Tag Archives: miracles

Trusting in God and Not His Blessing

It has been a while since wrote a blog post, and there have been a few reasons for that. None of which are really valid, so here I am back with another.

One of the reasons for not writing is that I have a newborn baby. If you have read the last few posts, you will know more about the blessing that he is. So why am I writing about trusting God and not His blessing? Even when we receive from God, there is always something else we are trusting Him for. In my case, one blessing has illustrated the need for another. Let me explain.

As many of you know, having a baby means a major life change. My wife and I were both working and I had started my own business, which was growing, but not as fast as I would have liked it to. Now all of a sudden, my wife is on maternity leave and we are about to be on one salary. That of a business which is up one month and down the next. So what would you do? I am a very logical person, which you would assume by the business that I have, but faith and logic often don’t mix very well. My logic said to close the business, and go and get a job. Then I could have a constant salary, and would be able to provide for my family. Sound good? God then told me to keep the business, and continue with what I was doing. Was I sure this was God? Can this be right? I then had a complete stranger come to me after church, and tell me that God gave them a prophetic word for me. She said, “The work that you are doing now, God wants you to continue with that, do not give it up.” OK, I guess it was God. So what now?

I was now in a time where I had to make a decision. Trust God, or listen to my flesh. Let’s take a look at a situation in the Bible which relates to this.

Matthew 8:23-26

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
There are a few interesting things here. Firstly, these were fishermen. They knew the sea. If they were scared, it was not because they were over-reacting. If they were scared, there was a good reason for it. We often have a good reason to be scared, but Jesus tells us not to be afraid, as we can trust in Him. The second thing is that they went to Jesus, and woke Him. Isn’t that what we are taught to do? When you have a problem, go to Jesus in prayer. Why did He then get upset with the disciples when they went to Him? In my opinion, it is because Jesus told them they were going to the other side (in other accounts of this story), but they didn’t believe Him that they would make it to the other side. This is unbelief. This is why Jesus was getting upset with them. Thirdly, Jesus rebukes them for being afraid, before He calms the storm. Now I know it says it the other way around in some accounts, but Jesus telling us to have faith before He does the miracle, is a common theme throughout scripture. Why does He do this? Simple. This is the title of this post. So that we won’t have faith in the miracle, but have faith in Him. If He had calmed the seas, the disciples would have had faith in the calm seas, Jesus wanted them to have faith in Him, despite the raging seas. Do you see the difference?

So how does this relate to me? My prayers have been along the lines of, “God please provide for us so that I don’t need to be afraid.” What does God’s Word say? It says that He will provide. In fact that He will provide abundantly. Also, I need the money, so that I can trust in the money, where Jesus wants me to trust in Him. This is harder to do when you don’t have the money, but no one said this would be easy. I ‘know’ our financial state, just like the disciples ‘knew’ the seas. I run to Jesus and ask Him to help me, even though His scripture says He will, just like His followers in the story. I want Jesus to fix the problem so that I will no longer have to be afraid, just like the disciples. Jesus wants me to trust in His Word, despite the situation. Just like He expected from the disciples.

God is faithful. He will come through. He always has, and He always will.

What are you afraid about? What are you waiting for God to provide? Do you have faith in God for the miracle, or do you have to see the miracle to not be afraid? I’ll leave that for you to think about. I hope that this has been as much of a blessing to you as it has to me.

Until next time.

Richard

How Would You Answer Jesus?

I heard a very refreshing sermon today, so I thought that I would share the key points with you. It was about the lame man, who was waiting at the pool, trying to get healed. Here is the passage, take a look.

John 5 v 6-8. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?”

“I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.”

Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!”

Here we have a classic response to Jesus, which sadly most of us have today. It is a dangerous response because it shows unbelief, which we find in other scripture caused Jesus not to be able to do miracles. Why do we do this? Put yourself in this man’s place. You have been sitting there for years, you have seen people get healed, but only those who get into the pool first when the water is stirred. You can’t get into the pool because you are paralysed. That is the only way you know to get healed, and it is unobtainable.

Then Jesus comes along. He asks a simple question. “Would you like to get well?” You reply to Jesus in the natural, the only way you understand. You start telling Him why you cant achieve it, you start telling him your problems. He is not asking about your problems, He’s asking you if you want the solution. In this case, Jesus heals the man. What about your case? When you read scripture about healing, what is your response? When someone approaches you and wants to minister to you, what is your response?

I have actually had people come up to me and ask for prayer, and then they go on to tell me why my prayer won’t work. They ask for healing, then they tell my why they won’t actually get healed. They tell me what the doctors said, how they feel, what they have read on the internet, and what others have said. I am not concerned about that, I believe that God wants them healed, and I believe they can receive that healing. They often don’t think that though, sometimes I have to convince them.

So I am not going to drag this out any longer, I just want to ask you some questions. What is your response to Jesus’ question? Do you believe that you will receive your healing, or are you giving God all of the excuses as to why you won’t?

Think about it and make the change if you need to.

Richard

Who Does What?

Today I would like to discuss something rather simple, yet something which will no doubt rock many people’s understanding of the Bible. Who does what? Yes, what is God’s job to do, what is our job, and what has God already set in place (like natural or spiritual laws)? I know that there is much to discuss here, so I will try and let you know my thoughts as quickly and as thoroughly as I can.

One of the biggest issues amongst Believers now days (in my opinion) is that we think that God can do what He wants, when He wants. Dare I say a ‘reformed’ view that God’s sovereignty means that He can do anything. Truth is, He can’t. (Shock!). Before you get all angry and start sending me emails, can God lie? Can God forsake us? No. Now I know what you’re thinking. It is not that God CAN’T do it, it is that He said He WOULDN’T do it. That is my point. God can do anything, but there are certain things that He won’t do, because He said He wouldn’t. Those are the bad things though (lying and forsaking). What about some ‘good’ things? Healing the sick, preaching the Gospel, casting out demons. You see God told us to do this, so He won’t. You may say that this doesn’t make a difference, but it does. Why do we pray to God and ask Him to heal? Why do we pray and ask God to get the demons away from us? Why do we pray and ask God to bring people to Him? This is what He told us to do.

If you’re a director of a company, and you delegate some responsibilities to your managers, would you then go and do the exact thing you asked them to do? No, not if you were any good at being a director. Once you delegate, you let them do it. Yes, you may help. Yes, you may want to be part of the plan. Yes, it is your authority that carries weight. Yes, they couldn’t do it without your backing and permission. But you don’t do it. This is the same with God. We need to do what He has called us to to. Yes, the power comes from Him. Yes, we couldn’t do it without God. Yes, we do it in the name of Jesus. But we have to do it.

Stop praying for Jesus to heal the sick. Jesus told us to talk to the mountain, and He gave us authority over sickness. Talk to the sickness and tell the person to be healed in the name of Jesus. Now I know that there is more to healing than the way we say it, but this will change our attitude. It is relatively easy to have faith, when we know we have the authority, and Jesus has already done the healing (by His stripes we are healed). The healing is done, we have the authority to administer it. If you believe this, it is easier to have faith than if we think that we’re trying to ‘twist God’s arm’ to heal someone. Like we care about them more than God. Are you praying for God to give you release from the demonic? Why? God told us to resist the devil, and he will flee. Do you pray that God will lead people to Himself? He told us to preach the Gospel. It is our job to tell people about Jesus. Yes, the Holy Spirit plays a part in calling people, but we have a responsibility.

Does this mean that God won’t help? No, obviously He does. We can pray that God helps us, that is what the Holy Spirit does. We can pray that God gives us the opportunity, or the wisdom, but we still need to do what He has told us to. The things that God has told us to do is in line with His spiritual laws, things that He has set into place. One that we all accept is salvation. If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth, you will be saved. That is the law, and if we do it as God has instructed, we will be saved. There is no other way. It is similar with other things too, although our default is to ask God to do everything.

Have a think about this. Do you ask God to do things that He has told you to do? Do you know how to do what God has called you to? Maybe this is the time to rethink how you do things, maybe it is time for change. Stop asking God to do what He has asked you to do, learn how He wants you to do it, and then get out and do it in faith. When we do what God has asked us to do, in the name of Jesus, just see what happens!

Richard

Make Your Mark – Part 9

There are some interesting things in today’s passage, some which I don’t fully understand why they happened, and some that stand against what we are often taught in churches today. Let’s take a look. The transfiguration is something which I don’t fully understand. Why did it need to happen? I have looked up some teachings on the topic, but most of them didn’t satisfy me, as they seemed pretty ‘wishy-washy’. Here is what I do know. The vision of Jesus was ‘dazzling white’. This is a hint of what we have become since accepting Jesus, this is a vision of the glory of God. This is the contrast between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world.

We then move on to one of my favourite passages of scripture, one which I have taught on many times, and will do so again today. This is a passage of scripture that, when understood, could fly in the face of ‘common Christian beliefs’. The disciples are casting out demons and, next thing, they come up against one which they can’t get rid of. Now it is probably safe to say that most Christians either avoid deliverance at best, or completely deny that it can even be done. The disciples were leagues ahead of us – they were actually delivering people – but look at Jesus’ response when they couldn’t get it right once. Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Wow. If that was His reaction to them, what do you think that He would say to most of us today? When last did you even attempt to cast out a demon? I have done it on a few occasions, but if I am honest, I must say that I don’t do it as often as I should. Fear and unbelief seem to be the main issues, although we tend to find all kinds of excuses not to be obedient. In this story, it is unbelief that seems to be the culprit, as the boy’s father asks Jesus to help him overcome it. Most Christians believe that Jesus CAN heal people, and He CAN deliver people, but He doesn’t always do it. We then start to make excuses as to how Jesus is using it for our good. Here is the truth of the matter. The boy’s father asked Jesus if He could heal his son, here is Jesus’ response. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” Interesting. Do you believe? That seems to be the key here, faith. In fact, Jesus almost takes Himself out of the equation. Now don’t misunderstand me here, I am not saying we don’t need Jesus, I am saying that we can do this in the name of Jesus. In fact, later on in this chapter, Jesus even tells them not to stop others from acting ‘in the name of Jesus’. Most Christians get upset when people do miracles in Jesus’ name, as they say that we should just beg God until He does it. Where actually, Jesus reprimanded them when they couldn’t do it, and brought the boy to Him. See the difference? Without Jesus, we have no power. With Jesus, we have the power symbolised by the transfiguration. We need to have faith and act on that.

There is a warning in the middle of this chapter though. We need to be humble, like a little child, and not think that it is all down to us. I believe that Jesus taught this because the disciples were getting arrogant because of the power. You see they needed this lesson because they were walking in the authority. It is a fine line between walking in the authority and getting too big for your boots. The sad reality is that we don’t really need this lesson to humble ourselves, because we don’t walk in authority. We use this message to be humble, as an excuse not to do anything. How many times have you heard Christians say, “We are nothing, we can do nothing, it is all down to God and what He chooses to do.” Nope. God has given us the authority to act in His name, and He even gets upset when we pass the buck back to Him. Just never get so arrogant that you think that it is you who have earned the right, or that it has nothing to do with God. Do you understand? God’s power, our actions.

One last thing, which I have said before, but I will say again. “This kind can be cast out only by prayer.” I have heard it taught that some demons will only come out if you fast. This is not what Jesus was saying, if it was, then Jesus is a hypocrite. He didn’t pray or fast, He just told the demon to go. So what was Jesus saying? This was a lesson about unbelief. When you pray and fast, it helps you to remove unbelief, which makes your faith more effective. This is what causes the demon to go. Jesus already knew this, because He did pray and fast. If you would like to know more about this, please take a look at my series about unbelief.

Until next time.

Richard

Make Your Mark – Part 8

There is so much to learn here, so let’s get started. We start with Jesus feeding 4000 people with some loaves and fish. We’ve all heard this story, and we marvel at Jesus’ provision, but do we understand the part that we play? This is something which is particularly relevant in my life at the moment, as I learn to have faith in God for provision. It is not easy, and I don’t claim to be excelling in the area, but I do know the answer. Faith. Here it is again. If Jesus could just do what He wanted when He wanted without any input from us, why didn’t He just create fish and bread and pass it around? Could Jesus multiply, but not create? He created the world, so that is a bit of a stupid question. The question is, why involve us? He needs faith. You see there must have been a moment when the disciples thought, “What on earth is he going to do with this little bit of food?”. Yet they did what they were told, they brought what they had in faith. Whoever owned the food would have gladly given up what they had, because they had faith in Jesus. Once again, we see what Jesus can do when we have even the smallest amount of faith. Now some people accuse me of being too ‘us oriented’ and not focused on Jesus, because I keep going on about what we need to do. That is not true, we can do nothing without Jesus. I give the glory of every miracle I see, no matter how big or small, to God. The reason why I teach about what we need to do, is that we are the ones who need to change! It is no use telling Jesus what He did, He knows, we need to learn our part. My prayer for myself and you, is that we understand the power that God has deposited in us, and that we learn more and more how to release this power through faith and obedience.

We then see Jesus asked for a sign, by the Pharisees, and He denies them. I wonder where they had been up until now, because Jesus has done so much already. I’m sure there is a lesson there, but I’d like to move on to the next part, where they are crossing the lake. Here is a lesson where we all look at the disciples and utter the words, “How much unbelief can a person have?”. The disciples have just seen Jesus feed 5000 people, and then 4000 people with a little fish and bread, and now they are arguing because they don’t have enough bread. Unbelievable. Face palm of note. The problem is, how often do we do this? I have so many testimonies of God’s provision. I have been in much worse predicaments than I am now, and Jesus has never let me down. Why do I struggle to believe now? We tend to forget these things, don’t we? When we look at the disciples and think about how stupid they were, we need to think about ourselves here too. Now I am not condemning anyone, I’m just saying that we need to learn to believe. If we think about it logically, stress and worrying is a fruit of unbelief. If you believed 100% that Jesus would provide, why would you worry. I know as I write this that I need to sort myself out, because if I don’t, my wife is going to remind me of this next time I worry. Even the fact that I just wrote down ‘next time I worry’ as if I am expecting to worry. Do you see what I mean? It is a lack of faith. How much stress and anxiety could we get rid of if we trusted God completely? I need help with this just as much as you might. When I was reading this passage, I got a little uneasy reading verse 21, as I felt that Jesus was talking to me. “Don’t you understand yet?” Lord, please help us to trust in you completely, and never to let unbelief hold us back. Help us to exercise the faith that we have, and stand firm in Your Word.

Jesus then heals another blind man, this time with yet another twist. This time Jesus spits on his eyes, and asks him if he can see. The man can see, but not properly, so Jesus places His hands on the man’s eyes, and then he can see properly. Two things to learn here. You may not see a complete miracle first time – Don’t give up. Secondly, don’t lose faith when it doesn’t happen how you were expecting. Keep believing for a miracle, don’t give up and accept the acceptable, God wants His best for us.

I can talk about this for ages, but I want to move on to the final point for this post. Verse 33, Peter tries to reprimand Jesus for what He said, and Jesus says this to him. “Get away from me satan!
Now we know what Peter went on to do, and that Jesus hand picked him and loved him, so isn’t it a bit harsh to call him satan? No. Jesus wasn’t calling Peter satan, but He recognised satan’s voice speaking through Peter. Let me ask you this, how many times have you had well meaning Christians, speak unbelief into your life? I get it often. People try and calm me down, try and water down my theology or faith. They don’t do this because they don’t like me, but because they do, and they think that they are helping me. The devil won’t come out and lie outright, but he is a master at just slightly twisting scripture to take us off track. I often get well meaning Christians challenging me (in love), but they get it wrong, and end up speaking unbelief over me. I have sometimes thought about saying something like Jesus said, but can you imagine how upset people would get if you said that to them? Maybe I must just do it. Jesus understood how important it was, and it didn’t change His love for Peter, it just put satan in his place. Maybe I need to be less concerned about what people think, and more concerned about what the Holy Spirit is doing in my life.

I’ll leave you with that thought. Until next time.

Richard

Make Your Mark – Part 6

Another exciting chapter in Mark, and today I look at some sobering facts about ministry. There is quite a lot to work through, so let’s get started with verse 3. Then they scoffed, “He’s just a carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us.” They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him. OK, who can identify with this? It is not people who have the power to do miracles, it is God who has the power, and He is the one who makes it possible for us to do miracles. He doesn’t have any ‘favourites’. Everyone has a family, everyone was just a baby once, if God is going to have anyone do a miracle, why not you? Why must it be an international preacher? Why not you? There is no reason, it can be you, if you believe. The problem is that when people know you, they often don’t expect anything from you, just like they did with Jesus.

Now you may expect me to go on and tell you not to let this stop you, but the truth is that it does. Look what it did to Jesus. And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. I know all about this. There is nothing more frustrating than being surrounded by people with unbelief, and having your hands tied behind your back. So what do you do? I don’t know the answer to this, but I do ministry elsewhere. I do ministry with people who do believe. If unbelief stopped Jesus from doing miracles, what chance do I have? I will fight the enemy, but I won’t fight people’s free will. I take my advice from verse 11. But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate. Now I know what you’re thinking, this is about preaching the gospel, not about ministry. I don’t agree. Verse 13 says that they cast out many demons and healed many sick people. This is what I want to do. The ‘mistake’ that I often make, is that I spend so much time trying to convince people to accept healing, because I want to see them transformed. Why do I do that? Maybe I need to move on to those who want to experience a miracle, to those who believe, maybe then I will see more miracles. What do you think about this? It is a fine line, but Jesus wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t important.

Jump forward to the section about Jesus feeding the 5000. I like this passage, but I really need to take it to heart. We live in a world where we need money, and most of us would say that we could do with a bit more. Now I’m not going to go into the prosperity gospel, but at very least, I do believe that God wants us to be provided for. Now I don’t know about you, but I have my own business, so no set salary. Every month there is a ‘cloud’ hanging over my head, am I going to make the money or not. Also, the question of ‘am I good enough to do this?’ pops into my head. The answer is simple – God promises to provide, and He can take what I bring and make it more than enough. What can I offer God? Not much, but He will take that, and there will be leftovers. Do I believe this? Not enough… yet. If I did, I wouldn’t worry each month. I need to get this so engrained, that there is no doubt. How about you? Do you believe that God will take the little that you bring, and make it into abundance? The other question is, do you even bring what you have to God? That little boy could have eaten the food himself. Sometimes we try to do it on our own, so we don’t even bring it to God. This is another trap that I do not want to fall into. Let’s bring what we have, lay it at God’s feet, and believe for abundance! Easier said than done, but that is my plan.

The last point from this chapter, is verses 50 and 51. They were all terrified when they saw him. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage! I am here!” Then he climbed into the boat, and the wind stopped. Now I have spoken about this many times, and have even named my blog after it, but here is the point. Jesus told them not to be afraid BEFORE he calmed the storm. This always makes me think. Jesus could have calmed the storm, and then He wouldn’t have needed to tell them to calm down. He didn’t. He told them to calm down first. They needed to trust Him. They needed to believe that Jesus was in control. They needed to have faith. Now could Jesus do the miracle without their faith? I don’t know. If unbelief could stop Jesus, maybe faith enables Him, it is not too far a reach. Either way, Jesus wanted them to believe, before He did anything. Do you believe that Jesus can (and will) do what He says? Do you have faith, or are you preventing miracles with unbelief? You need to make a decision, and choose to believe. Maybe you’re like me, and have faith for some things, but lack it for others? We need to step it up. We need to start to believe for EVERYTHING. Jesus doesn’t do a half job.

Amen!

Richard

Make Your Mark – Part 3

I was recently discussing with a friend of mine, who also has a Christian blog, as to how much abuse we take from fellow believers, because of the fact that we teach the truth. I actually almost feel that if I don’t get any abuse, I haven’t spoken the truth. Now I am not saying that we should intentionally upset people, but the truth will upset someone… As it does in the next chapter of Mark. Take a look at Mark 3, and then read my thoughts below.

Jesus is going about His ministry, when he meets a man with a deformed hand. It is a Sabbath, and Jesus knows that it will upset His critics if He heals the man. Now if this were me at this point, I would be thinking twice. You see I am all for healing, but I am also concerned with what people think of me, and sometimes these contradict each other. I live in the UK, but I was born and raised in South Africa, where we say what we mean and we mean what we say. In England, most people are way too polite, and say what they think others wish to hear, rather than what they truly believe. This has already got me into trouble a few times, and it now tries to hinder me from doing what I know is right. Is this something you struggle with? Jesus was faced with this exact predicament, in fact worse, they wanted to kill Him for what he was doing. What does Jesus do? He calls the man in front of everyone. Not only does He not hide it, He shows EVERYONE what He is about to do. Oh man, I could do a series on this, will we ever be that brave? Jesus then throws a spanner in their works, by asking them a question. “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?

What a question. You see they can’t say that it is a day for doing evil, but saying that it is a day for doing good, gives Jesus ‘permission’ to heal. This is why they kept quiet and didn’t say a word. Here is the interesting part: why is leaving a man with a deformed hand ‘evil’? Here is my theory. People think that Jesus just came to bring us salvation, that is not true, let me explain. He came here to bring the Kingdom of God into the kingdom of darkness. He came here to defeat satan once and for all and to bring us back into fellowship with God. Does this include salvation? Yes, most definitely, but it includes other things too – healing and deliverance to name a couple. Now yes, we can argue that salvation is possibly the ‘most important’ as it is for eternity, and illness only lasts during this life time. That may be so, but if all of these things are included in the gift from God, why would you not want all of them? All of these things break into the kingdom of darkness with the Kingdom of God. If Jesus had left the man as he was, the Kingdom of God would have left the kingdom of darkness to prevail in that situation. If we don’t actively bring the Kingdom of God into a situation, the kingdom of darkness prevails. There is no neutral ground here, it is one or the other. Is this the day to save life or destroy it? Was Jesus saving a life, or merely healing a hand? I have already discussed Sodzo, so I believe that they are one and the same, read this post for more on that.

Jesus then goes on to heal some more people, so many in fact, they had to hire a boat so that Jesus would not get crushed by all the people coming for healing. Imagine if your church was overrun by crowds of people because they were all coming to be healed. That would be a sign of things going well. We settle for a few people each Sunday giving their lives to Jesus while all heads are bowed. Now I am not saying that this is not good, we all rejoice that someone else has now been saved, I am just saying that there is more. More of God’s power, more grace, more for us to do if we only had faith. Jesus chooses His 12, and gives them authority over demons (which we still have by the way, demons and the authority over them), so that we can also do what Jesus did. Do we even come close today? I don’t think so. Why? Probably because we are scared of what others may think. As we read the end of this chapter, Jesus was even accused of being ‘possessed by satan’. I have been accused of doing the ‘work of the devil’ because of my blog posts, to which I took a certain amount of comfort to know that Jesus has been accused of worse. You only get accused of such things by stepping out, not by going with the flow and being ‘vanilla’. That is not what the world needs, the world needs more people to bring the Kingdom of God into the kingdom of darkness. Your will on earth as it is in heaven.
Do I do this enough? No. Can I improve? Yes. Let’s do it then, let’s step out in faith, let’s be more concerned with doing what is right, rather than what people may think of us. Let’s be more like Jesus.

I’m all fired up now.

Richard.

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 5

If you didn’t see the introduction to this post, you can view it here. Once you’ve seen it, let’s get started on listing some more ‘clouds’.

10. Wavering

This is probably quite a large ‘cloud’. Why should this healing happen if the last one didn’t? Are you sure this will work? He is a devoted Christian and he wasn’t healed? All of these sorts of questions enter our minds when we are healing or being healed. I believe this to be a huge cloud, probably one of the biggest in my life. Common sense is good, but when you’re believing for a miracle, it can be a huge hindrance. Romans 12:2 – Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Let’s start doing this, forget what the world has to tell us and start listening to what God is saying, and the Bible is a good place to start. 3 John 1:2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. God wants you well, start believing that and not what the world keeps telling you. I believe that you may find this fairly easy to say, but do you believe it? Do you act accordingly? How much unbelief is floating around in there? Yes, speaking to myself there again. I’ll leave you with James 1:5-8, which says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”. You can’t really argue with that.

11. Pride

James 4:6 – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Pride is a huge issue. I know that because I have to deal with it in my life. I get proud, I try and do it on my own, it falls apart, I turn back to God and promise to rely on Him, things start going well, I get proud.. It is like a vicious circle. The scripture says that God resists the proud, yet gives grace to the humble. Our healing is grace. I’m not sure what the solution is here, as if I did I would have done it by now, but I know that pride is the enemy.

12. Submission

The very next verse after the verse in the last point, James 4:7 – Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. We need to submit to God. Do we always want to? No. Is it always best for us? Yes. 9 times out of 10 a good parent knows better than the child. With God as our parent it is 10 out of 10. Why do we find it so difficult to submit? It is not just submitting to God, but all of those that God has put in a position of authority over us. Parents, governments, bosses. Do we submit to them? Now this may not be a directly linked to healing, but it is a good thing to do, even Jesus submitted to people in authority over Him. Luke 2:51-52 – Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men. Look at verse 52, He grew in favour with God. Now we can argue whether or not that will help you receive healing, but either way, I want to grow in favour with God. How about you?

So there you have it, 12 ‘clouds’ that can prevent you from receiving your healing. Let me make a few things clear just in case there is any confusion. These are not reasons why God doesn’t heal, He has ALREADY healed, these are possible reasons why we don’t receive. There is a huge difference there. There is also no condemnation here, I wrote this to help, not condemn. Lastly, these are not hard and fast rules, merely possible reasons. Even if they are not preventing you from being healed, it wouldn’t hurt to address them.

I hope that this teaching has helped you as much as it helped me when I first heard it.

I’ll leave you with some instructions from Jesus – Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. – Matthew 10:8

Richard

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 4

If you didn’t see the introduction to this post, you can view it here. Once you’ve seen it, let’s get started on listing some more ‘clouds’.

7. Unbelief

Please note that I am not talking about faith. When people hear my views on healing, they often attack with “so you think that I lack faith, that is why I am not healed?”. No, and even if I did, it would not be a condemnation. I only teach this because I want people healed, not because I want to condemn, because I don’t. Hebrews 3:19 – So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Well, that doesn’t talk about healing! I think the principals are the same, besides, what about Mark 9:24? Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Now I’m not going to teach on this again, but the disciples were casting out demons left right and centre, they had no shortage of faith whatsoever. They did have too much unbelief. What is the difference? Faith is when you go up to someone and tell the illness to leave their bodies, unbelief is what you brain starts telling you once you have done it. Are you sure this will work? Do you really have this authority? Last time the person wasn’t healed, why should this time be any different? Unbelief. This is the passage where Jesus says that the demon will only come out with prayer and fasting. I have heard people say that you have to pray and fast to get rid of demons. With all due respect, I don’t believe that. Jesus rebuked this demon and it left, no prayer, no fasting. So what did Jesus mean then? I believe that Jesus meant that we needed to pray and fast in order to get ourselves so familiar with the Word of God, that we realise the authority that we have, in order to eliminate the unbelief. Then we can remove these kinds of demons. I believe that this applies to some illnesses too. Let’s soak ourselves in the Word so that this unbelief fades in comparison! Unbelief could also be the fact that some people just don’t believe that we can be healed anymore. Either that or the fact that we don’t fully understand what the Bible teaches about healing. Before you get upset by this, go and read Acts 14:8-10. Paul was preaching and then realised that someone had the faith to be healed (I presume because of what he was teaching, maybe on healing), so he healed him. Faith, lack of unbelief and knowledge.

8. Strife and Envy

James 3-16 – For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind. No good comes from selfishness, strife and envy. That also applies to healing, besides, does evil of every kind include illness? I think so. Again, without condemnation, I think that we hold onto lots of our issues. Maybe it is because we like to have something to moan about or because we like the sympathy, I don’t know. I just know that jealousy and selfishness need to go, and as always, I am talking to myself here too.

9. Condemnation of the ‘Clouds’

I keep saying that there is no condemnation, and I mean it. One of the reasons that I believe that we don’t receive healing is because we are condemned by these ‘clouds’. If we get condemned, we start to speak that over our lives, and give the devil all of the power that he needs to destroy us. The Bible says that the power of life and death is in our tongues. If we feel condemned, we will condemn ourselves, and this will not lead to a breakthrough in out walk with God, I can assure you. These ‘clouds’ are merely mentioned so that we can identify and eliminate them, not so that we can beat ourselves up and feel condemned. In the military, you gather intelligence so that you can defeat the enemy, not so that you can feel sorry for yourself and give up. We need to take this information and use it to bring glory to God and for our good, not to defeat us.

Keep an eye out for more in the next post!

Richard

Why We Don’t Get Healed – Part 3

If you didn’t see the introduction to this post, you can view it here. Once you’ve seen it, let’s get started on listing some more ‘clouds’.

4. Discerning the Body

I wasn’t sure of what this meant at first, so I looked it up to see what I was dealing with. There are loads of ideas of what this means, but here is my understanding of 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 which says, “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgement to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”. I think that this is about the body, as in other Christians. How do we treat others? Now before you think that s means that we always have to do what others want, that is not the case. We always have to do what is right. I don’t always want to read my Bible, I never want to fast, I don’t always want to pray. I never want to exercise (just to put a non-spiritual one in there). Why do I do it? Because it is good for me. If we love others as we love ourselves, we should always do what is best for others. If that means confronting them in love, supporting them, teaching them or forgiving them, we need to do it. This is difficult, don’t get me wrong, my ego often gets in the way of this. This is something that I am trying to change. Could this be hindering your healing? How do we value others? Remember, God could use someone else to heal you, if you don’t respect people enough to receive prayer, you may never have the opportunity.

5. Living in Unrepentant, Habitual Sin

Firstly, let me make two things ridiculously clear, I am NOT condemning anyone, not am I passing judgement. I am merely teaching what the scriptures say. Where do they say this, you may be asking. John 5:14 says, “Afterwards Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” What else can I say about that? I am not saying that God is punishing you for being sinful, that is old covenant theology, but this is Jesus speaking. Now yes, technically it was still the old covenant (until Jesus rose from the dead), but Jesus would have known that He was going to die and be raised, so why did He say this to the man? I’m not sure, but Jesus said it so I need to take it into consideration. Besides, even if it doesn’t help you get healed, not sinning is going to help you SO much anyway. I know that it is not the case in this Bible story, but there are practical cases where stopping something will help you keep your healing. If I command your lungs to be healed, and they are, should you then maybe stop smoking? I know it is a simple example, but there are times when this makes sense. I don’t fully understand why Jesus said what He said, but I am not about to ignore it just because it may be ‘old covenant’.

6. Demonic Attack

There are generally two camps when it comes to the demonic, those that warn us not to look under every rock for demons (because they are too scared to deal with them) and those that look under every rock fr demons. We need to be in the middle. We need to be focused on God, and doing what He has called us to do, but when the demons attack (like the devil did to Jesus) we need to fight them (with scripture). They are defeated, but they can still cause us to fall if we’re not vigilant. Luke 13:11 – And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. This was demonic, I don’t care what anyone else has to say. It is not unusual to have to deliver someone in order for them to receive healing, but please be aware that I am not saying that all illnesses are caused by demons. As long as we agree that they (illnesses) are not sent by God.

Keep an eye out for more in the next post!

Richard