July 13, 2010

God Cares About Your Body And Your Healing – But He Has His Priorities

Posted in Devotionals, Disability tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 10:32 pm by Sarah Bosse

If you’re walking through a time of pain and sickness in your life, it’s easy to think that physical healing is the one thing you need more than anything else.  It’s sometimes also what others think you need most.  But it’s not always what God KNOWS you need most.  After years and years of praying for healing, it can become difficult to say that prayer and ask for healing even one more time.  In my case, it’s not that I think God unable to heal.  In fact, God has shown me a number of times in my own life that he is entirely able to heal my body.

Usually it is one of two things that makes it difficult for me to pray for healing.  The first reason it can be difficult is that I may truly be hoping for healing, and it does not come.  This can be emotionally draining and disheartening.  But when I am of a better mindset, and I am content, I am okay with the suffering, because I can begin to see the fruit that it produces in my life.  I would rather have pain that produces fruit than a painless life that is worthless and fruitless.

I have, at times, been told that it is a lack of faith that has prevented me from being healed permanently. Yet I fully believe that God has the power to heal as he wills. Even more, I am confident he will heal me in his perfect timing, which may be when he calls me home.  In light of eternity, I am already saved, healed, and perfected.  I must surrender my desire for healing (while on earth) over to him and not let it become a spiritual stumbling block, a pathetic excuse for throwing a hateful fist at God with a demand that he heal me because of my faith.

True faith is a gift that comes from God and not from within myself. Attempting to wield faith as a manipulative tool against God to somehow make him do what we want is an absolute perversion of faith’s intended purpose, which is to draw us near to God as we trust in what is unseen but known through faith. Faith helps us to transcend the real-life circumstances around us and give our minds and souls ascent to the reality of Christ’s all-sufficiency. Faith doesn’t demand, but trusts, believes, and obeys.

Faith has two hands.  One of Faith’s hands is open and eagerly receives from God whatever He wills to give.  The other is set to work and fervently takes the seeds received in the palm of the first hand and plants it into the ground so that they may grow; and fruit is produced from the labor and works of faith.  Faith without works is dead.  Works without faith are fruitless, because we may be working, but we have no seeds to plant into the soil we are digging.  But without the gifts of God and our ability, by His grace, to receive His gifts, we are unable to have seeds to plant and fruit to grow.  Every good thing comes from God.

Now, if I did not have faith that God can and will heal in his perfect timing, then yes… there is biblical evidence that doubt could hinder healing.  I believe that’s another topic for another blog post, however, and I prefer not to detract nor distract from the main ideas here.

God is jealous of His people and their hearts.  His name is Jealous – Exodus 34.  HE calls HIMSELF by the name “Jealous”.

Verse 14 makes plain what the covenant demands from Israel and what image we should have in our mind. “For you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” The demand of the covenant is for single-minded worship of God alone. And the image created in our mind by the word “jealous” is the picture of a lover or a husband who gets angry when someone else competes for the heart of his wife or when her heart goes away after other lovers.

This picture is confirmed by verses 15 and 16 which warn Israel against playing the harlot with other gods. The demand of the covenant is: don’t be a harlot. Don’t commit adultery against God. Don’t let your heart turn from him and go after other things. For your God, your husband, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

God is jealous like a powerful and merciful king who takes a peasant girl from a life of shame, forgives her, marries her, and gives her not the chores of a slave, but the privileges of a wife—a queen. His jealousy does not rise from fear or weakness but from a holy indignation at having his honor and power and mercy scorned by the faithlessness of a fickle spouse.

The ten commandments are not a job description for God’s employees. They are the wedding vows that the peasant girl takes to forsake all others and to cleave to the king alone and to live in a way that brings no dishonor to his great name.

I urge you to listen to this warning. The jealousy of God for your undivided love and devotion will always have the last say. Whatever lures your affections away from God with deceptive attraction will come back to strip you bare and cut you in pieces. It is a horrifying thing to use your God-given life to commit adultery against the Almighty.

But for those of you who have been truly united to Christ and who keep your vows to forsake all others and cleave only to him and live for his honor—for you the jealousy of God is a great comfort and a great hope. Since God is infinitely jealous for the honor of his name, anything and anybody who threatens the good of his faithful wife will be opposed with divine omnipotence.

Now, I must pray that God will reveal to me what is in my heart and those things that are idols in my life and that draw my focus away from God and towards this temporal life.  It is our sinful temptation to worship the gifts and not the Giver.  IS MY DESIRE FOR HEALING ASSUMING THE PLACE OF GOD IN MY HEART?  Sometimes it does for me.  God is faithful to reveal my sin and call me back.  He wants to be on the throne.  And He will remove anything necessary in my life to achieve His glorious purpose of causing me to worship Him – and I praise Him for that!

So now, let’s go back to the idea of physical healing and how faith, eternity, and God’s preeminence by listening to a short (less than 3 minute) video by John Piper, who is more equipped to end this blog post with something noteworthy that both you and I will remember.  To God be the Glory for the things He has done, the things He will do, and the things He has already done but that we only now see by faith during our short time on earth.

TRANSCRIPT
Don’t make a mistake.  God cares about your body.  Big time.  He simply didn’t come to fix all that in this age.  He cares 10 million times more about your soul, and about your everlasting life, and about the resurrection from the dead at the last day when this old body will rise and be made new, and we will… what does it say in the fighter verse?  He will wipe away every tear from her eyes, death will be no more.  Neither mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away.  Oh, he cares about crying.  He cares about tears.  He cares about leukemia, he cares about cancer, he cares about sore throats, he cares about depression.  He cares about these things.  But he cares 10 million times more about what becomes of us forever.  We just have to keep these things balanced right.  And your eternity is 10,000, 10,000, 10 million, pick a number, times more important than whether you get well now.  What matters is that you get well eventually and stay well for ever!  Satisfied not mainly by his gifts, but by himself.  This is eternal life, that they might know you, the only God and the One whom you have sent.  So he cares, but in a certain order, both in priority and time.  He will make you well, yes he will, in due time; every one of you who trusts him.

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