I went to the hospital to meet someone who I didn’t know, but I had been told they were dying of a lung disease. We talked about Jesus Christ, and getting right with Him not only for that day, but also for all eternity. It was an intense conversation since this man was looking all eternity in the face, and he had much to ask God to forgive. When he gave his life to Jesus Christ it was a spiritually powerful moment in both our lives. With joy I asked God to miraculously heal his body. God did!
I had never been used by God in that way before. I was humbled that I had been used as the vessel to bring both spiritual and physical healing into this man’s life. We celebrated together as he packed his bags, and as far as I know is still alive today many years later.
So does that make me a faith healer? In Biblical terms I do not have the spiritual gift to bring physical healing to people. God has used me periodically to bring miraculous physical healing a number of times. I never know when those times will be.
Because Christians have arrogantly misused this spiritual gift many in our country are very skeptical of faith healing. This is unfortunate, because God does miraculously heal people of their physical illnesses, and give people the spiritual gift to heal people regularly of their physical illnesses through the power of Holy Spirit. To understand this spiritual gift, which means it is a gift Holy Spirit gives certain Christians, as Holy Spirit chooses, we need to look at a number of Biblical forms of faith healing.
First, and the most important form of faith healing to Jesus, was spiritual healing. In the healing of the ten lepers only one returns to say thanks, and receive the greater gift of salvation. Jesus says to him, “Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:18-19). Jesus did not want to be known as a healer of physical illnesses as much as he wanted to help people find salvation for eternity in the love of God. Most of the people he healed he also told not to tell anyone. He healed out of compassion, but he celebrated faith!
Next in importance is inner healing, known as sanctification. In the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23), Jesus teaches about the importance of not just having faith, but growing in your faith as well. For those that are satisfied with having faith, they could just as easily lose that faith to struggles of life, and the cares of the world. Again, Jesus celebrates those times in his ministry where people grew as disciples, and made life changes to be more righteous and holy.
The form of faith healing that people are most amazed by is physical healing, like the example above. But Jesus knew that physical healing was merely a momentary delay in the natural life process toward physical death of our lives on earth. The “Wow Factor” is impressive, but again, Jesus was always more concerned about changes in people’s soul. In the wonderful story of the healing of the paralytic (Luke 5:17-26), a man who can’t walk is brought to Jesus by his friends to be healed. The religious elite think Jesus is blaspheming God by claiming to forgive sins. To this Jesus asks which is harder, to forgive sins or heal a paralyzed man? For the person who doubts God’s willingness to heal by faith, like those religious elite leaders, healing a paralyzed man is impossible. Jesus knows that the inner healing that comes with the forgiveness of sins is much harder because a person’s free choice to have faith or not is involved.
Being used by God in faith healing is a calling all Christians can participate in at different levels, according to your willingness to be used by Holy Spirit. We need to let our love for Jesus take us places where broken people are. We then pray to be used by God in this way. Finally, we must trust in Jesus Christ to be the healer, and we are His humble vessels.
Have you ever seen spiritual, inner, or physical healing? Which had the greater impact on the person’s life? Do you believe you could be used to bring healing to other’s lives? What can you do to be more available to God to be used in this way?
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