by Lahry Sibley
I’ve been a Christian for 40 years or so. I’ve been in lots of congregations, various denominations, and listened to some great messages. I’ve also listened to a lot of religion and down right error. No subject has been preached on more than healing, no doubt. Why? Because we have lots of folks that are sick and infirmed.
The other is that there is more emphasis put on physical needs than spiritual needs.
I was in a congregation for a time that regularly took prayer requests at the pulpit during service. 95% of what was asked for was physical healing in one form or another. Yes, we need physical healing. Yes ELOHIM cares about our physical difficulties. But where is the balance. Friend, you can go straight to hell in a perfect body. You can also go straight to heaven with a sick one. Actually, you’ll leave both behind you. But a healthy body is not necessarily the key to spiritual victory and eternal good health.
No, I’m not saying that we ought to be content with our sicknesses. Yes we should pray and ask ELOHIM for healing. But if that is the focus of your existence and measure of HIS love, I really don’t’ think your prayers will avail much.
Not even YESHUA had “carte blanche” healing gifting. Some people HE prayed for were not healed. It wasn’t that they lacked faith in healing. They lacked faith in WHO HE is. Take for instance, the man who was healed by Peter and John at the opening of the book of ACTS. This man had been there for years. He was near the temple gate. Surely YESHUA must have past by him many, many times. Why didn’t’ HE heal him long before the day that Peter came by? Was it the LORD’s lack of compassion? Or did ELOHIM have greater glory and honor to share with His children by allowing them to be part of HIS plan of love toward all men?
Surely it is God’s will for us to walk in good health. So what’s the problem, you ask? Well, there is no pat answer. Christianity is not a catalog of prescribed answers. It is a daily walk with HAYAH (I AM), through the SON, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. There is a trust that must be aligned between man and YEHOVAH. This trust goes beyond religious certainty. It goes beyond human wisdom and understanding. How?
YESHUA said that He did not do anything unless HE saw or heard HIS FATHER doing it. When the FATHER told HIM to raise up that mother’s only son, it then became a certainty that the child would be raised. HE did not have to pray the prayer of faith. HE simply told the child to rise up, and the child did rise up. YESHUA had all the power of heaven backing HIM up. If we are HIS disciples, should we not do as HE did? Should we not steal away to the secret place and be alone with YEHOVAH so that HE can direct our steps rather than us going out on limbs of faith that have no objective fruit?
I’ve noticed, in my life, that 10 out of 10 people die. If a heart attack don’t’ kill you, something serious will. All will die in the flesh. No amount of faith will keep our bodies indefinitely out of the grave. I do believe we can all agree on that. This being so, then we must yield to the fact that some physical problem or problems will overtake everyone sooner or later and we will die, regardless of who is praying for us and for how long. No amount of fasting will keep us out of the grave. Does this mean we should not pray to HAYAH for healing? No. But don’t let the lack of healing after prayer crush your faith. Our blessed hope is not in our healing, but in the shed blood of YESHUA HA’MACHIACH. Don’t let some preacher steal your salvation because he claimed you lacked faith and were not healed.
Yes, again, YEHOVAH has our welfare at the center piece of HIS love. So why aren’t more people healed? I believe the biggest problem is sin. What sin? The riches and cares of this world have choked off the word and have kept it from bearing fruit. Too much compromise, and too much permissiveness in our personal lives and in our ministry. Why? Because the truth of the Bible in regards to how we should live our lives is no more popular today than it was in the day of the rich young ruler. Preach the truth regularly today, and you will have a very small amount of people to preach too.
Smith Wigglesworth saw many people healed in his ministry. But not all. Surely he was more successful than most any other modern era minister. His key to success? Seperation of world and living in faith. Smith couldn’t read or write. His wife taught him these skills. Then she gave him a bible. He soon decided that it was the only thing he needed to read. And He would not read anything else. He lived before the age of TV. I’m dead certain that if he would not allow a newspaper in his home, surely TV would not have made it in either. He lead a peculiar life, saints, free from attachment to worldly passions. He stayed attached to YEHOVAH. And YEHOVAH told him what to do and when to do it. He was a disciple of YESHUA HA’MACHIACH. He did things the way YESHUA did them. He talked them over with the FATHER, and then obeyed the FATHER’s leading and guiding. Alleluia.
I believe that physical healing is part of the redemption victory. Again, YEHOVAH is more interested in our spiritual health than HE is in our physical health. Sometimes sickness or disease keeps us ever before YEHOVAH and dependent on HIM, whereas if we were healed physically, our health might afford us the opportunity to get caught up in idolatry, that is, dependent on our personal effort and ability rather than on HAYAH. Liberty is not always good to some.
There are some animals that do not need to be fenced to keep them at home with their master. On the other hand, others have to be corralled continually, or off they go into the wide open spaces. Sickness and infirmity are often a means of getting ones’ heart turned toward ELOHIM and keeping it there. Had they continued on in health, they would not have seen the need for HIM and they may likely have lost their soul. That is not YEHOVAH’s will. YEHOVAH’s will is that all men be saved, and HE will allow most anything to enter our path, if our path is not the narrow way.
A.W. Tozer penned one of my favorite quotes. He wrote, “YEHOVAH crucifies without measure, those whom HE wishes to raise without measure”. See YEHOVAH wants us molded into the image and likeness of YESHUA HA’MACHIACH. For that to happen, we must die, by faith and affirmation. We must present ourselves as living sacrifices. Flesh does not welcome death. Flesh does not welcome the cross. But if we are to live in THE MESSIAH, we must die with HIM, by faith. If we are to enjoy the fellowship of HIS victory, we must suffer death of our selves. If we labor to keep our life, we shall surely lose it.
The proverbs writer wrote, “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. Take everything to HAYAH in prayer, but leave how HE answers that prayer to HIM. I don’t have to understand how HAYAH does things to be blessed by HIM. I just have to believe that HE is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek HIM.
Now, about “faith healers”? In my humble opinion, 99.9% of them are a sham, a phony, and a disgrace to ELOHIM. I’ve seen too many up close and personal. The same people that are in their healing line today are in it for the same thing the next time they come to town. I’ve only seen one person get up out of a wheel chair in my life. I’ve seen hundreds leave a service in their wheel chairs, discouraged and disillusioned. Very sad.
I believe that what YESHUA wants is for HIS Body to come back to HIM. Come back to HIM in faith. Come back to HIM in worship. Come back to HIM in personal relationship. Come back to HIM in separation from the world and all it’idolatrous passions and lusts. We need to become a holy nation once again. Then we will see more people healed. But we will see countless more saved, and filled with HIS SPIRIT. Thanks be to ELOHIM. I believe that is YEHOVAH’s heart and design for our lives. We must repent, and turn from our wicked ways, humble ourselves in prayer. We will find HAYAH there, rest from our labors of self righteousness, and healing for our souls, and our bodies too.
Now, in closing, I don’t want to imply that I am judging anyone’s personal situation, their faith, or their battles with sickness. Each one’s walk with YEHOVAH is personal and unique. Take your troubles to HIM. Make spiritual health your number one goal, and all other things shall be added unto you. HAYAH promised. HE always keeps HIS Word.