“And He sent them (the twelve) out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing….Whatever city you (the seventy) enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘the kingdom of God has come near to you.” Luke 9:2; 10:8-9
Are you willing to have God heal through you even if you haven’t experienced God’s healing to you? This message from Jesus to His disciples wasn’t about their healing, but about the importance of healing in advancing the kingdom of God. Healing was to be a key to let people know the kingdom of God had drawn near, it’s God’s calling card. Mark 16:20 says that the disciples “preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” God wants to do things only He can do to help people know the gospel is true.
One day I went to breakfast with a friend and noticed that the man who took us to our table was limping. When he faced us I could see his hand and wrist were bound with some type of bandage, so I asked him what happened. He told me he had an accident on his bike the Monday before.
Now what. Maybe God wants to heal him right there so I should pray for him, but how awkward will it be in front of everyone? “Before leaving today, I’d really like to pray for you,” is what I said, and then tried to measure his reaction. All during breakfast I tried to envision how I would go about praying for him, or if I should. Maybe he was hiding in the kitchen waiting for me to leave for all I knew.
It turned out he was the one who checked us out and there was no line behind us, so I asked if he would come over to a private corner to be prayed for. He came, and I prayed a brief prayer of healing over him and then told him God loved him. He said thanks and went his way while we left the restaurant.
Did God heal him? I don’t know. What I do know is that I tried to love him with God’s love and tried to give God an opportunity to do something only He can do. Was I pushing too hard to get God to do something He didn’t want to do? According to the text above, I don’t think so. The bottom line is I don’t want to live a safe, comfortable, sheltered faith; I want to be on the front lines bringing the kingdom of God everywhere I go, even if I’m not that good at it yet. How about you?