(This article is actually Chapter One from Sandra Conner’s book Healing Is For You! We have posted an excerpt here, with a link to the page (Healing Is For You!) where you will find the rest of this chapter and others from the book as well.)
Do you have a family physician? Is he kind, compassionate, and easy to talk to? Does he make house calls? Is he able to diagnose and treat all the various maladies that beset the different members of your family, without having to call in one or two specialists? Does he guarantee a complete cure every single time if you follow his instructions?
I’m sure by now, dear Reader, you’ve experienced at least a chuckle or two, for we all know that we will never be able to answer “yes” to very many of these questions about any human doctor. However, there is one doctor who meets all of the above criteria. He’s been in practice for thousands of years, and He hung out a shingle in Exodus 15:26 advertising His availability to all who have need of Him. He gladly takes on new patients daily, and He specializes in hopeless cases.
We’re referring, of course, to our dear Lord, Jesus Christ. Did you know that He is your doctor? Yes, the Almighty God who created our bodies and souls to be perfect, nevertheless knew that sin would invade our lives and with it the curse of death. Sickness, of course, is simply death in process.
So our gracious Creator made provision for cleansing from sin and sickness. He shows Himself a healer at various times, even in the book of Genesis, but in Exodus He makes the clearest statement of all about His relationship to our need of physical and emotional healing. When He delivered the Israelites from Egypt and began to make them a nation under Him, He first established a covenant with them to govern His relationship with them. The very first covenant promise He made to this whole nation of people after bringing them from Egypt is in Exodus 15:26:
“If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians, for I the Lord am your healer.”
Now, in the original Hebrew language, that word healer is literally physician, and to the Hebrew people, what the Lord had actually said was, “I the Lord am your physician; I am your doctor.”
A little later, He reaffirms Himself as the one who cares for their health, when He says in Exodus 23:25-26:
“You shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and water, and I will remove sickness from your midst. There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”
You see, God always intended to be the doctor for His people. He intended to remove sickness from them and cause them to walk in health and long life. His Word is full, from beginning to end, of promises about our healing coming from Him. Who is better qualified to do the job than the Creator Himself? He’s a doctor who never loses a case that is entirely turned over to Him, and His prescriptions have no negative side effects.
Now, the Lord is not against us when we believe that we need to make use of human doctors or medications. Psalm 103:14 says that He remembers our frame, that we are dust. He realizes that most of us have been reared in a society, even a church society, that has, for centuries now, been taught that God doesn’t heal the way He did when Jesus was here in the flesh, and that medical science is one of God’s substitutes for what Jesus once offered. He understands that we must have time to let His truth create faith in us and set us free from those teachings.
God has His own means of healing, which we discuss in detail in a later chapter, but He is so concerned that we be well and whole that He is willing to work through any channel that we allow Him to work through to get us well. If we believe we need a human surgeon’s hands, and if we pray, God will move heaven and earth to work through that surgeon’s hands for us. If we believe we need an aspirin and pray over it before we take it, God will bless that aspirin to do us some good.
We must, by no means, belittle the human medical profession. On the contrary, most of the doctors and nurses that I have known have been kind, dedicated, sacrificing people. If it were not for them, many of God’s people who have not known the truth about healing would have long ago been dead. And even if all believers looked only to the Lord for their healing, there would still be millions of non-believers who would die miserable deaths and suffer untold agonies if they had no access to doctors and human medicine. Christians who have a desire to enter the medical profession have a real mission field among non-believers for that very reason.
But beloved, as sons and daughters of God, we must always be raising our sights to God’s highest and best. We need to be honest with ourselves, and each other, and recognize that medical science is notGod’s substitute for what Jesus once offered. Rather, medical science is man’s best effort to help himself.
Dr. Herman B. Betten was only one of many medical doctors who, upon learning the full truth about God’s healing, gave up the medical practice completely and began ministering God’s Word and helping people receive healing through His Word and the power of His Spirit. In a sermon he preached in 1917, he explained why he gave up medicine. He said, “The reason I have given up the medical profession is not because I do not think it is a good thing, but because I have found something else that is better.(Sermon preached in 1917, quoted in Wilford H. Reidt, Jesus God’s Way of Healing and Power to Promote Health, p. 99.)
God’s people need to lay hold of that which is better. If we will stay faithfully in God’s Word, apply it in obedience, and spend time with Him in prayer, we will come to the place where we are fully convinced that God has healing for us from His own hand. We will come to a place of faith that will let us receive health and life from our Heavenly Father and not have need of man’s services.
God is the most experienced, most knowledgeable, best equipped, and least expensive physician, surgeon, nurse, and psychiatrist in the universe. He’s the better way to health. We need to set our sights on His better way. We all know from experience that when driving a car, whatever direction we set our eyes is the direction our car will take. So it is in spiritual things. If we keep looking up – to God’s highest and best way for us – we will rise to live on that level. We must not condemn ourselves for walking where we are, but neither should we be satisfied with always living with less than God’s best.
So what should we look at? JESUS. Is it that simple? Basically, yes. We can hear all kinds of arguments, using Scriptures out of context, to tell us that God may not want us well, or that He may insist on our having surgery or taking human medication in order to get well. In truth, if a believer were to take those over-used Scriptures in the light of all the rest of God’s Word, rather than the doctrines of men, revelation would come. I have often chuckled over the fact that so many who argue that we must use medicine, on the basis of Paul’s telling Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach, are the very people who believe that it is always a sin to drink wine.
And I never fail to feel sorry for people who insist that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was a physical illness, when Paul clearly says himself that it was an evil spirit – “a messenger from Satan” – sent to cause him problems in the natural. (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul, and every Christian, must be willing to suffer persecution for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus didn’t take that as our substitute. But He did take sickness, disease, and infirmity for spirit, soul, and body, so that we wouldn’t have to; and it is an insult to Jesus Himself for us to choose to carry them again in ourselves.
There will always be arguments against believing God for our healing because, since the Garden of Eden, there have been arguments against taking God at His Word about anything. But as you, dear Christian, spend more and more time in the Word and prayer, the Truth will shed light on all those lies, and you won’t have to depend on your own reasoning to overcome all the arguments.
So, does God Himself tell us in His Word exactly what to expect from Him concerning healing? He says in Psalm 103:3 that He “forgives all of our iniquities and heals all of our diseases.” Psalm 107:20 says that when the Israelites were sick and dying as a result of their sin, God “sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”The One Who forgives sin is the One Who delivers from its consequences. Are we saying then that sickness is always the result of sin? There may not always be a specific sin that leads to specific symptoms, but all sickness – death in process – is the result of sin gaining ascendancy over man in the Garden of Eden and bringing in the curse, which would eventually destroy all that sin had contaminated.
In Deuteronomy, chapter 28, when the Lord, through Moses, is instructing His people about the blessings of following Him and the curses of refusing to walk in relationship with Him, He lists a multitude of specific things involved in that curse. He names numerous diseases specifically, including mental sickness. But just so there won’t be any misunderstanding, in verse 61, He says that all sickness and disease experienced by man are part of the curse of the broken law. But the great news is that according to Galatians, chapter 3, Jesus took that curse for us, and we now have become inheritors of the blessings.
So here we are, back again to Jesus. He not only took our sin so that we could be righteous; He also took our sickness so that we could be well. Let’s read this same truth from another part of Scripture. Isaiah 53:4-5 (Amplified Version) says:
“Surely He has borne our griefs, sickness, weakness, and distress, and carried our sorrows and pains; . . . He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him, we are healed and made whole.”
Now, does that really mean physical and mental healing? Let’s be sure. Look at Matt. 8:16-17:
“And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill, in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.’”
Could it be clearer, Beloved? Isaiah was prophesying a Savior who would fulfill all of the covenant promises of the Father God, including the promise to be the perfect physician for His people.
Notice that this prophecy, when translated fully from the Hebrew, includes griefs, sorrows, and distresses, all of which affect the mind and emotions. And if we will look at Isaiah 61:1, we find the picture of Jesus coming to heal the brokenhearted also. Jesus says in Luke, chapter 4, that He has come to fulfill the prophecy in Isaiah 61, so we can have confidence that there is no hurt or brokenness is our spirit or soul that is not also covered by Jesus’ work. I can testify personally to two different times in my life when I experienced such a broken heart that I thought surely it was too shattered for the Lord to heal it completely. But, dear Christian, when I turned it all over to Him, He so completely healed my broken heart and restored my joy that I can barely remember how hopeless I felt. Jesus did that for me; no one else could have. He’ll do it for you too.
Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus was the “exact representation of the nature of God.” He came to show us in the flesh exactly what God is like and what He will do.
To read all of Chapter One, click here, and you will be transferred to the Healing Is For You! page on this site.