Sunday, May 25, 2014

Spiritual Gifts: Gift of Healing

By Hayley Boud
How many spiritual gifts are there?

I Corinthians 12:7-11
1. wisdom
2. knowledge
3. faith
4. miracles
5. prophecy
6. healing
7. discerning spirits
8. tongues
9. interpretation of tongues

There are nine spiritual gifts and all the gifts that you might know you have come under these headings. 

1. Who would like to have the gift of healing?
2. Why?  To be seen by others or to help others?
3. What is the gift of healing?

Healing isn’t only about physical healing but it is also spiritual and emotional and bringing healing comes in many forms.  To have the gift of healing you need to be compassionate, merciful and encouraging.  A verse can bring healing, a hug, saying the right thing at the right time, listening without judging, singing, music (suggest to the person to play some worship music), making the person’s dinner or lunch, bringing them medicine, taking them to the doctor.

Proverbs 16:24, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

To have the gift of healing doesn’t mean you will see the person healed instantly from cancer.  It means you genuinely care for those who are sick and you put yourself in their shoes and you pray with sincerity and you won’t forget about them, they will stay in your mind all day for months until they are healed.  You’ll be genuinely concerned to the point that you ‘ll ring them to find out how they are going, you’ll visit them, send a card or give them support like taking them to the doctor or buying them medicine.

4. Do you need faith to heal someone or to be healed?

Yes, as Jesus Himself said, “your faith has made you well’ but you only need a small amount of faith, you don’t need to have a big faith because Jesus said the faith needed is only as small as a mustard seed.  We must all have that amount of faith, even more, because we all accepted to serve Jesus whom we have never seen.  That takes a lot of faith so we all must have at least a mustard seed amount of faith. 
Therefore, if someone isn’t healed immediately, it is not because of a lack of faith on our behalf, it is simply God’s will for the healing to take time.  It is a very bad philosophy to blame someone for not being healed and tell that person it is because they lacked faith.  It doesn’t depend on a big faith, it only depends on God and He knows the right time to be healed and how to be healed.  Healing is a process of slowly being changed.  We don’t know what is happening on the inside, we might be seriously ill on the inside without even knowing it and God is healing that first.  You might have a headache and you think that you have had that for several days, when is God going to heal you but maybe you have a tumour and God is healing you from the inside out.
Proverbs 3:7-8, “Don’t be wise in your own eyes but fear the Lord and turn from evil.  It will be healing to your body.”
To understand this verse we will look at the story in Mark 8:22-26 where a blind man was brought to Jesus and entreated Jesus to touch him.  Jesus took the man out of the village, spat on his eyes, laid his hands on him and said, “Do you see anything?”   The man could only see men walking around like trees, he couldn’t see clearly but he didn’t say it like a complaint, he said it like this is an improvement.
People forget to give praises to God when things improve.  They only want to get whole healing so they don’t thank God for getting better.  We have to acknowledge the improvement in the same way the blind man did and we have to praise God for that.  First we have to feel better than what it was before and the more you feel better, the more things in general get better and this is the way with God’s healing.
The blind man told Jesus what he saw, he told him about the improvement and then Jesus touched him again and that time he had a clear picture.  After feeling better tell God, “things are better, please touch me a second time”. 
When the man was brought to Jesus, he was completely blind and Jesus led him outside of Bethsaida instead of healing him straight away.  Jesus said nothing, he was quiet and we don’t know for how long they walked, it might have been days walking without saying anything and Jesus giving the appearance of ignoring the problem.  Sometimes we pray and tell God our problems and He sees but he says nothing and He leads us in a different direction.  You can have a headache and someone rings you with all their problems.  It’s leading you somewhere else while you have a headache.  You might be praying for years and years but God is leading you without responding to your needs.  He leads you outside and touches you but you only see a small change and it’s not complete and God will ask you, how do you feel now?
Sometimes God gives a taste of healing, a taste of the solution but it’s not complete and it doesn’t respond 100% to the problem.  The power bill is $100 but you only get $20 and it feels disappointing because you expected it all at once but only a small portion is given which isn’t helpful.  You might have a headache and you find codeine works but only 10%. 
The blind man respected God because he followed Him and accepted to be lead outside of the village where he was familiar.  Because he accepted to follow Christ, he discovered healing in a different place and way than what he expected.  He was now in an unfamiliar place.  God removed him from his village where he knew the roads and shops and houses well and he knew as a blind man how to walk by taking two steps forward and turn the left and take three steps forward etc.  This new area was unfamiliar and as a blind man he could not have walked around this new place as he didn’t know it.  God is taking us to a new place.  For example, Hayley used to sleep until 11am but now she will wake up at 7am and everyone will be surprised because she has changed to something else.
After Jesus touched the blind man for the second time, He told him not to go back to the village.  Don’t go back to what you were familiar with, don’t go back to your problems.  E.g. Hayley don’t go back to sleeping until 11am.  I used to have reactive hypoglycaemia which meant I couldn’t eat sugar without passing out or going temporarily blind.  After I was healed I was too scared to eat sugar even though I was healed and I knew I was healed.  I wanted to go back to my old village where things were safe.  I had to take courage to eat the first biscuit but once I did I never went back to the old village.
So getting back to the verse in proverbs, many people believe they are wise, they believe they have the right strategy and know how to bring healing but we have to remember that everything comes from God.  The blind man entreated Jesus to touch him.  I imagine that was with shouting and begging because he knew this might be his only opportunity to be healed.  Maybe people around him were telling him to be quiet but he needed what others had.  Those that had sight were telling him to be quiet and all he wanted was to have what they have.
Those that have will think us stupid when we complain.  Those that are healthy will say to the sick, “it’s too much now, we are sick of your stories, it’s always about you” because they have what they need.  The wisdom of man is to think others don’t have what they have because they are stupid or because they don’t know how to get it or look after themselves and what they are facing is the consequence of their stupid actions.  The wisdom of God is like this story of the blind man where Jesus heard the man crying for help and Jesus came close and gave him sight.
Those that already had sight didn’t admire what they had, they took it for granted but when the blind man received it, he was extremely grateful and now he is written in the Bible for the whole world to receive a big message. 
The wisdom of man doesn’t consider what God has given them, they think it is normal.  For example, I type up the message on Sundays and for me it is easy and normal and I don’t really understand why others think I’m so good for being able to do it.  It just seems normal to me.  There are things that you do and I can’t and when I say, ‘wow, you are amazing,’ you think to yourself, ‘no, not really’.  But we forget that there are many who can’t do what we can, many without hands or without intelligence.  We can’t mock others for not being as clever as we are.  Others deserve what we have but they don’t get it and we judge saying it is their fault and sometimes we even tell them, ‘shut up, it’s too much now’.  It’s like Work and Income who tell those on a benefit to get a job while there are many with qualifications who can’t get work but Work and Income treats the jobless as though they are zero and it’s their fault for not having any work. 
For God it is different, those that have zero will glorify God when they get it.  For example, those in hospital can’t even sit down and we can sit down without thinking about it and we think with that annoyed tone, ‘oh, just sit down’.  God gives you something and it’s very important but we don’t recognise how important it is and others don’t have it and suffer for years and they glorify God when they get it be we who have it, don’t even care that we have it.
Like the blind man who cried for help, people around us are asking for help but we just think they are complainers.  How would you feel to be that person?  People ask us to pray and we think, “again” and we are sick of that same prayer and we complain in our heart so that our prayer is dead. 
Maybe with our human wisdom we think we deserve it but God doesn’t give according to our sin or our greatness.  He gives however He wants.  With our human wisdom we think we know how to get healing but we need God’s wisdom and when he moves us out of a situation we can’t go back…that is wisdom that brings healing.  E.g. if you are healed from smoking, don’t go back to cigarettes because He has already pulled you out, why go back in?  You have been shown the direction but you want to go back and then tell God, “forgive me”.  The blind man had all his friends and family back at Bethsaida but was told to not go back.  You can have all the things you like in the past life but don’t go back to them.  Unfortunately, many people make two or three steps forward and go back again believing they can ask for forgiveness. 
If we are wise we will fear God which means we will live like a restricted person.  To fear God is to accept all His instructions and don’t go back to old life.  Restrictions for God is different to the restricted licence.  The restricted licence allows a person to drive but not after 10pm so you are restricted only in some areas.  For God, when there is a restriction it is a complete restriction.  If He says to not go back to alcohol it doesn’t mean you can have one glass with your meal at dinner, it means no alcohol full-stop. 
This is to have the wisdom from God that brings healing.  Healing from God is gradual and we have to be grateful for the changes.  We are very forgetful but I think we can all look back and see changes.  I used to be so sick that I could only walk to the end of the street but now I can walk for hours if I want to.  I used to get four sinus infections per year, last year I didn’t have one.  Mum couldn’t wear shoes two years ago and had to suffer through winter with jandles but now she can wear sneakers for short periods.  We can all say that we are better than what we were. 
Let’s praise God now  because we are better than what we were.  Tell God the areas of improvement like the blind man did.  Then if you need healing pray for God’s wisdom, pray you will fear God and obey His instructions and not go back to your old life.

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