Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Believers In Divine Healing Can Go to a Doctor

With this we finish the series on the subject of divine healing.

Show Yourself to a Priest
In modern western society, the professional tasked with certifying the health of individuals who have been sick is the doctor. In ancient Hebrew society that was not the case, the priests performed that function. According to Moses, a person who was ill (with certain symptoms anyhow) needed to have a priest pronounce them clean before they could rejoin the commerce of normal life. That is why Jesus told some of the folks he healed to show themselves to a priest. It was the way to verify that healing had taken place in that society according to the Mosaic law.

I understand, anecdotally, that Kathryn Kuhlman followed that pattern in her ministry. If someone was on medication or in treatment, she told them to show themselves to the doctor and let him or her see the healing for his or herself. I applaud that approach. Afterall, we are not promoting pretend healings (ones that are present in words but not in body) any more than we foist pretend deliverances (ones where spirits are roped and bound but the folk haven't changed).

To those who are fellow charismatics, let's be honest: a healing either has occurred or it hasn't. Some may be delayed in appearing, but we were never tasked with making excuses for the inactivity of God by using wispy exercises in semantics if they haven't. If a healing hasn't occurred, we say it hasn't happened,YET!  Having folks confess healings that haven't actually occurred is just plain lying and more worthy of rebuke than anything Jesus' disciples did.

Healing has also been turned into a carnival and a sleight-of-hand show by some. Whereas Jesus and the Apostles drew crowds when healing, they never resorted to revving them up nor manipulating them emotionally in order to "build faith". My point is this: nothing akin to what is often practiced today in the name of healing and deliverance was even remotely testified to in the Bible, and if not there then why here? Where are the demonstrable results, anyhow, for such antics when the dust settles after they're done? 

When a healing occurs in someone who has had a prior diagnosis, we should want it verified so that all the glory can go to God. Jesus did. A physician may not be able to admit that God was the cause, but at least he or she can verify that what was, no longer is. The faithless will posit everything other than God as the reason, but at least they won’t be able to justifiably deny that something actually did occur.

Use Your Head, and That of Others
God has been known to provide food miraculously, without toil and sweat, sowing and reaping. Just because he has chosen to do that at times, doesn't mean he chooses to do that at all times. So a sensible believer sows and reaps, eats a balanced diet, and prays that God will bless the efforts. Generally, he does and we eat with thanksgiving.

God has been known to miraculously zap folk from one place to another or to allow them to pass through or over things they could not otherwise get by. Just because he has chosen to do that at times, doesn't mean he chooses to do that at all times. So a sensible believer flies or drives, walks into the depths only with scuba gear, and prays that God will grant traveling mercies. Generally, he does, and we thank God for reaching our destinations.

Should we be too good to use the fruit of sensible efforts, and demand nothing but the miraculous? Good diets, good habits, joy in God and peace with people go a long way toward providing our bodies with what they need to function well. Even though we have the earnest of the invigorating Spirit of God sustaining our dying flesh; a fatty diet, a taste for tobacco, or disdain toward a brother or sister will likely produce less than optimum health. So we do what makes sense and trust God to bless us.

Generally, we see the clear sensibility of using our understanding of how things work to aid our journey through life, and we do so with thanks to God. To that end, what's the difference between spraying bodies of water with a pesticide oil to rid the environment of a pesky infestation of gnats, and taking an antibiotic to deal with a bodily infection? Bugs in the wilderness versus bugs in us. Does faith in God’s provision of healing preclude using the knowledge of the physician? Before we exclude using the sensible, shouldn't we ask ourselves whether doing so is truly faith in God or just hubris in us?

The Bottom Line

The last thing believers want to do is displace their faith in God with faith in men and women in lab coats. It is an unspeakable joy to know that God is willing to exert his awesome power to address our mundane needs. He has purposely made effective blessing in the here and now (healing in this case) part of the atonement of Christ. Can we let the wonder of that sink in for a moment!

Does that mean that the blessings won by Christ can only come to us by way of the miraculous? I don't see that kind of sentiment anywhere taught in scripture. Trusting God is what we're asked to do by God. So, in the words of an old Keith Green song, which I think we can apply to the subject of divine healing well enough, "keep doing your best, and pray that it's blessed, and Jesus takes care of the rest."


Anonymous said...


I can't tell you how many times I've met people who won't go to the doctor, or take medication, as if that somehow proves our faith.

Our advice to people at Healing On The Streets is now go see your doctor before you make any lifestyle changes. Keep taking your meds until the doctor checks out what you've experienced today. We tell people that. We give them a letter that reiterates that. It doesn't seem to destroy their joy or their new found faith!

We also encourage them to come back and tell us what the doctor found. It's amazing how many sceptical doctors have recorded "inexplicable overnight recovery" in people's notes!

From our own point of view, I think it is important to do whatever we do in faith. When I go see the doctor, I first pray. My faith is in God that my doctor can help me.

Thank God for your doctor's gift and hard work. Ask God for His wisdom in the consulting room today. Thank Him for the treatments that co-operate with the laws of His creation to make you well. Go to the doctor. Do so in faith in your Creator.

Thanks for a level-headed and faith-filled post.

Sista Cala said...

slw, I have been keeping up w/these posts, I just haven't taken the time to comment. Actually, I printed them from Bloglines and have been reading the hardcopies. They are a great resource to me. I work in healthcare and often I am asked about the things you have been posting in this series. Keep up the good work, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for another interesting post.I wonder how many Dr. Luke examined and pronounced well?

A number of years ago I saw a sign in the office of a Doctor I was seeing. I wish all Doctors had this attitude. The sign read, - "God does all the healing, the doctor just collects the money."

I'm looking forward to your next subject. Thanks again for your insight.

SLW said...

It's been a pleasure to have you along for the ride. That is an awesome thought concerning Luke, the physician. I like the doctor's sign too!!!