Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And By His Stripes...

C'mon, we all KNOW this one. You have a bad case of the sniffles. Your poor little nose is chafed and you're just not looking your best. Now, say it with me, "By His stripes, I AM HEALED."

Because we ALL know that's why Jesus died on the cross. He knew that one day we'd have that chafed little nose and He wanted to give us the power to speak health over our lives. No more wasting our money on boxes of aloe-laden kleenex and Nyquil.

Right?

Thank God for this verse. This is the verse that brought me completely away from the word of faith religion.

Wait a minute, did I dare to call this a religion? We all know this is NOT a religion, it IS a relationship.

Okay, I'm getting sidetracked but, yes, looking back, word faith types are the most religious people I have ever encountered. I see so many parallels between them and the Pharisees. Their religion is about showing their devoutness and showing off their blessings.

I was in my young 30s and while I had gotten away from these churches, I still occasionally visited my family's church and I still had a number of these teachings locked inside me. I remember just driving one day and just feeling like I needed to pray for truth. I didn't know why but I prayed.

I'd love to tell you that was the day I saw the light but, no, that was not it.

I felt so urged to pray for truth that for probably two years, I prayed this a lot. Often, it would leave me in tears. I didn't know why. I just felt so strongly led to pray for truth.

Then, one night, a couple years later, I was online late one night and stumbled across an article on the misuse of Isaiah 53. To say that it felt like a bolt of lightning was an understatement.

See, I always felt uneasy about the way preachers talked about Isaiah 53. Something just didn't sit right but I didn't know what and, to tell the truth, it was just a vague uneasiness so I never really thought too much about it.

And, yet, this article really summed up what I had always known in my heart but had never really realized, that verse has nothing to do with healing me from a cold. It doesn't even have anything to do with healing somebody from cancer.

To say the stripes on our Lord's back have anything to do with healing me from disease is not only wrong, I now believe it is blasphemous.

Strong words, I know.

Those verses have everything to do with healing but that healing is eternal. As Christians, we are guaranteed healing. However, that healing may be on this side of the grave or the other. Miss that and you are missing out on one of the greatest truths of the Bible. This is so much bigger than healing sickness. I have no doubt whatsoever of that.

If you hear me even discuss those verses, I guarantee it'll be in the proper context. Keep in mind, that verse says we WERE healed. Not that we WILL BE healed. As Christians we WERE healed from sin and this life. That healing was a one-time deal. We don't need to keep claiming it. If we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart Jesus is God, we are guaranteed an eternity with our Saviour.

And, please, don't get me wrong. I fully believe God heals. Whether God chooses to heal us or not, we have a promise in Romans 8:28. Speak faith against your circumstances and you are likely denying God that chance to work in your life.

Finding that article on the misuse of these verses was the first step toward healing from a religion of abuse. My healing also involved a crisis of faith but God is faithful and through that crisis, I grew in ways I could could never have imagined. Romans 8:28 my friend!

1 Peter 2:24-25
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

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