How to Receive Healing from God

How to Receive Healing from God

We all need to receive healing from God. (And if you believe you’re the exception, you need an extra special kind of healing!) I believe healing is perhaps the deepest meaning of redemption. Something has happened to us on the inside that has left us seriously broken. And even forgiveness, as wonderful as it is, provides only a partial answer. Those steps to healing have some common characteristics for each of us.

The need for healing comes in many varieties;

  • The child abused or neglected during his most formative years
  • The woman used for someone else’s pleasure so long she believes that’s all she’s good for
  • The addict whose soul, body, mind, future, and finances are completely controlled by an outside substance or behavior
  • The “good” church member exhausted from endlessly doing good things so she will look good
  • The spouse left hopeless, angry, and bitter from decades of marriage misery
  • The man whose unhealthy lifestyle has left him with humanly incurable diseases
  • The woman whose genes, choices, and circumstances leave her depressed and anxious
  • The parent, spouse, child, sibling, or friend grieving the death of a loved one
  • The person who sees no future beyond poverty, persecution, violence, or slavery

Jesus applied Isaiah’s passage to Himself when He said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19)

We can hope that happens in one mysterious moment. And sometimes it does.

More often it’s a process, one in which you and I fully participate.

These steps are almost always important as you receive healing from God:

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When Prayer and Bible Study are Not Enough

When Prayer and Bible Study are Not Enough

God is always enough. He has all the answers. There is no higher calling in life than to know Him, love Him, and follow Him. But in serving Him there are plenty of times when prayer and Bible study are not enough.

We as human beings too easily put things in boxes. We either over-spiritualize every aspect of our lives or separate (perhaps unconsciously) the earthly and heavenly parts of our existence. Some people believe they’re serving God more than adequately if they spend an hour or two in church each week and a few minutes a day in personal or family devotions. And other people may devote hours each day to prayer and Bible study while their marriage, children, bank account, friendships, mental and physical health, work, and home go unattended.

God made you and me as integrated, whole human beings. You cannot separate the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual parts of you from one another any more than you can separate the flour, sugar, eggs, and salt from a loaf of bread. What impacts one area of your life impacts all the other areas. Every dimension of our lives needs adequate tending and nourishment for us to be our best and serve God with our whole being.

Failure to understand this has often led to serious problems for believers:

  • The person with diabetes or severe depression who refuses professional help while praying for healing
  • The seminary student preparing to be a pastor and seriously addicted to pornography
  • The wife spending hours alone reading the Bible while her husband starves for intimacy
  • The Christian leader whose ministry is cut short through the health effects of obesity
  • Believers frustrated when urgent matters (such as helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey) “interfere” with their spiritual pursuits.

While the greatest miracle of all is the salvation and restoration of a human soul, most of Jesus’ earthly miracles were focused on very earthly things – food, storms, physical illness. God is equally concerned about and invested in every dimension of our lives.

Here are three dimensions where we must be careful to not over-spiritualize.

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10 Ways to get Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Nourishment

10 Ways to get Mental/Emotional/Spiritual Nourishment

You and I are full of leaks. The good things we get filled up with only last so long. We can feel top-of-the-mountain right now, and in an hour, a day, or a week feel empty and discouraged. Our souls get hungry. We need regular soul nourishment if we are to function well and be of any use to anyone.

Jesus knew this well. On Earth He was constantly being drained through interactions with people and with evil. He regularly needed to get away in order to get filled up again.

With our physical food God makes an infinite variety available. But you and I are responsible for knowing when we are hungry, and for finding, choosing, preparing, and taking into our being the food we need. Some food tastes better than others, and some is more nourishing than others. Food is available, but God doesn’t drop food into our mouths.

It’s the same with mental/emotional/spiritual nourishment. There’s an infinite variety of soul nourishment available, but we are responsible for knowing when we need it, for finding it, choosing it, and taking it into our being.

Different people get filled up in somewhat different ways. The kind of “leaks” you have (work, family, other stresses) affect that somewhat. So does your personality. If you already know what fills you up, do more of that.

On the other hand you may need some ideas of where to get healthy soul nourishment. If you’re empty, hungry, dry, try some of these things.

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Pornography and your Christian Marriage

Pornography and your Christian Marriage

If the gospel is good for anything it must have an answer to the worst problems humans face. As believers we know that intellectually, but the body of Christ frequently hides from some of the really bad stuff. Pornography and your Christian marriage may seem like things that should not be said in the same sentence. But in 21st century culture it’s something we must acknowledge, and find God’s answer for.

I hear from people every week who struggle with this. I hear from the small-church pastor who feels he has no one to help him out of his addiction to pornography, the godly wife who just found out her husband has been watching porn for years, the young Christian woman who weeps in shame over her continued failure to stop engaging in internet pornography.

Although statistically more men than women get hooked by sexually-charged images and videos, pornography is an equal-opportunity destroyer. Men and women, married and single, Christian and unbeliever, young and old – it affects them all. Our sexualized society spends multi-billions of dollars on this. It starts young; your ten-year-old (or younger) can watch it on their cell-phone while riding the bus to school. (That’s a whole article – or book – in itself!)

Dr Juli Slattery, psychologist, author, and media professional, has stated that she no longer asks couples whether pornography is an issue for them; she asks what role pornography is playing in their relationship.

So what is a Christian to do? Refusing to address pornography is putting your head in the sand, especially if you’re married or contemplating marriage. But as with all human brokenness God has an answer – if you’re addicted, if your spouse is addicted, or if you want to proactively protect your marriage.

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If You’re a Christian, You’re a Professional

If You’re a Christian, You’re a Professional

I’m a professional. And if you’re a Christian, you’re a professional too whether you feel like one or not.

I’m a physician. In my work as a physician I write prescriptions, deliver babies, perform surgeries, and give directions to other members of the healthcare team. I’m expected to provide consistent high-quality care to my patients using the best information and skills available to me. Those expectations are the same regardless of how I feel on any given day. I can’t get away with performing a surgery less skillfully simply because I’m tired, upset about a nasty email, or anxious to get to a birthday party for one of my grandchildren.

I don’t write prescriptions, perform surgery, or give medical orders in order to be a doctor. In fact, if I tried to do those things without the appropriate training, experience, and credentials I’d be hauled off to jail! My behavior flows out of who I have become. I really don’t have much choice in the matter. I’m either a doctor, or I’m not.

As a doctor I don’t TRY to do things; there are some things I simply DO because I AM a doctor.

Do I do those things perfectly every time? Absolutely not. But I’m responsible for giving it my absolute best every single time. I’m also responsible for taking care of myself well enough so that I can do my best, and for continuing to learn so that I remain at the forefront of my profession.

You are a professional too. If you’re a believer, if you’ve accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and have chosen to be a part of God’s kingdom, you are a professional. You may not feel like one much of the time, but you are one. You don’t get a free pass on days when you just don’t feel like it. You probably don’t do it “right” all the time, but you’re either a Christian or you’re not. This is what you signed up for when you said yes to Jesus.

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