Most people think being sick is just part of living, they accept it like it’s a normal every day thing. They not only accept it, they expect it! You’ll hear comments like, “Here comes the flu season, I better get ready, because I get it every year.” And if you look around, it would appear they are correct – sickness and disease is everywhere. It’s talked about on the TV, Internet, and we can all name someone we personally know that is experiencing some sort of illness right this minute. But our Creator didn’t make us, nor intend for us, to live a life filled with sickness and disease. Quite the contrary. When God created mankind, He pronounced blessings over him. So what went wrong, why all the suffering?
From the beginning, God offered man His blessing. He’s made offer after offer to bless our land, our produce, livestock, our health and families. But after Adam and Eve followed the devil’s plan by rejecting God and choosing to decide their own path, they connected to the law of sin and death, and Satan became the over lord of the earth. They had to leave the garden of God and the abundant provision of their Creator. So man then went about setting up his world, patterned after the way he saw fit (influenced by you know who), and history gives us the rest of the story. The world has been plagued with horrible poverty, sickness and disease ever since. But there’ve been individuals here and there that responded to God, and were incredibly blessed in their walk with Him.
Abraham Partners With God
Abram (who’s name was later changed to Abraham) was a man that responded to God’s call on his life. In Genesis 12:2-3, God promised that if Abraham followed his instructions, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing…… and all the people on earth will be blessed through you.” Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. God then blessed Abraham. Gen. 13:2 says “And Abram was very rich….” The remainder of Genesis, and for that matter, the remainder of the Old Testament gives us the story of Abraham’s descendants. God kept His promise and Abraham’s descendants grew into a great nation – the nation of Israel. And Israel was blessed beyond comprehension up through the reign of King David and Solomon. Until they forgot the Source of all their blessings, Israel was the richest, most blessed nation on the earth.
Those blessings included the promise of God to bless their bodies and give them abundant health.In Exodus 15:26, God says, “….. I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 23:25 says, “….. and I will take sickness from your midst.” Deuteronomy 28 is what’s called the Blessing and Cursing chapter of the Bible. God gives a list of all the blessings that will come on His people if only they will hearken and follow Him. He also warned them of the consequences if they turned their backs on Him and rebelled. They would again be on their own, subject to the curse the rest of the world lives under, which is to go it alone, to eke out their own existence, and live without the protective umbrella of God’s blessing. Chapter 30: 19 says “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” Some of the effects of the curse mentioned in Chapter 28 having to do with health are: wasting disease, fever and inflammation, tumors, madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
What’s That Got To Do With You & Me?
The main thing the Old Testament shows us is that no one is able to walk perfectly before God in their own effort and strength. Although the descendants of Abraham told God they chose life, they always fell away into sin and disobedience again. Then they would sacrifice the blood of an animal to cover the sin, crying out to God for forgiveness and deliverance. But that had to happen over and over again. Then just as it looked like all hope was lost, God’s mercy and grace showed up on the scene.
Jesus Came to Reconcile Us to the Father and Re-Institute the Blessing!
Remember when God told Abraham that through his seed all the nations of the earth would be blessed? Well, Jesus was a direct descendant of Abraham! And it’s through the sacrifice of Jesus, the shedding of his blood, that we may receive forgiveness of all past, present, and future sins – once and for all! Jesus didn’t come just to pay the price for our eternal life. He also came to give us a better life in the here and now! He said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it in abundance to the full.” We know the promises, the Blessing, was given to Abraham and his seed. Galatians 3:6-16, “Consider Abraham; He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham….So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham….Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law…. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed….meaning one person, who is Christ” Verse 29 says, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
God’s Promises Are For ALL In Christ
It’s made very clear in scripture. Jesus has reconciled us to the Father. We have all become one in Christ. It no longer matters if you are Jew or Gentile, male or female. If you’re Christ’s then you’re Abraham’s seed and an heir according to the promise! As followers of Jesus, we may all lay claim to the Blessing – the promises of Almighty God! But in order to do that, we need to know what those promises are. So let’s look at some scriptures that deal specifically with how God desires to bless our physical health.
In Exodus 15:26, God says, “….. I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 23:25 says, “….. and I will take sickness from your midst.” Isaiah 53 is a prophecy of Jesus’ life and crucifixion, and verse 5 says, “…. and by his wounds we are healed.”
The book of Psalms is chalked full of praises to God for being our faithful healer. Ps 103:2-5, “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction….so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”
Proverbs 4:20, “….listen closely to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”
Jeremiah 30:17, “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds declares the Lord....”
Let’s look at how Jesus dealt with healing. In Matthew 8:2-3, When a man with leprosy approached Jesus saying that he knew Jesus could heal him if he were willing, Jesus said, “I am willing….” In verse 16-17, “….he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick……He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.”
Mark 16:17-18, Jesus told his followers, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name…. they will place their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.”
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, His followers did just that. Acts 5:15-16, “…Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick….and all of them were healed.” We are told in James 5:13-15, if anyone is sick, they need to call for prayer in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well!
Then Why Are His Sheep So Sickly?
Although healing is included in the benefit package of God, and Jesus gave His followers authority to overcome all the power of the enemy, telling them to do as He had done; and with the word saying, “As He is so are we in this world,” it seems many of Jesus’ followers are not following in His footsteps. Jesus lived a life of victory in every area of life: victory over the spiritual realm – the devil, sin and death; and victory over the natural realm – sickness and disease, wind and storms. But let’s face it, sickness and disease in the Church runs about as rampant as it does in the world. God’s word says in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge….”
I believe a lot of Christians aren’t aware of the benefits of following God. They think the only benefit is that when they die, they get to go to heaven. Although Jesus acknowledged that his followers would be confronted with the same things the rest of the world deals with, He shows how we can be victorious over them. John 16:33 “.…In this world you will have tribulation, but fear not; I have overcome the world.” Jesus’ followers are to share in His victory and authority. We are heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ! Ephesians 2:6, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” We are not weak, sick, poor and defeated. Christians are citizens of Heaven deployed to the earth. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and represent the Kingdom of God to everyone around us!
Jesus is The Good Shepherd
Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd, and he says we are his sheep. Can you imagine what you’d think if you saw a shepherd leading his sheep, and the sheep were all sickly looking, malnourished, maimed, and just limping along? You wouldn’t think that shepherd was taking very good care of his flock. No, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. His sheep are well nourished, strong, vibrant, nothing missing, nothing broken!
God Needs You Well!
Our loving Father has called us to live a life of victory in Jesus Christ. We represent Jesus on this earth! And Jesus has set us free from the bondage of pain and sickness, by paying the price for sin and death. So when the enemy tries to put the wages of sin on us again, we stand on the blood of Jesus and the promises of God’s Word! We walk in the power and authority of Jesus Christ on this earth, blessing all we come in contact with. When the world sees us, they see Jesus; strong, healthy, vibrant.
Rise up Church! May we allow the streams of living water to flow through us and out to this thirsty world, touching and healing everything in it’s path. Come soon Lord Jesus!