Around fifteen years ago, a woman in her sixties came into our church meeting. I was ministering on healing, and she came forward after the message for prayer.
There were others present in the the healing line. I didn’t always know why people came forward for prayer, so I would often ask why they had come forward.
She had been given six months to live. Her heart was weakening and she was not expected to pull through an operation because of her age and frailty. A Christian, she had come to our church because she had heard that we pray for the sick and that many had been healed.
My wife and I laid hands on her and we prayed the prayer of faith. I don’t remember the words we spoke, but they were in line with the Word of God which promises healing for the sick. Those that believe will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
I mention this because recently I received a Birthday greeting from this same precious woman, who has remained a friend all of these years, even though we handed that ministry over to another pastor a few years ago and have been engaged in a different mission in another country. She is still alive. Many years later. Over fifteen years. Thank you Jesus.
What the doctor had told her was superseded by what the Word of God says, and what we believe, and what we act upon, and what God confirms.
She continued visits to her doctor for a short time after we had prayed, beyond the six months, then a year, then eighteen months, who was astonished that she survived longer than he had suggested. Delighted, he considered it a miraculous occurrence beyond his understanding. She worked in our church on staff for many years after that.
Failing the Church with fables
When the cessationists we mention in these posts deny and reject healing for today, they take way opportunities for the sick that God never intended. He has given the responsibility for prayer for the sick and for deliverance to His Church. He has delegated the responsibility to believers. Not just to apostles, as they claim, but those who take His Word at face value and believe what it says, acting upon all it says.
God still has the ability to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think today.
When the cessationists set up online radio programs and blogs and oppose, amongst other things, healing, deliverance and the gifts of the Spirit for today, they do the Body of Christ a disservice, and fail those in their own circles who are suffering from illnesses, oppression, and even anxieties that can be relieved through the work of the Holy Spirit today in the Church, if only we would yield ourselves to Him and allow Him to work through us as His vessels of honour.
God still has the power to heal all who are oppressed by the devil today.
When the cessationists set up conferences that mock and scoff at believers who step out in faith to help meet the needs of the disenfranchised, the hopeless, the poor, the weak, the sick and the lonely by ministering the gospel and faithfully expecting the Holy Spirit to confirm the Word of God with signs following, they deny their people the opportunity for an encounter with God that will help them see His greatness and glory amongst His people.
God still has the capacity to amaze us today with His compassion, grace and power.
Deliverance from the life thief
God has given our friend who stood in the healing line that day a number of precious years with her own family, beyond medical science, a negative report, and a fatal diagnosis, years that would have been stolen from her if the enemy of Christ had had his way.
I write this because this was one example that stood out to me when I received that kind greeting, but it also reminds me that, by God’s grace, there have been many others over the years, for which God is glorified.
I stress that neither my wife nor I could heal anyone, but Christ in us through the Holy Spirit can do all things when we act on the Word, when we trust Him, and step out in His name.
When the Church comes back to the Word of truth and applies the full gospel of Christ to their service as followers of Christ we will see the length and depth and width and height of the love of God towards those who trust Him and come to Him and believe in all He has promised.
God’s name is Jehovah Rapha – The LORD Our Healer. He is Jehovah, and He never changes. He is the same yesterday, and today, and forever. His name will never end, nor His character, nor His power, nor His will to confirm His Word.
To God be the glory.