Whenever I visit a church, one of the first things I look at in the church bulletin are the number of people on the sick list requesting prayer. Often the list is quite long. This is very troubling to me, because over the years I know many of my brothers and sisters in Christ have died from sickness. Others remain sick and unhealed even after much prayer.
Why is that? Why is it so many Christians remain unhealed after so much prayer and anointing with oil. It's not only frustrating to everyone involved, it challenges whether spiritual healing is real or not...even ones faith in God.
Like in so many other things in life, it all comes down to what's really going on within our heart and soul. I mean people are really good at playing games with themselves and others. This includes our relationship with God.
I'll never forget what one of my Bible Professors mentioned one day in class on the subject of loving God. He said "We love Jesus only as much as we love the least of men."
What he said, of course, is very true. Here's a sampling of verses you may want to review on the subject.
Matthew 5:43; 19:19; 22:39 I John 3:10, 3:23, 4:19-20
This is a hard teaching for some people who claim to love God. For they may still carry deep-seated hatred and unforgiveness in their hearts toward others who have wronged them. Sometimes this hatred lies so deep within their soul, it is overlooked in their daily lives. I mean their hatred lies so deep within it is part of who they are as human beings. They don't give it thought unless they are personally confronted in a way they must deal with it. Otherwise the subject is unconsciously dismissed.
I have no doubt this is one reason why many Christians remain unhealed and wonder why. God is not a respecter of persons, nor will He be mocked or fooled (Galatians 6:7) We simply cannot be right with God and harbor hatred toward those who wrong us (Those God loves as much as He does us) if there is to be healing.
But there's another side of this truth which teaches we must love one another. That other side is self!!!
As much as the roots of hatred toward others can run deep within hearts and souls, hatred toward self can run as deep and be even more complex.
This is why forgiveness lies at the root of healing. For unless our heart and soul is free of the sin of hatred, there can be no healing, physically or spiritually. This applies as much to hatred of self as it does toward hatred of others.
We need to understand Godly love is the opposite of hatred. We need to understand love is only made possible through Jesus Christ. For without God's love for us, there can be no love in this world. This is why the Bible says...
"We love because God first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God. Whom he has not seen." - I John 4:19-20
Again, this is a hard teaching for some to accept and live by. However, without forgiveness, there is no salvation, no healing, no eternal dwelling with God. All of us know John 3:16. But it is John 3:19-21 that explains why. I hope you read those verses.
The process of healing involves cleansing. Hatred is an evil. It is a sin of the heart and soul, be it toward others or self. No man can walk in the light of God's truth and hate others or him or herself. Neither can he or she be spiritually healed of physical sickness.
Deep-seated hatred destroys the body as much as it does the soul. Hatred (an emotion) interrupts the body's ability to maintain homeostasis. This, in turn, creates conditions within the body for disease to take hold. Our body is very complex and works in ways doctors even to this day can only marvel about.
God, however, is our creator. He knows you and your body like no one else can or ever will. The Psalmist wrote "...You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb...My frame was not hidden from you when I was woven together in the depths of the earth." -Psalm 139:13-16
Only God can heal and restore our once innocent souls on such deep levels. Why then should we dismiss Him or His ability to spiritually heal us physically?
Satan knows our every weakness and propensity. He works full time to corrupt them for our eternal destruction...even to the point of self-deceit.
Folks...I'm not saying unforgiveness and hatred explains every case why someone remains unhealed. There are numerous causes that must be examined. But what I am saying is it is our worldly nature to be the master of our souls.
Giving ourselves over to God and letting go of controlling our lives will not happen unless we are completely broken of that selfish spirit. That is the crux of the matter. That is what lies at the center of the great spiritual battle for our souls.
God mends broken spirits. He cannot mend self-centered spirits bent on hatred and deceit of self or hatred toward others. Before you come to the Lord of life for healing and salvation, know yourself and where you stand.
A woman who suffered with breast cancer sought spiritual counseling. The disease was in stage III and she was scared to death. She said she and her church had prayed for her healing many times, but that she had never received spiritual counseling. It wasn't until then when she received counseling that she realized and confessed hated toward her now dead mother. She said she had done so for the way her mother had treated her.
She said she knew hatred is a sin, but had never reflected upon it in her own life. She never realized that she was leading a self-centered life, even though she had long ago obeyed the Gospel of Christ. Neither had she connected her hatred with the cancer in her breast.
In prayer she repented asking God for forgiveness, and renewed her commitment to Christ (to live for Him and not for herself). She did so, first and foremost not to be healed physically but to be healed spiritually. It was an emotional time and she cried. Tears poured forth amidst her sobs.
Her emotional release signaled healing had begun. God was healing her both spiritually and physically in that moment of release. With hatred gone from her heart and soul, her body could heal and it did. The very next test she took showed no sign of the cancer previously documented. May God be praised! Amen!
I'm not saying healing will happen for someone else like it did with this woman. But, this is the power of God to save (heal). If we as a people of God are ever to reach others outside of Christ, we must first know who we are and how God's power will only work with broken spirits to heal the sick. For the proud and haunty He will not.
All men must die. Death is God's judgment for sin (Ezekiel 18:4). But those of us in Christ should die from old age (free of sickness), not from a disease supported by sin in our life.
May the God of healing fill your life with blessings, and Peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.