Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?








"Wilt thou be made whole?" (John 5:6)







It is God's desire that we are whole in body and spirit.  John wished it:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 1:2

Refusal to be made wholeOften, we seek only healing or deliverance. God wants to deal with the whole man and heal body, soul, and spirit.  It is not enough to desire physical healing on;y.

Because man is body, soul, and spirit, the concept of wholeness implies dealing with all of these. We cannot emphasize physical health apart from our soul and spirit nor healing apart from salvation. God is a spirit. He relates to you through your spirit. Your spirit governs your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional life. Your whole life is spiritually based. Because you are a spiritually based being, healing of the body begins in the spirit.

When God created man, man's spirit was to be the governing power of his life on earth. It was to have supremacy over the mind and body and bring them together into a unified whole man in which God would live. Originally, in the Garden of Eden, man was in close spiritual relationship with God.

In prohibiting access to the tree of knowledge in the Garden, God was forbidding man to live on the level of physical and intellectual knowledge. When man sinned his spirit was submerged and he chose to live by his intellect. When his mind ascended above the spirit and took over, the spiritual part of man died (or ceased to function as the source of his response to God and to life). From that time, there was a separation of spirit, mind, and body, which resulted in a lack of harmony between man, his environment, and his creator.

Healing is more than the absence of sickness. It is more than a healthy body. It is the return to proper functioning of every part (body, soul, spirit; including the mind, emotions etc.) in harmony with every other part, the environment, and the Creator.

Lack of decision and desire.  At some point, the lame man had to make a decision. 

And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? 3 John 5-6

Some people do not want to be healed. They enjoy the sympathy, pity, and attention they receive from being sick. Some receive medical benefits through pensions or legal settlements and they do not want to lose them. Others have a great desire to go be with the Lord and do not want to be healed. Some people use their sickness as an excuse to avoid work and manipulate others.

Deal with such issues with compassion. Do not make people feel guilty for having these feelings. Their sickness has allowed them to exist emotionally until they could be led to a better way of life.

Problems with requests.  There are sometimes problems with requests for healing that hinder its manifestation:

          Ö     NOT ASKING:

First, and most basic, is that sometimes we do not ask for healing. We turn to medicine for help or to friends for comfort:

. . . ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)

          Ö     NOT ASKING SPECIFICALLY:

Sometimes, prayers are hindered because they are not quite right; inappropriate or out of place.

. . . ye ask amiss. . . (James 4:3)

When you are "amiss," you are not specific in your prayers. You did not hit the target correctly.

          Ö     ASKING WITH THE WRONG MOTIVE:

Sometimes, we pray with the wrong motive:

Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)

Some people want to be healed, but do not want to change their sinful, worldly, uncommitted life style. They want to be well so they can go back to doing their own thing.

People should consider these questions:

         >        What is your motive for wanting to get healed?
         >        Is it so you can return to self-centered living?
         >        Is it so you can rush around doing good works instead of accomplishing God's specific purpose for you?

          Ö     YOUR PRAYER IS HINDERED:

The Bible identifies several other factors that will hinder receiving answers to your prayers:

-Sin of any kind:                                                 Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; 59:1-2
-Idols in the heart:                                             Ezekiel 14:1-3
-An unforgiving spirit:                                      Mark 11:25; Matthew 5:23
-Selfishness, wrong motives:                           Proverbs 21:13; James 4:3
-Power hungry, manipulative prayers:          James 4:2-3
-Wrong treatment of marriage partner:         I Peter 3:7
-Self-righteousness:                                           Luke 18:10-14
-Unbelief:                                                              James 1:6-7
-Not abiding in Christ and His Word:             John 15:7
-Lack of compassion:                                          Proverbs 21:13
-Hypocrisy, pride, meaningless repetition:    Matthew 6:5; Job 35:12- 13
-Not asking according to the will of God:        James 4:3
-Not asking in Jesus' name:                               John 16:24
-Satanic hindrances:                                            Daniel 10:10-13; Ephesians 6:12
-Not seeking first the Kingdom:                        Matthew 6:33

          Ö     LACK OF PERSEVERANCE:

Sometimes we do not persevere (continue) in prayer long enough. Apostle Paul himself had at first preached while being ill (Galatians 4:13-14) and was later healed. Prayer apparently had no immediate effect on Epaphroditus who almost died (Philippians 2:27) and Trophimus who was left behind ill (II Timothy 4:20). Yet they both eventually recovered. (Note also that Apostle Paul continued to pray for the sick despite that in these cases there was not immediate healing.)

Some people think if you ask more than once for healing it is lack of faith. Jesus did not teach that persisting in prayer showed lack of faith:

  • He encouraged perseverance.  (Luke 11:1-13)
  • He teaches the importance of persisting in prayer in the parables of the inopportune friend. (Luke 5-8)
  • and the widow and the judge (Luke l-8).

 The example of Daniel also encourages perseverance. God heard his prayer from the first time he prayed it, but Satan hindered the angel who was sent with an answer.

The Prophet Elisha prayed one time for fire to fall from Heaven, but he had to pray seven times for rain to fall. Do not give up if healing does not occur the first time you pray. Remember that there are the "asking, seeking, and knocking" levels of prayer. Sometimes you ask and get an immediate answer. Other times you must seek and continue to knock to receive an answer.

In the natural world, people will go to doctors and hospitals many times until their physical problem is resolved. Why do they lack the perseverance to continue to seek divine healing from God?

Remember: The battle for the body is spiritual warfare manifested in the physical realm. Continue to persevere in prayer until you know your petition is heard. When you have that confirmation in your spirit, then begin to praise God even if you do not yet see visible results:

-Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel began praising God in a loud voice before they actually saw the answer to their prayers.

-Jesus thanked God in advance for raising Lazarus.

-Once Abraham had assurance of the promise of a son, he did not keep on 
praying. He believed and glorified God.


(Biblical Studies)

07/22/15

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