The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length, the middle-aged man concludes to build a woodshed with them. (Henry David Thoreau)
I’m an unashamed idealist. I’ve written about Christianity and idealism as it deals with poverty and missions and also tons of stuff on poverty which are very idealistic and radical. And as I start to reflect upon what got me interested in healing and why Curry Blake’s teachings on healing have impacted me so much, I’ve come to realize it’s because Curry is very idealistic in his teachings on healing. That is, he presents the ideals from the Bible and says we should aspire to do healing like how it’s done in the Bible and that we can do healing like how it’s done in the Bible. No compromises or watering down – just the ideal Bible standard.
As for other teachings on healing, the high standards of the kind of healings we see in the Bible tend to be watered down. Complex theology is created because of failures in healing and real life experiences. The end result is that we’re being told that healing can only be done consistently by some specially anointed Christians or that there are tons of conditions if people want to get healed (or if we want to heal people) and tons of reasons why they don’t get healed, etc. Such a complicated healing theology, tempered too much by real life experiences rather than drawing solely from the eternal Word of God, never made me interested in healing. It’s too tough, too complex and not worth my time. I’ll just leave it to the experts, thank-you-very-much!
I remember one day going to one of the healing rooms in Singapore. I was told that the team praying for healing would first get the person’s information and then have a time of prayer before inviting the person into the room. The prayer would be a time to be sensitive to the Spirit to listen for His directions. Upon hearing this example of how healing is done, I was just reaffirmed in my thinking that this healing business is not for me but for super spiritual Christians who can hear God so easily.
Now, I’m not dissing the prophetic and want to move more in the area of the prophetic – and I think getting Words from God has its place in relation to healing. But it never occurred to me until I heard Curry that Jesus never ministered like that. Now as I go through the Gospels and Acts and study how Jesus and the early Christians moved in healing, I see how simple it all is. That’s the standard in the Bible.
Jesus never dug into a person’s past to see if there’s any unforgiveness in the person’s life preventing the healing. Never in any healing passage in Scriptures was unforgiveness or even sin a barrier to healing. It’s never mentioned (or at least seldom mentioned, depending on your interpretation) in the Bible that Jesus or the early Christians who healed had to first listen for God’s direction or strategy – or be “led by the Spirit” – on how to perform the healing. Rather, most cases of healing were very simple and straightforward and less spiritual than many make it out to be. Many times Jesus healed with a few words, not long prayers – let alone long counseling sessions.
Now, I’m not saying that the common healing methodology doesn’t have results. They do as I’ve heard a lot of testimonies (e.g. how getting the person to release forgiveness resulted in physical healing) which seem to affirm their healing theology. But having results doesn’t necessarily reflect that their way of approaching healing is right. God doesn’t bless us only if we get everything right. If not, no one would be blessed. Also, certain ways of doing things may be good – but for different reasons claimed by the common healing methodology. Lastly, while experiences are important, we should ultimately go by God’s Word, not our experiences.
I’m still learning and don’t have the results that many people who adopt the common healing methodology have so I’m careful not to speak so much. I believe in learning from as many people as I can. But one thing I also do strongly believe in is not compromising on the standards of the kind of healing set by Jesus and the early Christians. The Word has priority over our experiences and our experiences have to rise up to the level of the Word of God – and not the other way round!
Jesus and the early Christians in Scriptures healed almost everyone that they prayed for instantly. Even those that weren’t healed instantly were healed within hours or maybe days – definitely not weeks or months.
Jesus healed everyone who came to Him – there was no barrier that prevented a person’s healing like sin or unforgiveness or whatever. If there’s any condition for healing, it’s having faith and/or not having unbelief/doubt and this condition is never seen as something difficult to attain. Someone has to have faith and not always the person being prayed for. In Scriptures, sometimes it’s the person praying or the friend/s of the person being prayed for. Therefore, the focus on believing shouldn’t always be placed upon the person being prayed for, which seems to be the focus of most healing ministries. In fact, let me go further and say that there are places in the Bible where Jesus told his disciples to heal the sick and lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. This implies that the authority/power and responsibility for the healing rest upon the believer praying, and not the person with the sickness being prayed for. This is backed up by the times when Jesus and His disciples actually initiated healing the sick – and not just healing only those who came to them in faith. Therefore, the focus of most healing ministries on the faith of the receiving party, in my opinion, doesn’t totally reflect how healing was done by Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus is our standard. In fact, He said we’ll be doing greater works than He did. Whatever that means, it surely implies that we can do at least what He could do. Yet of course that’s not what we see nowadays.
One book on healing I really appreciate is Roger Sapp’s Performing Miracles and Healing* which can be purchased at his website All Nations Ministries. Unlike many books on healing I’ve read, the huge bulk of this book is just going through all the passages that mention Jesus’ and the early Christians’ general and specific healings. You’d think that would be a brilliant idea, wouldn’t you – having a book on healing that just goes through all the passages on healing. I mean, to learn about healing, shouldn’t we be intensively studying Jesus’ and His disciples’ healings? Yet this is the only book I know that actually spends the bulk of space on these important passages. The findings are startling. Like what I mentioned above, almost all healings were instant, Jesus healed everyone who came to Him, there was no unforgiveness or sin that Jesus had to deal with before healing the sick, etc.
That’s our standard!
Certainly I’m not there yet. Nor do I know anyone who has that kind of success that Jesus had. But I’m not settling for anything less than Jesus’ standard. I won’t be satisfied till I see that kind of success. I’m not being greedy nor do I have too high an opinion of myself – I’m just claiming what ought to be mine, and yours too if you so desire. If others are satisfied by a lesser standard, that’s fine by me – but I won’t be. I’ll learn from all the great men of God on healing, but I’ll not be limited by them. The Word of God sets my standard.
Yes, I’m idealistic because I don’t believe in allowing human wisdom and experiences to temper the ideals set by the Bible. The Bible says it and I believe it and I want to learn and grow until what’s promised in the Word takes place in my life.
* I don’t agree with everything Roger says or his emphasis on the faith of the person to receive healing, but it’s a great book nevertheless. Besides studying the passages where Jesus and His disciples healed (which his book is great for), I think it’d be good to study Jesus’ commission to His disciples (e.g. Mark 16, Matthew 10, Luke 10) too which seems to place more responsibility on His disciples to heal the sick than on the sick to have faith.
very awesome. keep having this attitude and this mindset! :)
AMEN to that!!
Totally agree with what you’ve written :) Has being an idealist ever made you depressed or unhappy because you weren’t living up to the ideal standards? e.g. unhappy coz you’ve got the flu or that headache again, and coz you’ve got to see the doc and take medicine, coz you’re supposed to be able to rebuke it and command it to leave
Thanks s, Esther and Andrew for your comments.
Andrew, I’ve been very idealistic for a long time and the disadvantages of being too idealistic is one can get cynical and critical towards others who ignore the ideals. And one could give up totally and not even strive towards the ideal (since it’s too difficult) if the person himself/herself fails to live up to such standards.
I think grace is important here. I believe we should all strive to live up to the biblical standards but we’ll all fail because we’re not perfect. That’s where grace comes in. I’m actually now battling with some stupid small sickness that I want to overcome without going to the doctor again. But if I end up going, I’m NOT going to condemn myself NOR think that because I can’t even live it out, how could I expect to continue believing in this healing message for others? I’m not going to think that I’ve failed or my faith has failed. Grace has taught me to just move on and that I’ll always be God’s beloved. Failures don’t shake me that much. Adopting this attitude doesn’t give me liberty to fail, it just motivates me to press on and grow.
I go by faith and the Word of God. That doesn’t mean I don’t question – haha, I question a lot. I think there’s a place for questions, but I also think there’s a place to cease questioning and just standing firm on God’s Word. I believe it’s God’s will to heal all. Yet I also know I am not up to that standard yet. If there’s a failure in healing someone or raising the dead, the reason lies with us and not Him. But I just move on and grow and persevere.