is a healing anointing. Luke 5:17

6. God heals where there is repentance and a contrite heart. 2 Chronicles 7:14

7. God heals because of His goodness. Matthew 7:11

8. God heals so that people will believe in Him. John 20:30-31

9. God heals because the Gospel is preached; Healing is in the atoning work of Jesus. Romans 1:16, 15:18-19, Mark 16:19

10. God heals in order to reveal His glory. John 9:1-3

11. God heals to destroy the works of the devil. Acts 10:38, 1 John 3:8

12. God heals because it is in His nature. Exodus 15:26

13. God heals in response to Holy Spirit giftings. 1 Corinthians 12:9-10

14. God heals because of the authority of the name of Jesus. Acts 3:6, 16; Philippians 2:9-11

15. God heals where there is persistence, endurance and desperation. Matthew 15:27; Mark 5:25-34, 10:46-48

A Balanced Doctrine of Healing

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1. We must embrace the fact that the call to heal the sick is just as emphatic as the one to minister the message of salvation. Matthew 10:7-8, Mark 6:12-13; Luke 9:12, 10:8-9

A. Sickness is part of the fall of man, part of the curse of sin. Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Romans 8:20-21

B. God has redeemed us from the curse of sin through the cross of Christ. Galatians 3:13-14

C. God is no more the author of sickness in our lives than he is of sin in our lives. Even in the few instances where the scripture states that God brought ailments into the lives of men, it is always done as a matter of last resort discipline and/or consequence for man's sin and is therefore relieved through repentance and a changed life. Acts 9:1-9, Deuteronmy 32:39; Hosea 6:1 On-going, unresolved sickness in the life of the penitent person is never from the Lord.

2. The New Testament does indicate that suffering is inevitable, that it is sometimes good for us and that there are even occasions where we are to accept it. [u]However, suffering is not the same as sickness[/u]. Acts 4:1-22, 5:40-42, 7:54-8:3, 14:19-20

A. Suffering has to do with persecution or struggle that comes from the proclamation of Christ and our adherence to righteousness in a corrupt world. Sickness is part of the curse of sin.

B. The scripture tells us to either resist suffering, flee from it, or accept it –all depending on the situation and the leading of the Spirit. Sickness, however, is not a matter of discipleship and is to be fought against. Matthew 5:39, 10:23; Acts 12:5, James 1:2-4

C. While some of the prayers for deliverance from persecution in the book of Acts were not answered positively, prayers for healing always were.

D. Jesus never inflicted sickness on anyone for some greater good. In fact, the only way Jesus deals with sickness is to heal it. God is well able to work His goodness in and through our lives, even if we are sick, but that does not mean it is His perfect will for us. Romans 8:28

3. The Father has called us to live in daily communion with Him by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the ministry of healing is meant to flow in the context of a living relationship with Him and not be merely reduced to a "faith-formula."

A. Although "faith" can and should be a vital component in healing, the Lord's ministry should not be reduced to a "faith-formula." Matthew 9:2, 22, 29, 15:28, 17:20, Acts 14:9

Faith is the active belief that God's Word is true and that God is who He has revealed Himself to be. Faith says that because we believe God's Word, we will therefore live and act – trusting in His goodness. We don't live merely by our senses, but by our faith. This is an essential part of being a Christian. Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:1

The faith-formula approach to God says that all the blessing and benefits of being a child of God may be instantly appropriated. provided that the individual Christian knows enough and believes enough. The problem with a "faith-formula" is that it is centered in what we do, not in what Christ has done. A "faith-formula" says if we know enough, repent enough, pray enough, healing will take place, but if not, healing won’t happen. – this is a distorted view!

B. Faith, properly exercised, flows in the context of a loving relationship with the Father and produces a confident hope for tomorrow based on God’s Word and His nature. Romans 8:38-39 We believe that not only does today belong to the Lord, so does tomorrow. Faith will display confidence in the Lord and His promise to heal despite the persistence of infirmity and will not shift into despair, anger, or passivity. Hebrews 3:12, 10:35-39

4. The bottom line: God has revealed Himself as our Healer, Jesus always healed the sick because that is what the Father desired and He calls His followers to minister healing as well. This is His will for us. Exodus. 15:26, Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35; 10:1,8, 12:15; 14:14, 36; 15:30-31; 19:2; 21:14, Mark 16:15-18, John 14:31

Series On Healing

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Recent conversations on another post prompted me to post some of the sermons from a series that I taught on Wednesday nights in 2005. It was called "You CAN Minister Healing and Deliverance." For each individual sermon, click on the appropriate heading below.

Healing Is For Today

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1. Question: Is God a healer?

Answer: It is part of His nature, and He doesn't change.

A. God has revealed Himself as our Healer. Exodus 15:26

B. Jesus operated in the ministry of healing. Matthew 4:23-24; 8:16; 9:35; 12:15; 14:14, 36; 15:30-31; 19:2; 21:14

2. Question: Does God still heal today?

Answer: He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His word is still effective, down through the ages. What He has done, He will continue to do. Methods may change, but motives never do.

A. The Lord is a forgiver of sins and a healer of disease. Psalm 103:1-3, Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29

B. Healing is part of the atoning work of Christ. Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24, Hebrews 13:8

C. The early church expected God to minister healing through them. Acts 4:30

D. The Holy Spirit pours out gifts of healing. 1 Corinthians 12:9

E. Healing is meant to be a work of God for all time. Revelation 22:2

3. Question: Does God want to use me to minister healing?

Answer: God's healing commission is not just for a few, but for every Christ-follower. Though only some may be called to have a healing ministry through the office of an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher, every believer has been endowed with power from on high to minister to the sick.

A. Jesus anointed His followers to minister in healing. Matthew 10:1

B. Jesus ministered out of His relationship with the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:38

C. We are called to do the works of Jesus. John 14:11-14

D. We are commissioned to minister healing to the sick. Mark 16:15-18

4. What about when God doesn't heal?

Answer: Every believer will experience multiple “crises of faith.” God has promised to pour out blessing on those who overcome. In the end, we must choose to live by the Word of God, not by our traditions or by our experiences. This is the walk of faith. We choose to trust in His goodness and trust Him for our future, regardless of whether we've experienced healing or not.

A. We are called to live by faith. Romans 1:17; 2 Corinthans 5:7; Galatians 2:02, Hebrews 10:38-11:2

B. God's Word never fails. Isaiah 55:10-11

5. Part of the commission of the church, the ministry of the Kingdom of God, is to bring God's healing power to those who desperately need it.