Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV): “20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Adversity with health is different from adversity with anything else. Health is directly connected with life and as humans, it is only a natural instinct to fear death. Anything that even makes us think that we could be approaching death either slowly or quickly, can be mind-boggling. For most of my life I have been a hypochondriac and after coming to know the Lord, my prayer has been that He take all fear from me. I no longer wanted to be crippled by merely the thought of being sick. It didn’t take me long to realize that worrying about my health was an avenue used by Satan to keep me bound. As soon as I even thought something was wrong with me, I went into panic mode acting on feelings and quickly dropping my faith. Of course this is unacceptable so my prayer became that He would purge this from me and guess what? Here I am writing this article.
Exodus 15:26 (KJV): “26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.”
As mentioned in Faithful Is He, after about a week in America I was diagnosed with an illness that I am slowly but surely recovering from. For those who know me personally, I am sure you know that I had a bit of a moment in the hospital where I had to gather myself and decide if I would allow my emotions to get the best of me OR if I would hold on to the fact that I serve a mighty God who says that He knows the plans He has for me. No one truly understands what it means to be sick until they are actually sick. This makes so much sense to me because while doctors are expecting full and a speedy recovery, my current circumstances require for me to do more than just imagine; they require for me to deal realistically. To help me understand it God has to help bring me through it.
Exodus 23:25 (KJV): “25 And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”
I don’t really want to discuss death too much in this article because I want to save that topic for an article in the future but I do want to talk about how sickness can be spiritually and naturally inspired. We certainly shouldn’t give Satan too much credit, always blaming him for everything that goes wrong. While Satan does his job to the best of his ability, he has no authority over that of God’s and if God sees fit, He will bring it to pass.
John 4:47-52 (KJV): “47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.”
We often associate unclean spirits coming in subjection unto the authority of the Father but I find it amazing that the flesh has to obey as well. Illness can be natural, no doubt about that. Natural sicknesses may require natural remedies but it definitely still needs the Lord’s divine intervention. We typically look for physicians to figure out problems with our bodies then we expect them to fix it but when every type of medication and/or treatment is unable to get things back in order, we tend to feel discouraged. We sometimes put too much into man and because of that we feel hopeless when the knowledge doctors gained in medical school runs dry. Hold tight to the fact that everything must come into subjection unto Him. As shared in another article, after being in the hospital I talked with a doctor and they had prescribed me medicine for nausea but since I hadn’t experienced any nausea and didn’t want to waste money, I did not fill the prescription. Of course it is the doctor’s duty to cover all bases and with nausea being a symptom, he wanted to offer me treatment for it. However, I wasn’t too worried since I hadn’t had any trouble with it up to that point. Then I went home and went to sleep but not for long. Maybe 2 or 3 in the morning I was awakened by the most painful and urgent feeling of nausea that I have ever experienced in my life. I said to myself, “Now you can cry and you can become angry or you can call on the name of Jesus and have faith that He will answer your call.” I decided that I would take that as an opportunity to exercise my faith so I closed my eyes and said, “Whether this illness be natural or spiritual, I demand you to come into submission unto the name of Jesus. I don’t know where you came from but I am telling you to leave. I have no power of my own but I am demanding you to bow down in the name of Jesus because I will have peace. My Savior died so that I may have peace,” and when I opened my eyes again it was later in the day and I had no discomfort whatsoever.
Luke 13: 11-13 (KJV): “11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”
The passage above gives us a clear indication that the woman had an infirmity that was spiritually inspired. The passage does not specify which type of infirmity but knowing that there is a such thing as a spirit of infirmity is enough for me to know a spirit of infirmity is worth praying against. When we think of deliverance we often think of deliverance from sexual immorality, drugs, idolatry etc. but apparently Christ can deliver us from illnesses as well. Certainly every illness isn’t spiritually driven but that is a base that should be covered because we would be surprised about things that don’t have to be.
John 9:1-3 (KJV): “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.“
When someone becomes sick it is often that they question what they did wrong and how they can make it better. Being ill is typically viewed as being punishment, something that only falls upon the wicked and unrighteous. However, this passage above in John illustrates that sometimes what we view as being unfortunate can fall upon someone just so that God can manifest His mighty works in the situation. We can become so consumed with trying to blame someone or throwing a pity party for ourselves that we miss when God could very well be using us to show others (and ourselves) just how much of a loving, powerful, and righteous God He is.We always need to have a healthy perspective so we must pray and ask for His perspective. Psalm 119:71 (KJV): “71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Sometimes being sick or afflicted in any way can keep us humble, desperately seeking the Lord, and looking to Him for all things. In simple terms, the Lord can put us on our backs just so that we can look up to Him. Even if Satan afflicts a saint, it is still while the Lord’s will be done.
Psalm 30:2 (KJV): “2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.”
It is no secret that in everything we do, we must have faith. Health issues will try our faith, especially if we become desperate for “wholeness” and we begin to believe that God has lost His efficiency. It can be a battle if you truly want to believe the report of God but the report of the doctor appears to be more promising but sides with the report of Satan. Living in a natural world we tend to look for natural and instant gratifying answers, especially when it comes to self. God has given us doctors on Earth but He is the top physician, He is our Healer. Setting an appointment with a doctor, getting blood work done, and have annual examinations may seem like exercising every possible avenue known in the medical world but when we get down at the feet of our Father and cry out to Him from the bottom of His throne, that’s when things begin to change. I am not taking away the skill of doctors, I actually admire it, but we must never forget that they only know what they know because of what God shared and that man will forever have limits. Walking in shattered faith will set one up for doom from the very beginning.
Mark 6:5-6 (KJV): “5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”
Though Christ wanted to perform miracles and heal the sick (both physically and spiritually), He could only do but so much because of those who did not believe! We would be surprised to know how many blessings haven’t been released simply because we didn’t believe. God could be ready to give to us but when we reject the power thereof, we could remain without and as a result we can become angry and frustrated at Him. Matthew 15:28 (KJV): “28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Having faith in God and His mighty works is enough to even have someone else healed! The unyielding faith of this woman was sufficient enough that Jesus healed her daughter within the same hour. As the Body of Christ we need to make sure that we are playing our part in prayerfully assisting those who are afflicted. Our faith and our prayers extend way beyond ourselves and our family.
Psalm 41:3 (KJV): “3 The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.”
I am not saying that every affliction or health issue can be quenched by our doing. However, I am saying that we must stand strong believing the promises of God while also asking Him to guide our next move. We cannot run from death or disease because it will happen, it is life. One of the only things promised in life is death and for that very reason, we ought to have His perspective on it. But once knowing and accepting all of this we too must be aware and available to pray for ourselves and intercede for others in their time of need. Even if their situation is natural and taking place according to the plans of God, we can at the very least pray for peace. Pray for endurance. Pray for faith. I personally don’t know how someone can go through disparities without knowing God. Health issues can come accompanied with financial stress, infidelity in the home, unrighteous coping mechanisms etc. Life can be challenging for a believer, one with actual power and authority in the name of Jesus, so it is clear that a sinner doesn’t truly have any type of hope.
The last time I was in the hospital the doctor instructed that I receive an ultrasound. Originally I was fine, watching baseball without a worry in the world. But as soon as I saw the sonographer come in to get me, I panicked automatically. During the ultrasound I was tense, as I am sure anyone would have been able to notice. As an attempt to relax me the sonographer began to ask me what I wanted to be when I “grow up.” My only response was, “Okay, this may sound cliché but it is true. I don’t know what I want to do. I am still waiting for God to tell me.” The woman laughed and I said, “Wait, no really. I won’t know until He tells me. I am waiting for His leading.” I had no idea what was funny until this woman walked away from me to grab her Bible study book. In summary, my ultrasound took about 20 minutes longer than usual because we were in the room talking about the goodness of the Lord. Then as the sonographer began to take me out of the room I said, “Will you be honest with me? Does everything look okay?” The woman responded, “Everything looks fine to me but the doctor will take a look as well.” I am sure my face let the woman know that I was still very concerned. She looked at me again and said, “Everything will be fine but even if things appeared to be bad, you have to trust and have faith in God. You have to believe that He will take care of you and that nothing will happen to you that He hasn’t allowed.” I leaned back in the hospital bed and I closed my eyes, asking God to help me believe. Asking God to help me believe Him.
Isaiah 53:4-5 (KJV): “4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”