“…by whose stripes you were healed.”
1 Peter 2: 24
To understand fully how this prescription works, you must first realise that the word of God is more than just good information – it actually has life in it! As Jesus said:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6: 63)
Every time you take the Word into your heart, believe it and act on it, that life of which Jesus spoke, the very LIFE of God Himself, is released in you. You may have read the healing scriptures over and over again, you may know them as well as you know your own name, and yet every time you read them or hear them preached, they bring you a fresh dose of God’s healing power. Each time, they bring life to you and deliver God’s medicine to your flesh.
That’s because the Word is like a seed. Hebrews 4: 12 says it is “alive and full of power–making it active, operative, energizing and effective…” (The Amplified Bible). It actually carries within it the power to fulfil itself.
When you planted the Word about the new birth in your heart, then believed and acted on it, that Word released within you the power to be born again. By the same token, when you plant the Word about healing in your heart, believe and act on it, that Word will release God’s healing power in you.
Some people might argue that there are people who the Bible inside out and yet they are still not healed. This is no doubt true, but if you look back at God’s prescription, you will find it doesn’t say anything about “knowing” the Bible. It says, attend to the Word.
“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” (Proverbs 4: 20 – 24)
When you give your attention to something, you make it top priority. You set aside other things so you can focus on it. When a nurse is attending to a patient, she constantly looks after him. She doesn’t just leave him lying alone in his hospital room while she goes shopping. If someone asks her about her patient, she doesn’t feel it’s sufficient to say, “Oh, yes. I know him.” In the same way, if you’re attending to the Word, you won’t leave it lying unopened on the coffee table all day. You won’t spend your day focusing your attention on other things. On the contrary, you’ll do what Proverbs 4 says to do. You’ll continually incline your ear to God’s Word. Inclining your ear includes more than just putting your physical ears in a position to hear the Word being preached (although that, in itself, is very important). It also requires you to actively engage with God’s Word, to believe it and obey it.
In addition to inclining your ear to the Word of God, the Proverbs 4 prescription also says that you must keep it before your eyes and not let it depart from your sight. Jesus reveals to us why that is so important. He says:
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6: 22 – 23)
Your eyes are the gateway to your body. If your eye (or your attention) is on the darkness, or the sickness that is in your body, there will be no light to expel it. If, however, the eyes of your heart are trained strictly on the Word, your whole body will eventually be filled with light, and healing will be the result. Granted, it isn’t easy to keep your attention centered on the Word like that. It takes real effort and commitment. It may require getting up a little earlier in the morning or turning off the television at night. But I urge you to do whatever it takes to take God’s medicine exactly as directed.It won’t work any other way! That really shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, we wouldn’t expect natural medication to work for us if we didn’t take it as prescribed. No rational person would put a bottle of pills on their bedside table and expect those pills to heal them. No one would call the doctor and say, “Hey, these pills don’t work. I’ve carried them with me everywhere I go – I keep them in the car with me, I set them on my desk at work, I even have them next to me when I sleep at night – but I don’t feel any better.” That would be ridiculous. Yet, spiritually speaking, some people do it all the time. They cry and pray and beg God to heal them, all the while ignoring the medicine He’s provided. (They might take a quick dose on Sunday when they go to church, but the rest of the week they don’t take time for the Word at all!)
Why do people who love God and believe the Bible act that way? I think it’s because they don’t understand how putting the Word in their heart can affect their physical bodies. They don’t see how something spiritual can change something natural. If you’ll read the Bible, however, you’ll see that spiritual power has been affecting this physical world ever since time began. In fact, it was spiritual power released in the form of God’s Word that brought this natural world into existence in the first place. When you realize that God’s Word is the force that originally brought into being everything you can see and touch – including your physical body – it’s easy to believe that the Word is still capable of changing your body today. It makes perfect sense!
“I’d have no problem at all believing God’s Word would heal me if He’d speak to me out loud like He did in Genesis,” you might say, “but He hasn’t!” No, and He probably won’t either. God no longer has to thunder His Word down at us from heaven. These days He lives in the hearts of believers, so He speaks to us from the inside instead of the outside. What’s more, when it comes to covenant issues like healing, we don’t even have to wait on Him to speak.
The truth is that he has already spoken. He has already said, “…By [Jesus’] stripes you were healed” (1 Peter 2: 24). He has already said, “…I am the LORD who heals you” (Exodus 15: 26). He has already said, “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…” (James 5: 15).
God has already done His part. So we must do ours. We must take the Word He has spoken, put it inside us and let it change us from the inside out. You see, everything – including healing – starts inside you. Your future is literally stored up in your heart. As Jesus said:
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12: 35).
That means if you want external conditions to be better tomorrow, you’d better start changing your internal condition today. You’d better start taking the Word of God and depositing it in your heart just like you deposit money in the bank. Then you can make withdrawals on it whenever you need it. When sickness attacks your body, you can tap into the healing Word you’ve put inside you and run that sickness off!
How do you do that? You open your mouth and speak – not words of sickness and disease, discouragement and despair, but words of healing and life, faith and hope. You follow the last step of God’s divine prescription and “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you.” (verse 24). In short, you speak the Words of God and call yourself healed in Jesus’ Name.
Initially, that may not be easy for you to do. But you must do it anyway because for your faith to work it must be in two places – in your heart and in your mouth.
“For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10: 10).
Some people say that faith will move mountains. But, the scriptural truth is that faith won’t even move a molehill for you unless you release it with the words of your mouth.
The Lord Jesus told us that:
“Whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he says” (Mark 11: 23).
Notice the word say appears three times in that verse while the word believe appears only once. Obviously, Jesus wanted us to know that our words are crucial.
It’s also important to note that He did not instruct us to talk about the mountain, He instructed us to talk to it! If we’re going to obey Him, we must talk to the mountain of sickness and cast it out of our lives. The Lord has told his people that they can have what they say, but they are saying what they have! Instead of saying, “I’m healed,” most Christians say, “I’m sick,” and reinforce the sickness or disease.
So should it not bother you to say that you are healed when you feel sick?
No, it shouldn’t! It didn’t bother Abraham. He went around calling himself the Father of Nations for years even though he was as childless as could be. Why did he do it? Because:
“he believed…God, who quickens the dead, and calls those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4: 17).
“fully persuaded that, what [God] had promised, he was able also to perform” (verse 21).
You see, Abraham wasn’t “trying” to believe God. He wasn’t just giving mental assent to what God said. He had immersed himself in God’s Word until that Word was more real to him than the things he could see. It didn’t matter to him that he was 100 years old. It didn’t matter to him that Sarah was far past the age of childbearing and that she had been barren all her life. All that mattered to him was what God said, because he knew His Word was true.
If you don’t have that kind of faith for healing right now, then stay in the Word until you get it! After all,
“faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Read, study, meditate, listen to tapes, watch dvds of good, faith-filled teaching EVERY DAY until God’s Word about healing is more real to you than the symptoms in your body. Keep on keeping on until, like Abraham, you stagger not at the promise of God through unbelief, but grow strong in faith as you give praise and glory to God (Romans 4:20, The Amplified Bible).
As you put God’s prescription for health to work in your life, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Although many times healing comes instantly, there also are times when it takes place more gradually. So don’t let lingering symptoms cause you to doubt. After all, when you go to the doctor, you don’t always feel better right away. The medication he gives you often takes some time before it begins to work. But you don’t allow the delay to discourage you. You just follow the doctor’s orders and expect to feel better soon. Really you are “treating” your spirit that is the source of supernatural life and health for your physical body.
Release that same kind of confidence in God’s medicine. Realise that the moment you begin to take it, the healing process begins. Keep your expectancy high and make up your mind to continue standing on the Word until you can see and feel the total physical effects of God’s healing power.
When the devil whispers words of doubt and unbelief to you, when he suggests that the Word is not working, deal with those thoughts immediately. Cast them down (see 2 Corinthians 10: 5). Speak out loud if necessary and say, “Devil, I rebuke you. I bind you from my mind. I will not believe your lies. God has sent His Word to heal me, and His Word never fails. That Word went to work in my body the instant I believed it, so as far as I am concerned, my days of sickness are over. I declare that Jesus bore my sickness, weakness and pain, and I am forever free.”
Then, “having done all to stand, stand” until your healing is fully manifested (see Ephesians 6: 12 – 14). Steadfastly hold your ground. Don’t waver. For as James 1: 6 – 8 says, “…He that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed…. Let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”
Above all, keep your attention trained on the Word–not on lingering symptoms. Be like Abraham who “considered not his own body” (Romans 4: 19). Instead of focusing on your circumstances, focus on what God has said to you. Develop an inner image of yourself with your healing fully manifested. See yourself well. See yourself whole. See yourself healed in every way. Since what you keep before your eyes and in your ears determines what you will believe in your heart and what you will act on, make the Word your number one priority.
Keep taking God’s medicine as directed and trust the Great Physician to do His wonderful healing work in you!