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September 13, 2014, 1:00 PM

Why Healing?


The name Jesus means “The Lord Heals,” sometimes also translated “The Lord Saves”, or “The Lord Delivers.”  The name of Jesus is all about healing.   Many years ago I was being interviewed by the board of elders (our Standing committee) for ordination and one of the elders asked “what if a church you are sent to is not open to healing?”  My response was – “I see all of it as healing ministry.  Salvation is healing ministry.  Sanctification is healing ministry.  What’s left to do if a church isn’t open to healing?”

Yet sadly “Healing Ministry” can sometimes cause people concern.  Some healing and deliverance ministries have lacked balance, or left people feeling rejected by God when full healing doesn’t take place.  But to not engage in healing ministry is to deny the charge Jesus gave all of his disciples to heal the sick.  So how are we to navigate this amazing opportunity to enter into the task Jesus himself spent much of his earthly ministry engaged in while providing safety and balance.   Here are three things I think can help us:

1.  Cultivate a sound biblical theology of healing.

There are real biblical issues to tackle when launching out into healing ministry – the problem of evil, the problem of suffering, the goodness of God, the omnipotence of God.   “Why does God allow me to be sick in the first place?  Does he not want to heal me?  Is he not capable? 

The concept that has helped me the most in reconciling these issues is the idea of “Already but not yet”, which is dealt with well in NT Wright’s book “Surprised by Hope.”  The concept is that as God’s word promises, we are heading towards a resurrected, “New Jerusalem” condition of total healing, where there is no more crying, no more pain (Revelation 21:4).  It’s clear when we look at our world that we are “Not Yet” in this “Age to come. “ But with Jesus victory on the cross, we are “Already” in the age when victory over evil is assured, and the process of God’s kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven is underway, which will culminate when Jesus comes again.    Jesus demonstration of the Kingdom of Heaven, by healing the sick, casting out demons, making the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, was a foretaste of the New Jerusalem.  Our opportunity is to enter into His ministry and ask Him for more.  I wrote a song about this concept you can find here

When we are bringing people to Jesus for healing we are not asking something strange from a powerless God that is unwilling but rather aligning ourselves with the will of an awesome God that wants more than anything to make His people and His creation whole.   We don’t understand His timing or many other issues involved, but  in understanding His character, His desire to heal we can always ask for More Already, Less not yet. 

2.  Operate in a healthy community with checks and balances. 

One risk that can derail healthy healing ministry is to put ourselves in a “One Up” position on other people or to act in some other toxic way – for example betraying confidences or putting guilt or shame on a person.  When healing ministry occurs in the presence of a loving community that is not striving but rather listening to the Holy Spirit so we can bring people to Jesus to be healed we provide safety. 

3.  Seek our own healing and become trained to safely help with Jesus healing others.

To this end we are offering a class on Healing Prayer starting this Wednesday, September 17th at All Saints that will run throughout the fall. This training from Francis and Judith MacNutt at Christian Healing Ministries is the best I’ve found at sound biblical, balanced, and loving healing ministry that teaches us to bring people to Jesus to be made whole through the power of the Holy Spirit.    During this course we will gain biblical understanding, form a loving community and undergo our own individual healing as we learn how to intercede for others.  Please consider joining us in this training. 

Why Healing?  Healing is the point!  Healing may not always happen instantly, or even in our lifetime.  But the character of God – the name of Jesus, is all about making our world and each of us whole.  I pray we will experience more of Jesus saving, delivering, healing power Already this season as we Bring People to Jesus!  Let us grow in our ability to enter into this ministry for His Glory. 

Praise Jesus!

-Scott+

“and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”  Luke 9:2
 

 


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