Last week, my heart doctor told me I had congestive heart failure. As I sit here writing, I can feel its effects inescapably. What a time to be writing!
Miraculous healings have occurred frequently in my life—both for me and through me. I'm also a frequent medical customer. Through modern medicine—the capital investors, the scientists and researchers, the testing protocols and their regulators, the nurses, doctors and hospitals—I've outlived my original life expectancy by four decades.
Along the way, I've learned how to live both healed and unhealed.
- The main question is: what exclusivity does Jesus Christ have in your heart? Isaiah 26:13 states the issue realistically. Lord our God, other lords besides You have ruled over us, but Your name alone do we honor. The contest for the pilot's left seat in our lives is never-ending. Illness and accident are just another place the contest rages. If your contest doesn't include sickness, be alert: there definitely is an area in your life where this question is being contested.
- The primary need you have is to follow your Lord. All else is secondary. Healing doesn't dominate your priorities, and illness isn't your primary obstacle. In your physical health, as well as your work, your family, your worship, only one question is uppermost among the many questions of life. "What do You want, Lord?" After all—why would we say Lord, Lord, and not even ask what He says to do? (Luke 6:46)
- Don't own the ailment. Many people's sentences about ailments begin, "I have ..." Sorry, not for me. "Have" is a possessive word there—not good. That lets it seep into your identity—a place reserved for God alone. He alone gets to say what you have and don't have—not your ailments, symptoms or doctors.
- Do something. Engage the battle. Demonstrate that Jesus is your Lord. You can talk all day long about your sweet faith while you sigh in discomfort. Talk is cheap. Add this to your talk: Worship in the direction of your problem. What better way to demonstrate that Jesus, not your problem, is uppermost? And when I do that, I find fear a very short step away. I have initiated the battle, not run from it. And Jesus always wins the fear battle.
- Cooperate with Jesus. Don't use Him. Using people in a relationship is bad. It shows they are a means to an end, helping you get something you love more. Many people use Jesus for healing. Instead, pronounce Him the Lord of this problem, healed or unhealed. How freeing it is!
- Give the healing you want to someone else. Jesus described it as no greater love (John 15:13). Become His partner: use your ailment like a pointer to identify someone ailing the same way, fighting the same battle of fear. Give them the faith for their healing. Your faith for yourself will grow also.
- Don't live for living's sake. Be realistic. Everyone dies. Your ailment might be how He takes you. Who cares? Would you prefer a driver on their cellphone to crash into your car and kill you? Somehow, some way, some time, you will die. So while you live, live for Him alone.
Paul Renfroe is a life insurance agent and entrepreneur, completing his doctoral work through the college affiliated with Christian International in Santa Rosa Beach, founded by bishop Bill Hamon.
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