One of the things I’ve seen repeatedly in other believers is that they wait until a major crisis occurs before going to God’s Word and claiming His promises to deal with it. In other words, when they or their loved ones get seriously ill or the husband or wife in a two-income family suddenly lose one or both of their jobs, then they start applying themselves to what the Word says about those situations.
As one of the leaders of our church’s intercessory prayer ministry, I’ve repeatedly run across situations where a believer is suddenly dealing with something like Stage IV cancer and finding him- or herself in need of divine intervention. In every case I can recall, each of those people died from their disease.
As I said in my previous article in this series:
It’s kinda like a Little Leaguer coming up to bat at a major league baseball game, needing to hit a home run to win the game and facing Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson on the pitcher’s mound — the odds of success are not on that boy’s side.
Yet I can also recount numerous testimonies of God doing miracles of healing in peoples bodies in modern times Indeed, whenever the late T. L. Osborn held crusades in Africa, India, or other such places, he would proclaim to the people present that because the Bible stated that signs and wonders would accompany the preaching of the Word of God, they would know if what he preached was true by whether or not miracles happened afterwards. He then proceeded to lay hands on the sick and literally thousands were miraculously healed by the power of the Holy Spirit as God showed up to confirm His Word. Not to mention that they also got saved!
And, by God’s grace, on top of all the occasions when I’ve been healed of lesser conditions, when I was attacked with kidney cancer last December, He gave me the victory and I am now 100% cancer-free.
So is God playing favorites? Or is He choosing not to honor His promises in some cases for whatever reason? Not at all! What happened in the cases I referred to earlier in this article where people were not healed is that they had not invested the time and effort required to develop their faith in the promises of God for healing before the crisis hit.
God is not our cosmic “get-out-of-jail” card Who we turn to only when we are in trouble. He refuses to be used to our selfish ends and rightly so. After all, he is God and we are his creation, not the other way around! If we are to be able to depend upon Him in a crisis, we need to have developed a vital relationship with — and faith in the promises of — the One True God as our daily lifestyle. We need to have a solid revelation of God’s character, will, and ability in order to face the mountains of adversity that we all occasionally face and we all face sickness and disease at one time or another. It is from that position that we can in faith call upon the promises of God for healing, provision, deliverance from evil, and the like.
Spiritual Nutrition & Momentum
Many years ago, I taught a Bible study wherein each person had to spend somewhere between 2-3 hours in preparation, looking up Scriptures and analyzing them to answer questions in a booklet. Each Monday night, we then spent about 2 hours in discussion about that lesson. The entire study took about 9 months total.
Though we had an excellent and gifted pastor who taught the Bible with skill, passion, and God’s anointing every Sunday, I was astonished to see the amazing spiritual growth in my Bible study participants vs. the rest of the congregation.
Case in point: when we started the study and first touched on the subject of prayer, one of the men present admitted, “When I pray, I don’t believe that God hears me or answers my prayers” — or words to that effect. About 4-5 months later, when we came around the the subject of prayer again, he said something to the effect of, “I don’t believe that my prayers are as effective as other believers’. — a major improvement over his initial statement, you’ll have to admit!
Now this man was an avid hunter, not only with modern firearms, but also with black powder rifles and a bow-and-arrow. In certain states — in this case Oklahoma — the state Fish & Game Department offers special hunting licenses awarded by lottery. In other words, all the hunters who want that type of license pay the fee for it, but only a small group receive licenses as determined by a drawing.
By the end of the study, when prayer came up as a topic again, he recounted to us how he had believed God for one of his sons to get selected for such a license and his son was selected. He then sat in the car as his son hunted, praying for his son to get his first deer. His son was successful!
What a wonderful testimony to the transformational power of the God’s Word!
So I asked the Lord why my students were growing in their walks with God at such a rapid rate.
He replied with the following: “better nutrition and spiritual momentum.” When I asked Him to elaborate, this is the conversation than ensued:
God: “What did The Navigators teach you about how much the human brain retains of what it hears?”
Me: “About 10%.”
God: “How long is the average sermon at this church?”
Me: “About an hour.”
God: How many sermons per week?
Me: “3 services, so 3 sermons, max.”
God: “So how much information is the typical church member retaining?”
Me: “About 6 minutes per sermon. 18 minutes total, if they attend all three services”
God: “What did The Navigators teach you about how much is retained through study?”
Me: “About 75-80%.”
God: “How much time are your students spending in preparation and discussion of each week’s lesson?”
Me: “4-5 hours.”
God: “So your students are retaining 75-80% of 4-5 hours in the Word versus the rest of the congregation retaining 10% of 1-3 hours. Your students are retaining at least 3 hours of My Word and the rest are retaining 6-18 minutes. That means…?”
Me: “My students are much better fed than the others. OK, Lord, I get that part. What about spiritual momentum?”
God: “Which is easier: to go up a steep hill from a dead stop at the bottom, or after getting a running start at it?”
Me: “A running start.”
God: “Many believers have no running start when they face major trials and temptations. Your students have built spiritual momentum through their diligent study of My Word and their time with Me in prayer.”
Thus endeth the conversation. 🙂
Another spiritual momentum analogy is a car and a brick wall. Put a car with its front bumper up against that wall and try to ram that car through it. All that will happen is the tires will lose traction and spin uselessly. Back that car well away from the wall and run it up to about 60mph before hitting it and you’ll punch right through!
So investing time in God’s Word concerning healing, finances, or whatever else God lays on your heart will pay incredible dividends when the effluent hits the air circulating device. 🙂
Be a Doer of the Word
There is an oft-quoted passage in the Book of James that reads:
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.James 1:21-22 (emphasis mine)
Almost all believers have heard sermons preached on this passage and the verses that follow. 90% of those sermons have to do with repentance from sin and obedience to the Lord, which is certainly a contextually correct interpretation of the verses. But these verses are not only about obedience vs. disobedience, but also about applying the Scriptures to every area of our lives, including developing our faith in the Word itself concerning healing and financial provision.
In other words, totally saturate yourself with the Word of God on these topics in a very deliberate and consistent manner, allowing the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to you as you go. Feed yourself spiritually and be a doer of the Word, building the spiritual momentum to overcome the trials and tribulations of this world. Exercise your faith on the small challenges. Be a victor, not a victim.
My Own Experience
I firmly believe God prepared me to deal with the kidney cancer that attacked me last December through literally decades of reading, hearing, studying, and experiencing the Word of God concerning healing. I cannot even remotely begin to count the number of sermons I’ve heard on the topic or the number of books I’ve read on healing and about getting our prayers answered. Also beyond counting are the times God has supernaturally healed me of sore throats and colds, not to mention my right knee, injured in a fall. The promises of God for healing are as real and personal to me as John 3:16 and other related verses are for my salvation.
Now to God be the glory because it was His grace that provided all that — I cannot claim credit whatsoever for any of it, all I did was receive God’s enlightenment and revelation concerning healing by choosing to open myself to authoritative teaching on the topic and then acting upon it whenever sickness tried to attack me.
The old adage stating “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure” is applicable here. I beg of you, PLEASE spend the time NOW to invest your time in God’s Word concerning healing BEFORE it becomes your turn to be the next victim of this world system. Seek out and receive teaching (books, sermons, etc.) on healing, then head for The Book yourself and do as the Berean Christians did in the Book of Acts, who “examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were true.” Confess these truths aloud over yourself and your loved ones, praying God’s Word concerning these topics over yourself and your family daily.
If I do say so myself, my previous article in this series is an excellent guide on how to develop your faith in God’s healing promises, so read it and engage in the process described there.
And cheer up!
Because Jesus has overcome the world!
Thanks for reading!