Sep 12 2013
When we pray for healing should we expect everyone to be healed or some to be healed? And when we pray for the dead to be raised should we expect everyone to be raised or some to be raised? The answer lies in the subject of the kingdom of God. Is it already here or is it still to come?
Jesus demonstrated the kingdom of God by healing, delivering, raising the dead, multiplying bread, calming the sea, and doing other miracles. Whenever a bit of heaven comes to earth we point to it and say “That’s the kingdom.” It exists wherever God is king.
But Jesus did not raise every dead person; he only raised Lazarus and a few others. And when he was at the Pool of Bethesda he did not heal all the lame and sick lying around the pool, he just healed one who had been lame for a very long time (Jn 5:3-5). ♦ And when Jesus calmed the storm (Mk 4:35-41), he did not bring harmony to all creation, he just brought God’s rule to one part. But scripture tells us that a time is coming when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and there will be no more death, or crying, or pain, because the dwelling of God or kingdom of God will be on earth (Rev 21:1-4). This will happen at Christ’s second coming when God’s kingdom will come in all its fullness.
So the indications are that God’s kingdom isn’t fully here. But Jesus did say ‘The kingdom of heaven is near’ (Mt 4:17), and that we should ‘Seek first his kingdom’ (Mt 6:33), and that we should pray ‘Your kingdom come’ (Mt 6:10), and when he said these things he was teaching us that God was beginning an invasion – his kingdom was invading the earth with the view to a future takeover. Jesus started this invasion at his first coming, and will complete it at his second coming. This means that all signs of God’s kingdom on earth today are warnings of a full invasion. God gives gifts of healing in anticipation of total healing, and raises certain dead people in anticipation of a total resurrection, and he calms certain storms in anticipation of a totally new earth.
The natural conclusion then is that we should not expect all people to be healed now, just as we should not expect all dead to be raised now, or all storms to be stilled now. But we should be aware that God does heal some people, raise some dead and calm some storms today in anticipation of total healing, total resurrection and a totally new creation.
Now a big question arises from all this. If God heals some but not all, and raises some but not all, then how do we know who we should heal or raise? How do we apply our faith for healing or raising the dead?
We know this by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the administrator of God’s kingdom on earth. He is the one who imparts healing, miracles, deliverance, prophecy, and all the gifts of God’s kingdom in this day and age (1 Co 12:7-11). So we must learn to follow the voice of the Holy Spirit, just as Jesus followed the voice of his Father. Jesus had great success with healing and raising the dead because he knew who the Father was healing and raising. He did what the Father was doing, and we are supposed to do what the Spirit is doing. When we assume that God always wants to heal everyone now, we act like the kingdom has already come in fullness, and we stop depending on the Spirits guidance. But when we wait for the Holy Spirit to put his words in our mouths we are able to speak with authority, and can say to blind people ‘see,’ and to lame people ‘arise and walk,’ and to people in the grave ‘come out.’ Hearing and speaking the words of God is the key.
Other Illustrations used: Faith for a car – your plan or God’s | Knowing what to expect | He’s your Dad, but you still need to ask.
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