I was praying this morning. That's how this whole post started. I had no intention of turning my time with Jesus into a blog post. But something came over my laptop and this whole thing is spilling out. Without being mean-spirited or self-righteous, I just want to share what I'm seeing, what I'm concerned about. I believe some of us have been raised on really well-intentioned, but misguided theology. I believe it is hurting the church, and it's a big reason many American churches are not thriving. Come with me on this journey for a moment…let's just dare to explore this.
Do you believe God is willing to heal you or that family member you're praying for? Do you believe it is God's will when you lock hands to pray? If not, I totally understand. But I want to tell you I believe you are missing a huge part of Jesus' heart for you. As a result, you may lack the faith to take hold of that healing. We do eventually go home to be with our Lord. I'm not discounting that. I understand there is the story of Job. I get it. That breeds a lot of questions. Too many to answer here. But what about Jesus? I mean, He is the main event. I believe too many sicknesses and evils are running rampant and stealing the glory of God.
Sickness doesn't deserve glory. God does.
God deserves our glory. But not the "god" who is able but unwilling. That god is actually a false god I worshipped for a really long time. It's taught in a lot of churches. With all gentleness and sincerity: It's incorrect theology. It's not how Jesus operated.
Is there a single instance in Scripture where Jesus was unwilling to heal? When Jesus walked the earth, did He ever refuse to heal someone seeking His healing? Actually no. There's no recorded instance. The only people that did not get healed were the people Jesus did not get to because He was working within the confines of time. His life and time were limited here on earth. That's why He gave us His Holy Spirit and created the Church. He commissioned us to continue His work. His healing work.
There is one instance in Jesus' life where He could not perform miracles and healing. His hometown. Why? Because of their unbelief. He wasn't unwilling. He literally could not because there was zero faith. I wonder...I wonder if that's where we sit in our American churches at times.
Why do we hear about power, deliverance from demons, and healings all across the world but fail to see much happening here in America?
(By the way, I think the tide is changing. It is picking up steam here in America.)
Could it be that Jesus would LOVE to come heal and work wonders among us but He finds skepticism, lack of expectation, and faithlessness? Do we give him the room? Do we believe? Or do we talk about power in church with no actual display? I believe He wants to heal. He wants to walk into a room and completely change the atmosphere and reality. He wants to. The "ability" isn't the issue. I think most churches believe God is able. Where we have failed is that we have bought the lie that He is not willing.
I'm here to tell you, Jesus is willing. Papa is willing. Holy Spirit is willing. Our prayers fall short when people die early. We mistakenly think it is God's will and heart. But I don't think it is His heart. I know I touched on this last week, but I think the enemy wins some battles. Sometimes the enemy gets his way. But that doesn't change God's heart for healing. It doesn't mean that He isn't willing. Our God is perfectly good. He cannot will sin and sickness on us. I know I'll get some pushback for that statement. Give me grace and curtesy. I'm still growing. But hear me out. Sin and sickness are contrary to His goodness and nature. We need to think about this when we pray.
Our prayers lack confidence, authority, and expectation because we have miscalculated and misunderstood God's heart. When we see someone sick or tormented, we need to step up in faith, and pray (the way Jesus did) with confidence and child-like faith that God is able and willing to do it; that it is His will to heal and bring wholeness.
We have fractured God's heart when we don't believe He is willing. We have made Him only powerful (able) and not loving (willing.)
My own prayer this morning was this:
"I repent right now Jesus of assessing Your heart incorrectly. I repent of not believing You are willing. I repent of my misguided theology that has miscalculated and misrepresented Your heart. I have missed the mark and lacked the power and faith when I have prayed. Please forgive me. Fill me with fresh faith right now. Come and perform the miracles, signs, and wonders You want to in my life. Come right now. Come anytime You want. I believe You want to come all the time. To be involved in my life continuously. So give me faith for the continuous. Give me faith that flows like a river…constantly moving with the currents of both love and power. It's in Your name Jesus I pray. Amen."
Are you still with me? Let's keep going.
This belief that God is not willing is a form of character assassination, even if it is unintentional. And interestingly, it was at the root of the very first sin in the garden of Eden. The enemy deceived Eve and Adam. What did he do? He got them to doubt the goodness of God. He got them to believe God was holding out on them. He lied to them and told them God's heart wasn't completely for them. They bought the lie, and sinned by not trusting God's goodness and heart for them. Wow. And today, we continue to do the same thing when we don't believe God's heart is to bring healing and wholeness right now, right here on this earth.
We are guilty of Adam's sin.
We have assassinated God's character and heart.
We must repent in order to see the miracles and breakthroughs come back to America. If we want revival, this is one of the main linchpins.
In a noble attempt to combat fraud and hype, I believe some of our great Church forefathers from decades and centuries past, have discarded the normality of the miraculous and neutered the gospel, throwing baby Jesus out with the bathwater.
In my opinion, we are reaping a lesser gospel that is proving impotent. Is it any wonder we are sleeping in church? Is it any wonder we see dead people?
With no real power or hope for God to change our current, present-day reality…why bother? Just get saved. Do your thing. Heaven's coming. And for now…just get by, tough it out, and bide your time. Just make sure to get your fire-insurance plan, and you're good to go. Check a box. Go to church. Boom. You're done.
I believe much of the American church is standing on foundational theology that deeply breaks God's heart. This is why we're dying. This is why I see dead people.
If we will choose to repent of misrepresenting God's heart, repent of believing God is able but not willing — faith will then grow, and the church will come back to life. Not only that, the church will once again start bringing life to others out of the overflow of the Holy Spirit. This overflow and power will effect entire communities. Cities. Counties. Regions. Countries.
I wonder if part of the answer to our healthcare crisis is actually Jesus? Whoa. That's wild.
He is after all, The Great Physician.
I believe the Church has not intentionally been faithless. She's just been duped. Like Eve. Somewhere along the line we were deceived and sold a lesser gospel. We have sown those seeds of doubt for decades and we now reap the powerless, neutered gospel we have sown.
My heart is not to be harsh or judgemental here. Far from it. But, no wonder the world doesn't really want to go to church. Why would they? There is nothing in it for them that makes an impact on their lives in the here and now. We offer some good wisdom, but they can get that from Budha, Ghandi, or Instagram. There's no real power. What a tragedy.
There is power in the name of Jesus. We serve and worship an all-powerful God. Not just for heaven. But for right now.
Oh dear ones, there is so much more available to us if we will only repent and believe. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
God wants to upgrade our lives, our faith, and our theology. He is so, so, so, so, so, so, so GOOD. He can't be anything but good. It's just who He is. To discredit or rationalize out His goodness, and willingness to do good on our behalf, is to rip out the very heart of Jesus.
He came to destroy the works of the devil. He came to save that which was lost. He came to take our infirmities and bear our diseases. (Matt. 8:17) Can it be any more clear? Let us not settle for anything less. Let us come into agreement with our Savior, Jesus. And let us come into agreement with the Kingdom He promoted, not a lesser one.
The next time you pray for someone who is sick or needs healing, don't say, "If it's Your will, God." It is His will. Pray His heart. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is inside of you. Come boldly. Pray them right into wholeness. Push into the goodness of God. Don't stop.
God. Is. Good. He's way more willing then we give Him credit for.
[Scripture References: Is. 53:4, Heb. 11:6, Gen. 3:1-6, Acts 4:12, John 5:1-9, Mark 12:15-17, John 10:10, 1 John 3:8, Jer. 29:11, Rom. 8:28, Luke 5:13]
[Other Resources & Testimonies: God Is Good by Bill Johnson. HealingIsRight.com, The Healing Breakthrough by Randy Clark, The Healing Reawakening by Francis McNutt, my own healing of 20 + years of Lyme Disease, the lady healed of Lupus I met at the Hampton Inn in Oklahoma City in June 2017]
If you disagree with this post, I still love you. I'm working out my faith. God is renewing my mind. I hope at the very least this pushes you into the Scriptures to discover the heart of Jesus more and more for yourself. May He continue to renew our minds for His glory.