I believe as I have for over 40 years, that God can and often does heal with no help from doctors- and I also believe Paul the apostle had Dr. Luke by his side for good reason.
“Paul left Trophimus in Miletus sick” is, among several passages (such as “Timothy, take a little wine due to your frequent stomach ailments”) in the New Testament a testament to the both/and nature of God’s hand on our lives while we live on this planet.
Did Paul and these brothers have sin in their lives, lack of faith or ?? Please! The Spirit did a LOT of miracles through Paul. Why did he write such things and not either encourage or correct their error of sin, or unbelief… or for that matter simply tell them to get others to pray for their healing?
Healing is not simply a matter of faith, sin and God’s willingness to heal. It’s also a matter of God’s wisdom, timing and reasons while at present often only seen “through a glass darkly” by us.
What does a biblical phrase like “and His ways past finding out mean”? That any human has full understanding and perfect interpretation of all scripture? “It says” and “it also says” are often in the back of my mind when considering doctrine and theology.
Some will say I’m copping out on biblical faith, have no knowledge of the Spirit’s gifts and working, maybe even God’s love for us and absolute power to heal, absolute promises in His Word.
Were that the case it would be easier to explain how John Wimber, his son Chris and others of the greatest faith healers of modern times often died with various illnesses- though the Holy Spirit via them truly brought certified physical healing to some thousands of people world-wide!
One of several problems all people of faith have is answering the un-answerable and frankly, “if anyone thinks they know they know not yet as they ought to know” sums it up for me. That too, is God’s Word to us.
I personally heard John Wimber say (as he did to me, personally) on many occasions “I pray for some and they are healed. I pray for some and they die. I don’t know why.”
We so want our theology and doctrine wrapped up nice and tight but why God does or does not intervene as we think He should or even “must” due to promises of Jesus seemingly “absolute” in their meaning is a mystery and will remain so until we see His face in heaven.
I both worry and am so very tired of people falling away from faith in Jesus, at times pretty much based on what they did or did not get from God regarding healing or other requests.
Tozer’s overview line about preaching and teaching in extremism was”nickel-in-the-slot-theology”. In other words, read, believe, name, essentially demand God do X, Y or Z for you or your loved ones and that’s that. Until it isn’t, and sometimes doesn’t happen. So many have gotten bitter at the ministers and/or the church preaching without wisdom as such calamities took place, and plenty consequently blame God for the tragedies they experience.
There are many passages and stories in the New Testament much less the historical record of the broad church that rather clearly shout “sometimes the answer is ‘Not the way you think'”! Sometimes the answer is “No” and only God knows why!
I have personally fasted and prayed and experienced as well as seen others healed of things as basic as headaches and intense as cancer and other illnesses in no less that miraculous ways. I have also officiated and attended funerals of folks whose life story offered nothing short of depth of biblical faith, deep love for God and others, commitment to Jesus, righteous acts and who along with many others had claimed the same promises of the Lord with regard to healing.
Do I believe in the true, loving, healing Jehovah Rapha of the Bible? YES. Do I think He is true to His Word? YES. Do I think anyone on earth has gotten a solid formula down as to how to somehow produce 100 percent “what we want or are even convinced we need” response from God for each and all occasions? Absolutely not.
This has never discouraged me from praying for healing (and of course, other things) as I believe the core matter is not healing nor even answers to prayer but relationship to God which often happens best as a result of need coupled with a sort of “searchlight” from Him on our truest love(s).
In other words, our spiritual depth of closeness to Jesus and personal discipleship are in part, exposed, challenged and strengthened when we do -not- get what we want. Our center becomes God rather than ourselves, those we love or merely our self. Is this fun? Personal cross-bearing NEVER IS. Relationships to God as to others who, unlike Him, will always bring us face to face with others’ and our own flaws will always involve pain and loss. There is no avoiding these in this life.
Far too many have strayed from Him, His Word and His people as things didn’t go as they wished because they couldn’t, wouldn’t or were not at peace with the apparent “No” for an answer.
Do I LIKE this? No.
But like Job, I wasn’t there nor did He choose to ask me about how things should be done when He made the universe.
God HEALS! He does it daily in and among plenty of people all over the world. He does it miraculously and via doctors.
God at times, for His own reasons and “ways past finding out” does not always heal.
I still trust Him more than either myself or other human beings… for good reason.
If faith and love depend on God only and always doing things as I wish, they are neither the gift nor fruit of faith mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5… nor His “agape”love.
Things to consider on an extended winter’s day here in Chicago 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn