I had the privilege of listening to a wonderful Wednesday night Bible Study lesson on Jesus and the man at the Bethesda pool given by my Pastor Tiffany Bell recently (read John 5:1-9 NKJV). Prior to that Wednesday, I'd diligently prepared my own lesson on wellness strategies; ideas like breathing, prayer, laying on of hands, singing, laughter etc. Each was strategically placed into my digital wellness basket (yup, that is a THING at Arise Daughter :-) so that women healing from abortion wounds could access the information when needed. I found not only research to support each modality but bible verses as well so, I felt well prepared to speak on the topic.
That is until I heard Pastor Tiffany's sermon. Her opening question was so basic that I'd totally missed the premise behind getting well.
More on that in a moment.
I truly believe that God's plan for us is one of living in an abundantly healed state. When illness befalls us, we can sometimes link it to what we blithely call "lifestyle diseases" such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension etc. Now, I'm not talking about accidents of pure misfortune but things like overeating, not exercising, letting anxiety overwhelm us etc. Those lifestyle diseases can sometimes be linked to, dare I say it, sinful behavior- i.e. not treating ourselves as the temple of Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV — Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?).
And since I've already gone down this unpopular road, let's add in self-condemning behaviors, unforgiveness, long held guilt and shame that in truth can sometimes become our identity and keep us sick.
I know this message won't make me popular but, hear me out because it has to be said.
In the book of James, chapter 5, verses 14-16 NKJV read:
14. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
I've read those verses many a day but, it's only very recently dawned upon me that the sins we are asked to confess, in relationship to our dis-ease(s), can often clearly be traced to our lack of attention to the whole person God intended us to be. It's probably not going to be Noom or the latest weight loss medication that will change you. It will be confession (being honest) and repentance (change).
Be honest and change. Whew!
So, what was it that I'd gleaned from the Bible study that was paradigm shifting? It was the question Jesus asked of the man who'd lain sick for 38 years: "Do you WANT to be made well?" That gut punch served as a reminder to me that, unless I am willing to be well, no outward scheme, including gift baskets, will work.
We have to partner with our Healer if we want to be healed.
Be encouraged dear readers. Jesus is yet standing at our door knocking. It's up to all of us to let Him into our hearts through confession and repentance so that He can do the deep healing work that is necessary for us to live the most abundantly, healed and whole life that He's promised (John 10:10 NKJV “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly).
And then we have to get up and walk in newness (Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life).
Be blessed and much love to the you of today and to the you you are becoming tomorrow! Sylvia