Healing, Wholeness, and Personal Flourishing
Author Michael W. Dewar
Somebody you know may be suffering loss of health, loss of family or loss of property, and they are at their wits end ready to throw in the proverbial towel because they have tried everything to recover to no avail. This article examines connections outside of the natural realm, connections that may have bearing on your situation, and provides insights that may lead to your deliverance.
Having spent over 40 years as a spiritual leader and 28 as a healthcare professional, I have come to be a strong believer in the art and science of medicine. So, nothing said in this article is intended to be anti-medicine or should preclude anyone from seeking the regular care of a physician. As the Pastor of a congregation, it would be highly irresponsible to lead people away from good health science.
To me, science and faith are not mutually exclusive; they complement each other. God heals through various methods, and all healings require an element of faith. That being said, this article will draw your attention to a slightly different healing and wholeness practice that you will undoubtedly find beneficial. That practice is The Eaten Word Book.
But let me first underscore two fundamental truths: 1) the God of the Bible created human beings and knows the human body best (Genesis 1:27-28). He provides the natural world and human capabilities that make it possible to do science. In this context, therefore, God is the ultimate source of all knowledge; that includes, medicine and all healings. 2) All healings have a spiritual element. Again, for good or evil, all human ailments have a spiritual connection. In this article that connection is unveiled and new healing, and wholeness agents identified. For these reasons, this article is written to people of faith.
FIVE SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS TO PHYSICAL AILMENT
The etiology of sickness, disease, death and dying are varied and complex and even mysterious. So, I am not trying to be overly simplistic venturing into this complexity. I just want to shed a little light in one small corner of this complexity and perhaps provide a life raft for a few people of faith who are bedeviled with certain conditions for which they seek deliverance. The point of focus is that some physical and psychological ailments have a spiritual connection to them (good or evil), and healing is not possible until that connection is realized and dealt with. I will examine five human situations to identify the connection of which I speak.
1. The Ingestion of the Forbidden Fruit (Gen.2:16-17).
The creator of a thing knows that thing best. The engineers that designed the automobile specify the kind of gasoline best suited for the engine they designed. No wise person wanting his or her automobile to function well would ignore the engineers’ order that says, unleaded fuel only. If the order is ignored, the consequences of malfunction will be suffered.
The engineer of the human body is also the creator of the fuel that the body functions best on. The Creator in the paradise garden informed the man and his wife of the many good choices of food they had and showed them the dangerous food-tree to stay clear of.
The Creator told them of the consequences of death and dying that would befall them should they eat from the tree of death. Here is the executive order given to the man of which his wife was fully cognizant: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen 2:16-17 NIV). Do you begin to see the spiritual connection?
Let’s take it one step more. The man and his wife ingested what they were clearly forbidden to eat, fruits from the tree of death. The poison they ingested reset their genetic code to make them creatures of death and dying as they were forewarned. Again, do you see a spiritual connection?
Death is an event but dying is a process. Dying is all the bad things that precede death. This is only a summary of what happened in the Paradise Garden to the man and his wife that fateful day. Read the full decoding of this mystery and its relevance to us today in my new work, “The Eaten Word Book: A Guide to Healing, Wholeness, and personal Flourishing.” To get your copy, Click Here.
2. Removing the Hedge of Protection (Job 1:9-11).
In the Old Testament (OT), right before the Psalms, there is a book called, Job (pronounced, Joab). It tells the story of a righteous man who suffered greatly through no fault of his own. The book tells us that Job was a righteous man, a family man, a rich man, a man held in high esteem by his community (Job 1:1-3). Suddenly, the bottom falls out of his life. His stock market crashed, and he lost his wealth, tragedy struck again, and he lost his ten children; finally, he lost his health. You could say, his heaven turns into hell!
Up front, the story reveals a profound and mysterious spiritual connection. The sons of God (believed to be angels) reporting to God somewhere in the spiritual realm and Satan also came with these angels. God asked Satan, what are you doing here and where are you coming from? Satan said he was coming from surveying the earth (vv.6-7). The implication is that he has free movement in the earth and even access to God.
Strangely enough God asked Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (v.8). Satan responded, Really, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” In other words, who wouldn’t serve you for all those goodies you showered him with? Furthermore, “you put this [protective] hedge around him and his household and everything he has… But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face” (vv.9-11). God then gave Satan permission to have his way with Job short of taking his life; that is when Job’s hell began. Do you see a spiritual connection?
This article will not go into the theological discussion the story at this time. My aim is just to highlight the spiritual connection to some personal disasters, economic downturn and sickness in our lives and I think I have done that. There is much going on in the spiritual world that are beyond our understanding. But despite all that we need not lose faith in God’s goodness; He loves us and have our best interest at heart as the end of the of Job’s story demonstrates.
Satan was wrong about Job; is he wrong about you? Job did not curse God as Satan said he would. Job lost everything including wealth, family, and his health. But despite all that, Job was faithful to God through it all. Can God count on you as He did Job? Job is indeed the classic book on suffering; it gives insight to the question, why bad things happen to good people.
3. The Man Born Blind (John 9:1-12)
The attention of Jesus and His disciples were drawn to a man, blind from birth, panhandling for a living by the side of the road. It was the common religious belief that physical ailments of such were a result of the sufferer’s sins. This was the theology preached and taught; your physical ailments, misfortune and lack of personal flourishing were a result of your sins. It is your fault! The entire society subscribed to this notion because that’s what the men who represented God taught.
But the fact that this man was born blind complicates this notion for the disciples. So, they turned to Jesus with this question for clarity, “who did sin, this man or his parents why he was born blind? In other words, somebody must take the blame for this man’s demise.
The answer Jesus gave was unexpected and surprising. He corrected the commonly held religious notion that physical suffering is always a result of the sufferer’s sins or in this case resulted from the sins of the parents (I am not saying there are not such cases). Think of the guilt that people with a handicap, a chronic disease, a mental condition must have lived with. When those representing God tells you that it is so, where do you turn for solace? But that day Jesus told them your conclusions are wrong and your theology is wrong; there is another way to look at this problem.
He said that this man’s suffering was God’s doing for His own glory. What? Such theology was never taught in the places of worship by those to whom the Word of God was entrusted. They were there to protect God as if He needed their protection. This was indeed a new revelation! And who can dispute it; it is coming from Jesus, the Son of God.
Think of the relief that this man must have felt as well as his parents. Jesus went ahead and heal the man. But when you analyze it– this was a fourfold healing: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. This was a complete healing job! A grown man is now able to look his mother in the eye and say with confidence, Mamma my blindness was not your fault! Papa, it was not your fault either! It is not anything I did wrong either! There are cases like that today, people who suffer for the glory of God.
The takeaway is that some conditions are allowed by God for His glory. Do you see the spiritual connection? It is a warning to us all not to look at people’s condition and think we know the circumstance and begin to judge them. The limited and sometimes myopic religious lens through which we view them could be dead wrong. Just treat them as neighbors and minister to them. The next time you see physically, or mentally challenged person see the image of God on that person and accord him or her the same value of a whole person.
4. The Woman Physically Deformed for Eighteen Years (Luke 13:10-17).
The Physician Luke, writer of the gospel that bears his name and the book of Acts, shares the following healing encounter in the ministry of Jesus (Luke 13:10-17 NIV).
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not the Sabbath.”
The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
The healing of this woman with the disabling condition has many points of interest ripe for discussion, but I must resist the temptation and focus only on the one relevant to the thesis of this article. Note that her disability had demonic connections. The New International Version (NIV) from which the scripture quotation is taken said, she was “crippled by a spirit” (a demon). The English Standard Version (ESV) said, “a disabling spirit.” The King James Version (KJV) said, “a spirit of infirmity.” Jesus confirmed that it was Satan who had her bound for eighteen years (v.16). Do you see the spiritual connection to the woman’s disability? Be sure to read the conclusion.
5. The Woman with the Issue of Blood (Mark 5:25-34).
This story has to do with a woman who was bleeding for 12 years. She spent all her money on medical care but grew worse. She convinced herself to find Jesus and quietly touch his garment and that would heal her. She did and indeed she was healed. When she revealed herself, Jesus said to her, “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering.”
The gravity of this woman’s health problem cannot be overstated. She is bleeding from her private parts for 12 long years and this medical problem has turned into a social, economic and spiritual problem. The law classifies her as unclean, so she cannot go to work or go to worship and she spent all her money on doctors. But on this day she became desperate enough to defy customs, tradition and protocol and find Jesus. He brought about her deliverance.
Note that her illness is not connected to any demons or God allowing it for his glory as in the case of the blind man. This is a natural malfunction taking place in her body that the physicians were unable to fix. There are cases like that today. Doctors fix most natural illnesses, but now and then they come up a natural illness that they cannot fix and it has nothing to do with the demonic or God allowing it for his glory.
In this woman’s case, her deliverance came about by exercising her faith in Jesus’ ability to heal and personally connecting to Jesus, a spiritual authority. The apostle James said, if you are sick to call for the elders of the church and let them pray and the prayer of faith shall save the sick (James 5:13-18). The elders of the church were the spiritual authority back then because they were full of the Holy Spirit. Today any believer who is knowledgeable in the Word and God and is Holy Spirit empowered can be your spiritual authority (Acts 1:8).
While we believe in the art and science of medicine and encourage regular physician’s visits, there are some naturally occurring illnesses that physicians have not yet found the answer to as with the woman with the issue of blood. She turned to a spiritual authority in the exercise of her faith, and she was delivered. You can do the same as the apostle James suggests (5:13-18).
We also learned that not all physical ailments are of natural causes. This article has clearly shown that some conditions are allowed by God for the glory of God, such as the case of the man blind from birth whom Jesus healed. Again, Job had multiple disasters including loss of health and they have the fingerprints, so to speak, of both God and Satan. Finally, the woman that was bent over for eighteen years by reason of a disability—her condition is clearly associated with an evil spirit. Satan and his demons are evil spirits and they want to do harm, whereas Jesus wants you to enjoy fullness of life (John 10:10).
Now, you are asking, does God make people sick? The answer is no, but for reasons of his own, God at times allow it. He uses these troubles as a chastening rod to discipline his own (Heb.12: 5-10). The abuse of holy things can result in physical ailment or even death in the context of discipline. The death of Aaron’s two sons is one example (Lev.10:1-11). Again, we see this kind of discipline with the abuse of Lord’s Super in the church at Corinth (1 Cor.11:26-30).
Physical ailments that have a connection to God or Satan, require more than ordinary medical intervention to restore that person to health. Only a spiritual authority can resolve a condition placed or allowed by a superior spiritual authority (God or Satan). In other words, if God allows a condition as a discipline or for his purpose and glory, only a Holy Spirit anointed servant of God can bring deliverance from that condition. The blind man’s condition was an act for God’s glory (God being the spiritual authority); the man’s deliverance was brought about by Jesus (a spiritual authority (see Numbers 12 for another example).
If Satan, an evil spiritual authority, is the cause of the condition as in the case of the disabled woman in this article, you also need a Holy Spirit anointed spiritual authority to bring about healing (Jesus served as her spiritual authority). Not all spiritual leaders have the spiritual firepower to bring healing and deliverance. The woman belonged to a place of worship (the synagogue) and leaders there opposed her healing, just like some pastors today. For more on this subject see two of my books: Bless and Curse Not and Dwelling Place Spiritual Cleansing.
The question is, do you have a spiritual authority in your life? If you or a family member have an ailment in your body that physicians and medicine have not resolved, I recommend my newest work, The Eaten Word Book: A Guide to Healing, Wholeness, and Personal Flourishing. Available on Amazon.