HEALING IS A JOURNEY, NOT AN EVENT !
This is a journey in healing. Sin, sickness, troubles are progressive in their onslaught. God has a progressive plan under way in our salvation, healing, victory.
When saved, we were not perfect. We began a journey from glory to glory, and are hopefully becoming more and more like Jesus every day. When healed, it is the disease that is removed. The balding process continues, we still sweat, we still age, and approach death. The ‘adoption of the body’ is not yet complete, even after a healing. Until the resurrection/rapture event, we are awaiting the new body. Until then, even during a healing time, we are on a journey.
In the healing of the person, we find a journey is still continuing. The enemies of our soul, the devils’ work against our person, continue, and we have healings, and miracles along the way, but the journey continues.
Jesus soon will rapture us. Saints that died previously will be resurrected. We will spend some time in heaven, in our new redeemed bodies, but then return to continue the journey and bring redemption to the earth. The millennium that follows Armageddon, is a 1000 year period in which Jesus wins every victory needed to complete this journey out of the curse, and into His perfect kingdom.
Paul taught this in his epistle to the Corinthians.
1 Cor. 15:24-28
"Then cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For He hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
The last enemy on this journey, to be destroyed, is death. We have eternal bodies at the rapture/resurrection, but death is still taking the lives of others, and even after the second coming, and after the millennium begins, death is still able to take those we rule and reign over, if they sin. Jesus keeps us on the journey, working with Him in the conquering over all the results of the curse.
The millennial kingdom must be delivered to God. Jesus comes at Armageddon to conquer, and to set up rule here. He will rule with us, till all forms of rebellion and sin are put down. Death is the last of those enemies to be destroyed. Christ's work, of conquering over the rebellion of this earth that brought the curse, must be accomplished and accepted by the Father. The purpose of the 1,000 years millennial reign of Christ is to finish the journey of conquering the curse. The rebellion of mankind made it necessary to send Christ, on a journey to conquer over the curse and its effects. We have joined Jesus on this journey.
God becomes "all in all" again, as before the curse was earned by sin. Then, on the new earth, God Himself comes to commune freely in the sin-free, curse-free new earth. Able to walk with us Himself, able to commune freely with mankind, God will have won the victory.
We are in the midst of this journey. We are still working on overcoming the curse in our own lives. We have a human, curse-effected body now. We get temporary respites from the curse’s effects, with healings, and miracles.
Yet, we are still under the effects of parts of the curse, and sickness, disease, weariness, pain, and death do afflict from time to time.
The work of Jesus, in our lives, is a continuing journey. Just at those following a 12 step program, to overcome addictions, face the fact, that it is a continuing battle, even though one may be long victorious. We too, have a continuing battle, and as long as the ‘old man’, the carnal flesh, has any life, we find that temptation can bring failure, even after long periods of serving the Lord. We are on a journey, toward victory, but still on a journey.
The work of the Lord, in healing us inside of the pains, sorrows, shameful feelings, sins, guilt, false guilt, etc. is a work that is hard on this journey.
Saul of Tarsus was a wicked man. He helped in the stoning of Stephen, he persecuted Christians, and his inner guilt was real and punishing to himself.
The turmoil that was needing healed, after he became a Christian, was considerable. What did he do? He spent two silent years in Petra. I am sure the weight of the grief, the shame for the sins, the building a relationship with Jesus took most of his time.
There are steps to this journey, his location for this journey started in Petra, but what did he do, to aid his healing? We can surmise, but we do know Paul was a very Biblical person, so we can safely assume that he followed Scriptures advice. Paul was starting a new journey. He needed to make some decisions, and to take some actions, in order to heal inwardly.
Continuing on this journey, will involve some basic decisions.
1. A TIME OF WEEPING
God is calling for a time of weeping, as a first step in healing. The Scriptures predicts this call to intensify during the last days.
Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God..."
"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart,
and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for He is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil... Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly..."
"Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare Thy people, O Lord, and give not Thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?"
Some may question, 'Why weep and lament?' The weeping is not to change God, it is to lay bare our soul, in humility, in desperation to God for His mercy, in uncovering all the areas of sin, in exposing all the former pride, in seeking the Only Answer, i.e. Jesus. Sometimes we don't understand our God, and His ways. For instance, Jesus - after what we call the "triumphal entry" on Palm Sunday, went to a hillside near Jerusalem and wept. Others thought that the day had been triumphant, but Jesus knew what was about to happen. He was inwardly hurt by the hypocrisy, He was wounded in His soul by the conspirators who were plotting with Judas, His friend. He wept for that hypocrisy, and wept for the instability of mankind. He shed tears for the soon-to-come deception and for the betrayal by one of His disciples.
Weeping was used by our Lord in His catharsis. He cleansed and purged out the anger and unforgiveness that He could have felt, if He had not had His catharsis of weeping on that hill overlooking Jerusalem, and shortly later in Gethsemane. Jesus was not ashamed of His weeping. He did it often, and did not try to hide it.
Weeping is a big part of the catharsis process. Pride may tell us to be strong, and tough. Unforgiveness may tell us the problem is all in the other persons. Weeping lays us bare to our vulnerability, it reminds us we are but human and frail. Our inner sicknesses and wounds need to be laid bare, and the ache of grief and sorrow can be tended to by God’s healing power.
Grief, guilt, unforgiveness, shame, hurt from abuse and washed by the tears of the weeping one. Sins present can be washed clean. Sins of others that wounded the person can be cleansed by one’s tears.
Philippians 3:12-14 (KJV)
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul tells us some of the further steps that he took on this healing journey. He realized that he was not perfect. He not a perfect victor over the curse, and its effects. He was still ‘apprehending’ victories through Jesus. The pains of inner upheaval of the soul, need to be handled. How we do that is very confusing. Paul shows us that he chose to ‘forget’ those things.
Forgetting is a word that means ‘to choose not to think about.’ We need to choose not to think about our past, our failures, our great mistakes, our former sins. Looking back to former failures, is next to, or kindred to going back. Going back to sin starts with looking back to sins. So, Paul chose not to look back at those sins, not look back to the pride, anger, misconceptions, and evil nature that led him into such sins.
God forgets our repented sins. How does an omniscient God ever ‘forget’?
He cannot ‘forget’, in the meaning of ceasing to know. Rather, He chooses not to ever again think about our repented sins. We too can remember our former ways, our hurts, our sins and evil nature. We can choose not to think of them again. Lot’s wife was told to flee the city, and not look back at it. She was going to miss some things of the city, so she failed by looking back. She was judged.
We bring failure by looking back. By allowing the carnal nature to be tempted by a former lifestyle. In the catharsis healing of our inner self, we need to ‘forget the things that are behind.’
3. PRESS TOWARD THE MARK
Then, Paul did something more. He said he ‘pressed on toward the mark of the high calling of Jesus.’ The words ‘high calling’ refers to a call that is from above. We are called by Jesus to live for Him, to be ready to be presented to Him. We press toward this heavenly calling, we are to realize that the prize of this heavenly calling is the ‘crown of righteousness’.
II Timothy 4:8 (KJV)
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
1 Peter 5:4 (KJV)
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
4. GIVE UP
Matthew 10:36-39 (KJV)
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me:
and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. 39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
Unfortunately, families are often a source of hurt and pain. Those pains are often locked in the soul, to resurface at times, to bring pain, fear, and hurt.
These need given up, and the Lord needs to step in to replace the hurtful family members. There are many demands from family, as to what to do, when to do, and how to do many things. Jesus has to come first.
Sometimes, family can be supportive, and the relationships can be supportive. Yet, some family can make one want to hide in a cave. There are times, in Christianity, one must give up family, avoid some, see others only in restricted, safe situations.
5. BE NOT DRUNK
Ephesians 5:15-18 (KJV)
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess;
The word ‘drunk’ can refer to anything which takes the mind away from what it should be on. Wine inebriates, sedates, and warps thinking. We have to turn from wine, drugs, and anything that makes our mind unable to be used of God. We have to hear clearly His voice, His direction, His comfort. If we want to let the catharsis of our soul proceed, He has to have freedom to work upon us.
6. BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
Ephesians 5:18-21 (KJV)
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
We do need help. Drugs, wine, sinful friends, a cruel family are not helpful. But to be ‘filled with the Spirit’ is helpful. The ‘psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to Jesus, bring a strength of faith. Every Christian is invited to ask for the infilling of the Spirit. When you received the Lord as your Savior, your spirit became alive again. Your spirit within you began to assert itself over your soul and body. This spirit is the dwelling place of God within you. Your spirit united with God's spirit at salvation.
Some say, "How can I receive the Spirit when He already dwells within me?" The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not the receiving of the Spirit into your life. All Christians have the Spirit working in their lives. At the baptism of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit completely fills your life. The word "baptize" in the classical Greek was used of a sunken, waterlogged ship. The Lord wants us to be more than: born of the Spirit, or used of the Spirit, or regenerated of the Spirit. Rather, He wants us to be waterlogged with the Spirit.
"HE THAT BELIEVETH ON ME ...OUT OF HIS BELLY SHALL FLOW RIVERS OF LIVING WATER (the Holy Spirit)."
The baptism of the Spirit will aid in the production of the "image of Christ" in us.
"WALK IN THE SPIRIT AND YE SHALL NOT FULFILL THE LUST OF THE FLESH."
We are not made perfect by the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Yet, when we are Spirit-filled, the Spirit will help us resist the lusts and temptations of the flesh. There will still be ups and downs. However, the Spirit is better able to direct, to aid, to uplift, and to convict. We can still refuse or ignore His help. The baptism of the Holy Spirit makes us more aware of sin, and gives us more desire to shun sin. With this new power we have received, we have power to resist sin, if we so choose.
If we choose alternatives to the filling of the Holy Spirit, we find a desire for sin. We are less able to resist sin. We do not hear the voice of God as clearly. Yet, if we choose the filling of the Spirit, there is the joy, peace, truth, and understanding of the Spirit in our own person.
7. DISCERN THE LORD’S BODY
1 Corinthians 11:28-33 (KJV)
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
The body of Christ is the church. The local assembly in which you worship, whether large or small, share a mission for the Lord, share the ministry from the Lord, as one body. Whenever turmoil disrupts the body of believers, the hindrance to the move of God is great. We need therefore to ‘examine ourselves’, and be sure our relationship and fellowship as the family of God is proper. Many are ‘weak’, ‘sick’, and ‘sleep’ (dead) due to this disruption of God’s plan.
Ananias and Sapphira fell dead from their sin. They lied to the Spirit in the midst of a meeting of the church body. God did not tolerate it in the midst of that great revival, and in the midst of this great revival, He will not tolerate it either.
Spiritual sickness, inner turmoil, result from lack of judging ourselves for church disputes. Some today still die from such disruptions in the church.
To keep the healing journey working, we need frequent ‘exams’ upon ourselves, and the relationships within the church.
8. CONFESS FAULTS
James 5:16 (KJV)
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The Greek word for ‘faults’ is the word ‘paraptoma’, meaning ‘a falling aside, when one should have stood upright, a moral failure.’
When we can admit our failures to one another, praying one for the other, humbling in admitting we are not spiritual supermen, we find that healing comes. The hiding of sin, the lack of humbling admissions of a sinful nature, the refusal to admit that we are still in this journey toward healing, not yet having arrived, does hinder healing.
The journey is not over. You are going to have some victories, all brought by Jesus. You will also have some defeats, all encouraged by the devil, and succumbed to by yourself. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, take Jesus’ hand, and let’s continue this journey.
9. LAUGH, BE MERRY
Proverbs 17:22 (KJV)
22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
Yes, we started with the need to ‘weep’. The weeping cleansed the wounds, the other steps continued in the catharsis healing, and now, finally, we feel a peace that is unlike any peace felt before. The heart wants to smile, laugh, and be merry. This is of God. No, this is not the ‘laughing’ surge heard of in some factions of the church. Those that laugh there, have rarely preceded that laughter with the healing process. They laugh amidst a sinful nature, they laugh while still full of hurts and wounds. The laughter and merry heart of which I speak here, is the final work of the Spirit in the soul. It is not a laughter at a joke, it is not a funny movie that makes us see comical reasons to laugh. This merry heart is one that sees God’s exercise in our heart is working. It is an inner peace that passes all understanding.
The grief, worry, anxiety, irritability, bad tempers, hatred, unforgiveness, guilt, shame, fears, and malevolence, that once filled the heart, are gone.
Those hurtful things end in sickness and death. We are merry, when we feel the void of those things. Like a ‘medicine’, this laughter will continue to salve the healing wounds. No longer need we mourn and feel grief. The ‘weeping’ done first was not a ‘sadness’ in Jesus, but a weeping uncovering the things needed to be healed. Now, the catharsis process having cleansed those wounds, we are joyful in the process of healing.
Following these steps will not complete this journey. The journey goes on, but you will make better time if making this journey on the right path. It will be a much more pleasant journey, if these steps are followed while on this journey in catharsis healing.