Swimming in Oil!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2).

One Sunday, a delightful man with chemical sensitivity named Bill visited our Fragrance Free Zone at Calvary Eastside. One thing I really appreciated about Bill was his ability to find humor in the midst of the trials of MCS. Bill shared how he had been prayed for and anointed with oil on many occasions and yet was still ill. He went on to joke that he had been anointed with oil so many times he was swimming in it! I had to chuckle, as so many of us with a chronic illness can relate to Bill. We too, may have been prayed for and anointed with oil umpteen times and yet are still sick. What are we to make of this?

Unfortunately, many of us have been led to believe by well-meaning pastors and teachers that we will get well if we just have enough faith, attend enough healing meetings, or any number of other theories. The problem is that many of these teachers quote scriptures out of context in trying to get their point across. One scripture that is often used to convince Christians that we can all be healed while on this earth is Isaiah 53:5, which says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed”  (Isaiah 53:5). According to some pastors, they claim that this verse promises healing when it says, “by his wounds we are healed.” Well, they are partially correct. Any of us can be healed due to Christ’s death, but this verse is referring to spiritual healing, not physical healing. If you look at this verse in the context of the whole passage, the entire chapter talks about Christ’s suffering and death on our behalf so we could obtain eternal life.

Ministries that teach that we can all be healed if we just have enough faith are often referred to as “The Faith Movement.” One thing these ministries fail to point out is that according to Ecclesiastes, there is “a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:2). If we could all claim healing whenever we wanted due to our faith, then no one would ever die! We could all just believe for our healing even in our 90s and keep on living forever. How ludicrous is that?

Another thing The Faith Movement fails to point out is that even Jesus didn’t always get His prayers answered the way He wanted, regardless of his faith. While in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed this prayer, “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36). Notice here that Jesus prayed a prayer of faith, believing that all things are possible with God. He knew God could rescue Him from being crucified. But notice the ending of his prayer: “Yet not what I will, but what you will.” I believe we are to follow Jesus’ example when praying for healing. Yes, we should pray believing God can heal us if He chooses. But we should also ask that His will ultimately be done, not ours. Imagine if God had answered Jesus’ prayer to be delivered from the cross! None of us would have access to the salvation we experience today that was paid for by Jesus’ death on the cross. Our heavenly Father knows what is best for our lives, and whether or not that includes healing on this earth or in the life to come. Today, let’s trust Him with that decision.


Categories Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on November 13, 2011

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