Learning How To Heal

Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word.·

The most fundamental skill required for healing is openness to the Holy Spirit, emptying oneself and receiving His leading and power. Frequently I encounter people who want a method for healing, a formula they can follow that guarantees them automatic healings. But divine healing is neither automatic nor dependent on our right actions; it is rooted in a relationship with God and the power of His Spirit. Divine healing is a gift from God, an act of His mercy and grace. Our part is to listen to Him and carry out His Word. When I speak of listening to God's voice, I mean developing a practice of communion with the Father in which we are constantly asking, "Lord, what do You want me to do now? How do You want to use me? How should I pray? Whom do You want me to evangelize? Is there someone You want to heal?"

Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives me specific insights about people for whom I am praying. These come as impressions—specific words, pictures in my mind's eye, or physical sensations in my body that correspond to problems in their bodies. These impressions help me know who and what to pray for as well as how to pray. I do not imply that I have an infallible "hotline" to God, and that I always hear His voice and follow His leading. But I am open to God, listening to Him, confident that He wants to lead us to minister to others.

Learning how to heal is like learning how to walk on water. In both areas it is useful to know relevant biblical principles, to understand that Jesus is the Lord of all creation, and to talk to others who have been successfully involved in the activity. It can even be helpful to compare notes on why various approaches succeed or fail. When the time comes "to get out of the boat," however, all the best ideas and insights on "water walking" are of very little value. The ability to successfully transcend the laws of nature is not discovered by mastering techniques or methodologies. When it comes to ministering in the power of the Holy Spirit, many people know why certain things can or should happen, but few people actually see them happen in their own experience.

The how of the healing ministry of Jesus is a mystery! And there are painfully few members of Christ's body who are responding in obedience to Him by choosing to move into the realm of the miraculous. Remember, 11 of the disciples stayed in the boat; only Peter ventured out onto the water. As a result it was Peter alone who enjoyed the privilege of overcoming the laws of nature in response to the Lord's call.

Jesus is still doing today what He was doing on the storm-tossed Sea of Galilee—calling common people to move above and beyond so-called natural laws and walk with Him in the realm of the miraculous. In the realm of the Spirit one thing is certain: Much more is unknown than is known! But our Lord is still calling us to follow Him.

Today we find that about half the world's population has yet to hear the good news about Jesus. Therefore, the transference of Jesus' healing ministry to others (the church) and the powerful exercise of it today are of utmost importance if we hope to see the kingdom of God reach the ends of the earth.

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