It was summer camp and we were in a time of worship. I take notice that a youth student is constantly rubbing his shoulder in pain while trying to engage in the music. Feeling led by the Holy Spirit, I ask him what’s wrong. He describes how his shoulder is in throbbing pain and it won’t go away. I ask if I can pray over his shoulder for complete healing in Jesus’ Name. He agrees, so myself and another leader pray over him. After a short prayer, I ask him if he can move his shoulder. As he rotates his shoulder two times and then mumbles out loud, “What the…” Immediately he starts crying. He was overcome by the fact that his shoulder was instantly healed and he felt that he didn’t deserved it. Thankfully, God’s mercy and love is not found on the basis of merit! Shortly after, we ask him if he’d pray for another student who had knee pain; he was healed by God, so why not pray for others to overcome their injuries? We gather together to pray for her knee and guess what? SHE WAS ALSO HEALED!
These are just a few of the incredible healings that take place at camp over the last few years. Yet we don’t need to be on the mountaintop with the youth to see God’s Spirit move – We can see healings of various types take place wherever we are! This can be in our workplace when we are having a casual conversation during break. A stranger in the mall that is standing in line behind us. An altar call during church service. The possibilities are endless!
I’m going to give a few points about the gifts of healing so that you can have a proper understanding and a practical application as to how the Holy Spirit can use you as the vessel for God’s miraculous healing. Let’s begin!
- THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS GIVEN GIFTS OF HEALING TO HIS PEOPLE
1 Corinthians 12 is quite clear that “we are not to be uninformed about spiritual gifts” (v.1). As the Body of Christ, we all are different parts of the body and function in a variety of ways (v.12, 14) “There are different types of gifts, but it is the same Spirit that distributes them” (v.4). “All of these spiritual gifts are for the common good” (v. 7).
All that to say, the gifts in healing is listed as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “…To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit…” (v.9). That means healing could be one of your spiritual gifts (or one of many since we can have more than one spiritual gift). The question is, how do you know unless you try? How will you find out if the Holy Spirit wants to manifest God’s goodness and love through you in this particular way?
2. IT IS ‘GIFTS’ OF HEALING, NOT ‘GIFT’ OF HEALING
The Greek form of the word describes this in the plural form. What does that mean for us? This means that there are different types of healing that the Lord wants to do. He is not a God of a formula where you say the magic words or perform a ritual to make it work. No! He uses a variety of ways, prayers, and persons, to see His Spirit be revealed through healing. God will not be pinned down or put in a box; we cannot claim that we have the inside track on God when it comes to healing. I believe the variety to healing is to further demonstrate God’s glory so man cannot take the credit and to say ‘it was me.’
We see this directly when it comes to Jesus. For instance, when Jesus heals blind people, he does it differently each time. In John 9:1-7, Jesus heals a blind man since birth and he spat on the ground to make mud and put it on his eyes. In Matthew 9:27-31, Jesus asked 2 blind men if they believe and when they positively responded, he touched their eyes and they were healed. In Mark 10:46-52, blind Bartimaeus only has to respond to faith for his healing (with no physical contact from Jesus) and he was healed. As you can see, it wasn’t the method that healed, but the faith in God so that He alone gets the glory.
3. FAITH TIES INTO GIFTS OF HEALING
As briefly mentioned above in regards to blind Bartimaeus, he said to Jesus, ‘“Rabbi, I want to see.” “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road’ (Mark 10:51b-52). There is a certain element of having faith in who God is and what He can do that allows the impossible to happen (Hebrews 11:6b). Faith and belief are everywhere in the Gospels! Since we are supposed to be ‘teaching [everyone] to obey everything He [Jesus] commanded us to’ (Matthew 28:20), Jesus did teach that His disciples should heal (Mark 16:18; Luke 9:2; Matthew 10:8). In one instance, when the disciples couldn’t drive out the impure spirit in the boy in Mark 9:14-29, the father asked if Jesus could do it. The father responded…
“But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”’ (v. 22b-24).
I hope you noticed that Jesus immediately recognized that the issue was in regards to the father’s faith. Hence the big IF – ‘IF you can?’ – Jesus wanted to help the father overcome and that’s what He did to see his son healed.
You can sense the conflict in the father’s heart and the confusion in his words – “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” It almost sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Yet this father’s response is similar to how we react when it comes to faith in healing. We might hear or think thoughts like this…
- I believe in the Bible, but I’m never witnessed a healing in my life
- I have faith God can heal, but I don’t think He would heal me
- I believe God is good, but what’s the point in praying for healing?
As His disciples, we are supposed to be doing the same thing – asking The Lord for healing since we have the person and power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:16; 8;7). Yet I appreciate how the father beautifully expresses how imperfect his faith is; it’s his honest and vulnerable moment of needing more faith to believe that his son could be healed. Oh, how true this is in situations of our own lives, isn’t it? The ‘IF’ tends to get in the way when we rely on past experiences of healing not taking place. The ‘IF’ establishes distrust when we try to rationalize our way out of something miraculous. The ‘IF’ can demonstrate a doubtful heart, which means we will not get what we ask (James 1:6-7). Graciously, by God’s mercy and compassion, He gives us a chance to say to Him, “help ME overcome MY unbelief!” Thankfully, all we need is the faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) for it to be enough and for that seed to grow!
This week, take a step of faith in the area of healing. Perhaps there is someone you know who is hurting physically or emotionally – will you pray with them? Or maybe you’re in the one in need of physical or emotional healing – will you ask someone to pray for you? Seek the Lord as to what He’s calling for you at this time.
For those who are in the Los Angeles area, you’re in for a treat! We have an event called, ‘The Encounter Night’ (see flyer below) where you can come to receive personal prayer in areas of physical and emotional healing, or to receive direction / an encouraging word from the Lord. I would love it if you could take the action step from this week’s blog at the event! I’m sure the Lord would be even more pleased, for it is faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6a) … so why don’t we step out and believe that God could do it? I’m looking forward to the testimonies of how you stepped out and what the Holy Spirit did in and through YOU!