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THIS SIDE OF THE CROSS

May 4th, 2011

 

Recently I curled up in my chair in our prayer room, and I asked the Lord if He had a word for me.  Instead of saying something about me (you know that was what I was after!), He brought to my mind a certain young man I know, someone who struggles with physical disability.  The Lord spoke to my heart, and prompted me to ask this person if he was living on this side of the Cross.  I tell you, that made me stop and scratch my head.  As I pressed in to the Holy Spirit, needing more discernment to be able to grasp this saying, He gave me a better understanding of the gifts that the Cross made available to His children.  Then, during the next few weeks, the Lord led me to a number of ministry teachings focused on physical healing, and I began to look more through my spiritual eyes than through my natural ones.  Those messages also brought conviction to my sometimes stubborn heart, one that too often gravitates toward the teachings of the world, rather than to the truths declared by the Word of God.  I will attempt to share this adventure with you in a way that makes sense, because ever since my heart lined up with Scripture, my attitude about supernatural healing has been significantly changed.  Although the word from the Lord initially pointed to someone else, no doubt the lesson was for my benefit.  I must admit, there is no new message in this writing, simply an old message seen through new eyes.

The Cross changed everything.  Before the Cross, man knew that God loved him and had more in store for him than what he had so far experienced.  He waited expectantly for a savior to rescue him from the ravages of all that sin had brought into the world, looking forward with anticipation to the day of his salvation.  He used God’s commandments and the prophets’ declarations as measuring sticks, but hope was difficult to sustain. Judging  himself according to those words, he would have always come up short.  In truth, those commandments and declarations were accomplishing exactly what God intended: to show the depth of his sin and provide proof of his desperate need for a Redeemer.  Although the prophets foretold of the Savior and the Passion that would lead to the Cross, man was not able to adequately grasp the meaning in their messages.  Consequently, I suspect most were never really sure of their eternal status.

Then came Jesus, and the Cross, and the old way of measuring one’s righteousness was turned on its head.  Through the sufferings and death of Jesus, and His Resurrection, man was offered the free gift of eternal salvation – the act of being saved, delivered, and healed.  At the moment man individually acknowledged Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life, and he believed the gospel message, that free gift was made available to him.  Now he could look back to the Cross and see that the measuring stick had been transformed into an instrument by which Jesus paid mankind’s debt in full, providing for his salvation, his deliverance, and his healing – He bore our griefs, carried our sorrows, and by His stripes we are healed, according to Isaiah 53.  So now, when I assess my own spiritual condition, I can see that I am indeed in right standing with my Father God, because at the Cross, Jesus paid the full penalty for my sin.  And because of my right standing with the Father, sickness and disease do not have a legal right to hold onto me.  However, I must know that truth before I demand my legal rights.  The devil does not play fair and will continue to harass me until I command him to leave me alone.  When I have taken authority over the enemy, and when I am walking in righteousness, I can command my body to come into alignment with what the Word of God says.  At that place, physical healing is available to me.

During His time on earth, Jesus healed the sick, cast out demons, cleansed the lepers and raised the dead.  After the Cross and before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus instructed His followers to do likewise.  That means:  Jesus has instructed me to partner with Him to preach the gospel and to minister according to His Word. 

Upon receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I was empowered to lay hands on the sick and command their bodies to be healed.  So, as I pray for my friend, I am reminded that on this side of the Cross, Jesus has already provided for his healing.  That means instead of pleading for God to heal him, I am to use the power and authority given to me by the Most High God, and command his body to come into agreement with the Word, and be whole.  Sounds pretty simple, and indeed it is – – assuming his and my faith are also in alignment with Scripture.  Do you know what Believers do? They believe.  And do you know what happens when Believers believe the full gospel of healing and speak accordingly?  People are healed, lives are transformed, and we become a living testimony to the love of God for His children, and His desire to see us walking in wholeness:  saved, delivered, and healed.

We ‘believers’ often have a difficult time believing.  We struggle to get our arms around these truths, partially because we apply our worldly minds and our natural senses when trying to understand supernatural concepts.  And partly, we struggle because much of the modern day church no longer teaches or walks in the supernatural.  Because of their unbelief, they do not see many healings or miracles, so rather than attempting to explain their lack of power, they simply remain silent or else tell us healings and miracles no longer happen. 

When we lack faith, or when we are ignorant of God’s Word, we walk without power or authority.  When we truly believe, we speak out truth and we act with power.  Jesus said that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can tell the mountain to fall into the sea, and it will obey.  I fully believe He meant that literally (which speaks to me about my desperate need for a lot more faith than what I presently have!).  

In the event you are still scratching your head, here is an analogy:  If you have very little money in your bank account, you will live frugally.  If I were to ask you to take a shopping trip with me, you will decline the offer because you have no money to spend.  If I deposit a million dollars into your bank account, you now have enough money to live a much different lifestyle than before – so long as you know that money is in the bank.  If you are not aware of the deposit, you will continue to live in poverty, even though you are rich.  Once you see your bank statement, your life on this side of the deposit will look much different than it did before the deposit.  Likewise, our lives should look much different on this side of the Cross than they looked before we knew about the Cross.  We should be making full use of the ‘deposit’ Jesus made for us.   

I have seen the power of God flow through the hands of His servants, including mine.  I have seen people get out of wheel chairs and walk, and I have seen many be delivered from the oppression of the enemy.  But I have experienced nowhere near the number of victories I am expecting.  In these last days, it will be imperative that we who believe walk in faith, lay hands on the sick, and command their bodies to be healed.   If you do not see immediate results, continue to stand in faith.  Are you a believer?  Then believe.  Are you faithful?  Then operate in the faith you have, and continue to ask Jesus to give you more faith.  After all, He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith.  If we want to see nations come to His light, then let’s get out there and let His light shine through us.  Do we want to see miracles take place?  Then, let’s lay down our pride (shyness is pride) and begin to call down miracles from heaven.  As for me, I am determined to live on this side of the Cross.  Jesus, thank You for the Cross.  Thank You for the price you paid – for me.

 

Romans 7:6-7

But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.  What shall we say then? Is the law sin?  Certainly not!  On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.  For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 8:3(a)

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin

Isaiah 53:4-5

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Acts 3:6-8

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them – walking, leaping and praising God.

Mark 16:17-18

And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. 

Matthew 10:8

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.  Freely you have received, freely give.

John 1:17

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 

Suggested Healing Ministry teaching: 

     David Martin: Spiritual Preparation for the End Times

     Keith Moore: By His Stripes

     Dr. Nasir Siddiki:  Various teachings on physical healing