John G. Lake, a man famous for his healing ministry in the early 20th century, made scathing remarks about doctors and medicine. As far as he was concerned, anyone who went to a human physician was sinning. (In fairness to Lake, the state of medicine back then was not what it is now, and there was plenty of quackery.) Even today there are certain preachers who will not allow medicine in their houses, teaching that going to a doctor or taking medicine means that you are “not in faith” and therefore in sin. Do the Scriptures bear this out?
Those who oppose going to a doctor for any reason usually quote 2 Chronicles 16:12: “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceedingly great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord but to the physicians.” However, Asa’s problem was misplaced trust, not the act of going to doctors. He had also trusted the Syrians to help in a war rather than trusting in the Lord. The Lord wasn’t against Israel having a natural army; He was against trusting in man rather than in Himself. One who takes the extreme “trust in the Lord only” approach on healing might have rebuked Israel for having an army at all; after all, why not just trust in the Lord and not have an army? It is not a sin to do things in the natural, but God still wants us to trust Him.
If being a doctor were a sin, someone would have rebuked Luke “the beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14) and told him to repent of his practice of medicine. Also, why would Jesus have said that the sick need a physician (Matthew 9:12, Mark 2:17, Luke 5:31) if physicians are sinning by practicing medicine?
God declares Himself to be your Doctor in Exodus 15:26. I suppose some could take this to mean that no one else should be your doctor because only the Lord is supposed to be your Doctor. We now have to ask ourselves whether this view is consistent with the Law of Moses that it was taken from.
I think you will agree that such a view is inconsistent with the Law when you read Exodus 21:19: “if he rises again and walks outside with his staff, then he who struck him shall be acquitted. He shall pay only for the loss of his time, and shall provide for him to be thoroughly healed.” I think the inescapable conclusion from this verse is that the guilty party was to pay for medical care for the one who was injured. Certainly the guilty party was not expected to heal the victim himself, but he was to pay the expenses to see to it that his victim was thoroughly healed. In today’s terms, he would pay the hospital bills.
So we can see that God has no problem with you getting relief from medicine or getting help to be healed from a human doctor. Having said that, though, way too many Christians make the mistake of trusting in the doctor rather than trusting in the Lord. This is unfortunate, because doctors can only do so much before they say, “Sorry, that’s all we can do.” And you just might “suffer many things from many physicians” like the woman in Mark 5 did and “be nothing bettered but rather growing worse.” But with God all things are possible, and that lady got her healing from Jesus! Worse yet, there is a ridiculous saying in the church world that sometimes God’s intended path for your healing is through a doctor – in other words, God won’t heal you Himself because he wants you to go through the process of being treated by doctors. That is utter foolishness. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and not once did He ever tell someone, “Oh, I WON’T heal YOU because My plan for YOUR healing involves going to the doctor. Besides, you can witness to someone in the next bed!” No, anyone could have touched His garment and been made whole – Jesus made no exceptions then and He won’t today, either. Anyone CAN receive healing from Him directly without a doctor. If this isn’t true, Jesus changed! And we know that He hasn’t (Hebrews 13:8). However, if that isn’t where you level of faith is, I’d actually urge you to see a doctor rather than going without any relief and maybe endangering yourself.
One final comment: Many Christians would diligently take anything a doctor prescribed every day, but they won’t take “God’s medicine” (His Word – Proverbs 4:22) for their healing with nearly as much diligence.
Don’t make that mistake! Know what the Bible says about healing!