- Introduction to healing
We need to spend some time in understanding what the bible says about healing. We have a world which is dominated by theories as to what is right and wrong. I know that you find yourselves in predicaments of challenge when it comes to healing. Holistic or medical or great grannies remedy – where do we go ?
We find that our Christian world is dominated with a run around to different heroes of the world. There are no heroes in God’s eyes, only humble partners with the Holy Spirit .I am not saying that these people are all wrong, however, I do want to prioritise the power potential of the local church.
What about people who are not miraculously healed like Joni Eareckson who is a quadriplegic still today, or Timothy with a stomach condition, or Paul with a thorn in his flesh or Debbie Veysie with a renal transplant ? We will hopefully get some answers today.
Different methods are described in scripture and so we need to see that it is right yes that the elders lay hands and anoint with oil, but also that we are open to the Holy Spirit’s ministry in different ways – communion, laying on of hands, prayer,counselling, words of knowledge, balanced lives, better thinking patterns.
We need to also face our past prejudices on healing and the times where we may have felt that it’s for others and not for me.
We need to take serious cognisance of the developments in medical science and how God works through these as well. We need to also be aware of natural remedies that have helped humankind, God – inspired through the centuries. We may blot out a healing method purely because we think it is not Godly. At the same time though we need to be discerning. Healing is often a process and requires time and patience. It can happen supernaturally in an instance but this is not normally the case. We need to know that the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, healing, distinguishing of spirits , tongues and interpretation all work in the realm of healing and they will be manifested when we are worshipping the Lord in spirit and in truth.
There is sometimes a link between personal sin and sickness but not always – David and Bathsheba 2 Sam 11 and 12 and then the outcome in Psalm 32: 3and 4.
Sometimes there is absolutely no relationship between personal sin and sickness – the man born blind in John 9:2,3.
Sometimes God heals and sometimes he doesn’t – Trophimus left sick in Miletus (2 Tim 4:20) and Epaphroditus almost died while ministering.(Phil 2:25 –27) Timothy’s stomach problem (1 Tim 5)and Paul’s thorn in the flesh(2 Cor 12)
- Who was Elisha?:
Elisha, whose name in Hebrew means “God is Salvation,” was an Israelite prophet and disciple of Elijah. Accounts of Elisha’s life and activities are found in 1 and 2 Kings, but these biblical texts are the only records we have of such a person.
According to the Bible, Elisha was active during the reigns of Israelite kings Joram, Jehu, Jehoahaz, and Joash, which would place him during the last half of the 9th century BCE.
Elisha is described as the son of a (possibly rich) farmer in Galilee who was called by Elijah while tilling one of his family’s fields. This story has strong parallels with the accounts of Jesus calling his own disciples in Galilee, some of whom were in the act of fishing when Jesus encountered them. Elisha preached and worked in the northern kingdom of Israel and eventually came to live on Mt. Caramel with a servant.
It is interesting to me that the concept of a yolk/ cloak/ mantle of another is a strong theme in the New Testament and Jesus uses this to call his disciples away from the old burdensome mantles of legalism and religiosity into a wealthy of knowledge and walking with God.
Elisha is depicted as a miracle worker, for example healing the sick and reviving the dead. One curious story has him calling out two bears to maul and kill a group of children who mocked his bald head. Elisha was also heavily involved in politics, for example helping the king‘s forces attack Moab an
Elisha delayed merely to give the farewell kiss to his father and mother and preside at a parting feast with his people, and then followed the great prophet on his northward road. We hear nothing more of Elisha for eight years, until the translation of his master, when he reappears, to become the most prominent figure in the history of his country during the rest of his long life.
- We pick up the story of the healing of Naaman in 2 Kings 5: 1- 14
- How should we approach people when it comes to healing?
- No superiority. Elisha did not superiority over Naaman but rather servanthood and called him to obedience – dip 7 times.
- Preach Christ and him crucified.(also 2 Cor 11:3) Elisha brought glory to the Lord and not his own and ministered with a focus on the Lord not himself.
- Weakness, fear and much trembling. I think it’s important to always approach healing very humbly and not in our own strength. When we are weak then God can be strong. He heals or doesn’t heal.
- Not persuasive words of wisdom – but love. Much love needs to be exercised in healing so that we don’t go as one’s who are full of empty words.
- Demonstrate the Spirit’s power not your own. We need to understand that as with Naaman the Holy Spirit’s power is being demonstrated through the healing not ours. We need to be very dependent on the Holy Spirit when praying for healing.
- Don’t let your faith rest on people but on God. In healing we can be so let down by people but not by God. We need to not give up because others may have let us down.
- The power of God. In healing the power of God is demonstrated and I am sure that Naaman’s healing would have made a huge impact on the king and others he went back to when they saw that his skin was like a young boy again.