From Skepticism to Hope
We have a tendency in the Charismatic circles to overlook the absolutely life-changing principle of receiving a healing from God. It’s not that we’re unappreciative or unthankful, but I often think we don’t fully understand the ramifications of how a healing—no matter how small—forever alters the life of the person who received that healing. We may see someone’s big toe get healed, and we say, “Praise God! Isn’t He good? That was neat.”
However, the person whose toe was healed has now had an encounter—a brush with almighty God who has touched them in a supernatural and personal way. It goes far beyond just the toe being healed, as “neat” as that is. That person and those standing around have just encountered a signpost in their lives that says, “I, the Lord your God, am here, and I care about your physical wellbeing—even your toe!”
We need to have a greater revelation of just how awesome it is when the Lord touches a person physically—our lives should never be the same! Our lives need to be completely different from that moment forward after the personal demonstration of God’s goodness.
All miracles should be life-changing, whether it be a shoulder restored to proper function or a lame person rising up and walking—it is the same God performing a miracle that, in the natural, could never occur. Every healing should be celebrated, no matter how “small” we think it is. The bottom line is, we should thank God that any of us are healed, because no healing is small. It is all a manifestation of God’s power over His creation, and that deserves our thanksgiving!
When my wife’s knee was healed, we decided to be those kinds of Christians who rejoice and give thanks in everything!
As God’s sons and daughters, we should all desire the same thing—to see people saved, healed, and delivered. That really should be the primary focus in all our lives—releasing the Kingdom inside us so that people can enter into that Kingdom, touch that Kingdom for themselves, and be transformed.
Healing is my passion. I absolutely love seeing the Lord break into someone’s life and restructure something in their body that was wrong. However, as I often say, up until an encounter when my wife’s knee was healed, there had been about a thirty-year period during which I considered myself “God’s least anointed” person.
After my dad died, I ended up being part of a healing team and thinking, “Please don’t get in my prayer line!” Not out of fear, because I desperately wanted to see the people healed, but I knew they wouldn’t get healed coming to me. How is that for super faith?
I’d pray for people; they’d die. It was so painful to pray for the sick and not see anything happen. Such a sad thing. I knew that it was me, that the problem was me, but I didn’t know how to fix me.
I hear of people who have healing ministries talk about how, before they received a fuller revelation of God’s healing grace, they prayed for people without seeing many results. Some have said it took them ten years, some maybe only six months. I often think facetiously, “Lightweights.” It was almost three decades of frustration before I was finally able to “get” the concept, at least in some way, of how the Lord operates in healing—and His passionate desire to see people healed quickly.
It was my fault, of course, not God’s—His timeframe would’ve been significantly hastened, as this book will try to show. But praise God I’m wasting no more time in presenting the truth to people that He does indeed heal, and He desires to do it now. Not some far-distant time in the future. The Lord, in His infinite love and grace, showed me just how insistent and uncompromising He is concerning healing His children speedily.
But before that powerful revelation came, I watched as my dad developed cancer and slowly withered away. He moved from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair; then he was bedbound, where he slipped into a coma, then died. It was about the worst death I could’ve imagined—someone I loved so much, seeing him suffer. It was such a painful period of my life, and I think a part of me died when he did—a part that needed to die, the part that said, “I can do nothing to fix this.” I was obviously living in deception, confusion, and blindness, but it’s hard to see the goodness of God in those kinds of situations, and it created a wounding that needed to be healed.
It was through God’s grace that He brought spiritual giants into my life who knew about how healing was supposed to work—my spiritual father James Maloney, Randy Clark, Bill Johnson, and many others. People who also had experienced failure in praying for the sick and had “dug it out”—the truth that God was healing people today. They were used by the Lord to resurrect that part of me that died into a newness of life, a passion, and a purpose to set my forehead as a flint and say, “I can be used by God to see people healed.” They instilled within me a glimmer of hope right at a time I was considering turning away from it. Not turning away from God, you understand, but the truth that He had a covenantal, burning desire to heal people in this day and age. The power that my soul (mind, will, and emotions) had over me was broken; I became renewed in my thinking, and I was able finally to allow my spirit to rise up and reach out to the Spirit to see His power manifested for healing.
The moment when my wife Janet’s knee was touched, that was the signpost that forever altered the course of our lives. I remember so distinctly the very first time I got a word of knowledge for someone and they were healed. Think about what that was like. Thirty years of fruitless frustration all washed away in a moment. All the emotional pain draining out of me as physical pain drained out that person’s body—we were both touched at that precise moment. I thought to myself, Finally! God, healing is here! The ecstasy of seeing God just be who He is, to see His goodness manifested—I was gloriously ruined!