Still doubting that God heals?  Would you believe Jesus?  Jesus referred to the healing of Naaman in his explanation of why He heals certain people and not those in his hometown, see Luke 4.22-27.  Jesus’s point: faith brings healing and sometimes those closest to us cannot see us as anything other than what they expect.  Faith brings healing from God, who by His very nature is the Healer.

“How,” you might ask, “does this fit with 1 Corinthians 4.1-20?”

Paul and Apollos are the Apostles who started the church at Corinth.  Paul started it and Apollos encouraged its growth.  Both were faithful stewards of their gifts…they did what God told them to do and they did it well.  Apostles start godly things then they leave to start other godly works.  After Paul left Apollos came.  After Apollos left certain teachers came.  These teachers were skilled.  They filled the houses of the Corinthians with persuasive words.  However, they were not the words of God but in chapter four we see these words were about self-dependence and self-reliance.  These teachers taught that the Corinthians did not need anyone else; going against the teachings of Jesus and Paul.

Again (see last post Healing Power IIb – Meaning), this sounds like us!  We love those teachers who tell us we are self-sufficient.  We hear all the time how we have all we need; how we are pleasing God when we do things for Him; how we are the focus of all God’s attention.  We have another handicap: we live in the USA.  Our whole society is based on self-sufficiency.  Those that are not are often the hated poor, because they did not meet the highest ideal of our culture.  They failed and if there is something an American cannot stand, it is a failure.  So we hate them…pushing them to the extreme edge of our society.  Oh, our government has a program to care for them.  But we need not be bothered by poverty.  Of course poverty is not just financial in nature.  Poverty comes to people in many forms: educational, health, age, etc…

Are we not to love these people too?  Are they less deserving of love than our smart, healthy, young people who live near us; who have jobs and homes?  If our highest ideal is self-reliance then our answer must be “yes, they are less deserving.”  And that is exactly how our society treats these people.  We put them in a class lower than ourselves and tell ourselves “it is okay because it is their fault.” [These two paragraphs serve as an illustration not the point of this lesson…an illustration of a pervasive teaching that is totally and completely WRONG…but we passively accept it.]

Accepting ideas from teachers who are not faithfully devoted to teaching what Jesus taught is a serious error.  We cannot build our understanding of God on such teachings.  That is why, over and over again, Jesus warns us about such teachers.  Paul warns us to test them to see if they are faithful.  Accepting false teaching can kill your faith.  The Corinthians had done this very thing.  We have done it as well.

Naaman was filled with hope and acted on that hope.  We call that action faith.  He believed this prophet could heal him.  He had wisdom from wise teachers.  Today we abandoned such faith for things we can see, things we can do for ourselves.  We followed teachers who insisted that healing couldn’t happen today.  Those teachers taught us to look down on people who believe in healing.  Those teachers taught with persuasive words to abandon our hope that God heals miraculously.  They taught us that only doctors can heal, by their skill and through their treatments.  Charlatan televangelists confirmed these teachings.  They could not heal us.  They only wanted our money.  So this teaching is pervasive and easy to believe…if we based our faith only on our sight and things we can understand.

But God is still in the healing business.  He still loves to touch our lives in miraculous ways.  Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians 4.20, “For the Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God’s power.”  Just so we would fully understand, Paul uses a specific Greek word for ‘power’.  It is the Greek word dunamis.  It means mighty power, miracle and has the connotation of dominion (meaning it is all under God’s control).  It is the root of our word ‘dynamite’.  So God’s dunamis is His innate ability to oversee everything under His authority with His mighty power to bring about miracles!  Miracles are a part of God’s character, His very nature!  Where God is…miracles occur.  Paul warns those false teachers of self-reliance that when he gets to Corinth he will come with God’s mighty power and miracles will confirm his message.

So I want to encourage you.  Miracles happen everywhere God is King; everywhere He walks…in every life, in every situation God can and He will touch you and heal you.  Our expectation needs to be on the truth of this statement.  We should expect God to heal.  However, avoid telling God how and when He can heal.  That is NOT faith but a reliance on self that God detests.  Faith is the key; faith in a God who has absolute control over our lives.  God healed the hated commander of an occupying force, Naaman.  Jesus pointed to that as a lesson on faith.  Paul taught that wherever God is so is His mighty power…so are miracles! Only believe and be saved, you and your entire household (Acts 16.31). Be strong and courageous, because everywhere you go the King of Kings and Lord of Lords goes with you, with all of His dunamis! (Joshua 1.9 and I Corinthians 4.20).