I was involved in pretty conservative churches since I became a Christian at age 16. Always zealous for fellowship and spiritual growth, one day after football practice in 11th grade I rode my bike all the way from the school to the church. I knew I would be sweating and so decided I would sit away from people. I just wanted to hear from God. When I got there, the pastor was at the door meeting people and he looked at me and said, “Sorry Rick – no shorts in church.” I looked at him at first thinking he was joking with me. I soon realized that there was apparently something more important than worshipping God and Fellowship – dress code. Though I have yet to find this in scripture to this day, what I DID find was that we are to submit to our authorities and the pastor was one of my authorities. Now I did not understand any of that as a new Christian. All I did understood was to say “yes sir” and rode my bike home. Little did I know just HOW FAR away from people I would be sitting! 🙂
I say all of that to say that the church was very conservative. When it came to spiritual gifts, they believed that some were still in use today, and others were no longer needed. I heard the pastor say that. While, again, I have never found that idea anywhere in scripture, it gave me a definite prejudice about the gifts. To go to a class on “healing” would absolutely ludicrous. People are not healed anymore these days, that was for “way back then” to show us examples of His miracles. When it does happen today, it is just a fluke.
Please understand I have several degrees, including a BS in Chemistry, minors in biology, physics and math – initially, I was going to do pre-med. A Master’s degree in Administration, and nearly completed a PhD in C&I with a minor in Statistics, so I do not park my brain at the door when I go to church. SO, when I say I have been going to an 8 week long healing class that has been transforming my life and theology, you know that it is not out of ignorance that I do such.
One thing I DO know is that information never healed anybody. Not once did anybody ever go to Jesus for healing that Jesus went into a seminar on pride or sin or anything else. Also, not once did anybody EVER go to Jesus for healing that Jesus turned them away, saying “I am sorry, it is not God’s will that you be healed. You have this ailment for a reason, now go figure out why that is!” Yet that is what I was raised to say everytime I prayed for healing for somebody! So we go back to the familiar saying of “It is not WHAT you know, but WHO you know” because we need a person – Jesus – not knowledge about Him. When we ask the question “Why” it is an empty question. “Why” is a great question when it comes to academics – and believe me, I am a professional at asking “why.” It is the “Who” that we need to ask – “Who can heal us?” “Who can fix us?” “Who do we turn to?” The answer is Jesus for all three, and more!
But there is another question we need to ask. When I buried my mom at a young age due to lung cancer when she never smoked a day ion her life, I was tempted to ask “Why?” But the answer to that question will do nothing for me. And Jesus never once told his followers – those who were healed – why their ailment happened. But he ALWAYS told them what to do next. “Go show your self to the priest” “Do not tell anyone what happened” “Go..” So, our question should also be “What next Lord?” We may not be healed, but our question should always be “What next?” because those things that happen to us are for His glory when we are submitted to Him and for our good. That is what scripture says:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28
I think we are often like the kitten who chases the laser light on the floor…it is cruelly funny to watch them tear the place up trying to get to the light. Yet they never look up at the source of the light. Much like that kitten, we focus too much on the blessing, or the healing, that we forget the Blesser – the Healer. HE is Who we need. HE is Who brings life. Blessing and healing do not bring life. So, it is not “Why, but Who and What. Be Blessed!
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…