Raising Up A Standard

Earthen Vessels - The Path of Life, Part 11

 

 In Scripture, healing and prophetic ministries are often linked. As we’ve discussed, one way that the prophetically gifted can discern problems in others is to feel in their own body what those whom they are praying for feel. If your kidneys start hurting while you’re praying for someone, it is probably not your kidneys, but the person you are praying for. Usually, as soon as you get the message, the pain will go away.


          Why does the Lord have us discern problems like this? Often people do not know what is wrong with them and cannot tell us what to pray for, and this helps. Also, when someone who is burdened or sick knows that you were given knowledge of something that you could not have known, except through a revelation from God, it not only deeply touches them with how much God cares for them, but also raises their faith level for the healing. Our goal always should be healing, restoration, and victory over any work of the devil. The ultimate victory is a revelation of the Lord’s love.


          We are told in the Gospels that even Jesus was hindered in doing things when there was great unbelief. If Jesus could be hindered that way, how much more can it hinder us? If the work of the Lord can be hindered in this way, it helps if we cultivate faith, which is also expectation.


          Every healing ministry I know must create what they consider to be an atmosphere of faith in order to operate. It is often more for them than for the Lord or the people, but if it helps them, I’m fine with it. As we mature, we may not need such props, but until we do, if such things help us to focus on Jesus, then they can’t hurt. 


          The inexperienced may think that if their gift was real they would not need this because God can do anything He wants, but He has chosen to work through “earthen vessels.” In many ways He has subjected Himself to our frailties. Granted, He could do anything He wants, but He doesn’t. As we read in Psalm 115:16, “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth He has given to the sons of men.” This is why He will not do things on the earth until we pray—He has delegated the rule over the earth to men. Even in Revelation 3:20, He stands at the door of His own church and knocks to see if any will open to Him! In this age, we must want Him, and we must open to Him before He will enter.


          The immature or inexperienced may tend to base many of their beliefs on idealism rather than the testimony of Scripture. Our goal is to base our relationship with God on what is clearly revealed in Scripture rather than the way it seems it should be. Believe it or not, even our most seeming rational thinking can be very twisted. This is why He gave us the Bible.


          As we discuss the “immature” and “inexperienced,” we must also beware of basing too much of our beliefs on just our own experiences. Many miss the things the Lord wants to do through them because they assume that the way He moved one time is the way He will do it the next. As Jesus is our example, we see in the Gospels that He did not ever seem to heal people or perform miracles the same way twice. One of the most basic characteristics of God is that He is creative and loves diversity. He is fresh and new every morning. His nature does not change, but the changes in His interaction with us keep our relationship fresh. What accomplishes a miracle is not faith in a method, but in a Person.


          Even though some healing ministries may insist on the music being a certain way, or the lights a certain way, or other things that have to be just right, this is them, not the Holy Spirit. It’s still okay. He has put His glory in earthen vessels, and if you want to see the glory, sometimes we need to put up with the idiosyncrasies of the vessels. Can we look past the vessel to see the glory? It may take a little more faith on our part, but that is the point.


           The greatest witness for God on the earth is His people. The worst witness for God on the earth is His people. It takes a higher faith to see past the flaws of His church, and it takes humility to want to be associated with them, both of which God is basically after from us. When we stop trying to put our trust in people, even His people, and learn to keep it in Him, we will find the only foundation that can stand—Jesus Himself. When we begin to walk in humility, which does not care what people think but rather what God thinks, and we are willing to associate with the lowly and be counted among His people with all of their flaws (and ours), we are on our way to the ultimate reality—love.

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