Something that has long frustrated me is how we here in the Western world, in the Western church, don’t focus on the power of healing, on the transformative power of the Holy Spirit quite like we should, like the early church did, like Christians in rougher places still do.
It is not all bad, but for the most part it is in the Western world were you will find people focused more on worship music, on drawing crowds into mega churches, on curriculum, on conventions, on churchian politics, faith more as a name brand than an actual practice.
Somebody asked me why I go to church the other day and I said, “to praise and worship, because God asked us to give a day to Him, for fellowship and a bit of like-mindedness.” It was a terrible answer because that’s not really why I got to church at all. I go for refuge, for renewal, for refreshment, for healing for my soul. Healing! Emotional, spiritual, psychological healing, that life-giving force that is Jesus Christ. Life, as in something that moves like Living Water, that progresses and flows. I go to have “life and life abundant,” just like He promised.
True, “church” is just a piece of this, one has to actually pray, read the bible, have a relationships with Him more than once a week, allow Him into your heart and embrace Him as the Great Physician, as the cure for what ails you. One cannot just sit in church and absorb Jesus Christ through osmosis, although that is certainly a good place to start. Just don’t stay there forever, year after year, still waiting to find Him…. Dead, dead in those pews, now just a skelaton covered in cobwebs, still waiting. I jest here, but I’ve seen it and it’s sad.
Back to my frustration, I am in the business of healing, in work, in life, in faith, in supporting and serving people anyway I can. Far, far too often I encounter people in desperate need of healing and they are already Christians, they have faith, but they don’t have belief, they don’t know to turn to Him for healing, they don’t trust that He can fix it. For them, Christ is far away and disengaged from them personally. It is also true, sometimes we are not healed, sometimes thorns are left in our side becasue they have something to teach us, but for the most part we are to be whole, prospering within our souls, even if our bodies begin to fail us.
So, I find it infinitely frustrating when people are trapped in some emotional/spiritual affliction, and they do not know how to get out of it, they do not really know the Great Physician, how He came to set the captives free. None of us are expected to be perfect but we are expected to allow Him to transform us into better versions of ourselves.
This is part of the reason why the church is in a bit of a decline in the Western world and yet growing rapidly across the globe. In the West we are comfortable, a bit more shy about our need for healing. Many people around the world are in desperate need of healing and Jesus Christ is all they’ve got. In the West we tend to treat prayer more as a last resort, but for many in the world, it’s the only resort.
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God…” 2 Timothy 1:6-8