I had something of a revelation this morning.
After working on the previous post yesterday regarding the inerrancy and efficacy of the scriptures, I was in a conundrum. There is a particular physical issue I have prayed about over and over for the last two years asking God to heal me. During that time I had to go back to the scriptures and pray. I really wanted to know what God said about healing. Does God heal today? Is God not unchanging and without a shadow of turning? Did Jesus ever turn away anyone who came to Him for healing with an “oh it’s not God’s will that you be healed right now”? After many months I came to the conclusion that I do believe God heals, I am not a cessationist and I know because the scriptures tell me God heals and nowhere does it say that God has stopped healing. I read many testimonies from various Christians, some from a more extreme Charismatic background and others who were not extreme at all. I even read a testimony from a guy who used to be cessationist but had a friend who believed God healed and gradually changed his mind on the subject simply because his friend was so unflinching in his belief, yet so joyful in his faith. So in the end, it was the scriptures coupled with the testimony of the saints which caused me to know in my heart that Jesus heals.
But if I did not have the scriptures to give me historical accounts of what Jesus actually did on earth, and what His people experienced and testified to in the years after his ascension, I would have nothing but other people’s stories. Our testimonies are important, scripture tells us we overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of the saints (Rev:12:11). But if all we have are subjective stories, you can be tossed too and fro by other people’s contradictory accounts. One person has prayed and never been healed (like Joni Earekson Tada) others have prayed and been instantly healed, others slowly over time etc. How do you account for such things? You will never know what God thinks about this subject unless you go the scriptures. If you don’t believe the scriptures are inerrant and that God’s spirit has inspired the words and that they testify of God, then you have nothing left. I mean literally nothing except feelings and stories, yours and other people’s. There has to be an authoritative source which tells us what God’s nature is, and how He intervenes in people’s lives. Jesus healed when He was on earth, He heals now. Steve has been to India and spent a number of months on two separate occasions. He worked with the people there, helping to build an orphanage, and also preaching the gospel. He saw the signs following; salvation, deliverance from demons, physical healings, the same things that happened when Jesus walked the earth. There were no weird manifestations, nothing different from the biblical account. Jesus heals.
Yet I was struggling this morning with my faith on this matter of healing despite the fact that God has given me dreams, words from others, words from Scripture and the scriptures themselves testify that God heals. I was getting panicky and wanting God to give me another sign. It was an attack of the enemy, but at the time, I was overwhelmed and not thinking straight. Finally, I sat down in at the coffee table and my eye was caught by the bible in front of me. Of course! I realised, the bible tells me over and over again that God heals. His word says he came to heal the brokenhearted. Jesus said that this was His ministry. Not only does He heal the broken heart, but he heals the bodies of the brokenhearted and their souls as well. But He doesn’t change, His word never changes and is sharper than a two-edged sword. I have it here in black and white. A book of God’s laws and God’s nature and God’s commands. So if this book is not what Jesus said it was, then Jesus is not who He said He was and it all just implodes. You have nothing left. So when I am not sure, when I doubt God’s word to me, I go back to the black and white version and I read what Jesus said.
It is one thing to disagree over the meaning of certain scriptures while both parties still believe that the Word of God is in fact God’s word. However, to cast doubt on the scriptures or to claim that they are not inerrant or even make outrageous claims that what is contained in the Word of God is in fact not true at all in any part, and is all ‘symbolic’ or worse is completely sadistic. If you don’t believe, keep it to yourself, don’t cause other people’s faith in the Word of God, or in God himself to be shipwrecked simply because you don’t share it or have succumbed to an attack of the enemy yourself.