"He restores my soul;..." Psalm 23:3
If you've been following along in this recent series, you'll remember we are walking through Psalm 23, not verse by verse but rather name by name- God's covenant names.
When the children of Israel left Egypt, they saw God's miraculous power but had yet to experience HIM. Knowing what someone can do for you is vastly different than knowing who they are. The children of Israel knew and saw that God could rescue them, but because at first they didn't know Him, they didn't believe He always would reduce and save them.
So it is with us. We may know God can heal, provide and deliver, but if we do not know Him personally and His character, His essence, then we may always wonder, "will He come through this time?"
The Lord my Healer is an interesting topic of conversation lately among many a believer. In a post pandemic world, & knowing several folks who have gone on to be with the Lord one begins to wonder if God still heals. Or, if you think He does but you haven't seen it in your own life or the life of a loved one, then we squeeze God into our doctrine and profess foolish things like "oh well, I guess it wasn't God's will to heal". In our first blog post on Psalm 23 I brought this up and will do so again here. If it is not God's will to heal in every situation, then why did Jesus come? The Word of God says "...Jesus who [is] from Nazareth -- how God did anoint him with the Holy Spirit and power; who went through, doing good, and healing all those oppressed by the devil, because God was with him;" (Acts 10:38) God anointed Jesus with Holy Spirit and power so that He could do good and heal people. The word heal in Greek is iaomai meaning to heal and cure the physical. The word oppressed is katadynasteuo meaning to exercise harsh control over someone. In other words, Jesus came to do good and heal & cure all those who were being treated harshly by the enemy.
Interesting that Jesus was anointed not only with Holy Spirit but with power also. Even more interesting than that is that He, being God, needed to be anointed proving two things- one, that though He was God didn't move in His own power and strength as God, but relied on Holy Spirit, and two, that us, being made in His likeness an transformed into His image, should be doing the very same things He did. Healing everyone who is oppressed by the devil. Jesus said as much in John 14, that we would do those works and greater still than He did!
From what I can find, there are 149 scriptures that talk about God healing and His willingness to do so. Perhaps there are more, I give you charge to find those. None of these talk about it not being His will to heal. He is the Lord that heals us, (Exodus 15:26), it couldn't possibly be God's will to not heal us. The idea that it is not God's will to heal is ludicrous because one of the names of God is YHWH Rapha, the LORD is Healer. Remember, this is one of His covenant names, one of His promises- part of who He is and what He does.
Romans 12:2 tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we can prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable (fully agreeable and well pleasing), perfect will. If it only said His perfect will I suppose then someone could argue that maybe God's perfect will was to bring someone home early, or they might should have a disease.You know, to teach them a lesson. What is the horrific kind of God is that anyway? Who even came up with that thought??
However, before that it says, "His good & acceptable" will. Good, pleasant, useful, pleasant, excellent. Staying sick or dying prematurely is none of those things. Pretty sure we all agree on that.
I write this as a woman who is a too young widow, raising young children. My husband died of cancer after we prayed for healing. Still, I stand resolute that God is healer. I know it was His PERFECT will to heal my husband. Mark dying young was not the will of God. If I have a beef about my husband dying early, it is not with God, I can assure you. There are so many factors to someone dying or staying sick, one being that people are oppressed by the devil. Perhaps if we stopped blaming God for diseases and started with the author of all disease we might get somewhere. I have also learned that belief and praying from your spirit comes into play. Not for the one sick though that is one aspect I suppose to some extent. But the one doing the praying. And not praying in tongues, though that is certainly a benefit. I mean praying from your spirit, from who you are.
You are a spirit. You have a soul. You are in a body. Most days we are all just living from our soul, while the spirit is languishing and the body is along for the ride hoping we'll throw some physical feel goods its way. (My body likes chocolate)
Let me ask you a question- when you pray for someone who is sick, do you really believe God will heal them? Before you answer, think it through. Jesus didn't do many miracles on His home turf because they lacked faith and belief.
A year ago I would have argued that I DID believe God was willing to heal my husband. Looking back at the way I begged God to heal him, the way I hoped God would, the way I thought my husband wouldn't get healed if he didn't do certain things- none of that says I was fully convinced our God is healer and was willing. I had a partial belief. My belief was of a begging God to do what He already was willing to do and if you believe the bible, what He already did before the cross. Seven hundred years before Jesus went to the cross the prophet Isaiah says, "by His wound we were healed." (Isaiah 53:5) Incidentally, it doesn't say in Hebrew "by His stripes", it says "by His wound", one big wound, not a striping. Striping indicates partial or not complete. Our Lord was ripped open totally and completely, fully wounded so we could receive His full and complete healing. His beaten and crushed body for our total healing. An exchange...
When we pray from our soul, (our emotions), that's when we muddy the waters with doubt and possibly fear. Begging God for a healing that He already gave is obnoxious. What if my kids begged me to give them dinner that I already prepared, set in front of them and all they had to do is eat it? What if they kept saying "Mom!!! PLEASE MAKE US DINNER!!! WE ARE SO HUNGRY!!!" and I over here like "ummm, it's literally sitting in front of you, what is wrong with you?" I would say that was obnoxious.
Wouldn't you think my kids had a serious problem? I wonder if God is asking us the same thing, "um, I already did, why aren't you taking it? Why are you asking Me for what I already did for you, and why aren't you asking Me why you aren't seeing it so I can tell you?"
David says, "He restores my soul" in verse 3 of Psalm 23. He says this in between reminding himself of two other covenant names of God and four following after. David just knows YHWH Rapha, the LORD Healer.
If we are needing healing and we aren't finding what we need, it's time to ask better questions. Starting with, "LORD, what am I missing? You are Healer, but my body isn't cooperating, what am I missing?" Or if you are praying for someone, and they aren't getting well, asking the same thing-"what are we missing when we pray for this person? Why are we not seeing them restored yet?"
Can I tell you, since my husband has died and I have begun to pray healing for people, the answers I get about what am I missing are astounding. Namely, I need to pray from my spirit and tell my soul just shut it. My soul's job is to bless God and await instruction. Personally I have spent far too much of my Christian walk praying from my soul, begging, praying from a place of fear or worry (mother's call it concern). But now I am praying from a place of authority, a place of knowing who God is, and what He is willing to do. A place of my relationship to God as a son of God, sons have access to everything the parent offers.
As I have begun to do this, I see a massive difference in what happens to the people I am praying for. And those who are surrounded by unbelief, I deal with them in the spirit first, then pray over the one who is sick. It's a thing, I am only following my Lord's example. (Mark 5:40)
No one wants to admit their part in not being healed or their part in someone else's healing. I get it. Goodness, as I learn this after my husband's death and stare at those ten eyes staring back at me it hurts my heart. You mean, I might have been able to pray different and my kids might be enjoying their dad still today? Maybe. But one thing I will not give place to or even entertain is that it wasn't God's will to heal my husband, not ever. Mark should have never died. That was the devil getting the best in that situation.
It's like this- either all of the Word of God is truth or none of it is. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, then He still wants to heal. It's really that simple.
If you or someone you know needs healing, ask better questions. What are you missing? Get quiet with God, have the faith of God, (Mark 11:22) and listen to what He wants to tell you-what prayer strategies He longs to give you for yourself or your loved one.
When we are born again, we have His faith. We don't need to drum up more faith, that is your soul talking or someone else's false doctrine telling your soul a lie. The Hebrew scripture demands the translation that we are to have the faith OF God, not in God.
Pray today for the LORD to show you this part of His nature, this YHWH Healer. Pray to Him as Healer, don't believe it to the best of your ability, believe it to the best of HIS ability through you. Ask the LORD to bring your spirit to front and center, telling your soul to stand down and stop being in charge. Pray to the LORD our Healer now, He is waiting to hear from His child.