BuiltWithNOF
The Baseball Diamond of Healing

[Pastor Steve likes to preach this one at our Healing Events.  It is a favorite at PBFC.]

Receiving healing can be likened to a baseball diamond.  You have to get to first base, then second base, then third base, then home.  You don’t score until you get home.  You don’t score half a run for reaching second base or a quarter of a run for reaching first base.  Many Christians, when it comes to healing, are still stranded on the base paths, wondering why the score in their body is not changing.  My purpose in this message is to help you locate where you are right now, and help you get the rest of the way around so that you can receive the healing that Jesus Christ paid for you to have.

 

FIRST BASE

In this illustration, first base is the realization that GOD IS ABLE TO HEAL YOU.

We’ll assume that you’re starting at home plate, which would be “total cluelessness” concerning God or divine healing, and we’ll take you to first base. 

A book that was popular some years back tried to popularize the notion that God really ISN’T able to heal you now. In the picture it painted, God was saying, “I would if I could, but I can’t, so I won’t.” The author knew that God loves us, and he assumed that since He loves us, He would do something about our sicknesses if He could.  Therefore, the only reason He would not do anything would be that He actually can’t.

I suppose that if I were God, I would rather have someone doubt my ability than doubt my love, but the Bible does not support the idea that God is unable to do anything about your condition. Quite the contrary!

Consider the following!

For with God nothing shall be impossible. – Luke 1:37

But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:26

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for with God all things are possible.” – Mark 10:27

Ah, Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You. – Jeremiah 32:17

…“I am Almighty God…” – Genesis 17:1

 “Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” – Genesis 18:14

May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you… -- Genesis 28:3

Also God said to him, “I am God Almighty…” – Genesis 35:11

God is almighty, and there is no sickness or injury too hard for Him to heal.  God designed and created your body in the first place – don’t you think He’s capable of fixing it?  Can’t the God who created billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars, relieve your headache?  Of course He can!

We see in the Bible that Jesus healed “all manner of sickness and all manner of disease”, “all sick people”, (Matthew 4:23-4) “all” (Matthew 12:15), “a great multitude” (Matthew 14:14), “all that were diseased” (Matthew 14:35), “as many as touched Him” (Matthew 14:36, Mark 6:56), “great multitudes” (Matthew 15:30, Matthew 19:2), “many” (Mark 3:10), “any sick with various diseases” (Luke 4:40), “a great number” (Luke 6:17), and “all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38).

Not only is Jesus ABLE to heal everything, He DID HEAL EVERYTHING when He walked the earth.  Now Hebrews 13:8 tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  What He could do around 30 AD, He can certainly do today!  This same Jesus is the same Miracle-Worker and Healer today that He always has been. Modern theological garbage has blinded many to that fact, but it’s still true whether someone believes it or not!

We see from Jesus’ teaching that it is not a question of whether God is ABLE to do something – it’s a question of whether or not people can believe.

 “…assuredly, I say unto you, If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:21-22

So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” – Luke 17:6

So Jesus answered and said to them, “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.” – Mark 11:22-24

 “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” – Mark 9:23

The IF here is not on God’s side of things.  There is no doubt about His ability to heal. The question is whether we can believe.

I’m telling you this to put some hope into you.  Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, and someone who’s hopeless needs to get some hope!  Hope isn’t a substitute for faith, but it will take you in the right direction. But before we can believe, we have to go past just knowing that God is able to heal everything.

 

SECOND BASE

In this illustration, second base is the realization that GOD IS WILLING TO HEAL YOU.

I would say that the majority of Christians have already reached first base, but many have not gone any farther, and they are doing without the healing that they know God is ABLE to perform.  They may even shout, “God is able!” But you don’t receive healing from the Lord just by knowing that He is able. He was able before you ever got sick and He’s been able all the time you’ve had whatever it is, but obviously, that alone is not enough. Otherwise you’d already be healed!

If you know that Jesus COULD heal you if He were WILLING, you are in good company with a certain leper who approached Jesus in the gospels. “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, told him, “I am willing. Be clean.” And the man was healed of leprosy, an incurable condition. Today it would be like someone with AIDS telling Jesus, “If you want to, you can heal me of AIDS!”  And His answer would be just the same today – He IS willing to heal you of AIDS or anything else you have.

Notice that Jesus didn’t have to pray first to find out whether it was God’s will to heal the man. He didn’t have to! He knew the Scriptures!  God said in Psalm 103:3 that He “forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases”.  He said in Exodus 15:26, “I am the Lord your Healer.” That isn’t a promise, it’s a statement about God’s very nature! He is a Healer and always has been.  Jesus knew the Word enough to know that God wants to heal ALL, not just SOME.  So there was nothing to pray about – God’s will was explicitly clear from Scripture.

Some today would have you believe that God “WAS the Lord Your Healer” but that He has changed today and gotten out of the healing business.  But God says that He “changes not” (Malachi 3:6).  If He WAS “The Lord your Healer” (which can be rendered, “The Lord Who Heals You” or  “The Lord Your Physician”, depending on your translation), He still must BE “The Lord Your Healer” today.  Otherwise, He changed! If we aren’t seeing miracles today, WE are the ones who changed, not God!

If God IS your Healer, it MUST be His will to heal YOU.  Otherwise, He isn’t your healer, and He says He is!

What is God’s desire for your body?  It is clear in 3 John verse 2.  You’d have to have some seriously bad seminary training to misinterpret this clear statement: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”

There are several opposing players that will try to block the base path to stop you from getting to second base. These all have to do with URG – Unscriptural Religious Garbage.  If you believe these arguments instead of believing the Bible, you won’t get your healing because you will lose your certainty of God’s will in the matter. You cannot receive something you are not sure God wants you to have!

I would say this – if you really think it’s God’s will for you to stay sick, you have no business going to the doctor or the hospital or taking any kind of medicine to get out of “God’s will.” But you’ve probably done one or more of these, right?  Deep down you know that sickness is a curse, not a blessing, and you want to get rid of it. Your body itself will do all it can to get rid of it – God designed it that way.

[Refutations of over 150 flawed arguments against divine healing may be found in the Objections Overruled section of my healing book.  The following touches some of the highlights.  The book goes into much more depth on the arguments below.]

Some of the people who make the arguments you’re about to hear love the Lord every bit as much as I do.  The fact that they believe religious garbage over the Bible does not make them bad people; they’re just passing along the ignorance that they were indoctrinated with. If they knew the truth, most of them would be happy to preach it too.

The most often quoted objection to healing is that Paul had a sickness that God would not heal, referred to as his thorn in the flesh. Supposedly God wanted Paul to be weak so that he could be strong and He refused to heal Paul so that he would stay humble despite his many revelations. The next awful logical step would be that God may be giving YOU a thorn in the flesh in the form of sickness, so it may not be his will to heal you. Therefore, you cannot pray with any certainty, and since faith is being CERTAIN of what you don’t see, by definition you cannot pray in faith. Therefore you receive nothing.

But Paul tells you explicitly what his thorn was.  You don’t have to guess what it was.  Paul says it was “a messenger of Satan to buffet me” (2 Cor 12:7).  I don’t like dragging lots of Greek into everything, but you should know that the word messenger is the same word translated angel all over the New Testament.  It refers to a sentient being.  The word is used over 180 times in the Greek New Testament, and not once could it possibly refer to a sickness or anything other than a sentient being. Also, the word buffet means to strike with repeated blows, talking about something done to you from the outside.  No one would ever use that word to describe a sickness attacking from the inside. Have you told anyone that your sickness is really buffeting you?  Of course not.

It seemed that almost everywhere Paul went, someone wanted to beat him up (buffet) him for his preaching.  I believe that this messenger (angel) of Satan was sent to stir people up to do just that.  But that is quite different from making Paul sick.

In Galatia, after being stoned and left for dead at Lystra, Paul said that he preached through, or because of, physical infirmity at the first.  But it was only at the first, because God obviously restored Paul’s health.  He did so every time Paul got beaten up. Far from being a testimony that God wanted him sick, this is a testimony of God’s will to heal over and over.

Another “favorite” is saying that you might be another Job.  Supposedly, God would not heal Job, so He may want you to suffer for a while to teach you patience or some other virtue. Let me tell you plainly that there is no such thing as another Job in the New Testament, nor can there be. Job did not live under the New Covenant.  Under the New Covenant, you have authority over the devil and his works. Job did not have that. He could not command Satan to leave him alone because he didn’t have the legal right to do that under his covenant!  In fact, as far as we can tell, Job didn’t know anything about the Law of Moses and its promises either!  Job didn’t even seem to be aware that there was a devil, so he blamed everything that happened to him on God – just like many Christians today!  Of course, God let him know that there was an evil being out there, and God did heal Job despite Job’s ignorance, his ranting and raving, and his rather non-comforting friends. The book of Job explicitly says that Satan made Job sick and that God healed Job. That should tell you who the Sickener and Who the Healer are. The argument that “God allowed Satan to do that” holds no water for the Church because we have authority over Satan.  We are not part of his kingdom and what he has (sickness) does not belong to us.  What God has (health and healing) do belong to us.

Then we hear about Timothy’s frequent stomach ailments.  Paul advises him not to drink the water.  That’s still good advice today if you travel to many places.  I had some “stomach ailments” after drinking the water in a certain country. Thank God, the fact that they were multiple occurrences for me and Timothy indicates that neither of us stayed sick.  But the practical advice is not to get sick in the first place!  Paul also told Timothy that bodily exercise profits a little.  There’s nothing wrong with having some common sense and taking care of yourself!  That can affect your life span, too.  If you can avoid doing things that tend to make you sick in the first place, you don’t need to get healed!  If there’s anything involving God’s will in Paul’s advice to Timothy, it’s that God wanted Timothy to be well. Otherwise, why give him advice to help him stay well?

Then there is Trophimus, whom Paul left in Miletus sick (2 Tim 4:20).  This has nothing to do with the will of God in the matter, which is not stated in the verse – Paul merely states a fact, just as he did in verse 10 of the same chapter when he says that Demas forsook him, having loved this present world.  Was it God’s will for Demas to do that?  No! It happened anyway, and Paul records the fact.  The fact that it happened and was recorded did not prove it was God’s will!  So the fact that he left Trophimus sick somewhere 10 verses later does not prove anything either!

Another worn-out argument is that if you never got sick, you’d never die, so you have to get sick eventually. Sickness does NOT have to be the way you leave the earth, and Christians suffer unnecessarily when they get old thinking that maybe this is how God will take them home.  Sickness is not God taking them home at all, and you’ll never hear me say that at a funeral.  God received them, but He did not take them. There’s a difference!  There is no time limit on God’s healing promises – as long as you are alive on the earth, you are entitled to be well. When you decide you want to leave the earth after a long and satisfying life, ask God to receive you and He will. Let Him “take your breath away” so your body “returns to its dust” (Psalm 104:29, talking about living things in general).

The idea that you can have some say over when you go to be with the Lord may be new to you, since most people think that God has a set date for you, and when that comes up, you’re gone no matter what.  That just isn’t true! If it were, the many statements in Proverbs about certain things that will make your life longer and certain things that will make your life shorter are meaningless! How long you live is more up to you than it is up to God!  Paul, writing to the Philippians, said that he did not know which HE should CHOOSE, to live on and labor more, or to depart and be with Christ (Philippians 1:22-23).

Man thinks, “They way God set up this world, when you get old, you get senile, you fall and you can’t get up, and you’re stuck drooling away your days in Depends in a nursing home.” God says, “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fit and flourishing” (Psalm 92:14). I like God’s plan a lot better!

Another piece of URG is that God wants to build character in you through sickness.  Hah!  As you’ll admit if you’re honest, sick people as a whole tend to be crabbier, meaner and shorter-tempered than well people because of their physical discomfort. Sickness does not seem to breed character in many people!  Nor should it, since the Holy Spirit, not sickness, was given to you so you could bear fruit.  God wants to build you up through His Word and His Spirit, not through some stupid sickness that Satan invented to hurt mankind.

Along these lines is the “blessing in disguise” argument that God “blessed” you with sickness so that you could spend more time with Him and in His Word while in your sickbed. That’s pathetic! God doesn’t disguise his blessings as curses; the reason sickness looks like a curse is because it IS a curse! There’s nothing good about it. Claiming that God sent you a broken neck (when really you broke it yourself!) to draw you to Himself shows only that you don’t understand His character.  God says that it is His goodness that draws men to repentance (Romans 2:4).   Yes, some people may start serving God when they “hit bottom” who otherwise would have kept on sinning, but don’t make God a party to things He doesn’t do. Someone else might have gone through a divorce, bankruptcy and a prison sentence for killing someone while driving drunk, and finally been so desperate he got saved. Should he thank God for “sending” him the divorce, the bankruptcy and the drunken homicide so that he would be drawn to God?  I hope not!

Besides, if you really believe sickness is a character-building blessing, start praying for a double portion of it, and ask God to bless everyone in your family with the “blessing in disguise” of sickness!  You know better deep down!

Then there’s the idea that miracles were done away with after the last apostle died or after the New Testament was completed. The first makes no sense at all since there are still apostles today, and the second has no grounds in Scripture, though some try to use 1 Corinthians 13 to “prove” that when the “perfect” (which they think means the whole New Testament) has come, gifts of the Spirit, including healings and miracles, will be done away with.  But it is obvious that what Paul calls the “perfect” in that chapter is not the completion of the New Testament.  If the perfect has come, you see face to face, not through a mirror dimly.  Can you honestly say that you see face to face today? Can you say that you know “perfectly” instead of “in part”?  I didn’t think so.  In that case, the “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 has not come, and this is proof that all the gifts of the Spirit, including healings and miracles, ARE for today!

Then there’s the argument that Jesus only healed to prove that He was God. He didn’t do miracles in Nazareth, so I guess He wasn’t God there if you believe that argument. And He didn’t do any miracles for the first 30 years of His life, so I guess He wasn’t God then either according to this argument! See how much trouble this line of thought can lead to? It is nowhere stated that Jesus healed the sick to prove that He was God, but it IS stated that He was moved with compassion.  Since He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), don’t you think He has the same compassion now, seated at God’s right hand, that He did walking the earth?

Then you;ll get someone who says, “Aunt Glarda was the finest Christian who ever lived.  If anyone was a faith person, Aunt Glarda was.  She said she was believing God for her healing – and SHE DIED.  So that proves God doesn’t heal everyone!”  Which at face value is true, God does NOT heal everyone.  There are lots of sick people around.  God does not save everyone from hell, either – a lot of people go there. But that doesn’t make it His WILL for that to happen!  God never fails to offer healing to everyone, but some fail to receive it, just as God offers the new birth to all, but some fail to receive it and go to hell anyway.

But the idea here is that you should exalt someone’s experience over the teachings of Jesus and over God’s Word.  The Pharisees were known for their traditions that actually contradicted the Bible. Many of the traditions of religious men cited here do the same thing.  Any time you exalt experience over Scripture, you are headed for trouble.  Rather than trying to change Scripture to match our experiences, we should all be reading Scripture and building ourselves up so that our experiences match Scripture!

Anyway, you can refer to the healing book for more on these and other arguments that will try to block your way to second base.  Don’t be fooled!  God is not only ABLE to heal you; He WANTS to heal you!

 

THIRD BASE

In this illustration, third base is the realization that GOD HAS ALREADY DONE SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR HEALING. Jesus has paid the legal price for it.

It is crucial to know that God is ABLE to heal you and that He is WILLING to do it, but you will have no guarantee of receiving healing until you know that He has already done something about it!  Otherwise, you will find yourself with most of the church world, begging and pleading with God to DO WHAT HE ALREADY DID!

There was a lot of fuss that a movie about Christ’s suffering displayed the scene where He was flogged in such graphic detail, the movie got an R rating for violence.  But I hope that this scene at least made people wonder why that happened.  Why didn’t He just die on the cross for our sins? How often do people think of the whipping post? How many people sing songs about the whipping post? What was the purpose of the flogging?  Isaiah prophesied that “by His stripes we are healed.”  Peter, looking back on the same event, tells Christians that by His stripes we were healed. The stripes (literally a single huge bruise because it was so bad) were laid on His back to inflict pain on Him so that we could legally be redeemed from physical pain. This occurred not at the cross, but at the whipping post. It was all part of Christ’s great sacrifice for our sins.

Some have said that Peter was talking about spiritual healing, but that is impossible because you were not spiritually healed when you were born again. You received a new spirit; your old spirit was not healed, it was replaced with a righteous new spirit.  Besides, the Greek word used in 1 Peter 2:24 to describe this comes from the same word from which we get physician, and it is used many other times in the New Testament to describe physical, not spiritual, healing.

Things get even more interesting when you get out a concordance (I use Strong’s Concordance, but there are others) and look up the words in Isaiah 53:4:  “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” These words are not just talking about emotional griefs and sorrows! The Hebrew word used for griefs is translated sickness elsewhere in the Old Testament, and the word used for sorrows is translated pains.  The literal rendering of this verse is, “Surely He has borne our sicknesses and carried our pains.”  If you don’t believe it, you can do one of three things.  First, you can get look up these words in a concordance yourself and verify what I told you.  Second, you can look in the margin if you have a study Bible; any good study Bible will have footnotes indicating that the words used here are literally “sicknesses” and “pains”. Third, you can just open your Bible to Matthew 8:17 where Matthew quotes Isaiah: “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Obviously the Holy Spirit thinks that Isaiah was talking about physical problems, because the fulfillment of this is in the context that He “healed all that were sick.”

It is also interesting to note that Isaiah’s prophecy that “the chastisement (punishment) for our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5) uses the Hebrew word shalom, which according to Strong includes the ideas of health, prosperity and peace.  It is more than just a peaceful easy feeling or the absence of war.

Just as Jesus was “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5), He surely bore our sicknesses and our diseases. Just as He bore (carried away as a substitute) the sin of many (Isaiah 53:12), He bore (carried away as a substitute) our sicknesses.  You’re included in there! Isaiah isn’t talking about “their” sins or “their” sicknesses – He is talking about “our” sins and “our” sicknesses.  You can’t read Isaiah 53 correctly and leave yourself out of it!

It is sad that this side of Christ’s suffering is preached so little; most ministers have majored on the sin-bearing part but neglected to mention that He also bore our sicknesses as well.

The apostle Paul, in Galatians 3:10-13, discusses the “curse of the Law”.  The Law itself was not a curse, of course; Paul himself said that the Law was holy and just and good (Romans 7:12). But the Law contained a curse for disobedience.  The fullest statement of this curse, but not the only one, may be found in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. God told Israel that awful things – curses – would come upon them if they failed to keep the whole law. Among these were many named sicknesses, both physical and mental.  And in case you’re wondering about AIDS, West Nile and other “modern” illnesses, verse 61 said that every sickness and every plague not mentioned was also part of the curse! That would include anything that’s trespassing in your body right now.

So we see right away that God calls sickness a curse, not a blessing in disguise.  He also calls it captivity (Job 42:10 in the King James and other literal translations; there’s a footnote to that effect in the New King James version), a bond from Satan (Luke 13:16), and oppression by the devil (Acts 10:38).

But the most important thing to know is that Christ has (past tense!) redeemed us from the curse of the Law.  Anyone reading the curse in the Law can see that all sickness is included in that curse, as we saw in Deuteronomy 28:61. Therefore, since the sickness in your body is part of the curse for disobedience, and Christ has redeemed you from that curse, Christ redeemed you from having to bear that sickness in your body. How did He redeem you from doing it?  By being cursed Himself.  He was made sick in your place to redeem you from having to be sick.  He took the curse in His own body to spare you from having to bear it in your body.

It is crucial that you see that Christ has redeemed you from the curse of the Law. It’s something He already did, not something He is going to do or something you even need to ask Him to do.  It makes no sense to ask Him to do what He already did!

So not only is God ABLE to heal you, not only does He WANT to heal you, but He also made a LEGAL provision by the substitution of Jesus Christ for your healing.  He purchased it already.  It belongs to you as a Christian. However, even knowing all of this still leaves you on third base with no score.  There’s one more leg to go.

 

HOME PLATE

In this illustration, home plate is BELIEVING THAT YOU RECEIVE YOUR HEALING WHEN YOU PRAY. God is able to heal you, wants to heal you, and has made provision for your healing, but it does not just fall on you automatically because you are a Christian. You must receive it by faith.

However, there is a base path from third base to home plate. If you run outside the base path, the umpire will call you out and you will not get a run after all. Many Christians who are trying to run from third base to home plate are running outside God’s base path. The base path is to FORGIVE ANYONE WHO HAS WRONGED YOU before you pray to receive your healing. That is how Jesus taught it. Failure to follow His instructions has kept many people from being healed who otherwise could have received their healing a long time ago. If you do not forgive others, you are not on the base path, and you will be called out without getting to the point where you can receive your healing.Here is how Jesus said to receive what you want from God:

“Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

This whole passage goes together.  Sometimes we quote only verse 24 to make a point, but the whole instructions go together. If you disobey verses 25, you can hardly expect God to honor verse 24! First forgive others, then pray to receive your healing.  If you’ve just plain made up your mind not to forgive someone else, you might as well just tune out right here because nothing else I say is going to help you in the slightest. You won’t receive healing God’s way. Is it worth it?

You don’t have to feel like forgiving because forgiveness, like any other aspect of walking in love, is a decision, not an emotion. If you’ll make the right decision, the emotions will follow.  If you wait for the emotions, you’ll never make the decision. Make the CHOICE to forgive now!  No one can do it for you, and if you don’t do it, all the praying in the world is not going to help you get well.

On the other hand, don’t assume that you are in “secret sin” or “secret unforgiveness”.  If you can’t think of anyone you’ve got something against, you’re fine.

The key word here in the passage I quoted is receive.  Jesus did not tell you to beg God for your healing, to pester and badger Him for your healing, or keep asking over and over for it. Some people have misapplied the parable of the unjust judge here and thought that they need to keep “bombarding Heaven’s gates” with prayer until God answers.  Then they think if they just get enough other people praying, God will finally do something. I have news for you – heaven’s gates aren’t shut and don’t need to be bombarded! God’s ears are always open to the prayer of the righteous.  He hears you the first time, and actually commands you not to use vain repetitions like the heathen who think they will be heard because they talk so much!  The lady who went to the unjust judge wanted justice from an adversary, not healing.  For things like that, for example, the fall of a repressive regime that tortures Christians, we do need to keep praying.  But praying for healing the way you’d pray for a nation is like playing golf by baseball rules.  They’re both sports, just like these are both kinds of prayer, but different rules apply. If you play golf by baseball rules, you’ll slug the ball over the wall – and get a two-stroke penalty for going out of bounds! What works in baseball doesn’t work in golf. What works when praying about social justice does not work when praying to receive healing. Jesus told you to receive things for yourself in this passage. Believe that you receive when you pray.

Receiving implies an offer.  You can’t receive something that isn’t already offered to you; you’d have to ask for it.  Asking for something isn’t the same as receiving something.  If I went to the store and bought you a tub of ice cream and showed up with it at your door so that I could hand it to you, you would not ask me to get you ice cream when you saw me at the door with it, would you? No, you would just receive my present to you, and maybe thank me for being so nice that you didn’t even have to ask for it; I got it for you without your even asking!  Likewise, Jesus paid for your healing long before you could ever think to ask for it, and He now offers it to you. You don’t need to ask Him to do it; you need to receive what He is already offering you.

I like to play in chess tournaments, and I’ve even won a few.  (The year I moved to Maine, I was the official Massachusetts Speed Chess Co-Champion.)  But they will penalize you if you make 2 moves in a row.  You have to wait your turn; after your opponent moves, then you can move again. Most Christians are staring at their chessboards waiting for God to move, but God already moved, and He’s waiting for them to move!  So nothing happens as both sides wait for each other to do something!

God made His move when Jesus was punished for your sins – He bore your sicknesses and carried your pains. This sounds cruel to people at first, but God really has done all He will ever do about healing you as far as providing healing goes!  Now it’s your move. You need to receive what God has already provided – your healing.

Receiving does not mean that you try to “psych yourself” into thinking you’re well or any mind over matter kind of thing.  Your spirit man receives from God. What you receive will then work out in your natural body.  It isn’t a mind game, it’s a faith transaction.

What basis do you have for faith?  The fact that God is already offering healing to you, as we have proved from the Bible.  Faith is being sure of what you don’t see.   Faith isn’t being sure of something that doesn’t EXIST; it’s being sure of something you don’t SEE. There’s a difference!  It’s not that your healing doesn’t exist; it does, and if you could see into the spirit realm where God lives, you would see it, too.  It exists but you just can’t see it yet.  But when you receive it by faith, even though you don’t see anything, it will be yours.

Don’t quit on this if you don’t see an instant, complete manifestation.  I once had an inoperable growth in my left eye. The doctors couldn’t operate because if they tried to kill the growth, they would kill the optic nerve that was so close to it.  I was losing my sight and there was no hope in the natural for me.  But I got some Christian friends to agree with me in prayer one night, and I decided to receive my healing when I prayed, as Jesus said to do.  So guess what happened over the next week and a half to two weeks?  IT GOT WORSE! If I went by “sight”, I’d have been sorry that I even prayed!  But instead, I kept on saying, “I received my healing that night hands were laid on me, and I’m not going to give it up! I AM healed and God'’ Word agrees with me!” That might sound silly, but one night in my bedroom, there seemed to be a big flash of light coming from the inside of me.  It’s hard to describe it. But I know that afterward, the lump vanished without a trace, I went back and checked out 20/20 with that eye, and I’ve had no recurrences of the problem. I’m glad I received when I prayed and didn’t let go!

I suffered from allergies growing up into adulthood. They were so bad I would go through Kleenex left and right at my job. After I received Jesus and found out what His instructions were, I decided one night to receive my healing from those allergies when I prayed. The next morning at work was probably the worst I can remember.  If I went by what I saw, I would have concluded that my prayers hurt rather than helped!  But I was determined not to let go of what I received by faith when I prayed.  Sometime around lunchtime, the sneezing and congestion stopped – and I’ve never had those allergies since then!

I had a kidney stone back when I was 30. I didn’t know what it was, but I sure knew I was in agony and couldn’t sleep! I believed I received my healing in my dining room when I prayed, and then I headed for the emergency room! God is not against doctors and hospitals.  If it weren’t for them, I would have died without knowing Jesus when I was in elementary school because of a life-threatening illness!  However, my trust was still in God. That might seem like a contradiction to you, but it isn’t.  You can believe you receive healing for a headache and then take some aspirin. Aspirin will relieve symptoms but it won’t cure the root problem. That is the case with many medical treatments, and it was the case with the kidney stone. They drugged me up so I could get some sleep and stuck an IV in me.

Anyway, they took X-rays and they ended up telling me I might be in pain for weeks and there wasn’t much they could do. So I decided to go home, figuring that it would be cheaper to hurt at home if it came to that!  After all, if they couldn’t do anything, why sit in a hospital?  I went home, and two nights after I went to the emergency room, I felt like suddenly the ceiling disappeared and a warm flood just came over me.  It’s hard to describe.  I immediately went to sleep and when I woke up, all pain was gone. The only way I knew the stone was gone was when I heard a clunk. There was no pain as it left.

Why did the healing manifest then rather than sooner?  I don’t know, but I do know that if you believe you receive something when you pray and don’t quit on it, what you received will be yours in the natural realm.

The mistake many Christians make is that they think they have to pray again the next day if they don’t see a change. Why would you do that? It makes no sense! If you really received healing from God when you prayed, there is no need to pray again because it’s yours – you received it no matter what it looks like.  So the LOGICAL thing to do would be to thank God for what you have already received from that point on – not to ask for it again! Asking for it again would only indicate that you prayed in unbelief the first time.  If you did that, I guess you should ask again, and ask in faith this time!  But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need to keep praying about it once you’ve received your healing. The only kind of “praying” you should be doing about is THANKING GOD FOR WHAT YOU ALREADY RECEIVED WHEN YOU PRAYED!

There is no official canned prayer to receive healing, any more than there is a canned prayer to receive Jesus in the first place. But a prayer like this will do the job if you pray it in faith:

“Father, I thank you that Jesus took my sickness in my place and I don’t have to have it anymore.  I receive the healing He provided now in the name of Jesus. Thank You that I am healed by His stripes and that I have that healing now.”

There’s no need to pray fancy prayers full of Thee’s and Thou’s that run on and on.  God understands modern English and He answers faith, not length!

So we have seen what you need to know and do to be healed.

First, realize that God is able to heal you.

Second, realize that God wants to heal you.

Third, realize that God already did something about your healing by laying your sicknesses on Jesus.

Fourth, forgive anyone you have anything against, then believe you receive the healing God offers you when you pray.

If you will do these things, you can receive healing for any condition that you have right now!

[If you want some more help with believing and receiving when you pray, I encourage you to take our online Bible study entitled Faith.]