Summary: Healing is to be sought within the God given resource of the local church, but will we have the faith to use it.
God’s Healing for my life
by Andrew Chan, Senior Pastor, PBC, Vancouver, BC
A man was driving along a rural road one day when he saw a three-legged chicken. He was amused enough to drive along side it for a while, and as he was driving, he noticed the chicken was running at 30 mph.
"Pretty fast chicken," he thought, "I wonder just how fast it can run." So he sped up, and the chicken did too! They were now moving along the road at 45 mph! The man in the car sped up again, to his surprise the chicken was still running ahead of him at 60 mph!
Suddenly, the chicken turned off the road and ran down a long driveway leading to a farmhouse. The man followed the chicken to the house and saw a man in the yard with dozens of three-legged chickens.
The man in the car called out to the farmer, "How did you get all these three-legged chickens?"
The farmer replied, "I breed ’em. Ya see, it’s me, my wife and my son living here and we all like to eat the chicken leg. Since a chicken only has two legs, I started breeding this three-legged variety so we could all eat our favorite piece."
"That’s amazing!" said the driver "How do they taste?"
"Don’t rightly know, none of us can catch ’em!"
I think a lot of us today are like that amused driver who spotted the 3 legged chicken when it comes to healing. We are amazed by the stories we hear from Scripture and perhaps read a few modern day stories of healing. We say WOW!
Perhaps some of us, like the idea of God healing, reseacrhed all about it, prayed about it, but like the farmer we have not even tasted healing. But it seems difficult for us to get one today. They seem to run away from us. It seems miraclous healings happen to everyone else or in the Bible days but not to me. Me, I pray for God to get rid of my glasses, don’t like it one bit , gets in the way of playing sports, so Iask God to bring healing to my eyes. Even went to pray like that at healing service… but still wearing my glasses today.
Because of our experiences, many of us are somewhat skeptical when it comes to healing services or healing prayer. If someone is healed - we tend to rationalize it away . Like the story of the child coming home from SS to tell his father about Moses at the Red Sea. Described how the Israelites had put down pontoon bridges for their jeeps to cross on. Then, as Pharaoh approached and his army came over the bridges, they were dynamited and the whole Egyptian army sank in one fell swoop. Father calmly asked the excited son if that was really the way it happened. Child’s response was, "No, but if I told you what they really said at church, you sure wouldn’t believe it." I’m quite sure that’s probably how some of us would respond, we just can’t believe it can happen the way the Bible says it can happen. We’ve tried it, doesn’t seem to work. Go away dejected, disappointed. Perhaps Jesus when he was around can do it, but to duplicate it today, sell me some swamp land in the Sahara.
Today, my desire is for you to hear God’s instruction anew re: healing. In previous sermons, I talked about God’s priorities, God’s power, today focus is more on God’s power, as we zero in on God’s healing power for my life. Yes God can be first in my life, I believe He has power but can/does He heal me today? I believe some have become skeptical, some of us are sickened by the tactics of so-called faith-healers and some of us struggle daily with sickness, as evidenced by weekly prayer requests in the bulletin. There will be a continual need for healing as long as we are on this side of heaven, with, a frail body that’s subject to decay, death and disease.
So let’s learn from James what the Bible does and does not say when it comes to praying for healing.
First healing service I had ever been to was when I was a teen. I was not at all skeptical about the whole thing. I believed in my heart that God can heal. He can do the impossible right? And I wanted to see people being healed. So there was this man from England who was invited to be in Ipoh, Malaysia to heal people. Good praise time in song and then healing part of the service began - I felt nervous. He pointed to areas of the room and told us there were people with specific problems and I can’t remember the message but I believe it was something about trusting Jesus, not the person praying, to heal. I was up on stage watching some volunteers catching people while they fall down after being prayed for by the man as he laid hands on them. He prayed for them and claimed healing in the name of Jesus. Were these folks actually healed? I really don’t know. Was it a religious con-job? I don’t know either. It seems some people are genuinely helped.