The Ministry of Healing

“Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” - Galatians 3:13-14

Jesus bore our sicknesses and our diseases on the cross. As far as He's concerned, the church is the healed, which is why Isaiah prophesized about the coming Messiah, saying, "With his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5). It is also why Peter, looking back to the cross after Jesus ascended to the Father, said, "By whose stripes ye were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).

God's best for us is divine health, not healing. There is mercy for newborn Christians, but those of us who are mature should strive to walk in divine health. Healing is God's calling card to the world. He expects us to be His agents who lay hands on the sick so that when they recover, they can ask, "Why don't you ever get sick?" (Mark 16:17-18).

God told Adam that he would die on the day that he disobeyed, and we know that meant spiritual death. Spiritual death includes sickness and disease, poverty, fear, depression and all other ills. Disobedience to God opened the door for the enemy to begin to produce death.

Your Body, God's Temple

There is a natural side and a spiritual side to operating in divine health. The natural side relates to your body being the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19). You were bought with the shed blood of Jesus, the most valuable thing in the universe, and you are to glorify God with your body. Maintenance of the physical body requires three things: eating the right food, drinking sufficient water and breathing good air.

We are responsible for the food we eat; good food will affect us positively. Bad food will have a negative effect, whether we know we're eating poison or not. Water for our bodies is like oil for an engine; sufficient amounts are absolutely necessary for good health. We can't do much about the air that we breathe. Man has contaminated the entire system because of greed, even though he is killing himself, his children and his grandchildren. This is the point at which our faith gets involved. When we can't do anything, we pray in the name of Jesus, and His supernatural power deals with the things that we can't affect.

God's involvement, however, doesn't absolve us of us doing right by God's temple. We must obey God in these areas, because He wants us to live a long life and be healthy. Sickness and disease rob us of our money, our time, our energy, and to some extent, of our witness.

In addition to the right food, sufficient water and clean air, the human body needs movement; our bodies were not made to be sedentary. We also need rest. I used to refuse to take vacations, but the Lord let me know that if I would trust Him, He would have my back while I was out of town. He told me that He had called the saints to do the work of the ministry, and I had to allow them to do the work to which they had been called. Ministers, you must be willing to delegate and allow God to use others. If you believe Him for it, He will raise up whatever you don't have now.

A pastor's job is to train and retrain the saints, and this is a developmental process. As a parent, you are patient enough to allow your child to learn things. You need to be that patient with the people in your congregation. Don't be quick to terminate people. Let them earn the right to be terminated.

If you do have to fire someone and that person learns his lesson and is willing to accept responsibility for what happened, open the door for him to come back. Why? Because you would want others to give you another chance. God is merciful, and you need to be merciful, also!

Spiritual Contaminants

In addition to the natural dimension to sickness and disease, there also is a spiritual dimension.

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” - Proverbs 6:16-19

These are all enemies of God. These are the spiritual contaminants—along with care, worry and fear—that make people sick physically. Many times, people are their own worst enemies. Satan is certainly involved, as we see from some illustrations in Scripture. When the power of God shows up, however, Satan's power can be broken instantly.

In order for you to receive healing and live in divine health, you must repent of both the natural and spiritual reasons for sickness and disease. Repentance means more than being sorry; repentance means that you are resolved to change your ways.

I used to love fried chicken, but for me it was a weight. I was not in charge of my eating habits. For many of you, other things are a weight. Jesus is not the Supreme Authority or Lord in your life until you make a decision to stop things that are killing you slowly.

If you obey God in these areas, health will spring forth in your body. If you disobey, health will leave your body. Although there may be times when you will receive some manifestation of healing, in the end your body will be overwhelmed because of your disobedience. Conseqently, your life will be cut short.

Repent of how you've been abusing your body. Make a decision before God, and He will honor you now as though you had already acted. Know that the Messiah, the Anointed One, has borne your sickness and carried your diseases. You are the healed one!