Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Healing Grace: Worthy to Receive?

For it’s by God’s grace that you have been saved. You receive it through faith. It was not our plan or our effort. It is God’s gift, pure and simple. You didn’t earn it, not one of us did, so don’t go around bragging that you must have done something amazingEphesians 2:8-9 Voice

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2 NKJV

In the recent weeks, we been engaged in a study of God's healing Grace. The Grace that makes us whole, spirit, soul, and body. I'd like to make my heart's motive clear in sharing this important truth. 

 My desire is not to isolate any particular members of the Body of Christ. Meaning I am not simply addressing a truth aimed solely to members of the Church of Jesus Christ who believe that the Gifts of the Spirit are still active today. My heart is a heart that has been ambushed and captured by His amazing, over the top Grace. My passion is to express the goodness of God to all the Body of Christ.

 That stated I must offer a sincere apology if you will. Allow me to elaborate. This past week, I was rejoicing in a beautiful testimony of the goodness of God that had turned an impossible situation around for some parents who lived overseas. Their situation was  impossible for science and the ability of men to alleviate. God had other plans and moved mightily on their behalf.

 In this excitement, It dawned upon me that it was only God who could have changed things on their behalf. There was no hope in man or science. We thank God for medicine, and doctors and the breakthroughs in science, but there still exists conditions in the human mind and body that are without cure naturally. This is why it is paramount to share with all the goodness of God and reveal the majestic power of His healing Grace.

 While rejoicing in this miracle testimony the Lord impressed upon me strongly the need to share the full gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He spoke these words in my spirit,
"Are you going to withhold the full truth of redemption for fear of losing some readers who have been molded by their experience and are stubbornly clinging to tradition or will you reveal the truth of  God and bring help to the hopeless and hurting and herald the good news that God has already done it, and healing is theirs in Christ?"
 So in light of this truth, I offer my apologies for holding back from revealing the full truth of Father's goodness and Grace concerning your healing. I have no desire to offend or anger or isolate any readers. On the other hand, I am not going to withhold the truth of the Finished Work to appease those who would rather uphold tradition and their experiences. God, our Father is a good God and it is His purpose and plan and complete desire that you walk healed and whole.

 With that, allow me to share a vital truth in receiving from our Father. One of the greatest hindrances to receiving healing isn't a lack of faith or being in fear but rather the mindset that we are unworthy to receive. That we must somehow be worthy of the gift. That our performance and current standing with God determines whether or not God will extend His healing hands towards us.

 Look at the healing of the Centurion's servant in the Gospels, (Matthew 8). This passage has been used mostly to reveal what strong faith looks like. It is true that this passage gives us the right definition of strong faith, simply taking Jesus at His word. However, the Gospel of Luke reveals another aspect of this account.

Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”Luke 7:1-5 NKJV

 Did you see this transaction between Jesus and the elders? They implored Him to heal because this man was deserving. When we rightly divide the Word we understand this event transpired under the Old Covenant. These elders were operating on the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12). The centurion had blessed the people of Israel, therefore he was promised a blessing.

 While I have no issue with the events here, upon reading this passage it struck me that isn't this a similar pattern to what we have adopted, be it very subtly, in the modern Church?We have created a mindset that we must be first worthy to receive what God promises. In other words receiving healing is rooted upon our goodness, not Christ's. 
 Whenever the leaders call for the praying for the sick and afflicted many will encourage the respondents to examine their hearts and lives and ensure they are free from all sin, and that their performance as of late is up to par. People may not even respond to prayer because they know they've missed too many quiet times. They have been telling too many off-color jokes at work, surely God won't respond to my need for help and deliverance they reason. 

 Where we see this concept taking root strongly is when there is a "pillar" in the Church or community who has fallen ill or didn't receive their healing. If anyone should be healed it is sister so and so. They were such good Sunday school teachers. They did so much for the community. They were so pious. 

 The issue with these statements is they've based the reception of God's healing upon the performance of the afflicted one. What this concept fails to recognize is that apart from God no one can ever merit God's goodness and blessings. The basis of our receiving from God should be on Christ's goodness and faithfulness and not our own.

 We as believers must never be drawn into this trap laid for us by the enemy. When we look away from the Cross we will always default back to looking at performance and means by which we may merit God's goodness. We must continually keep the Finished Work before our remembrance. When we are Jesus focused we are no longer self-focused. 

 Jesus was already faithful and obedient on our behalf. He crossed the finished line for us. He is the victor who gives us the gold, even though we don't deserve it and lack the ability to merit it. When He paid for our sin debt and made us perfectly acceptable to the Father, He from that moment on has made us as worthy as God to receive all He has provided.

 In reality, He is always sending forth His healing power whenever the need arises. We just need to reach out, lay hold of it and receive it by Grace through faith. In His Finished Work, He purchased our complete healing. He doesn't need our permission as to who He heals and makes whole. We don't have to pass some denominational litmus test to see if we are worthy enough to receive. He purchased it on our behalf and freely gives it to all.

 We must not deflate the hope of others around us, just because our experiences don't align yet with the Word. Christ and the Finished Work are the only hope of healing and deliverance for so many. I refuse to take that hope away from those needing it by exalting traditions of men and experience. 

 Keep the Finished Work of Christ on the forefront. See Jesus in His perfection completing the work and meeting all the requirements on our behalf. Rest in His faith and Finished Work and receive all that He has procured for us. Jesus has made us worthy and acceptable to receive.

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