There is a practice in the church that The Lord has provided for His people to enable them to be healed of disease or other afflictions. That practice is described in James 5 and relates to the laying on of hands and anointing with oil. When this process is followed correctly the power and authority to heal is given to the church so that the one suffering may be healed.
And it works. I have seen it happen and can testify to the efficacy of this practice in my own life.
But there is also what I have called here, “Healing in a virtual world.” In this case it does not require the person to directly lay hands upon the sick person but the illness is brought under the power of God from a distance through other means.
We see an example of this in these few verses of Acts 19 where tremendous miracles and healings were done by Paul without his immediate presence. So let's take a look at this and what it means today.
When Jesus walked the earth we saw one instance where a healing was performed without Him being present with the sick person. What we saw in that instance was the faith of one man was recognised by The Lord and rewarded with the healing of that man's servant.
You can find this occurrence in Matthew 8:5-13.
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
What we see from these scriptures is that the key to the healing being received by the man was not the fact that Jesus did or did not lay hands on him, but rather the man had faith. The centurion also understood the workings of power and authority and he understood that Jesus had both the power and the authority to do this miracle, or any other for that matter, without having to be physically present. The centurion believed God and recognised the power of God that rested with Jesus, and thus knew that anything and everything was possible to Him.
Similarly, the power and authority of God to heal without Paul physically being present was granted also as we see in these scriptures in Acts 19:11-12, which reads as follows.
11 And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.
Mere cloths that Paul had touched were being carried from him to people that were sick or possessed with evil spirits and they were healed.
Now I ask you, was there anything special about these cloths or aprons that gave them power to heal? No. They were ordinary pieces of cloth. The power to heal came through faith in the working of God and the belief that He would do these things even though Paul was not physically present to lay hands on the sick people.
There is also another way that we receive this virtual power and it is a commonplace occurrence in the church. Prayer.
The power of prayer can and has literally moved mountains and also enabled the healing of people. And prayer is in essence a “virtual” process for by it we communicate wants and needs to God and He answers in accord with His will. We can pray for the healing of people whom we are unable to physically come into the presence of due to distance or other causes, and know with confidence that The Lord will hear those prayers and respond. Provided we pray in faith and without doubting.
It is even better when we can physically lay hands on a sick person and anoint them with oil in accordance with the process defined in James 5:14-15. But that is not always possible and so we can always pray for each other and be confident that The Lord hears the prayers of the faithful.
One of the things we must understand and recognise is that the power of God to heal or do anything is not limited. His power is all encompassing and there is nothing outside of the power of God that cannot be resolved.
He created the universe and everything in it, things seen and unseen. He created the heavenly realms also and all the spiritual and angelic beings in it. He has established the plans and set in place the processes that will lead to their completion at the end of the age when all sin, sickness, evil and death are finally removed and man can live in perfect harmony with God.
There is nothing outside of His control or His ability. And God has given power to His people to have direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ to be able to use His power for good, whether it is to use the power to overcome the weaknesses and passions of the flesh, to overcome sin in this world or to receive His blessings and healings.
But understand this, all things will continue to be done according to His will and His plan, not ours. We see only the immediate issues of our own lives but God knows the big picture. We see what is in front of our eyes, but God knows what is in our future.
We may do as it says in Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” A man can and should plan his way but it is The Lord who will establish those plans according to His will for each of us and lead us to the destination of His choosing, which sometimes is not the one we would choose. But in the end where The Lord leads us is where He wants us to be and it is or will be the best thing for us.
So make use of the “virtual” process of prayer and understand that God can indeed do anything…if you hole fats to your faith in Jesus Christ. Healings are possible from a distance, as are any other things. But also understand that sometimes the answer we get from God is “No!” But when He says “No” there is a good reason for it and a better outcome to follow. Even if a healing does not transpire, there is a reason for it and it will all work according to His will. But the offer is there from God. Seek Him and he will lead you to your destiny which is to ultimately be free from all the pain and suffering of this world and to live a life with Him into eternity.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by James Chan)
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