Obstacles to Healing Grace Part 1
Dr. John I. Penn
February 11, 2017
Before, getting into our discussions of some of the obstacles to healing, it is important to understand God's desire for our wellbeing. Healing is the will of God for you and me and of all of creation. In the book of Genesis, we are told that God made everything good. Another meaning of the word good is wholeness. Everything that is made reflects God's goodness. God declares the creation of humankind as being very good. What makes human beings so special is that we are made in the image and likeness of the Creator (Genesis 1:25-26, 31).
The whole of creation is marked with God's goodness or blessedness. This goodness or wholeness comes from the goodness inherent in God. The fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God, sets human beings apart from the rest of the creation, including the animals.
Human beings are the crowding glory of God’s creation in several ways. First, we reflect God’s spiritual life and were created to live in God’s presence for all eternity. This spiritual life is also to reflect God’s holiness. Second, we are also given the ability to create life as God does. Third, human beings are given the responsibility to serve as partners with God to care for the earth and the living creatures. Finally, only human beings have a special and personal relationship with God.
All of these special privileges enjoyed by human beings are directly related to the health and wholeness inherent in God’s good creation. Sin, sickness, diseases, and death were foreign to God's good creation. This dis-ease or disharmony was introduced into God's good creation. These things came about as the results of human sin in the Fall.
Because of God's divine love, mercy, and grace, God did not leave human beings in this fallen state, but sent us a savior in the person of Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah tells us that God, through the redemptive Cross, Jesus, atoned for the sins of humankind. Through the redemptive plan of God, Jesus' death canceled our sin debt, restoring a right relationship between humankind and God. Jesus suffered vicariously on our behalf, through no fault of his own, by enduring a horrific death on a cross. His death made forgiveness possible for the sins of the whole world.
Again, let me restate that God desires that every person experience well-being or wholeness in every dimension of life: spirit, body, mind (emotions), and relationships. Jesus' atoning death on the cross makes available God’s healing love, presence, and power. We cannot fully understand healing without the knowledge of God's redemptive plan of salvation. Why? Salvation and healing are inseparable. Salvation is ultimate healing.
Having established the fundamental truths of God’s redemptive plan of salvation, through the Cross, I will discuss seven obstacles that might explain in part, why healing may not occur. People often place the blame on God when healing does not happen. It is important to understand how these seven obstacles could very well prevent God from healing us. Although God is the only one that can heal, people often sabotage their own health, wholeness, or well-being.
In this Healing Moment, I will only deal with the first three obstacles to healing grace. The first healing obstacle is feeling unworthy. Some people do not ask God to heal them because they do not think they are good enough or measure up to God's standard. The Bible teaches that every person has value and worth, because we are created in the image of God.
Someone has said, "God does not make junk." Everything that God has made is good. God made humankind as being very good. If you feel unworthy, that lie comes from Satan, the father of lies (John 8:44). Satan is the accusers of the brethren. However, John the evangelist says that the accusers of the brethren are casted down (Revelation 12:10).
Jesus says, "Come to me, all who are weary and are burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:18). Notice that Jesus calls "all" to come and find rest. This includes people who feel worthless or unloved. God loves each person unconditionally. He proved that love by allowing His Son, Jesus to die on the cross. Notice that Christ died for sinners, while we were still living in sin. This proves God's love toward us (Romans 5:6-10).
The second obstacle to healing is fear. Some people do not turn to God for healing because they have an incorrect view of the loving nature of God. Knowing that God loves us unconditionally is both healing and liberating. God is love and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). People fear rejection or disappointment. Fear leads us to an incorrect view of reality. It isolates us from God and others. Fear puts us into bondage. If Satan can tempt us to believe that we are worthless and fearful, he will keep us bound and from seeking to live the abundant or full life God intends for us.
God created us to reflect His goodness in every dimension of life: spirit, body, mind (emotions), and in our relationships. Not only are we to enjoy and experience the abundance of God's goodness, but our lives are to bring honor and glory to God. Our human sins and brokenness do not witness to God's glory.
Ignorance is the third barrier to healing grace. Not realizing that God's will is for every person to be a whole person is problematic for many people. They are unaware that we are wonderfully and fearfully made. We are made in the image and likeness of God. God does not make junk. They also forget the loving nature of God and the fact that God has sent us a healing Messiah in Christ Jesus (Isaiah 53:4-10; 61; Luke 4:18-20; 1 Peter 2:24-25; Matthew 8:16-17; Psalm 103).
In Luke 5:14, a leper comes to Jesus to be cleansed of his leprosy. He believes that God's healing power is available to Jesus to make him clean, but weavers in his faith concerning Jesus' willingness to heal him. He says: "If you are willing, you can make me clean" (Luke 5:14). He did not know that God had anointed Jesus to heal all who are oppressed of the devil (Acts 10:38). As God's Messiah, Jesus came to preach the gospel of salvation, to teach about the love, mercy, and grace of God, and to heal the brokenhearted, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers, and even to raise the dead (Isaiah 61; Luke 4:18-20).
Although Jesus seems to be surprised that the leper questioned his willingness to heal him, he touched the leper, saying: “Be clean." By touching the leper, Jesus not only heals him, but he also identifies with his brokenness and humanity. Touching the leper Jesus also demonstrates the loving nature of God toward suffering humanity.
In my next Healing Moment, I will discuss the other four obstacles to healing grace.
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