All of creation comes from God and is sustained by the power of His might. Life is His gift and the healing of life is His action, always. Whether the healing flows through the restorative processes built into human existence by design or through medical intervention or through a supernatural action, it comes from God. I am thankful for all healing, but here I write to give gratitude for the charismatic gift of healing, a gift of the Holy Spirit.
I have witnessed and been personally connected to several miraculous healings. In my early childhood there was an elderly sister in our church who was healed of a cauliflower, cancerous growth on her nose. In its place was smooth baby-like skin. A child born deaf in one ear was instantly healed. Most significantly for me, my mother was healed on several occasions. For one of those I was there when the doctor told us the cancer was incurable, the best they could do would be to “manage her death.” She was given three to six months to live. A few nights later God healed her as she and Dad knelt by their bed and prayed. She lived for many years without any treatment and without that cancer, although she did die of a different cancer.
I have had two instant healings in my ministry. The first was in Ashville, North Carolina. I was a Lee student on a Pioneers for Christ invasion. It was one of my first sermons, not one I could preach today. The team had met a paralyzed woman in the community and brought her to the service in a wheel chair. She was wheeled forward during the altar call and I felt strongly God was going to heal her. A couple of us lifted her to her feet. I saw the look of astonishment on her face when she was healed. She pushed herself up and down to her feet, smiling and weeping at the same time. Holding on to one of my peers she took a few steps. She came back that evening using a walker and testified she had been paralyzed for years with no feeling from her waist down, “I was like a wet wash cloth,” she stated.
The second healing in my ministry came years later on a ministry trip to India in the late eighties. It also involved paralysis. A young man came forward dragging his right foot with his right hand dangling loose except when he cuddled it with his left hand. God spoke very clearly to me and said He was going to heal the man. Again, I saw the expression on his face as he realized God was healing him. As I left the tent that evening he had both hands raised praising our God.
I believe the atonement of Jesus Christ is for all of creation. Redemption is for our entire being. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. There will be a resurrection. Our salvation is already but not yet. Our healing is a provision of His atonement and it is as certain as His resurrection. The question is not whether we will be healed, but when. If the Kingdom of God is breaking into this world, then we should expect to see the fruit of the Kingdom in this life, including healing. The gifts of the Spirit are a sign the Kingdom is breaking into this world. The end of the ages is rushing in upon us and it is glorious. In Christ all is becoming whole.
As I stated above, all healing is an act of God. There is a lot of disagreement about the gift of healing and how it functions in the Body of Christ. Some understand spiritual gifts to reside in the individual. In this view select persons are chosen to function as healers. I believe the gifts always flow from the Holy Spirit who may choose to minister them through whomever She chooses at any given time. Individuals may develop a special sensitivity to the Spirit’s presence to heal and thus they may be more inclined to have faith for those moments. They appear to have within them the gift of healing. My conviction is that we should all hunger to see people healed and that the hunger should be matched by willingness and desire to be the vessel through whom the healing comes. Let us all seek spiritual gifts. I am so thankful I have been blessed to witness and even participate in the gift of healing.
January 20, 2010