Many people do not really know the will of God with regard to healing.
Some believe that it is not God’s will to heal at all times. Others believe that God is sovereign, and, as a result, He will heal some and not others. These different views make it very difficult for us to receive our healing. If I truly believe that sometimes the will of God is not to heal someone, then how can I possibly ask for that person to be healed? If I did, I would be going against God’s will.
I remember once visiting my sick grandfather in the hospital. As I entered the hospital, a young man, whose wife was hospitalized in one of the hospital wards, approached me. He recognized me from our weekly TV program and asked me to pray for his wife. I agreed, and we went upstairs to find her. Getting to know her, I found out that they have four beautiful children and that she was diagnosed with a rare blood disease and wasn’t given much hope to live. I explained to her that I was here for prayer and that I believed Jesus wanted to heal her. She agreed, and we started praying for her healing.
As I started to rebuke the sickness and disease, I felt great resistance and heard her mumbling some stuff. As I paid closer attention to what she was saying, I heard her say, “I want Your will, God, only Your will, only what You want.”
At this moment, I stopped praying and asked her, “Do you believe that God’s will is for you to be healed?”
She replied, “I don’t know, because I have received prayer many times and wasn’t healed. I don’t want anything against His will.” I took the time to explain to her how to know what the will of God is. She was very convinced and came into agreement with the will of God instead of questioning it.
The best way to know the will of God is to look at Jesus. He is the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus’ most important assignment was not only to save us, but to also reveal the Father’s heart. He clearly said, “I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will” (John 6:38 NLT). Everything Jesus did and taught was to reveal the Father to us. The gospel of John clearly tells us that no one has ever seen God. But the unique one, who is Himself God (that is Jesus), has revealed God to us (John 1:18). The apostle Paul describes Jesus to the people of Colossae by telling them that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
In other words, to really know the will of the Father, we need to focus on the ministry of Jesus and ask ourselves a question: When did Jesus deny anyone their healing by telling them that it is not the Father’s will or it is not the Father’s timing or even that the Father is trying to teach them something through this sickness? The Bible clearly tells us that He healed everyone who was brought to Him.
A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill (Matthew 12:15).
At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them (Luke 4:40).
Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them (Matthew 15:30).
In these essential verses, we see Jesus healing multitudes, without ever mentioning to anyone that God’s will is for them to be sick. On the contrary, when Philip asked Jesus to show him the Father, Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). Jesus continues to tell Philip that “The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does His work through me” (John 14:10 NLT). The “work” he is referring to is healing the sick and casting out demons. This verse tells us that it was the Father living in Jesus who actually healed the sick. He demonstrated His will through Christ by healing.
Another great healing encounter that truly demonstrates God’s will to heal is found in the following story. Although the story is short, one can easily miss the magnitude of its greatness due to the lacking cultural understanding of the time.
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed (Mark 1:40-42 NLT).
In Jesus’ day, leprosy referred to various contagious skin diseases. Leprosy was caused by a type of bacteria that attacks the nervous system, grossly deforming and slowly rotting the flesh. According to Luke’s account, this man was “covered with leprosy” (Luke 5:12). Josephus, who was a first-century historian, said lepers were treated “as if they were, in effect, dead people.” The Torah gave strict laws governing the quarantining of lepers outside the walls of cities and towns due to their “defilement.” In those days, those who suffered from a serious skin disease must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed. They must cover their mouths and call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” (Leviticus 13:45). The penalty for entering a city or town was forty lashes. Physical contact with a leper brought serious spiritual, ceremonial, and social defilement.
Leprosy had destroyed this man spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and socially. When this leper saw Jesus, he came to Him, revealing his desperation and faith; he knelt down, fell with his face to the ground, and begged Jesus for healing. He broke all the religious and social taboos. Given all the above, it is astonishing that he even dared to come to this rabbi—unless the more astonishing reputation of Jesus’ radical compassion and healing power had preceded Him. Just like many of us, this leper believed Jesus was able to heal him, but he was not sure if Jesus was willing to heal him. This is common when it comes to physical healing. Most people believe that God is able to heal them, but the question comes in, “Is He willing to heal me now?” So many of us bargain with God; we question God: “Lord, if You are willing, if I am worthy enough. If I fast and pray and serve the poor, will You heal me?” We can’t bargain with God. We need to believe both His ability and His loving will to heal as a gift of grace and mercy.
Jesus’ response was amazing. He moved with compassion for the man and was angry at the leprosy. That moved Him into action. He did the unthinkable, going against Torah prohibitions and social stigma. Rather than the flow of the defilement entering Jesus, healing went from Jesus into the man, which was the greater power residing in Him. Jesus indicated His willingness to heal by touching the man, but He also gave verbal assurance of His willingness to heal the man. In so doing, Jesus presented the Father’s essential nature—healing is God’s will for people. This was very different and contrary to the way other rabbis portrayed God. Those rabbis believed that leprosy was defilement, even punishment from God. Jesus used His authority and spoke the word of healing, releasing God’s power.