Most of you know our oldest son, Chris, was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck causing brain damage. Any brain injury occurring during labor or delivery is called 'cerebral palsy' (CP) - it is an injury not a sickness, nothing demonic, just an injury through lack of oxygen to the brain.
When we first found out about the brain damage he was about 6 months old - We had just moved to the Boulder, Colorado area and found a pediatrician because Chris wasn't sitting up and moving like other 6 month olds. I'll never forget that phone call from Barb while I was at work. She was crying and sobbing trying to maintain control because the doctor had coldly told her Chris had CP: "Just put him in a home and forget you ever had him. There is nothing to suggest you can't have other children who would be normal, so just put him in a home. Forget you ever had this one and go on with your life and have more babies." He had the bedside manner of a frozen codfish, and it was devastating to us (we didn't go back).
Of course we rejected his advice. That night after Chris' bath we sat on the bathroom floor on a fuzzy bathmat, and dried him in a fluffy towel and there, wrapped in that towel, we laid hands on him and commanded him to be healed in the name of Jesus. We commanded that he would fulfill his name, John (from the Hebrew 'God has been gracious') and Christopher, 'Christ bearer' or 'carrier of Christ'. That he would be a gracious witness for Christ in his life.
Power in the written Word?
We were zealous to only speak wholeness over him. When we put him to bed each night I would say, "By His stripes you were healed." from I Peter 2:24, usually quoting the whole verse. I had been trained to find a verse and stand on it. I had been taught the power of our words. I had been taught the power is in the written Word on the page. Just stand on the verse you choose, and having done all to stand, stand. That's what I was taught.
One day in 1984 when I was more frustrated than ever, wondering what I was dong wrong because I saw no change in him, the Father spoke directly to me: "What verse are you standing on?" I replied, "I Peter 2:24." He replied: "What is it?" A bit shocked He was asking me to quote chapter and verse but without hesitation I said: "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed."
He responded: "Very well. Can you get your eyes off the manifestation and just believe the promise (and rest in that?)"
That thought was new to me. I suddenly realized I had been looking for a sign of progress in every movement Chris made. Any sign of healing, any indication that things were changing, and tied that to speaking the scripture over him - more zealously and intensely and loudly and out of growing frustration than ever - oh when would we see some indication 'it was working'? I had been doing all my Bible teachers had said to do, but nothing had changed.
With that revelation I responded, "Yes, I can do that. I'll get my eyes off the manifestation and just believe the promise." He simply said: "Very well. Rest in that." I've been at peace ever since, though I still want Chris healed just as much as ever. But I stopped linking my faith to looking for a change in his body. I just believe and have therefore ceased from my own works, to rest.
Chris was about 4 or 5 when that exchange happened. And once he learned to talk and to this very day, when I put Chris to bed I say "By His stripes" and Chris completes the verse; "I was healed."
As far as Chris goes, the Lord spoke to him when he was about 21 saying to him: "I'm going to walk through the mountains with you." and more. Chris was SO excited when the Lord told him that. So that's where he is - he says that when he gets to heaven; "No more wheelchair." And when he has seen children running on TV; "When I get to heaven, I'm going to run like that!" He is at peace and is a blessing to all around him. He is truly showing the graciousness of Christ in his life - though not in the way Barb and I intended that day when we laid hands on him at 6 months of age.
Hebrews 1:1-3 - Jesus upholds all things by the Word of the Father's power
"God the Father after He spoke long ago to the Fathers by the prophets in many portions and many ways, has in these last days spoken to us through His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom also He made the world. Who, is the radiance of His (Father's) glory, and the impressed image and exact representation of His (Father's) nature, and upholds all things by the Word of His (Father's) power. When He made purification of sins He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty (Father) on high."
Notice Jesus upholds all things by the word of the Father's power. The Father has the power. He is the Majesty. Jesus is His physical representation, the Father's Word to us. But the power resides in the Father.
That Word from the Father became flesh and lived among us, John 1:14 says. Jesus is the manifested word of the Father's power. All Jesus is and does and did was and is flowing from the Father, the source of all good things. In John 5:19 and 30 Jesus said He did nothing and spoke nothing except what He had first seen and heard from the Father. Verse 20 continues: "For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He is doing..."
The Father is the power, which is why Jesus taught us to pray to the Father. "In that day (when I am gone from you) you will ask me nothing. But you will ask the Father in my name." John 16:23
Anything written on the page we call 'the Word' flows from the person who is the Word from the Father. The ink and page can become life to us as the Spirit quickens revelation to us. So go to the Father, and see what His Word, Jesus, would say to you about what verse to stand on. Seek the Father and see what He or the Lord might say to you about your situation, what revelation, what peace or insight might the Father or Lord give you? THEN go to chapter and verse. Do you know the Word, or the Word?
We'll close it out next week with who or what is the Sword of the Spirit? Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org