Healing Series Continued: Innoculating Ourselves Against Hindrances

(This article is actually chapter three of my book Healing Is For You!  If you’d like to read chapters one and two first, you will find them on earlier pages of this blog entitled “Jesus Is Our Doctor” and ” So … How Long Do You Believe You Should Live.”)

Once we are convinced that the Lord really wants us well, we naturally have questions when we see Christians who aren’t healed. “Why not?” we ask. “Why isn’t everyone healed every time?” Well, dear Christian, there are many reasons, but none of them on God’s account.

First of all, we need to establish in our hearts the truth that we cannot look at other people and their experiences of failure and make them our basis for faith. Any time a circumstance in the natural shows us something that is directly opposite to what Jesus continuously showed us in His living example of God’s will, we must assume that the natural circumstance is not God’s perfect will. Most all believers have prayed for someone who did not get well. The temptation at those times is often to condemn the sick one or ourselves. To be sure, we need to be humble enough to go to the Lord and His Word and allow Him to show us if there’s a hindrance we need to eliminate, but it is fruitless to continually beat ourselves down or to demand explanations from the Lord.

It isn’t always our business why someone else does or does not receive something from God. Our business is to know that God’s perfect will is healing and to act accordingly. Many times, we will just have to be satisfied with knowing what Jesus says about healing and looking only at Him. However, there are several common hindrances to receiving our healing from the Lord, and perhaps by looking at them scripturally, we can avoid them or learn how to overcome them.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WORD

We might say that all of the other hindrances to healing are, in a way, outgrowths of this first one. Only a thorough knowledge of the Lord’s Word, which is His will, can put us in a position to receive what we need from Him in any area. We must study His Word, meditate His Word, pray His Word; and It will work for us every time. As a matter of fact, that very Word will Itself give us revelation of possible hindrances in our life that could interfere with our receiving from God and show us how to deal with them.

We may be able to get healed sometimes entirely on someone else’s faith or their ministry in the gifts of the Spirit, but the only way to be sure of receiving healing every single time, or of walking in health all the time, is to absolutely know the Word – and, thereby, absolutely know God Himself.

UNFORGIVENESS

One of the most important hindrances to our receiving anything from the Lord by faith is unforgiveness. In the world we live in, it is so easy to get into strife and conflict. People say and do things that hurt others, sometimes unknowingly, sometimes deliberately. Moreover, our enemy, Satan, will do his best to cause others, especially people we’re close to, to inflict wounds of various kinds in order to get us out of God’s will through negative reactions, and thereby hinder God’s work.

Needless to say, the subject of forgiveness is vast enough to fill a whole book all by itself, and obviously we will not even try to cover everything the Word says about it. However, we must settle it in our hearts that forgiveness of sin is the foundation from which all other blessings come to us from God. It is because we are forgiven that we can be healed. The sin that brought on the curse in the first place is put away, and then the curse itself can be eradicated. When Jesus ministered to the paralytic in Matthew, chapter 9, He first told him to take courage because his sins were forgiven. When the scribes got upset, Jesus answered them in verses 5 and 6 by saying:

For which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’ But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, — then He said to the paralytic, ‘Rise. Take up your bed and go home.’”

You see, the scribes understood that, according to their covenant with God, they had to recognize a connection between man’s sinfulness and the curse, which included all diseases. They recognized that if the paralytic was healed, then that meant his sins had been forgiven. They knew that a sacrifice had to be made to atone for sin in order for the blessings of the covenant, including healing, to come to them. When Jesus came as the ultimate sacrifice, His finished work brought freedom from sin as well as the curse for mankind.

However, Jesus is very specific about the fact that we must offer the same mercy and forgiveness to everyone in our life if we are to receive His. He says in Matthew 6:14-15:

For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

When giving those wonderful instructions about how to operate mountain-moving faith in Mark 11, He says in verse 25 and 26:

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”

You see, Jesus died to purchase forgiveness for all mankind, and that means you and me. Let’s face it, no matter how strong a Christian home we were brought up in, or how young we were when we accepted Jesus as Lord, we were all born in sin, and unless He had died to provide mercy for us, we would have spent eternity in Hell. He forgives, and, when we refuse to forgive another person, we are putting ourselves above Jesus. We are, in effect, saying we are better than He is; we are too good to forgive someone else’s sin, even though He died to forgive them. And, beloved, when we put ourselves above Jesus, let us not think that we will be in a position to receive from Him.

Moreover, we must forgive as God does. He forgives whether we repent or not; we just can’t experience the forgiveness or its benefits until we come in confession and receive. So, we too must forgive others whether they repent or not. From our heart, by our will, we must make the decision not to hold sin of any kind against another. By doing so, we keep the channel open to receive from God, and we keep ourselves free from all of the destruction worked by the resentment and bitterness that go hand in hand with unforgiveness.

The destructive effects of unforgiveness can, in themselves, cause sickness and infirmity of soul or body. In Matthew, chapter 18, Jesus tells the story of the slave who was forgiven a huge debt by his king and then went out and found another slave who owed him a very small amount of money; he refused to forgive him and had him imprisoned. When the king learned of the unmerciful act, he summoned the slave, in verse 32, and said to him:

You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you entreated me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow-slave, even as I had mercy on you?” Jesus then goes on to say, “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. So shall My heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Don’t be deceived, dear Christian. The Lord means what He says. When we refuse to forgive, we are refusing to submit to God, consequently taking ourselves out from under His protection. When He says that He will “hand us over” it simply means that He will take a “hands off” posture concerning the torturers or tormentors, because we have chosen to move into the enemy’s camp. James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” But, notice that we must submit to God first. Refusing to forgive is refusing to submit. Therefore, we are wide open for attack by the destroyer. Many physicians agree that numerous illnesses and infirmities can be traced to the physical effects on the body brought about by deep-rooted bitterness, resentment, and even hatred for people who have wronged us.

I will take the time here to briefly share a personal experience that I had concerning unforgiveness. I did not actually become physically ill, but my physical body was so affected that I was miserable. I had been terribly hurt by some individuals, repeatedly hurt as a matter of fact, and had at one point made a decision to forgive them. I thought I had settled the matter once and for all, but gradually I began to think about some of the things that had been done and said to me. I began to replay them again and again in my mind and naturally gave place to the hurt feelings they had originally caused. I fell into the trap so many Christians fall into, in that I did not guard against consciously remembering and meditating on the once forgiven sins. God doesn’t allow Himself to ever again remember or think on our forgiven sins, and we must be vigilant enough to recognize this subtle trap of the enemy.

Well, I was not vigilant, and though I was not actually resentful toward these people for their treatment of me, I was actually being hospitable to the spirits of unforgiveness, resentment, and self-pity by meditating on the sins. One day I noticed an odor like that of garbage after it has accumulated for a long period of time. I thought it was just something in the air, so I tried to ignore it. The odor continued with me all day and even at night in bed. The second day, I noticed it again. The third day was Sunday, and, even while in church, I was bothered by that distinct, abhorrent odor.

Each time I experienced this smell, I asked my husband if he could smell it, and he said that he couldn’t. After finally getting into bed the third night, with the odor still pungent but noticeable only to me, I was distraught. A time or two during the process of this experience, the thought of some connection with unforgiveness had sort of floated gently into my mind, but I had instantly dismissed it, certain that I was not experiencing that problem.

However, the third night I told my husband that I needed prayer for the situation because I just couldn’t figure out what was going on. He was in quiet thought for a few minutes and then said, “Do you think it could be connected with unforgiveness?”

Well, the Lord didn’t have to hit me on the head with a hammer. I knew He had revealed to my husband what the root of the problem was. I hadn’t mentioned anything to my husband about the thoughts I’d been having, so the only way he could have come up with that idea was from the Lord. Of course, the Lord had been trying for a couple of days to tell me what was happening, but I guess I didn’t really want to acknowledge that I had slipped back into unforgiveness.

Needless to say, My husband and I prayed immediately. I repented, first of all, for picking back up someone’s old sins that had been put away and for allowing those nasty spirits to feed their thoughts and feelings of resentment and self-pity into me.

I then repented for holding unforgiveness against those who had hurt me and openly forgave them again. Then my husband prayed for my deliverance from those spirits that had been tormenting me – because I had given them a place. God was faithful to His Word. He forgave me instantly, and I went to sleep in peace. When I awoke the next morning, there was absolutely no smell of garbage, and I have never been bothered with it again since that day. This example is relatively minor, but we can see from it that when we operate in unforgiveness, we leave ourselves open to evil spiritual forces that can affect our physical body negatively. It’s just not worth it.

If you would stay healthy, refuse to hold grudges or resentments of any kind. Make it a practice to forgive others instantly and completely, and then ask God to help you to forget the sin as He does. If the enemy should try to remind you of a wrong you’ve forgiven, refuse to meditate on it and remind the devil that it is forgiven. You’ll be surprised, after taking a firm stand like this for a while, just how hard you have to try to remember past sins against you; and you won’t want to.

Remember, don’t go by feelings. Forgiveness is a decision of the will, under the control of the Spirit of God. Do it. Stay in the Word. Pray for the one who has hurt you – that God will forgive him and bless him. The feelings will follow. The best instructions I’ve found for how to forgive are found in the Amplified version of Mark 11:25 :

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop — leave it, let it go — in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your own failings and shortcomings and let them drop.”

NOT WANTING TO BE WELL

Sometimes people do not receive healing because they really do not want to be completely well. There are certain people who feel the need for extra attention that comes with being sick. Family members will be willing to do things for them if they have continuing symptoms which make it difficult or impossible for them to function normally, and friends and family will ask about them often and allow them to discuss, at length, their various complaints.

Also, there are those people who do not want to take care of their rightful responsibilities at work or at home, and certain symptoms will allow them to leave those responsibilities for someone else without looking bad to others. I have even known people who actually enjoyed going to the doctor because that doctor gave them undivided attention while they were there. They were even delighted when they found out that they had certain illnesses and could be put on several kinds of medication.

Dear Christian, the book of James says that a double-minded man will receive nothing from the Lord. We must make up our minds that, if we want to be well, we must give up all of the self-serving, self-pitying attitudes and desires that come from being sick, and hunger with all our heart for real health that will make us able to be up and active and productive in this life. You know, even Jesus indicated this when He was ministering to the sick. In John 5:6, Jesus asked a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years, “Do you wish to get well?” We may be able to fool others, perhaps even ourselves, but, dear one, we will never fool the Beloved Physician. We must want health, along with its responsibilities, with all of our heart if we would have it from His hand.

LOOKING AT SYMPTOMS INSTEAD OF THE WORD

One of the most common hindrances to receiving healing from the Lord alone is our overwhelming human tendency to look at the physical symptoms rather than the Word of God. There are times, of course, when Christians pray for healing or are ministered to in a meeting of believers when the gifts of healings and miracles are in operation, and the manifestation of the healing comes instantly.

However, when we are not in the presence of those gifts, there is still healing promised to us by the Lord. This healing comes as a result of our believing His Word, praying the prayer of faith for our healing, and praising Him for watching over His Word to perform It in our bodies and minds.

In the time period between praying for our healing and actually seeing it manifested, we will be severely tempted to look at any symptoms that remain in our bodies and question the reality of our healing. This time is the hardest test for any believer. Don’t misunderstand; the idea is not to deny that symptoms exist or that a disease has developed in the body. Those things are real. The secret, however, lies in understanding that there is also a spiritual realm in which something else exists that’s very real: healing. We must realize that healing and all other things in the spiritual realm are actually more real than anything physical and can overcome and change anything in the natural, physical realm.

Some may ask, “Isn’t this just mind over matter or wishful thinking?” No indeed! We are talking about reality here. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Right away you can see that there are evidently some very real things in a realm where we cannot see them or perceive them with our five physical senses. We can add to this verse, 2 Corinthians 4:18, which says:

… while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal (subject to change), but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

So things in the natural realm are temporary and changeable, but things – real things – in the spiritual realm are unchangeable and everlasting. Which realm is more powerful, dear Christian?

If there are any skeptics left, let’s look at one more Scripture. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God…” There was nothing in the beginning except God – Who is a Spirit, according to the words of Jesus. “In the beginning God created…” When God decided to create the heavens and the earth, He had no raw materials to work with – only Himself, the Spirit God, and He created every single natural thing out of His own Spirit. Now, if spirit created matter, spirit has the power to change matter. That’s why Jesus could say that if we have the faith of God, we can speak to a physical mountain, and it will obey us. The material mountain will obey the spirit of its Creator, when evidenced through that Creator’s Word and faith.

So how do we develop faith in these unseen spiritual things and come into a place of receiving them manifested in the natural? By constantly looking at the one and only thing that shows us these spiritual realities: the Word of God. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” It is God’s Word that makes us believe there are real spiritual things that are greater than those we can see. Wasn’t it His Word that showed us there was a God in the first place and thereby created faith in us to believe in Him? Isn’t it the Word that convinced us of Heaven and Hell? Of course. And that same Word is the only thing that will tell us of all the other spiritual realities, including healing.

2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is inspired by God …” That word inspired literally means “God-breathed”. That means that just as God breathed out the words, “Let there be light,” and they created light, so He has breathed out of Himself every word in the Bible, and these words created the very things He spoke. They still do creative work when we speak them in faith. As we devour that Word, It produces faith for those things that It shows us. That’s why when we pray for something we can’t see, we must make a decision to look only at the Word that verifies that thing we’ve asked for, and not give place to anything contrary shown us by our physical senses.

God, Who is Spirit, watches faithfully over His Word to perform It. He gives all spiritual things to us through our spirits. That’s why we believe we receive when we pray. We do receive, by our spirit first. Our spirit lays hold of the gifts of God, and then, as faith is exercised, those gifts are brought into the natural.

Now healing is actually a spiritual thing that needs to be brought into the natural by faith. Just as God created light when He spoke the Word and called it forth, so He created healing for all mankind when He spoke the Word, as in Isaiah 53: 4-5, saying, “… and by His scourging, we are healed.” We must recognize that the healing is a real thing, in the spirit realm, and that our faith applying the Word of God to our body, will draw that real healing into the natural and overpower the natural sickness, forcing it to change.

Sometimes this process takes a period of time. When Jesus cursed the fig tree in Mark, chapter 11, it did not manifest a change until the next day. However, I have no doubt that the curse went into effect on the roots of that tree immediately. It just took a while to show up on the branches. So with our bodies – the prayer of faith, and speaking the Word, puts God’s power to work at the root of our sickness, and as we remain open to the work of that power by continuing to speak the Word and praise the Lord, it perfects its work in us. Sometimes, this takes a few hours; sometimes it can take as long as a year or so.

We don’t always know why some work takes longer than others. Perhaps at times it’s because we need more time to grow in the Word and better resist the enemy’s temptation to give up and quit fighting the fight of faith. It is a fight sometimes, because the enemy wants us to believe that God doesn’t mean what He says. If he can keep our eyes on the symptoms long enough, we will doubt our Father’s Word. Perhaps there are also times when the Lord, as a loving parent, wants us to grow up spiritually. He wants us to learn how to apply His Word in faith to our bodies and to stand on the truth of It. Learning that lesson, like learning any natural skill, takes a while.

Regardless of why the work takes time, we must decide to look only at our Lord and His faithfulness. We don’t deny the symptoms. They are real. But they are real in the natural, remember, and the reality of healing from the spiritual realm is more real and more powerful. We just simply choose to lay hold of the healing and praise God for its reality until it does its work and overcomes the sickness.

The centurion in Matthew, chapter 8, told Jesus that all He had to do was speak the word, and his servant would be healed. We are told that when he returned home, he found that his servant had been healed in the same hour as Jesus had spoken. But the centurion had received the healing and started home without seeing the manifestation. The ten lepers in Luke 17 cried out to Jesus for healing. He told them to begin acting like they were healed and go to the priest, who was the one responsible for proclaiming them well according to their Jewish law. These ten men had no physical evidence of healing when they started off to find the priest. However, in the process of their acting on the Word of God, they received manifestation.

So we too must determine to obey the Word that says we are healed and act like it to the best of our ability. We must stand against fear when it comes; and it will surely come. For the enemy’s best tool in defeating healing is causing us to fear that, for some reason, we will not receive our healing from God. Refuse to fear. Trust your God. Say only what His Word says about healing. We must also determine to have patience. Hebrews 10:35-36 says:

Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For you have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” (KJV).

There have been many instances in my own life when these words have proven true. I can remember several times when I had prayed the prayer of faith for my own healing, or had asked other believers to lay hands on me and pray for me, and received the healing by faith without seeing any instant change in symptoms. But as I stayed in the Word of God and gave Him my attention and praise, the symptoms totally disappeared without my having to turn to man’s remedies.

Sometimes those battles of faith were mild, but a few times they were intense to the point of trying my faith to the limit. But thank God, when we come to the end of our faith, God meets us with His special gift of faith and carries us through. The great evangelist Smith Wigglesworth testified to this truth years ago: “Oh, this wonderful faith of Jesus Christ,” he related. “Your faith comes to an end. How many times I have been to the place where I have had to tell the Lord, ‘I have used all the faith I have’ and then He has placed His own faith within me.” (Ever Increasing Faith, Gospel Publishing House, p. 136).  I experienced many nights of battle, sometimes devoting all night to listening to the Word on tape and speaking it to my situation. Sometimes I had to call on other believers to continue in prayer with me, holding onto God’s faithfulness when there was nothing in the natural to hold on to. But God always came through, beloved, when I had made total commitment of myself to Him in every area.

You may have experienced the fact yourself that one of the most intense times of battle for spiritual things comes in the night or the wee hours of the morning. The enemy is a master at taking advantage of the darkness and the aloneness of the night hours to harass us unmercifully. But, beloved, the Word says that light and darkness are both alike to God, and He never leaves us nor forsakes us, so we will win, if we determine to remain faithful. And don’t hesitate to call on other believers, if you are blessed with believing friends, because we are all in need of the strength of each other.

Some scoffers have made the point that they would not want to have to believe God for healing if it took that long and required that much work. Yet, they are willing to undergo medical treatment by human physicians that is painful, even agonizing, to their body. They will return time and time again for months, or even years, with only a hope that such treatment will stay the course of their disease. How much more do I prefer applying God’s Word and prayer faithfully, even for months or years, having the certainty that His medicine will give me an absolute and complete cure every time.

I have had a couple of experiences in which I have prayed for healing but knew in my spirit that I did not have the peace that I had received it. I knew immediately what I had to do. I realized that I had not been faithfully in the Word for a period of time prior to the physical attack and that I had to shut out everything else for a day or two and devour the Word, especially the healing Scriptures. By the time I had fed on the Word for that length of time, looking only at It, my faith was ignited, and I knew without a doubt that I had the healing, even though symptoms hadn’t changed yet. They did change, though; they had to! Yours will too!

FAILURE TO SUBMIT TO GOD IN ALL AREAS

There are times when we want something from the Lord, but we want it on our own terms. This problem can arise with healing. As we said earlier, all gifts that come to us from the Lord Himself are spiritually administered, and require an open channel from us to the Father in order to receive without hindrance. One of the most common ways of blocking this channel is disobedience on our part.

God wants us to have all He has to give, but He has bound Himself by His Word to certain spiritual laws that govern His relationship with man, and they will not change. One of those laws is that when we submit ourselves completely to God, we come under His covenant protection, and He then fights our battles. That’s why James 4:7 says, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Notice, submission must come first; then, and only then, resisting the enemy will work. Once we are totally submitted to God, He stands tall behind us in every area of our lives, and the devil sees Him, and all of Heaven’s power, coming at him when we resist him. However, if there are areas of our lives that we have failed to submit to the Lord, the enemy sees that too, and he believes God’s Word enough to know that an area of rebellion (lack of submission) is an area that is open to attack.

Ephesians 4:7 exhorts us to “give no place to the devil.” Psalm 107:20 says, “Fools because of their rebellious way were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all kinds of food; and they drew near to the gates of death.” Sometimes it’s actually deliberate sin that opens the door to attack. We need to remember that sin is any kind of disobedience to God’s instructions – not just His commandments. Any time we deviate from God’s way of doing things, we are asking for trouble.

We see more and more in our society that such things as sexual sins result in terrible effects upon the human body. We only have to look at AIDS to see that our Lord has our best interest in mind when He tells us how to live. (While it is true that there is a minor number of people who suffer from AIDS who did not contract it through sexual acts, the fact still remains that it was originally set into the human race through immoral sexual acts, and to this day, statistics prove that it is the sexual transmission of the disease that is responsible for the overwhelming majority of suffering and death from that specific disease.)

But we need to be aware also that God is not concerned with our obedience in sexual matters only. On the contrary, many seemingly less important instructions from the Lord still carry out the same spiritual laws. When we act contrary to them, we are open to trouble. Even the instructions to be temperate in our eating and drinking are vital to us. If we do not let the Lord be God of our appetites, we open ourselves up to sickness and disease. We don’t have to become fanatics about our diet, but we do need to recognize that the Lord’s advice on anything is always for our best interest.

However, our problem could sometimes be that we are just plain lazy spiritually – not being diligent to get into the Word and prayer – not being sober and vigilant. Our Lord warns us in 1 Peter 5:8-9,

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him firm in your faith …

When we get lazy about the things that build up our faith, we let the enemy in the door with his attack against us. Sometimes our own words open the door to him, again because we have not been staying in God’s Word and letting It rule our tongue. So it is important to remember that at the first hint of something out of God’s will trying to find a place in our life, we must faithfully and firmly resist.

When we want the Lord’s healing, we need to be sure that we are truly the Lord’s in every area. Submit to Him; then resist the enemy, and he will flee.

If we are looking to God for healing, and we don’t see anything manifesting after a period of time, we need to check up on ourselves and make sure that we really are surrendered to God on all points. Actually, I’ve personally found it a good idea to check up on my submission at the first sign of sickness. That way, if I have left any area open to the enemy, I can get it back under God’s government immediately.

The Lord won’t leave us in a state of confusion about our obedience to Him. If we truly want to know how we stand and are willing look to Him through the Word and prayer, He will tell us clearly if we need to correct something, and He will tell us how. Generally, recognizing our disobedience, sincerely repenting of it, and submitting to the Lord at the time, is sufficient. You needn’t worry that there is some area of disobedience in your life, and you can’t figure out what it is. God’s not playing games, and, if you really want to know, and are open to His channels of communication (His Word, prayer, and counsel from Godly leaders), He will tell you.

He will never condemn you, beloved. Condemnation comes from your enemy. If you feel a general state of condemnation and can’t figure out what you’ve done wrong, that is not from God. He brings only conviction, and that is far different. Conviction will lead us to specifically know the problem, to be grieved over it, to repent of it, and put it away.

POSSIBLE NEED FOR DELIVERANCE

Sometimes physical illnesses have a specific demonic spirit or inherited curse at the root of the problem, causing the manifestation in the body. We know from Revelation, chapter 12, that when Satan was cast out of Heaven because of his rebellion, one-third of the angels, who had rebelled with him, were cast out also. Most Bible scholars agree that these angelic beings, who are created spirits, make up the host of demonic spirits, under Satan’s leadership, who are constantly attacking and afflicting human beings on earth.

Both the Old and New Testaments show these beings trying to manifest their character and their limited power through human vessels on earth, sometimes causing those humans to act in evil ways, and sometimes just causing them to suffer in body and mind. Thank God, His Word makes it clear that these demonic beings have no ability to resist the omnipotent power and all-encompassing authority of Jesus Christ.

Many times when Jesus was ministering to a person who needed healing, He simply cast out a demonic spirit, and the person was instantly relieved of all physical problems. Note Matthew 9:32-33, which says:

And as they were going out, behold, a dumb man, demon-possessed, was brought to Him. And after the demon was cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled…”

Again we see this type of ministry in Matthew 17:14-18:

And when they came to the multitude, a man came up to Him, falling on his knees before Him, and saying ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic, and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him … And Jesus rebuked him (the demon), and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.”

Now let’s turn to the book of Luke. In chapter 13, verses 10 and 16, Jesus healed a woman who was bowed over and could not hold herself erect. Verse 11 describes he

And behold there was a “woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your sickness.’ And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God.”

Then Luke 4:40-41 shows us a group meeting in which Jesus dealt with all kinds of diseases, including those caused by demons:

And while the sun was setting, all who had any sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and laying His hands on every one of them, He was healing them. And demons also were coming out of many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the Son of God!’ And rebuking them, He would not allow them to speak. …”

We see the need for this same kind of ministry in many cases today. Several years ago, the eldest son of some close friends was suffering with epilepsy. He went for prayer at his church, and as the pastor and other believers laid hands on him and prayed for his healing, one of those present saw a black form rise from his body and move through the air and out of the building. The young man was set free from all the symptoms of epilepsy at that time. Obviously, that spirit had been the root of the problem.

Another example of healing coming as the result of dealing with a demonic spirit concerns ministry for deafness. Some friends and I prayed with two different ladies who were deaf in one ear, and when we rebuked the spirit of deafness, they could hear. One lady, a businesswoman, was delighted that she could finally use the telephone with that ear.

I’ve noticed that certain diseases, especially those that develop organisms and cells that destroy healthy body tissues, and those that cause malfunctioning or crippling of parts of the mind or body, are often the work of a spirit of infirmity that has attached itself to the afflicted person. That’s why a disease like cancer can be destroyed in one area of the body, with no sign of it showing up on tests, and then shows up again later in an entirely different part of the body. Sometimes that spirit of cancer has to be cast out. That’s also why, many times, people with crippling arthritis have been set free instantly when the spirit of infirmity that had been binding up their limbs was cast out.

There is also a spirit of death that has attacked people, intending to end their life long before God is ready. It can be dealt with in the same way. Several years ago, while I was leading a home Bible study, a woman visiting the group for the first time began to look faint during praise and worship time. I had my eyes closed but was suddenly drawn to open my eyes and look directly at her. As I did so, she began to slump in her chair, both arms falling limp to her sides.

She had been speaking softly, but her words gradually drained away, and it seemed as though her breath did too. She turned a gray color, and I heard the Spirit of God speak in my own spirit that we were dealing with death. A nurse, who also attended the Bible study, was sitting across from this lady, and she was also led to open her eyes and look directly at her. Immediately recognizing the symptoms of death, she became very alarmed.

I knew the next move was up to me, but I seemed to be momentarily glued to my seat, praying in tongues. Everyone has had experiences in which a multitude of different thoughts flash through your mind all at once, and time seems to stand still while you think each one, although in reality everything takes place in split seconds. That was one of those experiences. In those split seconds, I was praying desperately for God to tell me what to do. I strained to hear His voice while simultaneously seeing newspaper headlines flash across my mind reading, “Woman Dies in Charismatic Bible Study”.

Then I suddenly felt as if a spring had been released on the seat of my chair, and I popped up, stepped over to that woman, laid hands on her head, and commanded the spirit of death to leave her. The others were praying fervently, both in English and in tongues. I then commanded life to come into every part of her and prayed for healing as well. When I spoke the command for life to come into her, she began to breath noticeably again, color came back into her flesh, and within seconds she came back to consciousness. In a few minutes, she was able to sit up and carry on with the class.

She shared with us later that some weeks earlier, an individual “claiming” to have knowledge from the Lord, had told her she would die an early death. She had accepted that, received the spirit of death, and succumbed to it. After that meeting, that little lady was so alive and so excited to know God wanted her to be that way, that she was a joy to be around and a real blessing to that Bible study.

Another interesting note to this testimony, which shows how God works behind the scenes to take care of us, concerns my husband. At the time of this meeting, he was at home, about forty miles away, when, all of a sudden, he sensed the Holy Spirit speak in his heart these words: “A woman is going to die in Sandy’s Bible study today.” He looked at the clock, noting that the Bible study had started, and immediately began to pray for God to intervene.

I’ll always believe that his prayers were mainly responsible for my finally being able to spring from my chair and take authority over that spirit of death in Jesus’ name. How good God is. When we walk with Him, He works in a multitude of ways to deliver and protect us.

CURSES

There are also times when a physical disease is the result of a curse for sin on the lives of previous generations, which has been carried down to us genetically and never dealt with by the power of the blood of Jesus. When God cursed sin, that curse, like all of the rest of God’s Word, was settled forever in heaven. God does not change, and that means His promises and His curses are still in effect in the earth. The glorious truth for us, however, is that mercy has triumphed over judgment, and the suffering of Jesus wrought the power to break the curse legally and set us free from it. But we must know the truth and how to walk in it.

It is not the purpose of this book to do a thorough study of genetic curses. However, I will cite a few verses that will establish the fact that they do exist and that Jesus is the way to overcome them. First of all, let’s look at Deuteronomy, chapter 28. As previously noted, this chapter of Deuteronomy gives us the clear and concise statement of God, concerning the results of our obedience and disobedience to His commandments. The first fourteen verses deal with the wondrous blessings on obedience. But beginning with verse 15, we can see the horrendous results of disobedience. Let us look specifically at verses 15 and 18:

But it shall come about, if you will not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed shall be the offspring of your body…”

Then, let us look at Exodus 20:4-6:

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Even in the earthly ministry of Jesus, we see that this spiritual law was still in operation, according to Matthew 23:19-33. Jesus says:

Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Consequently, you bear witness against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?”

According to the record of this conversation in Luke 11:47-51, Jesus then adds the following:

For this reason also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute, in order that the blood of all the prophets, shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house of God; yes I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.’”

You see, many times, not only does the curse pass down, but even the same weaknesses and tendencies to certain kinds of sin are carried from generation to generation. But, beloved, remember that Galatians 3:13 says: “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us…”

We must apply this truth and the blood of Jesus to our situation to break the power of these genetic curses and inclinations of the flesh, just as we apply the blood and the Word to any sickness to destroy its power over us.

Many may ask, “But can a Christian have a demon or be under a curse?” It is important to note here that a Christian is one who is born again of the Spirit of God Himself and has been made a new and righteous creature in his spirit-man. Therefore, no demon can possess a Christian because it cannot take up residence in the spirit, the inner man, in which Jesus reigns. However, a demon can attach itself to a Christian, just as disease germs can, particularly when we don’t know our legal rights in Christ to be free from these things. You see, we have to apply the sacrifice of our Lamb, Jesus, and the Word – which is the power of God – and resist the devil, whether in the form of a demon, a disease, or a sin.

We must also realize that disobedience to God opens us up to this kind of attack by the enemy. He will take all the ground we let him have, whether by our ignorance or our disobedience. In the same way, curses can operate in our lives, even though we are Christians, either because we don’t know the Word well enough to recognize them as curses that we can break; or because we have entered into some sin that brings them into operation.

It is a sad fact that babies are often born into this world carrying the physical effects of those genetic curses. A thorough study of God’s Word will bring to light a direct connection between some specific kinds of sins and specific diseases or impairments. “But it’s not the baby’s fault,” you may say. “Why should he suffer?” We must remember that every human being born into this world has suffered, in one way or another, as the result of the sin of our original parents. As Romans 5:12-14 says:

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s offense, who is a type of Him who was to come.”

But then the Lord says in verses 15-19:

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many . . . For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.”

Knowing these truths, we can see that it is so very important that Christian parents pray for their children from the time of conception and speak the living Word of God to that child even in the womb. By the authority of Jesus, they can break the power of any disease or addiction that has been active in the bloodline of either side of the family. Also, they should bind the devil from imposing any tendency to specific sins that are known to have plagued the family. The parents have this God-given authority, assuming, of course, that they are walking in obedience and right relationship to the Lord themselves. Parents involved in unclean or ungodly habits or lifestyles automatically open the door for demonic attack on their children.

We see another common example of inherited curses in many alcoholics. We know that everyone who drinks intoxicating beverages doesn’t necessarily become an alcoholic. There is something specific taking place in the ones who do. Many times these people have parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents who were alcoholics. They have inherited the weaknesses that make them unable to tolerate alcohol in a controlled form, and they also inherit that spirit of addiction that drives them to drink it incessantly. You see, that spirit of addiction is allowed to come in through the sin of an ancestor; and its resulting curse. (A curse provides the conditions for a demonic spirit to operate legally.)

This fact explains why sometimes people can become Christians but find they still have a serious problem with alcohol. They need to apply the name and the blood of Jesus to break the effects of those sins that originally brought the curse into operation and to cast that spirit out. Jesus paid the price for the deliverance, but we often need to apply the power of His finished work by faith for its manifestation, just as we need to apply that power for healing of a broken bone or a sore throat.

Another area where we see people commonly suffering as a result of inherited curses, and spirits of infirmity, is the disease of cancer. To be sure, many times our lifestyle and the way we eat open us up to deviations in the development of cells, but even medical science recognizes today that the tendency to develop cancer is definitely carried genetically for generations. But here again, it’s knowing that Jesus set us free legally and applying the Word of truth in faith to whatever is attacking us that sets us free experientially.

And how do we apply that Word and that power? By believing it and acting and speaking as if we believe it. Why is speaking so important in these situations? Remember, God said in Proverbs, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” Jesus said that whatever is in a man’s heart, he will speak out of his mouth, and the book of James says that faith without works is dead. Now that word works in the original Greek means “corresponding action”. So our action and words will show forth our faith if it is alive. Then we have the words of authority that Jesus gave to the church in Matthew 18:18.

Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (KJV).

You see, God created by His Word. He established His whole relationship with us by His Word, and when Jesus came to earth in the flesh, He operated the power of God primarily through His words. Words release power. So it’s important for us to speak God’s words, in order for His power to be released to overcome the enemy in our life.

Now I trust that discussion of this particular hindrance does not produce fear in any reader who has come to this book for help. Remember, beloved, fear is not from our Lord. Nor should you allow yourself to feel condemned if you feel that you are suffering from a physical problem that is caused by a demonic spirit or an inherited curse. Many times the person suffering has not been guilty of any of the specific sins that originally opened the door to this demonic attack. The demonic power has simply become operational in that person’s life or his body through his natural bloodline. It must be recognized for what it is and gotten rid of by the power of Jesus.

This particular hindrance is simply one of the areas of spiritual battle connected with sickness. If you have been suffering from a physical problem, and general prayer in faith has not brought the desired manifestation, it is time to ask the Lord if there is some specific hindrance involved in the delay of the physical results you seek. If you are asking from an honest and sincere heart and are giving God every opportunity to reveal Himself to you – by being in His Word, in prayer, and in consistent fellowship with other believers – He will always show you what the hindrance is and how to deal with it effectively. Remember that removing any hindrance to a miracle is as easy as any other work that we need the Lord to do for us, as long as we are willing to do our part obediently.

The very Word of God Itself has the power to drive out evil spirits. If we will saturate ourselves with that Word and speak It to our situation, It will do the work. But many times people need immediate help even before they can saturate themselves with the Word. Because of that, I would like to make special note here that in dealing with this particular type of hindrance, it is a great advantage to be in a committed relationship with a body of believers overseen by a pastor and elders. Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, operating in other believers, and the anointing on the offices of leadership, the Lord can very easily and quickly reveal and destroy the hold of demons and genetic curses. Beloved, when the Lord told us to be diligent to join ourselves together regularly with other believers, He did so because He knew we all need each other’s help.

(SPECIAL ANOINTING ON LEADERSHIP)

It might be good to say an extra word here about the spiritual authority inherent in the offices of a God-called pastor or elder. I am not referring to those men or women who take on those offices as a result of self-desire; or the desire of other men. But when God calls a man into the office of pastor or elder, and he accepts it faithfully, that man walks into a position of extraordinary power in the spiritual realm.

Why? Because God has ordained that these positions of leadership carry the weight of the spiritual development and protection of the body over which they are shepherds. In order for them to be able to fulfill this responsibility, God has allotted to the office itself a particular degree of spiritual dominion, recognized by all of heaven and feared by all of hell.

When the pastor speaks and acts in the duties of his office, heaven’s forces and hell’s forces stand at attention, ready to respond: The former to bless, and the latter to flee. It never ceases to thrill me when I contemplate this truth. It shows me God’s unwavering faithfulness to His Word. He has set this divine government of His people into operation, and He will see to it that it works effectively for the good of His kingdom.

Now that does not mean that God will not answer the simplest believer’s prayer just as surely and as quickly as He will the pastor’s. As a matter of fact, it is a very sad truth that, even though the authority resides in the office, if a pastor or elder has not fed on the Word of God and spent time in prayer until that Word becomes alive in him, he will not have the faith to operate in that God-ordained authority. All of the dominion that is resident in his office lies dormant for want of a living faith in God’s Word. But let that man believe God, and there’s no holding back what God can do.

God responds faithfully to love and faith in operation anywhere and everywhere He finds them – in the newest Christian or the oldest pastor. But in the midst of intense spiritual conflict over a problem we are facing, it is good to know that one of our spiritual weapons is the anointing that comes with the office of authority and to make use of it when really necessary.

I have done this personally on a few different occasions in my life. I recall two different times, about three years apart, that I was having a raging battle with severe pain and pressure in my head. The problems were not connected, as the cause was different in each case. My husband and I prayed in agreement for the deliverance I needed. I spent much time in the Word and would get temporary relief, but nothing permanent. During the first experience, I told my husband (after about three days) that I felt I should have our pastor pray for me, because there kept rising up in my spirit the reminder that there is specific spiritual authority in his office that could break the power of that physical problem. When he prayed, I felt relief instantly and had complete deliverance by the next day.

On the second occasion, a Resurrection Sunday morning, I arose from a totally sleepless night, having suffered for four days with the most agonizing symptoms, in spite of our persistence in prayer and the Word. I knew in my heart that God had heard and given the answer. Yet, I had been under siege by the enemy and his unceasing symptoms and lies all night. I knew I had to have more of God’s army on the battlefront. Shortly after I got up, I recalled that several of the church leaders would be meeting early that morning for prayer before service, and I felt a real leading to call and ask them to pray for me.

When my pastor answered the phone, he said they would be glad to pray for me, but then he said, “Let me pray for you right now.” He proceeded to take authority in the name of Jesus over that thing that had tormented me for days. I immediately knew in my spirit that he was sure of his authority as my pastor, and that he was also sure of the finished work of Christ. The consciousness of the full victory of the resurrection rang in his voice. From the second the words were out of his mouth, I felt the power that had bound me for days break completely and loose my head. The pain, the pressure, and the dizziness left, and I was free.

Now I do not relate this truth to imply that any time a Christian is sick he should run to his pastor. On the contrary, we need to learn to believe God for ourselves. However, knowing that we are in a spiritual warfare, and knowing that the Lord has given us a complete arsenal of spiritual weapons to use, we do not want to be ignorant of which weapon is the best one for each particular attack. We must know the whole counsel of God and walk in it if we would have constant victory.

BODY OF CHRIST NOT FUNCTIONING
IN THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The last hindrance we will discuss does not reside in the one seeking healing. Rather, it resides in the Body of Christ in general, and more so in some parts of the Body than others. The average body of believers in our day does not really believe the Word of God 100 percent. We want to think that we do. We are sometimes offended if anyone implies that we do not believe completely. But the sad fact is that Jesus could have been looking down the centuries and speaking to us when He said, “Oh, unbelieving generation….”

Most of the adult Christians in the world today have been reared in a society that has had its gospel so subtly watered down by false teachings and the doctrines of men that we have never learned to take God’s Word for what It says and structure every particle of our lives by It. Oh, we’ve been taught that God loves us and sent Jesus to save us from our sins. We’ve been taught the stories of God’s miraculous intervention into all areas of men’s lives in the pages of Scripture, but too often we see them as just pretty little stories or parables to teach us something about what God used to do – but not something that we can expect in our own lives in every situation. We have been reared in churches that have compromised their faith because they have believed for so long that they had to use man’s ways and means to accomplish anything in the natural.

I recognize this sad truth in so many areas of life, but we must deal primarily here with the area of healing. It has been my experience that a Christian can rarely ask other church members, even in Full Gospel churches, for prayer for physical problems that seems serious without receiving responses such as, “Well, have you gone to the doctor?” or, “What did the doctor say about it?” or, “You had better see a doctor about that. It could be really serious.” And then I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “You know you don’t want to be a fanatic. After all, God expects us to use doctors.”

As we said in the first chapter, Jesus, Who is the exact representation of God’s will on the earth, never ever suggested to one seeking healing that he should seek out a human doctor, even though doctors were in common practice at the time. And if we look at the church in the book of Acts, and any other credible history of the early church for about the first 300 years, we find that believers didn’t even consider that option for receiving healing. They did what the Lord Himself instructed them to do according to Mark 16 and James 5. They laid hands on the sick and expected them to be healed, and they called the elders, anointed with oil, and prayed prayers of faith. Of course, they also stayed in the Word, stayed in fellowship, and fasted and prayed often, so they were not overcome by unbelief.

Today, we Christians live so much in the world, concentrating on the way the world thinks and how the world’s leaders suggest we handle problems that we aren’t in the Word enough. We don’t fast and pray often. We don’t spend every possible moment available to us in the presence of Almighty God, so we don’t stay filled with the Spirit and the Word, ready to believe with a brother or sister, or to minister to their need.

Another side of the same coin is that we often have a few believers who will pray with a brother or sister about a physical problem for a period of time, but if the manifestation does not come, or symptoms become critical, they back off and say something like, “Well, Brother, if you are not able to believe for a miracle yourself, you had better go ahead and have an operation, or you might die.” Dear Christian, do you see that that is not the way of the Word? God says, if one is sick, he should not have to believe for himself; rather, there should be those mature in the faith that will anoint with oil, pray the prayer of faith, and do the believing for the sick one.

One particular experience with a problem like this comes to my mind so clearly at this time. Several years ago, there was a sister who went to church where my husband and I attended, who had been experiencing some severe symptoms in her female organs. She had sought prayer from some sisters in the faith and had been ministered to more than once in a Bible study group. A doctor who told her she needed to have a complete hysterectomy, as well as possible surgery for her bladder had examined her. When she did not show any improvement in the symptoms after a period of time, the sisters who had prayed for her told her that if she were not able to believe for a miracle for herself, she should go and have the surgery, citing another person who had been prayed for and died.

When she related this experience to me a short time after she was told this, I was almost overwhelmed with indignation at the way the devil has deceived God’s people. The glorious compassion of God rose up in me so strongly, and I said, “Sister, that’s just not so.” I explained to her that God had made provision for the body of believers to carry the sick one who was not able to do all the believing for himself. I explained that it was the body’s responsibility to work its faith on her behalf. New faith was ignited in her heart, and new light came into her eyes at this news.

We went to work rounding up some of the elders of the body and explained the situation, telling them that she needed others to fight the fight of faith for her – and so we did. A couple of weeks later, that sister was feeling better, and she decided to go to see another doctor and see what he had to say about her condition. When he examined her, he told her that there was no need for surgery of any kind. Before long, every negative symptom was gone, and that sister believed God to cause her and her husband to have another child.

Beloved, we can’t keep looking back at the Old Testament patriarchs, or the apostles of the early church, and saying, “It’s too bad they are not living today so that they could believe like that for us or perform the same miracles today.” We can’t look back to the turn of the century, when there were a hand-full of ministers full of the Holy Spirit who brought miraculous healing to hundreds of thousands in meetings all over the world, and say, “It’s a shame we don’t have more people like that today.”

No, beloved Christian! It’s time we faced facts. We – WE – You and I – are the giants of faith for today. You may say, “Boy, are we a pitiful excuse for giants!” AMEN! We are – but we don’t have to be. Let’s recognize that God is still the same God, and He’ll still do the same glorious things if He can just find people who will spend enough time with Him to be able to really believe Him without reservation and without qualification.

The Lord’s looking for those unselfish enough to get into the fight with one who needs a miracle of healing from God and determine to stay in the fight until the victory comes. Sometimes that will mean praying around the clock with the sick one for several days at a time. Sometimes, it will mean praying every day with that one for months. Other times, it will mean being willing to fast and pray until the Spirit of discernment shows the hindrance; or the gifts of healings and miracles come into operation. Sometimes, it will mean reading the healing Scriptures to the sick one day after day after day, until they’re strong enough to get hold of them for themselves.

Instead of saying, “Give up and just accept what little help medical science can give you — or “give up and get ready to die,” we need to say, “Hang on; God’s fighting for you, and so am I. You’ll get the victory.” But we need to say it — not because it sounds good — but because we believe it –because we know it — because we’re so full of God Himself.

Now, Dear Christian, if you’re sick, you have the right to believe for your own healing all by yourself. But if you’re having trouble alone, don’t waste your time hanging around people who don’t believe God. Find as many people as you possibly can who really believe what the Word says about healing and spend as much time with them as you can. Then, after you’re healed, keep spending time with them.

It’s amazing how many people have experienced a miraculous healing from the Lord, only to be talked out of it by people in their own family or their own church. I’ll never forget a young girl who came to the church I attended many years ago. She had one leg shorter than the other, and when she was prayed for, she received a miracle. Her short leg was made normal by the power of God and became the same length as the other one. She was able to feel, as well as see, the work being done on her leg by the Lord. Needless to say, she was excited.

But when she went back to her home church, where they did not believe that God still performs healing miracles today the way that He did while on earth in the flesh, they convinced that poor girl that what she had received wasn’t real at all. As she listened to their continual browbeating, she began to believe them rather than the Lord — and even her own experience. Her leg responded to the unbelief in her heart and mouth, and it drew up again, shorter than the other one. When she realized what had happened, she returned to our church and was ministered to again. This time, it took much longer for her to receive the miracle, because of the tremendous stronghold of unbelief that had been established in her heart and mind.

But our great God is so merciful, and through the faith of the believers who gathered around her and prayed fervently, He was able to work His way through her unbelief and give her her miracle the second time. Dear One, if you want miracles from the Lord, guard yourself against those who would discourage you from believing.

Some people question the ability of a group of non-believers to pull the believer out of faith. But when someone asks me about that situation, generally the first thing I point them to is the experience of the Children of Israel, when they came to the border of Canaan.  God had promised them that He would take them in, defeat every enemy, and give them the land with all its bountiful produce, with no cost to them. They sent in 12 men to spy out the land and bring back a report.  Two of those men brought a report of abundance and expressed their faith that God would do as He had promised.  Ten of those men spoke unbelief.  They refused to believe God would keep His word and stirred up the people to be afraid — and ultimately to refuse to obey God because of their unbelief. (Hebrews, chapter 3 goes into detail about this event, saying that their unbelief and their disobedience were one and the same thing.)

So — my point is that just 10 very ordinary men convinced close to 3 million people (who had already experienced amazing miracles at God’s hand) that they should not believe God for a miracle — should not believe God to keep His word — should not obey God and enter Canaan.  As a result those 10 men kept about 3 million people from receiving their miracle from God, and put them in the position of speaking a curse on themselves and dying at an early age out in the wilderness. So what we, as the body of Christ, believe and transmit to others can often be a matter of life and death.

In closing this chapter, let me encourage you, beloved: Determine in your heart to learn everything you can about God’s healing, so that you will be full of the truth. Get filled with the Holy Spirit and stay in prayer and in the presence of God, so that you can stay filled. Be ready to help a brother or sister who needs healing. Don’t be one who sends them away sorrowing, to the world’s methods and failures. Believe God’s Word and be a giant of faith for someone else!

(If you’d like to find out more about the book Healing Is For You! or obtain a copy, you can do so at the publisher’s website: StEllenPress.Com.)

(Thanks to gospelgifs.com for the artwork “Faith in Darkness).

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