Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Standing" For a Healing: Are we leading people astray?

Author's Edit March 2015: Since I wrote this post, God had us walk down an even harder path. On Sept 12, 2013 my husband and I made the decision that we were done going to healing meetings. This post was mostly written from a place where we were going to meetings to get prayer and I thought that's what we were supposed to be doing. But God had other plans and ideas for us. God has shown me many of the things I believed needed even more purifying. I encourage you to read some of my new posts here and here.

The other day Holy Spirit reminded me that when I tell people I am "standing" for my healing, that I need to explain what that actually LOOKS like. Many have their own idea on what that is...Some of which I don't agree with at all.

In this post I'm going to cover a variety of points surrounding the idea of "standing" for healing. I will touch upon what faith or "belief" looks like in a sick person. This is an area where I feel there is a lot of confusion. I will also talk about how the popular "standing" methods are actually a part of the New Thought, Christian Science false religion. Understanding this will likely set a lot of sick people free from these teachings! I will also talk about what unbelief looks like in the sick. Don't worry I don't make it some abstract thing. ;)  Lastly I will touch upon how we have lost grace for the sick in the church. We see lots of grace in street ministries but not inside the 4 walls of the church. I hope this posts brings fresh ideas to those who are in healing ministries and to the sick who are believing God for their promise of healing.


Faith Is Going to Get Prayer

When I say I am standing for healing, it means I am getting prayer and having hands laid onto me whenever possible. I talk to a lot of sick people and I really want to emphasize how important it is to go and get prayer in Jesus' name and have someone lay their hands on you. We are called to be obedient to the Word.

James 5:14-15 (NKJV)
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. [emphasis mine]

It says to get prayer and prayer only. Today we have to go to people in the church that believe in Jesus as a healer. Back when the Bible was written, healing wasn't a debated topic so any elder would do. Unfortunately today we have to be a bit more choosy when it comes to who we get to pray for us. 

When you are obedient to the Word of God and go to get prayer, that is your mustard seed of faith! You don't wait for a feeling! We have already been commanded to GO in the Bible!

This can be witnessed throughout Jesus' ministry too. Remember that Jesus did not heal an entire city when he entered it. A person had to show a mustard seed of faith and come to Him or to one of His Disciples to receive healing. However, even if a person had doubts, Jesus still healed them as long as they came to him. He did not shoo them away and tell them to get more teaching in them like many ministries do today.

Matthew 8:1-3 (NKJV)
1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Holy Spirit Heals

It is by the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of Christians that allows us to get prayer and receive healing from other Christians. Holy Spirit is a person with an identity. When we pray and lay hands on others, it is Holy Spirit that touches the sick to heal them. It is not our thoughts. It is not our "positive energy". It is not a universal "life force".

When you go and get prayer, don't get too focused on a specific minister praying for the sick. If you get prayer from one person and nothing changes, then keep going. If you get prayer from a popular healing minister and nothing happens, just keep going. I warn you not to get too hung up on a single person or a single event. Why? Because if you go to the "most greatest, spectacular healing evangelist" and nothing happens, you may take that as a sign of God's will for your life. This is not true! Jesus healed everyone who came to Him and he is the same yesterday, today and forever. You keep getting prayer until you see your healing. Persistence is something that I don't feel is being taught much today. Many sick people probably get prayer once or twice and if nothing happens, then they stop. I am encouraging you to keep getting prayer because this is what Jesus told us to do!

Don't get too caught up on a minister's youtube videos, testimonies and other things. Just know that it is Jesus doing the healing through a faithful servant here on earth.

Luke 11:9-10
9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

This is a really great healing testimony of a woman that was healed of MS. It was not a quick healing and took many many prayers until the spirit of infirmity broke off of her.

In this woman's healing testimony, it was just some friends at her church that were the ones who eventually broke off the spirit. It didn't take some super, duper awesome healing minister who knew it all or had it all figured out. God will use anyone who makes themselves available and will use them when they step out to pray for the sick in Jesus name. There's a local man who prays for the sick and has seen amazing things, but he has prayed for both my husband and I and we haven't seen anything. So while this man has been the point of contact for Jesus healing in many lives, in ours it has not been. I don't know why it happens like that, but we continue to get prayer until healing takes place.

What Most People Say Is "Standing"

In Christian healing circles, here are some examples of things that sick people are told to do in order to "stand for their healing". Sadly many of these teachings are starting to become more like false New Thought, Christian Science teachings.
  1. Quoting daily "By His Stripes, I am Healed" or telling people to say "I am already Healed!" 
  2. Repeating out loud, reading out loud and listening to healing scriptures over and over again to change your situation through your "thoughts" or chemistry. 
  3. Setting people on an internal struggle to find out why they "aren't receiving".
  4. Pretending that you are "already healed" when you have actual sickness. Being told that if you focus or complain about symptoms, then that's a lack of faith.
  5. Over-spiritualizing what it means for a person to have "faith"or belief.
  6. Having a bunker mentality where you have to "do it on your own".
  7. Becoming self-focused and doing mind "work" (i.e. eliminating hidden doubts, fears, unbelief).
  8. "Finding the root" source or cause of your sickness. Once that is discovered, then your body can heal.
    Many people I know will have a hard time digesting that list above... These are very popular teachings right now! The horrible thing about New Thought is that it very closely tries to resemble some legitimate teachings in Christianity. It even uses verses from the Bible to promote itself! Many of these verses are the same verses that people use to promote similar things in Christian healing circles. Mark 11:24 seems to be a particular popular one for New Thought teachers. If you are the kind of person who likes to read about differing religions to get a better feel of what to watch out for, I highly recommend just doing a google search for New Thought. You will probably be blown away by how much is now being embraced by healing ministries. It honestly scares me!

    This is an area that many will disagree with me. However I feel that this is an area that needs exposed. If you quote things and repeat things as a method to "line up your mind" to create a a new reality or to "line up your mind" to see healing in your body, then this is New Thought. Jesus healing is not from our mind. We should only be listening to and reading the Bible to learn more about the nature and goodness of Jesus and the Father. Once our reading becomes about “positive thinking” or convincing ourselves that "we are already healed" and "it's already done, finished", then this is where it is the false teachings of New Thought, mind healing and affirmative prayer.  

    Christ healing is not affirmative prayer.

    I see so many sick people slamming their heads against the wall trying to follow these absurd teachings. Instead of being told to focus on what Jesus did for us on the cross, we are told to focus on our thought processes, how our words affect our mind and we even begin digging into our lives to find some "reason" for being sick. It spreads the ideas that we can overcome sickness by removing negative thoughts and ideas from our minds. These teachings and methods for "standing" are not of Jesus at all and it is part of the New Thought, Christian Science and New Age healing movements.

    These ideas have infiltrated its way into Christian healing teachings. All of the teachings listed above breed contempt, frustration, disappointment, discouragement and feelings of unworthiness in the hearts of the sick (and in those praying for the sick too). Many teachings even go as far as to say, that the way you know if you are thinking right is that you are healed. If you aren't healed, then you aren't thinking right and you have to keep doing more "work". This is the most discouraging teaching of them all. I will be bold and say these are ALL lies from Satan himself.

    Satan wants you to self-focus instead of looking into the eyes of Jesus and seeing the truth and love of what he accomplished on the cross.

    New Thought Teachings Are Pushing People Away From God

    Eventually many of the sick who use New Thought methods, get worn down, frustrated and WALK AWAY FROM GOD. In the very least, their view of God becomes distorted and many no longer consider Him good because they feel he is making them jump through so many hoops. God is not causing a person to jump through hoops nor is he causing a person to have a distorted view of himself.

    After being victims to these teachings, the sick will even go on to say that healing must not really be for today because they've “done it all” or have "tried it all". Some may even start to say that God doesn't love them anymore or they actually start to spiritualize their sickness.

    “God gave me this sickness for a reason. He wants me to help others with it.”
    "This was God's perfect plan for my life"
    "I guess God doesn't love me because I'm sick and I must not have good faith to get healed." 

    Again these are all lies from the devil...

    From my experience with these teachings, they do not produce much fruit at all. For every person healed, hundreds are left to rot on the side of the road and are told they have to get more teaching in them in order to be healed. There are so many sick people out there who got caught up in these teachings and have given up totally. The "name-it-and-claim-it", "get your thoughts right" message is destroying people. I have found many who promote this are healthy people and/or sick people who have taken credit for their healing. Both of these groups of people, really think it's about them. They think they have it all figured out. They really think it is their positive thoughts, their repeating of scripture and their doctrine that is keeping them or made them healthy. These people are very destructive to the sick whether they mean to be or not! I've just had to walk away from anyone who makes me feel it's my fault for being sick.

    Healing has never been about us. It's never been about getting our thoughts right. It's never been about meeting some imaginary criteria in our minds. It's never been about "claiming it" or acting as though it's "already been done". It has always been about what Jesus suffered on the cross for us. If you try to get healed on your own merits, your own works and your own thoughts, it will never happen.

    This is GOOD NEWS because you can stop trying to meet some weird criteria in your head. It is about His love and His faithfulness. Jesus destroyed the works of Satan and it is this truth that the devil doesn't want people to know. The devil couldn't care less if you have your thoughts in order because there is no power in this. There is power in the name of Jesus, so he's distracting you with these other weird teachings. 

    Prayer Isn't To Twist God's Arm 

    Getting prayer for healing is not about twisting God's arm to move. It's not about trying to meet some criteria for him to release "the goodies". When you get prayer for healing, you can be confident that God hears these prayers because it is His will for you to be made whole.

    1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)
    14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

    Jesus promised us healing when he was beaten and died on the cross. God is not in heaven with a clipboard checking off items from a list of requirements a person must meet before healing them. 

    You already qualify! Lots of sick Christians really need to hear that. YOU ALREADY QUALIFY!

    You qualify, not from your own thoughts or merits, but because of the Faithfulness of what Jesus did on the cross! Many of the "standing" methods in today's healing ministries completely forget this when we don't see results. It's like they just want to give sick people homework to get them out of their hair. Unfortunately the "homework" they give people are sending them down a path of false teachings.

    Also I feel the need to say that prayer is not a "science". It's about petitioning to God in Jesus' name, so that he may answer your prayers and make way for things. Prayer is not a way of declaring things or to put things "out into the universe". When you use prayer in this manner, it's not about Jesus at all. This way of viewing prayer is a false teaching as seen in New Age, New Thought and Christian Science religions.

    Getting Prayer Isn't Always Going to Be Easy or Comfortable

    Getting prayer is tough. People say dumb things to you. People will try to give you advice on your lifestyle, diet, supplement regimen and other things. You have to learn to ignore it. It can be hard to find people who believe that it's always God's will to heal. Sometimes it takes money to get to these places. Sometimes we don't have the money, so we have to ask for money to get to these meetings. Often times, if we are really sick, then we need a complete support team to help us to get there. For most sick people, going to these events, it means suffering with symptoms the entire time too. To those who are completely housebound, then I really recommend getting in touch with a local church that will send a prayer team to your house.

    When the going gets tough, this is when you really have to believe that God wants you well and that God really is GOOD. This is a place where reading the Bible to understand the true nature of God is vital in order for you to stay in the fight. You have to realize that God loves you with all of his heart whether you are healthy or sick, BUT he is NOT the one who gave you sickness. He did not plan this for your life. God is not the author of the bad that happened in your life. The devil is the one that steals, kills and destroys and he declared war on us the day we were born (and even before that day).

    I caution sick people. The worst possible thing you can do is to refuse to get prayer or to stop going to get prayer. When you refuse to get prayer whenever it is available to you then it's a hard truth to hear, but this is unbelief.

    If you are flat out refusing to get prayer when someone is offering it, it is probably one of the most dangerous places a sick person can find themselves. If you haven't gotten prayer any time recently, my heart cries out for you. I pray that the Lord will lift you up and remove the hurt or the teachings keeping you away from Him; I pray this in Jesus name. Amen!

    You have to get back in the fight. Always be willing to get prayer, whenever it is possible. I'm not saying you have to go to every single meeting in your area. haha Just be mindful of churches who hold healing events and be on the look out for ministers visiting in your area. You can't be passive or waiting for some sign to happen. The sign came when Jesus died for you on the cross.

    Unbelief is When You Won't Get Prayer

    If there is something keeping you from getting prayer, then yes that is unbelief.

    Remember in Jesus' hometown, he was unable to do many miracles there. It stated that the people took offense towards him. They knew him as the carpenter's son and did not understand how he could be preaching like this. His words offended them. His actions offended them. If a person offends you, you aren't going to go over to them and have a pleasant conversation. Typically you are just going to be angry, mad and leave the person alone to go on with whatever it was you were doing beforehand. This is exactly what happened to Jesus and this is starting to happen with a lot of sick in the church.

    Mark 6:5-6 
    5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching. [emphasis mine]

    This scripture does not mean that Jesus laid hands on a bunch of people and it did not work. It does not mean that Jesus was "powerless" as some people like to preach it. It means that since they were so offended by his words, only a few came out to receive prayer. Jesus can't lay his hands on the sick if the sick don't show up to have hands laid on them.

    This is the same for today. If you don't receive prayer or try to reach out for prayer, then Jesus won't be able to lay his hands on you through another Christian. Many of these "standing" methods are not a pursuit of Jesus at all and we have to be willing to walk away from all of the past failures or hurts we endured to follow what Jesus intended us to do for healing. That means getting ourselves into places where we get prayer.

    Some of us may have to forgive ourselves for the time we spent on these teachings. While others may have to forgive the people who have said hurtful things. I know I was at that place. There was a time when I told God I was done getting prayer because I was so angry. Well the Lord did not give up on me. He helped me through that time! He gave me a prophetic word that touched my heart so much that I knew I had to keep going and that he really did have a plan for my life even though I hadn't seen it yet! All of the horrible things others were saying to me at that time was not how God saw me. It was probably the biggest breakthrough I have had through my journey. Prophetic words have been extremely instrumental in my journey! If you are in a really bad place and don't know a good prophetic person in your area, then check out Mary Crews online prophetic ministry. She does online calls about once a month.

    The Sick in Jesus' Day Did Not Have it Easy

    We also cannot forget what the sick in Jesus' day went through to come to him. They had no cars, no wheelchairs, no modern medicine and no air conditioning. Most traveling was done on foot. The sick had to fight their way to Jesus because of the large crowds that wanted to be touched by Him. There were likely many who turned away because it was too hard and we don't hear about those in the Bible. We only hear about those who dug in and persevered until they were able to make it to Jesus. Don't be the person who turns away! Some of the sickest were on mats and it took other people to drag them to the place where Jesus was preaching and healing. It's ok and Biblically accurate if we need others to help us along our journey. Don't get tricked into thinking it is your mind or thinking that will make you well!

    It's important to understand that faith is a decision. It is an action to go and get prayer.  I know it can be discouraging to get prayer and see nothing. I understand all of the frustrations and disappointments. I have been there many many times. I have been in the middle of meetings and have cried because I wasn't healed. I have been on the way home from a meeting, crying out to God because I wasn't healed. I have shed more tears of disappointment than I care to even admit, but here I am. Pushing through all of that and continuing to get prayer has become part of the journey for many sick people in the church. I know it's not how the church is supposed to operate, but that is where we are right now. We have to know that we are in a war against the enemy's army. He is the one that keeps us sick.

    We have to get back up and keep heading towards Jesus.

    The Grace Message is Being Lost in Healing Ministry

    As I said above, some people have been very badly hurt by the church. Many sick people feel rejected, condemned and judged by many teachings and by their fellow Christians who spread these teachings. We can accept God's grace when it comes to salvation, but when it comes to healing, we throw it totally out the window. I think this is because we have embraced New Thought, Christian Science and New Age teachings. More and more we are losing the Gospel message and embracing psychology and philosophy.

    “If you doubt at all, then you won't be healed”
    "Any negativity will keep healing from flowing"
    "You don't have sufficient belief or you would have been healed already"
    "God won't answer if you are needs driven"
    "Getting too much prayer, shows you are needy"
    "If you really knew your identity in Christ, you would be healed already"
    "If you really knew your identity in Christ, you wouldn't have gotten sick"
    "You need to get it on your own". 

    Jesus never said anything like that to the sick. Why are we looking at the sick in such a negative way when God is not? Why do we take scripture and then use it to smack people over the heads with it? The church has more Grace and love on the street towards atheists, witches, drug addicts and prostitutes than we do for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ who are sick.

    We judge the sick.
    We blame their faith.
    We get offended if they are on disability.
    We get offended if they don't listen to our worldly advice.
    We blame their thoughts.
    We blame some secret unknown sin that we have no evidence even exists.
    We accuse them of having a secret desire to remain sick.
    We even think that some are faking to get attention.
    Many think if they were sick, then they have it all figured out and would be instantly healed.

    It's no wonder I have to rally the sick to get them back into the church for prayer. (heh I have to laugh so I don't cry). We have abused them and the only ones who have had to suffer for this lack of compassion are the sick themselves.

    When it comes to healing, the legalistic mindsets we were called out of, kick in full force and we are hurting sick people. We totally lack the compassion and love that Jesus showed.

    Many of the methods for "standing" are a way to disqualify the sick in the praying person's eyes. I'm not sure of the motives behind it. These teachings actually discourage the sick to keep getting prayer when that's the VERY thing that God called the sick to do in His Word!

    Honestly though I feel very sorry for many of these people because if sickness ever hits them or someone very close to them, they are going to be in for a rude awakening when they go through all of their "methods" and nothing happens...

    What it Really Means to "Stand" for Healing

    I just want to make it clear, that I do not repeat scriptures in my home. I read the Bible, but not out of a sense of works or obligation. I do it out of wanting to know God. I pray and talk to God all throughout my day. There is never a shut off switch. Even though I try to be hopeful, I know it's not a positive attitude that will get me healed. I don't declare that "I'm healed already." I don't do things that cause me to hurt myself in order to "trick my mind" into thinking I'm healed.

    My husband and I get prayer any time it is feasible. Recently we have been getting prayer from some local people, but we have also taken trips. One time we had $50 to our name and we spent it on gas to get to a healing meeting...haha Another time we drove 6 hours to a healing meeting. We have been to several other meetings that were long distance and I think it's something to keep in mind. There are many healing testimonies out there where Holy Spirit sent a person on a trip to get healed. These two incredible healings stand out in my mind and I highly recommend watching the clips. This man had Parkinsons and this man was a quadriplegic.

    We were never called to do this on our own. Christianity is not a solo journey. The entire basis of the Gospel message is that you can't be saved nor make it to heaven on your own merits or works. We ALL need Jesus to forgive us of our sins and to reconcile us back to God. Interestingly with healing we actually go completely against the Gospel and we tell the sick to “get it on their own” and we tell them that their thoughts play a large role in their health. Something does not add up here.

    Guard yourself against these false teachings which have you locked up in your own mind or are telling you to sit in your house repeating scriptures all day to get healed. This is not the Gospel! Lots of healing ministries cause the sick to become so inner focused, you actually begin to forget that God is pleased with you. This happened to me!

    When you are told to look at your doubts, unbelief, thoughts and roots of sickness, it puts you in such a negative horrible place, the devil will come to devour you. Rejoice that this is not the way the Lord wants us to come to him for healing. Praise God for he is Good!...He is the one whose faith is everlasting. He is faithful when we are not. He is gracious when we stumble. Jesus is THE healer. Not our minds.

    If you are one of those people who have been hurt and have stopped getting prayer, then just make the decision today to starting getting prayer again. God loves you so much and he is not looking for ways to disqualify you from any of the promises he made to us. Make the decision to step out and find a church in your area that believes in healing and start trusting God again for your healing.

    Blessings to everyone!

    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Natural Healing Is Wisdom of the World

    When we give supplement, dietary and health advice, we are no longer acting as ambassadors of Christ. We stop walking in Kingdom knowledge and in the power of Holy Spirit and instead we are spreading natural knowledge, wisdom of men and associating that information with the Word of God. Yet Jesus never ministered healing to someone by telling them to take an herb, go on a diet or to take a supplement and he had full Kingdom knowledge and power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately people have twisted the meanings of certain scriptures to say that God wants people to use herbs and supplements as another method for his healing power. Yet this is not seen anywhere within Jesus' ministry.

    Herbal remedies or natural health techniques were not demonstrated by Jesus and we know that He is the perfect image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15). Even the Disciples who learned directly from Jesus never used herbs to heal any person in the multitudes. It was ALWAYS through prayer and through demonstrations of power that healing happened.

    If a person is able to take supplements or herbs and they feel better, then we can Praise God and be Thankful for it. However (and this is where I disagree with a lot of ministers) we also need to accept that this is worldly knowledge and not spiritual knowledge. Doctors and all medical care is included into this as well. It's human and scientific knowledge that has been learned through the advancement of science, medicine and biological studies. We can be thankful for many great things in our day and age. Thank goodness for running water, personal hygiene, antibiotics and emergency doctor care. All of these save many lives today!

    However, you do not need to be a Spirit-filled Christian in order to learn about or learn how to understand the way herbs, supplements or a medicine "work" in the body. It is not revealed to us through God's Spirit, so therefore it is not Kingdom knowledge and has no place in a ministry setting. In a ministry setting you are representing Christ and Christ alone. 

    Am I saying we should condemn people who are using natural supplements or are currently going to a doctor? No of course not! I've been to over 50 doctors, used countless supplements and went to many naturopathic and natural minded doctors. I still see doctors and use antibiotics and other things when needed.

    We show love and grace to everyone:
    ...those who have been helped by doctors.
    ...those who have been helped by natural medicine.
    ...those who were hurt by doctors.
    ...those who were hurt by naturopaths or natural medicine.
    ...those who have done both, but are still sick and want healed!

    Regardless of which path a person has come from or is currently on, we show them love and grace! When they are ready to accept Jesus as healer and they come for prayer, we show them love and grace! However, within the walls of a church or within a prayer, ministry setting we should never be pushing someone down any other path outside of Jesus.

    If someone comes to you and is in immediate need of medical attention, then you can pray for them as you take them to the hospital or call an ambulance.

    I'm not an ambassador of doctors. I'm not an ambassador of natural health. I'm an ambassador of Christ and that's what you are going to get from me! If you want natural knowledge or wisdom of men, then you have come to the wrong place. ;) You can get that kind of wisdom anywhere. How many churches can you go into and see a demonstration of Jesus as healer? ...Not many.

    We need to be able to look at people with eyes of love no matter what path they have come from. That's why it's so important for the church to stop identifying with all of these other healing methods.

    If we accept doctors and natural medicine as being an extension of what Jesus did, then we may have a hard time ministering to those who were either harmed by or not helped by those methods. We may take offense at the person and may not even believe them, let alone have faith and compassion to pray for them. Sadly I have seen what happens when a minister takes offense when a supplement they recommended actually hurt someone!

    1 Corinthians 2:11-14 [Emphasis mine]
    For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    My heart cry is that the church doesn't give in to the ways of the world. We need to heed Paul's words in this chapter of 1 Corinthians and put our faith in Jesus for healing.

    1 Corinthians 2:4-5 
    And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.