Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Troubled Water

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Faith, Healing

Ever since I purchased a nice BPA-free Camelbak water bottle I have been drinking much more water than I used to. Although the initial smell of sulfur from the tap indicated that something was wrong, over time I no longer noticed the smell resulting in my guard being let down. So instead of drinking water from a water cooler, I began using the water fountain. However I began to have stomach problems pretty much all the time until last week when my wonderful fiancee pointed out that too much sulfur in the water could be the cause of the problem. So, I started filling up my bottle at home and immediately I noticed the difference!

On two occasions I had kids in the youth group pray for me. The first time I was better for a few weeks. The second time, which was just last week, I felt better initially but then had problems again the next day when I drank the water. Basically, five or more days a week I was filling my body with something that was making me sick!

Mwamanongu Village water source, Tanzania. &qu...

Image via Wikipedia

“Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.” – 1 Timothy 5:23

This verse gets used a lot by people who say that it isn’t always God’s will to heal. They are assuming that Timothy is just sick and he needs wine to be his medicine. Well, if it wasn’t God’s will to heal him, what business did he have trying to go against God’s will to get better? If bacteria in the water was making him sick, wouldn’t it make sense to put something else into the water to kill the bacteria? Yes! Or as in my situation, if dirty water makes you sick and you have access to clean water, just drink the clean water!

Why didn’t I just get healed from it all? My thought is that the first time the youth prayed I believed and I got healed. A few weeks later I even told them that I hadn’t had a problem with my stomach since they had prayed. However, soon after that I saw a bunch of commercials for a prescription drug I took as a teenager that was pulled off the shelves for causing serious stomach problems. That caused me to wonder if I had developed any of those conditions and what do you know, that was around the time when my stomach problems came back. Why? Fear is an open door for the devil to give us sickness.

Now I don’t know exactly what happened in Timothy’s case, but who can say for sure that he hadn’t gotten prayer and been healed previously? Maybe he had seen others get sick with the same condition since sanitary water wasn’t as prevalent then as it is now and then became worried that he would get it again. Perhaps he would get healed but then be afraid that it would come back?

There are a few good lessons to be learned from all of this:
1. Don’t take something every day that makes you sick because it will probably make you sick.
2. We stay healthy by not worrying (or having fear) about getting sick because if we think we are sick (or that we will get sick) we get sick.

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Faith in God

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Faith, Healing

Last night I was reading The 166 Lifestyle by Marc Lawson when something just clicked for me. For as long as I have pursued seeing people get healed I have either thought that I have faith for a condition to be healed or I don’t. My focus has been on the mountain/sickness/problem. The only problem is that if you haven’t seen a condition healed then you typically don’t have faith for it. One “giant” for me has been developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, etc… Although I strongly desire to see people with them healed, I have said that I don’t have faith for it, so I don’t pursue after people with those conditions in public, but will pray for them if they come to me. That should be a red flag right there because if we are afraid to do something we dream of doing, we are believing a lie.

What I realized is that while I have been focused on having faith for this to be healed or that to be healed, I need to just have faith in God (Mark 11:23)! I have experienced bits of this in the past, but kind of like a training wheels version of it. One example is for a few weeks around when I started my 2nd year of BSSM every time I got a word of knowledge for a person they got healed. Why, I believed so strongly that God wanted to heal them. Another example is that during a few different seasons whenever God would give me a word of knowledge for the ear I knew the person would get healed. The funny thing with this was I only had faith to pray for the person when God showed it to me, but NOT when someone just brought a deaf person up to me. You may notice the pattern here. I had faith in God when He pointed it out to me. In those occasions I had faith in His desire, character, and power to do it. However, when God didn’t point it out to me, I didn’t have nearly as much faith that my prayers would work. It sounds stupid now, but that’s how it was for a few years.

Having faith in God for one thing doesn’t work for another. Having faith in God means you know that “by his wounds you have been healed,” (1 Peter 2:24). It means you know that believers “will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover,” (Mark 16:15-18). You know that Jesus healed every person who came to Him even people who weren’t the lost sheep of Israel (see yesterday’s post). It means you know God’s character, His goodness, and His love. It means you know that because healing is in the atonement it is already done and you don’t need to convince God to heal someone. It means you have faith in God’s word because He doesn’t contradict His word. When you read Mark 16:15-18 and Matthew 10:7-8 do you believe it and act accordingly? The issue isn’t a matter of having faith for healing, it is really a matter of whether we believe God or not.

(This morning I became aware that Brandon has also been writing on this subject. Although I read his post “Simple Faith” before writing this, I did not write this in response or reaction to his post. If you read this post and “Simple Faith” you will notice we use different language which seem to contradict, but I think the overall point is the same. After writing this I also found his post, “How to have great faith”. I recommend reading both to hear further perspective about the subject. I have added Brandon’s site “I am a Spirit” to my links on the left side of your screen.)

Great faith

Posted: August 25, 2010 in Faith, Healing

The following two verses are often thrown into one of two categories. On one end of the spectrum is people who believe that absolutely everything that happens has to be God’s will (God must have wanted that mountain in the sea. Meaning that if they prayed and someone didn’t get healed, that it just wasn’t God’s will to heal because they obviously had faith.) and on the other side is people who believe that these are examples of great faith.

“I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:23-24

“Because you have so little faith. 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

However, the two people who Jesus said had great faith were the Roman centurion (Matthew 8:5-13) and the Canaanite woman (Matthew 15:22-28). Neither of them had a covenant with God, yet they asked Jesus anyway even though they had no right to ask. Both of these non-Christians and non-Jews sought Jesus for the healing of a loved one and He healed them. Interestingly, Jesus ignored the Canaanite woman at first, bringing up the fact that she didn’t have a covenant with God.

As Jesus responds to Peter in Mark 11:22, “Have faith in God.” We don’t need great faith as believers, we just need to have faith in God. We need to know His promises and have faith in Him. I don’t know of anyone who didn’t believe God for healing and who didn’t get prayed for that has ever been healed. So, when nobody believes God for healing, nobody gets healed! Therefore faith must be part of it! I find it sad that for some Christians God’s will for healing is based on medical breakthrough. If the doctors can save you, it was God’s will for you to live, but if they can’t, it was God’s timing for you to go. We need to break free of these traditions and get back to what Jesus said and did.

Shielding Unbelief

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Faith, Healing

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ” – Romans 12:2

Last night at church my pastor was talking about the benefits of praying in tongues and mentioned one thing in particular that stood out to me. Hopefully I am saying this right, but he said that it is beneficial to pray in tongues when you wouldn’t believe what you would have been praying in English. Why? Because the only “closed heavens” that exist for the believer is in the five letter word between the ears.

Think about it. What good is it for us to pray something with no faith other than that we had the “faith” to say it? I can definitely relate to this, can you? A few years ago I started to notice that if I prayed for someone and I didn’t notice breakthrough the first time I prayed I would begin to believe that the person wouldn’t get healed. I would start to believe a lie that either they didn’t have enough faith to get healed or perhaps their condition was too “hard” for me to see them healed. I say that I was believing a lie because I was not believing the Bible. As soon as that unbelief crept in I was done. I might as well have not prayed again because I was actually expecting them to NOT get healed.

So what did I do? I stopped praying in English until I had faith! I would pray in tongues and focus on the truth of what Jesus paid for until I had faith again. It was like the tongues acted as a shield! Then, I would proceed to pray in English and the results were astonishing! People would get healed of all sorts of things because rather than focusing on the impossibility, I had faith in God. People who say faith has nothing to do with someone getting healed are either lying, have hardly ever prayed for the sick, or want to say that it just wasn’t God’s will for someone to be healed. We have developed such a strong culture of praying with little or no results that it is assumed everyone who prays has faith. They say we need to cry out to God more so that He will wake up because He just hasn’t moved yet. God already moved! The only problem is that we don’t believe what He said!

Praying in tongues builds me up and changing my thoughts allows me to have faith for the impossible. Unfortunately, I am still in process and there are times that what I see in the natural causes me to have unbelief. It reminds me when the disciples tried to heal a boy with seizures and couldn’t do it (Matthew 17:15-16). More on that tomorrow.