Receiving God’s Healing Grace
By John Arnott
Is Is it possible to appropriate divine healing for my loved ones and myself? Let me answer by sharing some of the necessary ingredients that we have observed both in scripture and in the lives of people who have received dramatic healings from the Lord during renewal meetings around the world.
Knowing The Love Of God
The primary ingredient usually present when someone is healed is faith in Jesus Christ. However, I believe the faith that connects us to the healing power of God is a step beyond faith for salvation from sin. Faith that results in healing carries with it an expectation that God’s power will intervene in present circumstances. In order to place faith in the Lord for intervention in your present circumstances, you need to have faith not only that God can heal but also that He has a loving nature, and that it is always His will to heal. Then as you come to Him in humility, your confidence in His love positions you to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow into you to bring the healing.
One of the reasons, I believe, that we are seeing an increase in healing during this move of the Spirit is that the Holy Spirit is increasing our awareness of how much He loves us. In Matthew 22:37-38, Jesus said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” An intimate, loving relationship with God positions you to receive healing and the flow of God’s life into you.
But it is difficult to know God’s love for yourself if you harbor unforgiveness toward someone else. I have seen many people have a personal breakthrough simply by forgiving others who have hurt or offended them and also when they forgive themselves for their own sins and mistakes. The River of God’s healing power only flows as you freely release grace to the one who hurt you. It is not about law and justice and “what I’m entitled to.”
Healing comes totally because of the grace of God. It is a free gift purchased for you by Jesus Christ’s death at the cross. You cannot earn it or do anything to deserve it. Holding on to judgments toward others bring us out of the place of mercy and grace and back to a justice level where there is no mercy and where we can frustrate the grace of God and block the ability to receive a healing.
Knowing The Heart Of God
John’s gospel tells us that Jesus, who was in the heart of the Father, has come to reveal the Father to us. (John 1:18) Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing, and He only spoke what He heard the Father speaking. So all of the kind deeds of healing and blessing were actually the Father’s idea, and the Father’s will and doing. Jesus was simply carrying out the heart’s desires of the Father.
That is why Jesus was surprised by Phillip’s request in John 14: 8, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be sufficient.” He responds by saying, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” In other words, in seeing the works of Jesus, they had seen the Father’s heart.
I am continually amazed at how many Christians still do not know how wonderful and kind God the Father is. He loves more than anyone in the universe and His desire is to give you the Kingdom and this includes healing. You don’t have to beg and plead but only come to him in childlike faith receiving healing as another manifestation of the Father’s love.
Knowing The Will Of God
When you truly know that He loves you, you will consider Him a “safe” person who will welcome you and not reject you. You are far more able then to approach Him in faith and able to trust that He will heal you.
Faith is a very necessary component, and “without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) But real faith does not come out of striving and human effort. Rather, when we know how good He is, we know how He hates the brokenness and destruction that Satan has propagated throughout the earth. It is far easier to understand just how determined God is to bring His Kingdom of life and blessing and thus destroy the works of the devil.
That’s why when we pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…” you are praying in faith for His will to be done on earth. I believe that if we do not pray, His Kingdom of love, healing and peace does not prevail.
Knowing The Timing Of God
Another reason why many do not receive healing is simply because they continually postpone the blessing into the future, leaving it in the realm of hope. Having hope is good, but we also need to realize that God’s time for the Kingdom to come is now. “Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2) Salvation not only refers to having your sins forgiven, but it refers to freedom and rescue from sin, sickness and the power of the enemy. God’s time is now to see people free of their sins, free of demonization.
Why do we believe that God will allow us to suffer to produce holiness? Would you ever suggest to a person that sin or demons could be a blessing in their lives that will produce the fruit of patience and gentleness of spirit?
Yet when it comes to sickness, well meaning leaders teach that their sickness could be the will of God for their lives. Many Christians embrace this error as truth, believing that sickness is the will of God for them. Yet these same people quickly run to the doctor trying to relieve their pain. I suppose they are trying to get out of the will of God. Jesus came to be your Saviour totally, and He wants to save you from sin, from demons and from sickness.
I am well aware that God is able to bring much good out of bad situations. He is never limited by circumstances, and He continually turns tragedy into blessing. Realize, too, that suffering for the gospel and bearing your cross are completely different issues than sickness invading your body.
Jesus always treated sickness like an enemy and never as a friend, so we know the Father’s heart on this matter as well. So, don’t put it off to sometime in the future. Believe now. Receive now.
Knowing The Faith Of God
In Mark 11:22-23, Jesus tells us to have faith in God and believe for miracles, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Faith is a necessary ingredient if we are to see the power of God released. Over and over again, we see that faith is present when Jesus heals the sick in the Gospels. Jesus told the woman with the issue of blood, “Your faith has made you whole.”
Jesus asked the blind men in Matthew 9:28, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They answered, “Yes, Lord.” He replied, “Then according to your faith, be it unto you!”
In these cases Jesus pointed out that faith for healing and miracles was already present in the person being healed or elsewhere their family or friends. This was the case with the paralytic whose friends let him down through the roof. Rarely was it only with Jesus Himself as in the case of the man healed at the pool of Bethesda or with the raising of Lazarus. Even there, Jesus Himself had faith for the miracle.
So faith is essential and must be present in the person ministering healing and hopefully also in the person receiving prayer. Nowhere did Jesus heal anyone who did not believe that he could do it. Nowhere did He heal anyone against his will. Understand then that childlike faith in the Saviour’s love and in His ability and willingness to heal is very important.
Know also that your own doubts and fears and unbelief can undermine and hinder the faith that brings a miracle of healing. In that case, ask God to help you.
Knowing The Power Of God
But faith alone is not sufficient. Faith is the means, the conduit for the power of God. It takes power to do miracles, to heal the sick or to cast out demons and do a miracle such as healing an injured body. Paul states the importance of God’s power in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5. “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Faith in Christ as risen LORD and Saviour should be attested to by the demonstration of the power of God. We need to see and experience the power of the Holy Spirit in action. When you receive prayer for healing, put your faith in God and believe that His power will come by the Holy Spirit and do a miracle in your body. In Matthew 10:1 and in Luke 9:1, Jesus gave the disciples power to heal the sick and to cast out demons.
In addition to faith, Jesus also taught them about power, “dunamis” and then imparted it to them, along with the authority to use that power. From that point on, miracles happened when the apostles prayed for the sick. This is the healing power of the Holy Spirit, which must be present, and flowing into the pain, injury or disease in order for a miracle to take place.
Francis MacNutt in his book Healing the Sick talked about “soaking prayer.” He found that as they continued to pray for people for ten minutes to several hours, much greater results took place. This is because the anointing, the power of the Holy Spirit kept on flowing into the person and eventually drove the pain and sickness out. I have found that soaking people in the power and anointing of God results in many more healings than if people only receive a quick touch in prayer. I believe it has to do with the power of God continuing to flow into the person going beyond weaker human faith. Don’t be surprised if it takes longer with us than it did with Jesus, who had the Spirit without measure.
Come to God in childlike faith, (Luke 11:11) knowing that it is your Father’s will to heal you and give you His Kingdom. (Luke 12:32) His time is now. He wants you to prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. (3 John 2:2) If faith in God’s power is difficult for you, why not watch videotapes of healing services where many people are healed, allowing faith to rise in your heart. Then get into a place where those ministering also believe in the power of God to heal and who will pray for you in faith. Keep ‘soaking’ in that power and anointing until your breakthrough comes.
John Arnott is the senior pastor of Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. He and his wife Carol are the hosts of the daily “Catch The Fire” television program. They travel extensively around the world spreading the fires of revival.