When I asked Him for wisdom, He gave it. When I asked for the gift of prophecy, He gave it. And He gave so much more, I have grown so much in Him and so much closer to Him. When I suffer, I hold onto Him. When I rest, I hold onto Him. Now, I am asking Him for the opportunity to teach through speaking as well as writing. And I am asking for the gift of healing. Because I am asking for that gift, I am going to study God’s healing power. First, I want to share why I even dare ask for another gift, when God has granted me so much grace.
Every believer is given at least one gift as the Lord manifests Himself through His child.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13 reads,
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
I believe this, the Lord can and does use any willing person to manifest His healing power or any other gift as He wills, just as the passage we just read says. Even though healing is not one of my gifts, I have been blessed a few times to be a part of someone’s healing. Even videos I posted on YouTube to help people fall asleep to prayer and scripture have resulted in healing for brothers and sisters I have never met. I know from experience God will manifest Himself through us in various gifts, even when they are not one of our primary gifts. Why? Because He wills it, He is not limited by our weakness. If someone needs to see the love of God demonstrated through a miracle, and you are available and willing, God will use you. He will speak through you, heal through you, encourage through you, and love through you. The Lord prophesied through Caiaphas, the High Priest who was desperate to kill Jesus (John 11:49-51). The Holy Spirit is the same Holy Spirit in me as in you, Believer. The same Holy Spirit that indwelled the Apostle Paul indwells you! He is not limited by your weakness or even by your faith! Caiaphas hated Jesus and had faith only in the Law and tradition, yet he prophesied. How much more will God work His gifts through the willing and seeking believer? 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says,
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I am weak! I have terribly low ‘self-esteem’, yet God uses me to encourage others. I am extremely shy; yet God uses me to boldly speak with strangers and pray for them. I am an angry strong-willed person, yet God gives me mercy and compassion for others. I could go on about how short I fall and how the Lord is glorified not despite my failings, but through them.
God has told us to ask for what we want in His name and He said He will give it (John 14:13-14). It is not different with spiritual gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 reads,
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.
Paul said we are to earnestly, that is sincerely and seriously desire the higher gifts and we would be shown a higher way. 1 Corinthians 13 explains that higher way is Love, the perfect and pure love that the Father loves with, that Jesus demonstrated, and that the Holy Spirit enables us to live out. 1 Corinthians 14:1-3 reads,
Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. 2 For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.
You see the gift of speaking in tongues is wonderful, it edifies you, it brings you into intimate fellowship with the Lord; but a gift like prophesy or healing or teaching edifies, encourages, and comforts the church and the world. If God wants us to desire the higher gifts, don’t you imagine He will give us those things? Psalm 37:3-6 promises,
Trust in the Lord, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday.
In Matthew 10:8, Jesus commanded the twelve chosen to go “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons” They had only just become His chosen twelve. Eleven of them would be the Apostles one day, but when Jesus sent them out, they were just twelve guys who chose to follow Jesus, twelve young men who didn’t really know yet if this was a prophet or the Messiah or a good teacher. Yet, they had the authority to heal, resurrect, cleanse, and exorcise. You and I, we have that authority too. This command is for us too and God would not command us to do something He wasn’t going to empower us to do. Those amazing miracles are not just for the Apostles, Jesus sent out seventy-two disciples (Luke 10) and when they returned they were sharing with one another and rejoicing over the amazing things they did in Jesus’ name. They said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” But Jesus answered them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
Those amazing miracles, healing, casting out demons, and raising the dead, they are nothing compared to the miracle of your salvation. Satan is nothing, he’s already been cast out of heaven, already lost the battle. You have the Living God living within you, what is it to let Him be who He is and love people by His power? God chose to reveal Himself to you and He chooses to reveal Himself to others through you! Thank God for that privilege! Praise God for that privilege! In verses 21-24 of Luke 10, Jesus prayed,
“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 22 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23 Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
God is revealed through the gifts of the Spirit, through the miracles such as prophecy, healing, teaching, encouraging, mercy, and administration. John 14:8-17 says it this way,
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. 15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
In my next devotional, I will look at verses and passages regarding healing itself, so that we will not be uninformed about this gift. What gift is it you seek? Is it wisdom, prophecy, healing, stewardship (administration), mercy or some other? Seek the Lord God, love others as Jesus loved you. He will give you the desires of your heart.