Last week I shared how Paul told the Corinthians their prejudice against members of their own (house) church had made them weak, sickly, and some had even died. They did it to themselves, as did Epaphras who worked himself nearly to death. We sometimes open the door through failing love or working or stressing ourselves, but when can we expect God to heal us?
Name that healing...
Can you name any specific instant healing in the gospels or Acts in which the person had knowingly done caused that condition? To put it another way, of the specifically cited individual healings in the gospels, did Jesus ever heal a person who had knowingly caused that medical condition in their body? The answer is no. In Matthew 15:30-31 it mentions the maimed being made whole - 'maiming' is the result of an accident - they didn't knowingly maim themselves.
Consider: The woman with the hemorrhaging issue didn't do anything to create that condition in her. Did blind Bartimaeus or the man born blind purposely make themselves blind? No. Did any of the deaf people, lepers, those unable to speak, lame, the woman severely bent over - did they knowingly do something that gave them their condition? No. Did Malchus whose ear Peter cut off with a sword but Jesus put back on and healed, ask Peter to cut off his ear? No.
Did the daughter of Jairus who died of a fever, the Gentile woman's daughter 'vexed' of a demon, or Peter's mother in law knowingly do something that caused them to get the fevers and illnesses that Jesus later healed or raised them from the dead? No. Not a single one of the specifically named cases in the gospels that Jesus healed even hint at the person having done it to themselves. The man Paul raised from the dead after he fell out the window was an accident, but he didn't purposely fall out the window. Dorcas got a fever and died, who Peter raised from the dead. Did she get the fever on purpose? No.
So why when we eat ourselves into obesity, thus causing joint and heart/lung issues and more do we pray for a divine healing? Why when we eat factory prepared foods void of nutrition or knowingly don't get enough vitamins and minerals and then are sickly, do we expect divine healing?
Why do people smoke knowing it can cause cancer and a host of other conditions, or purposely lift something we know we shouldn't, or overwork to the point of exhaustion and/or causing ailments within us (as in my case with the vertigo or even the AFib), or carry worry and fear when we know we need to get with the Lord to give it to Him - and expect God to instantly heal us? If the record of Jesus and in Acts is instant healing only for those people who came into their condition through no direct intent nor fault of their own, why do we expect Him to instantly heal us when we knowingly did it to ourselves?
Our bodies are of the earth and we are stewards of everything from our time on earth to our earth bodies. We are responsible. It's that simple. Sins against the body are manifest in the body as Paul said. What infrastructure must we set up to change our lives as it pertains to health, nutrition, walking in love towards fellow disciples?
Balancing faith, healing, common sense, judging your own heart
Paul told Timothy in his first letter (5:23): "Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine for your stomach for your frequent illnesses." Whether the 'oinos' (wine) was fermented or just juice is irrelevant for this subject - Paul told Timothy to use what he considered medicine for his stomach. Last week I shared how Paul noted Erastus had worked himself literally to the point of death, and needed time to recover.
Taking time to recover and drinking some wine for his stomach's sake are both practical solutions. Paul, this man who called blindness on Elymas the sorcerer who opposed him, who raised a man from the dead who had fallen out of a window, this man from whose hands God did special miracles through cloths he had been in contact with - this man of noted miracles over the course of years, told his friends to take some medicine, get some rest and recover.
When our kids were little and they got a fever or cold or something, we would lay hands on them, but if they weren't better within a short amount of time, certainly no longer than 24 hours, we would get them to a doctor. You don't make innocent children suffer just because you are 'standing in faith' - you have to do what is right because you are on the earth in the natural first, and then the spiritual follows.
People violate common sense and then wonder where God is. They do everything wrong in the natural and then cry out for a miracle. Thus they live a roller coaster life of down then up, miracle then down then up to a miracle then down again - rather than living in a flow of provision unlocked by doing what is right in the natural and common sense.
It is like the lady I've shared about who would write checks to local merchants knowing she didn't have money in her account. Then she came to me, her pastor, for prayer to give her husband a raise, to have favor with the banks to remove some fees, to have favor with the stores to let her write more checks - but for God to answer that prayer would mean He was enabling her sin, or at the least partnering with her in her sin.
His solution was that I worked with her to help establish a budget, and discipline - doing what is right in the natural set up the infrastructure of her life through which God could flow. It wasn't elegant, it was difficult, hard on the flesh, and 'normal'. But it was the divine answer, the divine 'touch' from God she needed.
That is why Paul...
...repeatedly lists the qualifications of leaders as morally upright, stable in life, stable in family. They have the infrastructure in place for God to bless them in the natural. He is in the spiritual, we live in the natural. God is righteous and honest and He can only flow through that - so if our lives are not matching His integrity, then we tie His hands.
This series has been one in which I've shared my own experience and conversation with the Father concerning why I had vertigo. His solution wasn't a dramatic divine touch, rather He directed me back to better stewardship of my time and energy. His solution was seen with the very mundane and practical steps of taking a full day off each week, but it was a divine touch.
The supernatural is often hidden within the practical. That makes it seemingly simple, mundane, even boring. We don't want to be like Naaman whose pride at being told to wash in the muddy Jordan river 7x would heal him of his leprosy caused him to turn away - the miracle didn't come in the form he expected so he rejected God's solution. Don't be like that.
Very often it is the simple act of taking responsibility for our lives that is the supernatural act God requires. It isn't glorious nor doest it come with goosebumps and chills. As with Jesus making people sit down in organized groups, the Father flows through practical things we do to facilitate Him moving in our midst.
I hope this series has provided food for thought...new subject next week, until then, blessings,
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