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Healing Series: How to be Healed by Jesus

December 11, 2015

Here is the full article on healing which I hope to soon split up into several different articles in the interest of brevity. However, if you are in desperate need of healing, it is worth reading the full article.

Jesus Christ constantly healed people where ever He went throughout His earthly ministry. Consequently, few Christians would deny that Jesus still heals today. Millions of modern and ancient stories of divine healing can be found in the plethora of Christian books, television, and movies available today. What’s more, one can’t seem to go into a charismatic-style church today without hearing several people go before the whole congregation to give testimony about their healing.

It doesn’t appear to matter what flavor Christian one is either. Protestants, Catholics, cessationists, and continuists alike tend to, at the very least, hope for healing at some point in their lives, whether for a friend, loved one, or themselves. This hope in divine healing exists even among many agnostics or general believers in an undefined supreme power. However, among the two main divisions of Christians today (cessationists and continuists), the level of faith found among them and the approach taken to be healed differs greatly. In other words, if you want the prayer of faith prayed over you, pick a continuist over a cessationist.

With all due respect to my cessationist brothers who excel in many things, it isn’t that they have less faith, necessarily, but they have less understanding in God’s intentions. The continuist on the other hand, understands that God intended salvation to be a full package deal; body, soul, and spirit. Whereas, many a cessationists only focus on the afterlife, or the heaven and hell aspects of salvation. They also do a fair job with the mind renewal/transformation/sanctification part of the equation. And they might even employ some healthy practices for the body and even pray for your healing. But, with regard to expecting to walk in divine health and healing or doing spiritual warfare with the “creator of doubt,” they tend to be less confident. Of course there are always exceptions to this stereotype.

Before I tell you how to be healed by Jesus, it is very important that you understand this distinction between the cessationist and continuist. It is foundational. Because it can bring confusion to your confidence in healing if you don’t know the difference.

NOTE: I realize in a blog on the topic of unity, one might think I would try to minimize our differences and focus more on our similarities. But, I still believe true unity will come when the brethren humble themselves enough to pursue truth and understanding so they can finally come to understand the full Gospel of Jesus Christ. Will we ever fully agree? Likely not; not before Jesus returns. That is only because people do tend to get stuck in their pride (i.e., for those whose pursuit of Jesus is more focused on their group identity than a humble pursuit of truth). That is why this blog is dedicated to healing that pride. Nevertheless, we need to come to accept that there are areas in Scripture where things are not a clear cut and therefore are forever going to be subject to interpretation and personal revelation. But fortunately for us, healing is one area where the facts are clear cut. Yes, we can expect to be healed. (In the interest of truth, could the continuists be wrong and cessationists right? Watch for an upcoming article where I lay down my stance in order to humbly assume that could be true in my Investigation of Truth series.)

Building Confidence in Healing

So what is a cessationist or a continuist? Here is the Got Questions? answer:

Cessationism is the view that the “miracle gifts” of tongues and healing have ceased—that the end of the apostolic age brought about a cessation of the miracles associated with that age. Most cessationists believe that, while God can and still does perform miracles today, the Holy Spirit no longer uses individuals to perform miraculous signs.

Now I will break that down for you. A continuist believes those gifts given to individual Christians by God have continued; hence the name continuist. A cessationist, believes they have ceased; hence the name cessationist. To be blunt, a continuist would say that he takes God at His Word in every aspect of Scripture. In other words, they don’t pick and choose the parts they want to agree with to fit their particular bias. Then, if God states over and over again throughout the Bible that He will heal us, a continuist believes that is a guarantee unless it is truly one’s “time to die.”

This is where things get sticky among those who expect everyone to get healed and where they get a bad rap. Some of it is immaturity, some of it is ignorance. But the truth is, they don’t like to focus on “the time to die” aspect of life. The reason for this is logical. Many times people will be so overwhelmed by fear after they get a “death sentence” diagnosis like cancer that they will just focus on “it must be my time to die” because it is easier. Plus, it plays into all sorts of low self-esteem issues. So, rather than doing the hard work to apply their faith to their situation, they often give in.

However, when bad situations happen, that is the time to toughen up and be more determined than ever to defeat the enemy of our souls. Our trials help us a great deal. They transform us. You see it is our bad situations that help to expose areas where we don’t have a good handle on Scripture. For example, it may show us how little we know about God or about who we are in Christ. So, it can be a bit intimidating to hear someone preach the healing message to us when all we want during times like that is sympathy. Consequently, that is why continuists who believe in divine healing can come off sounding critical; as if those Christians who can’t get healed die of a disease are a failure. And that is not necessarily true. Read James 1:2-8 (given further below). He tells us that our trials in life build our faith.

Cessationists also believe that they are fundamentalists, meaning they take God at His Word as well. But, unfortunately they really don’t. They hold a bias that is in error. They take one Scripture way out of context to spin it into what they want it to mean. Here is the verse I am talking about.

What they have done is to spin this Scripture to mean that those supernatural gifts given to the Church in the early days before the Bible was written ceased once that canon of Scriptures was agreed upon and compiled; hence the name, cessationist (the gifts ceased). In other words, cessationists are Christians that do not believe that the gift of prophecy still operate today, particularly that prophetic gift called tongues. Yet, they do not deny that the Holy Spirit guides them and teaches them; even “speaks” to them through impressions and leadings.

Continuists call what they refer to as leadings and impressions from the Holy Spirit the gift of prophecy. Continuists believe every spirit-filled Christian possesses this. So, in all truth, with the exception of the gift of tongues, the differences between these two types of Christians is actually quite minimal. It is just a matter of semantics. The idea is the same. They just call it something different.

However, the degree of importance placed upon this gift is slightly different. Prophecy to the cessationist is a scary word because they don’t want prophecy to be equal to Scripture. And to the continuist it isn’t. But they assume that it is. Cessationists are right to put primary weight of authority on God’s Word, the Bible, because people can and will go about deceiving us if we don’t know what the Word says. The only way we can protect ourselves from walking in error and deception is to know what that Bible says. We can only do this if we make a continual study of the Bible all our lives.

As I mentioned before, Cessationists tend to believe in miracles and healings, too. They just have less faith for these miracles and healings happening. That is because, they do not believe that Christians can really expect God to follow through on His Word; or at least not as strongly as the continuists do. Yet, they have the same faith in the Bible to be the literal Word of God. So where do they err? Even though the Bible clearly states that Jesus came to heal us, they tend to hope rather than believe He will do so. They have less confidence or faith in that fact.

That point of view will tend to get you disappointed every time. Why? Because in Hebrews 11:6 we learn, without faith it is impossible to please God, as follows.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (NKJV)

What’s more, Jesus and His apostles made it a point to instruct us over and over again that we must have faith. In fact, we can expect nothing if we don’t have faith. See for example the following:

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24 NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The double mind is the heart and the brain. Scientists now know that the heart can think. It has the neurological structure of a mini brain. Therefore, science is just catching up with the truths in the Bible which tells us over and over again that people think with the heart. As a mini brain, the heart checks for congruence; whether something we are hearing or seeing is true or trustworthy or not. But painful experiences teach our hearts and minds to fear. So this creates the double mind.

So the first order of business in getting healed is not to doubt or fear.

Healing Step No. 1

Have faith and don’t doubt or fear

But why is that is easier said than done? Because while the rational side of our brain may be able to be taught the meaning in Scripture in order to accept the truths it contains, our hearts cannot be taught. They must be healed relationally if we want our feelings to match up with the facts we know to be true. That is what this whole website is about; lining up the heart and mind to the truth to bring about accelerated transformation. So, let me commence with helping you get there. First, I must teach you. Next, you must learn how to have your heart healed.

Doubt is the opposite of faith. Some say that fear is also the opposite of faith. To a degree that is true. But doubt arises from the fear that was created, most likely, by a relational breach. That is why fear is the opposite of love, as follows:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment [or punishment]. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. (I John 4:18 NKJV)

Understanding this verse is essential to healing your heart. You see, in life, we are taught by experiences. When we touch the hot stove as a child, we learn to fear the heat of the stove. We were punished or “tormented” by the heat. This cycle is part of our learning process to help us negotiate the physical world around us. Without it, we could not survive. The same is true for our social and psychological learning as well. Here is how it works on a social level, which, in turn will affect us psychologically.

If we step out of line within our social group, we will get punished or tormented in some way. We may be shamed or humiliated. Or worse yet, rejected or permanently separated from a person or the group.

This happened to Adam and Eve when they sinned. They were no longer able to commune God. They had breached God’s trust in them and they no longer trusted God’s Word to be true. If they had, they wouldn’t have sinned. Losing trust or faith in someone will automatically separate you from having any intimacy with them. So, one could surmise that they stepped away from God. He didn’t step away from them. And the only way to repair that breach in trust was for God to prove Himself to humanity as a trustworthy and true to His Word. That is what the process of building our faith is all about. Overcoming the fear of being mislead by or disappointed by God. Okay, so part two of our journey towards faith is understanding at what great lengths God has gone to prove His Word to you; to show you His heart and intentions towards you are good, as follows:

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Jesus is speaking here. The thief he referred to is the devil. God proved His intentions to us were for an abundant life through what Jesus would ultimately do:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:13)

So how does this “fear of punishment or torment” translate to us psychologically? Well consider what happens when children grow up feeling rejected or shamed by their peer group or families and you will get a better handle on that. They tend to grow up with a low self-esteem. Consequently, a toxic form of shame is woven into their identity.

What does that mean?

It isn’t that I have done something bad. This is shame as an action and is easily repented of. No. Toxic shame isn’t that. Toxic shame says that “I AM bad.”Can you see how this is ingrained in the identity? Unfortunately, it is not easily unwoven without healing and transformation of the heart and mind.

That is why it is Satan’s greatest aim to harm us through the ones we love. When he can accomplish that, not only is our identity going to be damaged and distorted (to look nothing like God, in whose image we were made), but it is going to make us lack faith in God, because we tend to translate our hurtful experiences and lack of trust with other human beings over to God. Somehow, because we have never known anyone who was holy, we basically assign Him the same flawed attributes we see in humanity. That is why studying the Bible is so important, especially focusing our attention on Jesus because He was also sent down here to serve as our example of a holy person. When we finally understand what Jesus is like, we will know what God is like.

That is why God worked so hard to build for us a grid of trustworthiness for us. These come to us in the story of laying His own life down for us through His incarnation, Jesus. And there was also the many stories in the Bible and Church history. Without this grid, we cannot have an abundant life because our suspicion or lack of faith in God is too great due to the way others have treated us. This will ultimately keep us at a distance from God. And if we want an abundant life here and after we die, we will need Him:

  • We need Him to heal us of the diseases that come upon us. These arise from a couple of sources, both of which have their root in sin: The hurts our hearts and bodies have suffered at the hands of others and ourselves.
  • We need Him to show us who we are and why we were created; to give us purpose and meaning in life.
  • And we cannot enter Heaven without accepting Christ’s blood sacrifice for our sins.

We can only be healed and transformed through a relationship with our Heavenly Father through Christ. Not only because of His blood making payment for our debt of sin, but because of how spilling His own blood built a bridge of trust to repair the suspicious heart of humanity. No relationship can go far without trust.

Lack of trust in God’s Word was the very thing doubted by Adam and Eve in the beginning. So, let’s read what God had to say about Jesus, through the apostle, John. (Jesus who John is referring to in this verse):

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-4, 14)

So, if God calls Jesus His Word, couldn’t you say that by God coming down in the form of a man to die for us it was proof that He puts His “money where His mouth is,” so to speak? In other words, there just isn’t anything greater one can do to prove his word to someone than to lay down his life. For example, I have a friend who had a really difficult time accepting that any boyfriend she had could love her enough not to cheat. That is because her mother was cheated on by her father. Because her mother made her daughter her confidant when she was forming her identity in childhood, her heart was wounded and identity distorted. The wound of her father’s rejection of her mother was attached to her own feminine identity.

Without God present in our lives, our parents must serve as our models for our identity. Whatever flaws or sins they have pass down through the generations. Because her parents modeled what happens between a man and a woman and she was made in the image of her mother, since she was being rejected by the father who should have modeled trustworthiness to her, she could never believe her boyfriends when they told her they loved only her. Consequently, whenever they were in public, she suspiciously watched their eyes everywhere they looked when they were not fixed squarely upon her. If they paused upon a female, she was convinced they were desiring that woman instead of her. After years of counseling, I saw how insidious a heart wound is when it is attached to the identity. I finally told her, “It is apparent that your boyfriend wouldn’t even be able to convince you of his innocence even if he died to prove his word.” And bingo! That was when I realized why God had to die for us. If that can’t convince you, nothing will. That is why we really need to meditate regularly upon on how awesome that sacrifice really was because that is an example of “perfect love” which does what? Casts out fear (revisit the verse above from I John.)

Those of us who are afflicted with sickness see it as a punishment of some type. And they are right. It is. But that comes from an Old Testament law. We are no longer under the law but under grace (a hugely important teaching to be taught another day). Jesus’ Blood bought us the gift of grace or forgiveness for our sins as long as we are faithful to confess and repent from our sins (turn away from them). This is how we are transformed. The law couldn’t transform us. Only grace and forgiveness can. That is because our sins are often so deeply ingrained that it takes repeated attempts to get past them. These are called “strongholds” in the Bible. Sort of like a castle fortress. It takes perseverance and strong weapons of warfare to penetrate the walls of a castle (yet another topic for another day).

However, I will mention the armor of God spoken of in the book of Ephesians. Faith is to serve as our shield with which we are to “quench the fiery darts [arrows] of the enemy.” This is a defensive strategy. With the exception of the sword, all of the rest of the armor is defensive as well.

The belt of truth coupled with that shield keeps the “lies of the enemy” at bay. These are the fiery darts that tell us God couldn’t love us enough to heal us. God is angry at my sin, so I deserve to die, etc. The only offensive weapon we have to combat Satan’s lies with is called the Sword of God’s Word. So, it is vitally important that we learn what God’s Word has to say about healing and faith then memorize those key scriptures that are the most meaningful to you regarding those topics.

Healing Step No. 2

Learn God’s Word

What I have just told you about building your faith is confirmed by this verse in the Bible:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

One of the most meaningful verses to me regarding healing, besides those I have already shared is as follows:

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20

What this verse told me was that even if my sickness was the result of my own bad choices, Jesus would still heal me. That was important to me because I know a lot about nutrition, but one of the hardest things for me to do while I was working on tearing down my emotional strongholds was to lose weight. So, this freed me to trust God in this area of that particular vulnerability. If I could have done so, I would have. He knows my heart. So, when Satan tries to tell me that I will die early from some unknown thing because I have not obeyed nutritional laws, I show him that Bible verse.

What have I just done by doing that? I have used my Sword, the Word of God, against my enemy to vanquish Him. When He accuses me. My breastplate of righteousness protects my heart from guilt and shame because I have trusted in Christ’s Blood rather than my own righteousness to cover my sins. I pick up my sword when I put my faith in that Blood and God’s Word to be true. And that truth serves as my belt. See how it is supposed to work? When you need some healing scriptures to meditate on, you can find them by doing a Google search or searching for videos on Youtube. Here are a bunch of healing scriptures that may be helpful to you in your healing process. I can’t vouch for the site, per se, but the verses are good and upon first look, it looks to be a very beneficial teaching site about healing. But I trust anything that Kenneth Hagin at Rhema has to teach on the topic and there are dozens of teaching videos of him on Youtube.

Healing Step No. 3

Put on the Armor of God and Use God’s Word like a Sword

I mentioned vulnerability a moment ago. Vulnerability is something all humans seek to overcome with self effort. You see, when shame, humiliation, rejection, or something natural happens to us that exposes our vulnerability (such as when a tornado hits), fear is the result. Our response is to try and control things the next time to insure that we will be safe going forward. And that can be a good thing. This is part of the cycle of learning I mentioned in the beginning when referring to what a child does when he touches a hot stove. He learns from a punishing experience what his limitations are and fear is created in his heart. This fear is supposed to protect him.

This cycle is like a layer cake. Our vulnerabilities or toxic shame (which is a psychological vulnerability) is placed on the bottom. The next two layers on top should first be fear then control. But God essentially tells us that we are not to fear when John said, “perfect love casts out fear.” If we are afraid, we are believing that we will have face punishment from Him. If we are experiencing punishment, it is not from His hand.

So, if you see someone who is obsessed about controlling their lives, they are usually living from a place of fear (and often pride) rather than faith (and humility). Pride and humility are yet other topics that should be studied in depth at some point in time. But suffice it to say for the moment, pride is just a manifestation of our need to be in control. We are protecting our hearts from being vulnerable.

NOTE: I speak of pride and humility a lot in this blog and in my book, Accelerated Transformation: Maturity, Intimacy, and Unity through Emotional Healing.

Why did I share this about the layer cake? Because trying to control things, while not wrong, can serve as an indicator of a symptom to a greater problem deep within the heart that needs to be healed. Once healed, we will gain greater faith in God for healing.

Healing Step No. 4

Let Your Relationship with God Heal Your Heart

The example I shared about knowing about nutrition would be an example of one of these deeper issues that needed to be healed. The enemy would try to accuse me of disobeying natural laws and dietary laws in the Bible. There is no doubt that these laws are meant to keep us well. Living by the law tells me that I deserve any health problems I might encounter. I was able to resolve that issue on the surface or the level of my reason with a Scripture. But if I am still not getting healed, there is a deeper wound or a belief from childhood that is ingrained in my identity. Something, for example, that may have convinced me that I was deserving of suffering. Or it could be something else. So, it helps to have someone like myself who is trained in discovering these things or my book to help you drill down to the emotional or mental root cause of your blocked healing. It is from this place that a special prayer can be utilized to heal that root. But ultimately, since many of our suspicions and fears are placed in our hearts through breaches in our most intimate childhood or adult realtionships, healing must come through a trustworthy relationship. It will be through your experiential relationship with God that He will demonstrate His truth to you. So, it is vitally important that you foster that relationship by journaling the things He is teaching you in Scripture. Keeping a track of answers to prayer, the spontaneous impressions, and confirmations to those impressions also helps you discover more about God.

To summarize in conclusion, to be healed we must first have faith. But our faith in the trustworthiness of God must be built because few human beings have ever met a fully trustworthy person. We have all suffered betrayals, abuse, rejection, abandonment, and humilation before. So, it is not unusual for us to to have difficulty with this concept of trust and faith. Plus, no one is a truly holy in every possible way except the members of the Godhead (although we are all commanded to be holy as God is holy, which, we are by virtue of Jesus’ Blood. However, it takes a while for our memories and actions to catch up with what His Blood has done for us.). Consequently, we must get to a place of trusting through a process of renewing and healing our minds and hearts. This can only take place by first knowing what God’s Word says about His relationship to us, who we are, and who He is.

This is the process of putting on the armor of God. Because we have learned through His Word, the Bible, a few things about what God’s true intentions towards us, that they are good, we need to utilize that Word like a sword. His Word is the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. Next, our faith must be used like a shield. Where do we get faith? Initially, it comes from learning His Word, applying it to our lives, and the experience of seeing it in action. This begins the process of healing the heart, the organ of faith.

To heal the heart, we must have those experiences with God by applying His Word to our lives. But we must also put on the breastplate of righteousness. That comes from understanding that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This is what the Blood of Christ brings to me. The grace of God should be the easiest thing in the world to grasp, but it is not. It is a hard concept for the wounded heart and distorted mind of humanity to fully understand. That can only take place in an intimate relationship with God and a technique that I use called listening prayer. This will have to be covered in another article. But it is the crux of my technique when counseling others. But greater intimacy with God comes from the knowledge of Who He is. This comes, again, from the study of His Word. This will help us renew our minds, which is what the helmet of salvation is all about.

It is very important to understand the many aspects of the salvation Christ provided to us. He came to give us an abundant life whereas the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. So salvation in Christ no only redirects our path to heaven with regard to our eternal destinies, but it does all of the following. He saves:

  • Our bodies through divine healing and the ability to apply the knowledge contained mostly in His Law and biblical wisdom regarding our attitudes, eating and living habits but also through scientific discoveries and conventional wisdom.
  • Our emotions by providing us with an understanding:
    • Of our great worth (proof of this was the worth of His Son’s Blood shed for us),
    • Of our identity in Him (made like Him, in His Image, His children, sons, friends, kings, priests, and Bride);
    • Of His great love for us (again, refer to the Blood of Jesus);
    • Of our destinies (we have great purpose on Earth, to build His Kingdom);
    • That we can have a real, living relationship with God through interactions with He and Jesus on a daily basis through the Holy Spirit by;
      • Listening to God’s voice;
      • Seeking His guidance in your life;
      • Seeking His tangible Presence
        • All of these come through, for example: Prayer, soaking, praise/worship and are enhanced by fellowship, reading and memorizing His Word, seeking guidance and instruction/teaching from godly leaders/counselors who are: Born again and spirit-filled, yield good fruit, and are approved of by other godly leaders.
  • Our relationships by walking in sacrificial love, humility, forgiveness and servitude with others rather than pride, self-righteousness, defensiveness, expectation, and entitlement.
  • Our finances. By doing the previous things, we are able to prosper as human beings. Not only will we be healthier, but we won’t be nearly as affected by failure, defeat, and the discouragement, disapproval, and rejection of others when we start taking risks. In other words, we will be able to have greater faith to move the mountains of poverty, fear, low self-esteem, and self-loathing from our lives which will enable us to take risks and prosper. We can also better believe and be assured that that we will have God’s support and encouragement in all of our efforts, particularly if we know that we are seeking His direction and walking in His ways.

——————————————

This article was written by Tracey Nelson, MALC, M.Ed. from the blog The Spotless Bride (https://thespotlessbride.wordpress.com). Your are encouraged to share it with others privately and on your website as long as you link back to this blog and give proper credit to the author. It would be both encouraging and good manners to inform me when and where you are using it. I’d love to hear from anyone how this article has impacted their lives. However, others are not allowed to reprint this article in hard copy format (via a book/magazine) without first seeking permission particularly if you are making revenues from its use.

 

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