Can We Heal Others While We’re Sick?
Not long ago, I had a Skype conversation about healing with Mike Laabs. I told him I had a cold and he offered to pray for me. Then he asked a question: “Don’t you find it hard to heal others, when you aren’t healed yourself?”
Some would answer the question like this: “I’m already healed. The bible says that by His stripes I was healed. It’s in the past tense, so it’s already done.”
That’s one response, and it’s a valid one, but it’s not the one I usually go with. If I had my arm in a cast and a doctor asked why, I might tell him I broke my arm. If I then said, “but because of Jesus’ stripes, I’m already healed.” He would raise one eyebrow, look at me thoughtfully and say, “If you’re already healed, why do you still have your arm in a cast?” The world sees these apparent contradictions and can’t help but point them out.
Among believers, faith is understood; it’s the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. But faith doesn’t make sense to people who walk by sight. They see a broken bone and call it broken. Once they see it healed, they call it healed. In their eyes, saying it’s healed before it appears to be is just wishful thinking.
The kingdom of God is built from a substance called faith. The medical community is taught to rely on data and observation. Faith isn’t understood by the medical community and it can’t be until someone explains what it is and demonstrates how it operates. It’s our job to help people see life through the eyes of faith and apprehend the kingdom for themselves.
I don’t know that we’ve earned the right yet to discuss faith in many circles because we haven’t established a foundation upon which to build the discussion. But once we do, we might be able to speak more convincingly to the world about seeing things that have yet to appear through the eyes of faith.
So the question we must answer here is, “Why should we believe God will heal others when He hasn’t healed us?”
My answer to this question involves two things: On the surface, the question seems valid, but it’s really a nicely disguised distraction. The assumption in the question is that if there is no evidence of healing in our life, why should anyone believe we have healing to offer them?
The fact is, the anointing for healing isn’t determined by outward appearance or physical health. By placing the focus on ourselves and how poorly-anointed we appear to be, we remove God from the equation. God’s anointing for healing rests upon all believers, regardless of their health or whether they ever use the anointing. If looking at ourselves is a stumbling block, the best strategy may be to take the focus off ourselves and place it on God.
This strategy would lead us not to look at what we’re capable of doing, but at what God is able to do. Every believer should have a testimony of what God has done for and through them. I know I do. And while I don’t see everyone I pray with healed, many people are and I journal all of it. I’ve found that sharing a few testimonies helps deflate the objections people have to healing, and those objections can go both ways. Sometimes, I have my own objections to deal with, but remembering what God has done makes them vanish.
Objections to healing are understandable, especially given the fact that healing miracles aren’t exactly making news headlines. Many people are in the dark about healing. It’s our place to handle their objections carefully and respectfully and demonstrate faith in action.
If we are people of faith and the Holy Spirit lives in us, our ability to heal the sick doesn’t change if we fall down the stairs and break a bone or catch a cold. If we ever had the authority to heal, we will always have it, even when we’re battling cancer or lying on our deathbed. The fact that we’re in a wheelchair doesn’t negate the truth that Jesus gave us authority over sickness. If we command sickness to flee and do it in faith, we will see miracles.
The only thing preventing us from healing others while we await our own healing is the lie that occupies the six-inch prison between our ears. The lie that says we can’t heal people when we are sick, creates fear and destroys faith. Many of us fear that a stranger will object to our boldness toward healing if they see us walking with a limp, using a cane, wearing thick glasses, or coughing as if we’re sick. These apparent contradictions keep many of us from stepping out in faith and releasing God’s power because we fear what others think. As long as we entertain these ideas, our life will be one of walking in fear, and not faith.
Isn’t it true that God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise? Doesn’t He use the weak things of the world to put to shame the strong? Isn’t His strength made perfect in weakness? (1 Cor. 1:27-29)
God’s power is perhaps best displayed through the weak and broken vessels that carry His glory. How much more glorious is the miracle of healing when wrought through the hands of a faith-filled believer who is confined to a wheelchair?
Don’t fall for the lie that would tell you to wait for your own healing before trying to heal others. Your physical condition has no impact whatsoever on God’s ability to use you for His glory in healing. Be bold, have faith, and stand strong against the lies of the enemy. God can use anyone, regardless of their physical condition, including you.