The other day I had a conversation with a friend of mine and we got to talking about a mutual friend of ours who has been dealing with some health issues lately. He’s in the midsts of a battle that is common to so many of us.
Even when we understand that God indeed wants us well, that God does not bring calamity on us today nor put sickness on us to teach us stuff, we can still struggle to overcome sickness or disease in our own bodies.
Standing on His Promises
Many times people in those situations hold on to the promises of God found in scripture, especially the ones which deal with healing. For example:
- By His stripes we were healed — 1 Peter 2:24
- Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. — 3 John 1:2
- Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases — Psalm 103:2-3
- There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. — Proverbs 12:18
- Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. — Hebrews 12:12-13
- Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. — James 5:16
There are hundreds of scriptures along these lines. We can hold fast to these promises because they have all been fulfilled in the person of Jesus. Every one of them.
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. — 2 Corinthians 1:20
Speaking Life or Chanting Charms
The words we say are critically important. Even death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov 18:21) It’s vital that we speak life over our bodies, especially when we’re in the thick of a battle to overcome sickness and disease.
And it is true that there are no more life giving words for us to speak than the very words of life found in God’s Word. There is genuine power in scripture. Speaking scripture with our own mouths can be incredibly powerful.
Unfortunately some people just recite scripture more like a charm, hoping to ward off evil. That doesn’t really work.
The difference is whether or not we believe what we say. Jesus said we would receive what we pray for when we pray with belief (Mark 11:24). Paul said the way to salvation is to confess (i.e. say with our mouths) that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that he was raised from the dead. (Romans 10:9)
When our words combine with the conviction of our beliefs, incredible things can happen. But saying something we don’t really believe can have a much smaller impact.
When we don’t really believe what we say, even when we’re reciting scripture, it’s like we’re chanting charms or reciting spells.
Seek God Beyond His promises
But what if we really do believe what the Word says? My friend who is in the midst of the battle certainly does.
How come sometimes people who believe the truth of scripture and speak it over their lives don’t see those promises coming to pass in their lives while other people who hardly know anything about the Bible see amazingly miraculous instantaneous healing in their bodies?
I wish I knew. That’s a question I don’t have an answer for. At least not yet anyway.
But I do know that being stuck is not what God’s best for us. So what can we do differently if we find ourselves in that situation?
Sometimes I think that because our sickness is so “in our face” because the pain and discomfort is in our bodies we can end up focusing on our problems and combatting them instead of focusing on the person of God. We fixate on receiving the healing instead of knowing the Healer. We obsesses over the promises instead of drawing close to the Promise Keeper.
Jesus said that eternal life was coming to know God. (John 17:3) God the Father is so much more than just the sum of His promises.
Sometimes I need to remind myself to seek God and not just get fixated on all of his promises.
I think we would do well to lighten up a little and just spend some time with our Father, and just hang out with Him without any agenda.
I mean have you ever had an acquaintance that only reaches out to you when they want something from you? How does that make you feel?
Perhaps you’re like me and are prone to trying to “make” things happen. When I fixate on God’s promises I tend to neglect just hanging out with God and spending time with Him. It’s impossible to truly get to know someone without spending time with them.
And Jesus didn’t say that knowing God’s promises would bring us eternal life. He said that would only come from knowing God himself.
We need to seek God beyond his promises.