My friend asked me to listen to some audio teaching about healing. She wanted me to help her evaluate the biblical foundations of what is being taught. It’s always a good idea to have someone else consider the teachings you are receiving, especially if they seem a little on the radical side.
The thing about miracles is that Jesus did say that our faith is vital to experiencing them—some of the greatest faith around was from Gentiles who came to Jesus for healing (Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28 and the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-13). There are times when the person being healed is not mentioned to have faith (healing of paralyzed man in Luke 5:17-26), rather the healing results from the faith of the friends. Other times, faith is not attributed to anyone around or even the person being healed (as in the case of the man born blind in John 9 and the man at the pool of Bethesda in John 5:1-15). By the way, how ignorant of God can you be after he healed you from a lifetime disease? Apparently, you can be very ignorant.
So the teaching that I was reviewing had biblical flaws since it came down on one side—God always heals if He does not heal the problem is with your faith. It is impossible to claim that there is formula for healing in the Bible. This kind of teaching can make you presumptions about God. We are finite creatures imposing our finite minds on an infinite God. When you start doing that, you are asking for trouble.
There are two sides of the story though. Although this teaching could not be biblical and be the guarantee miracle cure that it was setting out to be, it was bold to ask for the cure of miracles. So few of us believe in miracles and that is just as much of a problem as presumption.
What I can say is that God is very patient with us, both those who err on presuming healing is all about their faith and from those who don't really think that God would use His healing power for whatever it is that ales them. Neither honors Him. God heals in His way and in His time. Our faith is a part of that process to be sure. I want to have faith for whatever healing God will give to me on this earth. I don't delight in my suffering, and I would want to err on the side of asking for His miraculous power. That’s just it, you have to keep your eye on the ball—which in this case means keep your focus on God’s power.
We must ask the right questions about healing. The Pharisees are constantly showing us what not to do. They witnessed an amazing miracle in their own backyard—the Temple (Acts 3). Rather than see that the power of God had been at work, they start an inquisition of the people who were so preposterous as to ask a miracle of a God. In Acts 4:7 they ask By what power or what name did you do this? Excuse me? The once crippled man is standing right there, and you are focusing on these two men? You wonder by what power they did it or by what name they did it. What is wrong with you? That’s the wrong question. It has little to do with Peter and John and everything to do with God.
The right question is What kind of a God does a miracle like that? Peter answered that question even though it wasn't asked and goes on to give a glorious description of Jesus. There is a miracle cure and He is Jesus. My own salvation is the greatest miracle that I have personally experienced. I won't stop asking for miracle cures for my family and friends, but I won't lose faith if God heals them differently than I had hoped.
Copyright 2011. Deborah R. Newman www.teatimeforyoursoul.com All Rights Reserved.