Monday, July 25, 2011

What goes up must come down

My boys love cartoons.  And I admit I am fond of them also.  Always have been.  Although my sons enjoy new stuff, their favorites remain the Bugs Bunny/ Wile E Coyote/Tom and Jerry era.  As an adult watching them you realize the same old gags are being used over and over.  My favorite: the infamous running off a cliff and not falling until you realize you have run off a cliff.  They just hang there, moving their legs slower and slower.  Then looking down; cut to shot of the bottom of a ravine.  Then they look into the audience and if you are Wile E Coyote hold up a "HELP"sign before plummeting down at incredible speed. Last shot is a small poof of cloud to know the character has landed. Fade to black.  Character is fine in the next scene, and right back at it. Classic.  But this got me thinking...why can't life really be like that?  Why can't we be free of the implications of natural Laws until we have knowledge of them?   Furthermore, why can't we be free of the implications of Spiritual Laws until we have knowledge of them?  More specifically, healing.

I am aware this is a highly controversial issue among Believers.  The most common questions: Does God heal? When does God heal? Who does He heal?  And perhaps the most important, How does He heal?  This last question is the one I want to focus on.

I do not pretend to be a theologian, I will leave that to greater minds.  But what I am interested in is helping people.  And in order to help people, I must come to an understanding myself.  I also do not claim to have all the answers.  I only know what I have studied, witnessed and learned in my own experiences and through the teachings of others. Although this is a highly complex subject, I hope I can lay it out in the simplest terms. 

Please stay with me as I digress.
Scripture is laid into 2 main Covenants that God had/has with mankind. The First Covenant was "The Law" (referring to the Ten Commandments and the ministry of Moses).  This Covenant was based on fear of retribution for sinning against the Law.  And even though God's mercy and long-suffering showed itself strong throughout this Covenant, it was highly based on fear.  Then Jesus.  Beautiful Jesus ushered us into a new and MUCH better Covenant with God the Father. This Second Covenant is based on Jesus.  His life, death and resurrection.  Based on love.  Which is an infinitely better motivator than fear.

In the First Covenant God told His people through disobedience of the Law they would bring a curse upon themselves.  "But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statues with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you."  Deuteronomy 28:15  These curses include (but not limited to) boils, tumors, scab and the itch, madness, and blindness.  It is a long and frighting list.  But the fact remains, these curses came upon God's people.   But wait...DO NOT despair!  We haven't brought Jesus into this yet....

Jesus brings us into the Second Covenant with The Father.  And not only does Jesus ensure that we receive the blessings written in Deuteronomy 28 (oh, yes...GREAT blessings) through our faith in Him, but we are no longer under the curses.  "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us- for it is written, 'CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE.'" Galatians 3:13

God can never go back on His Word.  In scripture it says that the very fabric of existence would crumble if He were to do so.  Instead He perfectly, lovingly and (might I add) brilliantly finds a way through it.  He does not take away the curses, just gives us a Way out of them.  Jesus.

Whew...still with me? I don't mean to be wordy, I just needed a base to start with so I can take you where I want to... the question of: How does God heal?

I believe our world is made up of natural Laws.  Such as gravity.  And in the same respect, Spiritual Laws.  I am not referring to The 10 Commandments, but to laws on how faith works.  And how healing works.  I believe these laws are fulfilled in a dangerous, deceitful, and mysterious place.  Our hearts.  
This is clear in the parable of the sower and the different types of soil Jesus teaches on in Mark 4.  And although healing is something Jesus has made a way for us to receive.  It is up to us to receive it.  And how do we receive, how do we pray for others to receive?  By allowing our hearts to be "good soil" so that when "seeds" of belief for healing are planted, they take root and grow.

And let me make one thing very clear, so that you cannot be deceived.  I do not under any circumstance feel that we should be condemned when we don't see healing manifest, in our own bodies or in those we pray for.  We are, all of us, harvesting different and varying maturity on the "crops" of our hearts.  This is a process.  This takes time.  For some it takes little time, others it may take years.
So, I think you maybe wondering where the cartoon fit into all of this.  Here we go.  It is unfortunate that natural Laws have power over us even if we are ignorant to them.  If a baby who has never learned about gravity falls off of a chair, she still falls.  Its not like a cartoon.  And if a person has a tumor, and does not know of the power and authority through Jesus Christ they received when they were born again, they can still die.  I wish that ignorance was a "get out of sickness free card."  But that is not how our world works. That is not how faith works.  

With the hope we have in Jesus and eternity with the Father, death is not the worst outcome to sickness.  However, in the realm, or through the "crop" of our Hearts we can see the supernatural manifest. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Happiest Place on Earth

We just returned from a family vacation to California.  It was really nice just going where ever we wanted, eating when ever we wanted...just doing things on a whim.

Part of our vacation was Disneyland, and I admit I was just as excited as the boys.  It has been many years since Josh and I visited California, and we had never been to Disneyland.

Well, sometimes living with myself is a bit exhausting...  I wish I would not over analyze every little thought or emotion that floats into my head.  But I couldn't take a break from it, even on vacation.

All I could see was the castle being smaller than I thought.  I saw chipping paint, and squeaky rides.  This so called "Happiest Place on Earth" was just a farce, a distraction from life.  I understand there is nothing wrong with some fun and frivolity, but there is no fulfillment to be had.  You can meet all your favorite characters, buy t-shirts and Mickey ears; but you will leave just as empty as when you came.  And your wallet will be emptier as well.  :)

Now please don't misunderstand me: I am not down on Disney.  I enjoy their movies, and I loved watching our boys get so excited when they rode their favorite ride, and I even sucommed to the Disney "magic" from time to time.   All I am saying is that there is only One place to find true fulfillment.  Everything else is a momentary distraction (positive or negative).

My last thought on this: We stayed late for "World of Color" at California Adventure Park the night before we left.  It is a light and water show, that is pretty spectacular.  But all I could think of as the crowd cheered was that God was the one who invented light and color.  And as I clapped, I was clapping for His magnificence, His splendor, His beauty.  He, the only One in which I have found purpose and true Love.