Let’s continue our discussion on authority. While God the Father gave Jesus extensive authority, the authority Jesus gave the Twelve and the seventy He sent out seems limited to power over the demonic realm and the power to heal—all in the context of proclaiming the coming kingdom. The signs performed authenticated the message proclaimed.
In two passages Jesus spoke of future works that believers would accomplish:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12 NIV
And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well. Mark 16:17-18 (Note the word “signs.”)
So, do we as believers have the power to heal?
- We have no power of our own. Any power manifested through us comes from God whether through spiritual gifts or in spiritual warfare.
- Healing is mentioned as a spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12:27-30). Spiritual gifts are given for the building up of the church. This differs from healing given as a sign to authenticate the gospel. James (5:14) encourages us to pray when healing is needed. Yet if God chooses to allow an illness, like Paul’s thorn in the flesh, it is not because we have failed to exercise our authority. God acts in accordance with His sovereignty and His best for us however painful that may be.
So, first, remember the context of the New Testament miracles. They authenticated the message of the Kingdom, and later of the Gospels. Still, God will often pull a miracle off today just to bless His kids. Second, by all means, pray for healing. God will work in accordance with His plan.
Workout for the Week: Got Authority? Part 2
Memory Verse: “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:14
Do It: Pray for healing and trust God’s providence.
The spiritual discipline for March is fasting. Are you observing Lent? From what are you fasting? For me, I’m putting negativity and criticism in the rear view mirror. I choose to focus on joy.