101 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT HEALTH AND WEALTH
- If I received news from my doctor that I have a life threatening medical problem and I came to you for help, what could you do and what advice would you give? Pastors are faced with these types of situations all the time because when people are facing trials they turn to whoever they believe is close to God. I am sure you have heard and read about the crowds that attend the faith healing meetings and it is simply because when people become desperate they will do anything to live – and that’s perfectly normal. I would in no way discredit a meeting where people have gathered to pray for the sick. If anyone has not been sincere that is between them and God. If you feel strongly that God is leading you to one of these crusades then by all means you should go. Is this any different than when people came to Jesus? These ministers are NOT Jesus and neither do they have any power in themselves but God can flow through them just like He can flow through us as we become instruments to help others. I personally believe in all of the gifts of the Spirit and the unlimited power of God! “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick AND THEY SHALL RECOVER.” (Mark 16:17-18).
Prayer is a vital component within the personal relationship with Jesus. It is the “straight-line” connection between God and man and very effective when we become serious about it. Yes, we should call for the elders of the church to anoint us with oil and lay hands on us but I believe that generally speaking, personal faith moves the Lord to respond to human need. It only seems logical that spiritual power could be multiplied when many people are praying for the same thing but that also does not mean that we do not have God’s full attention when we pray alone. If someone is in a coma or unable to respond I believe that God will honor our faith and raise them up if this is His plan. If they are not a Christian we can pray God’s mercy upon them and ask God to save their body and most importantly their soul. For the Christian, we ask God for wisdom in knowing how to pray and when we have His mind, we can proceed to AGREE with them, interceded and spiritually stand in the gap for them to be restored. When we study the ministry of Jesus, we know that as the Son of God, He had the power to automatically heal the world – but in the cases where the people were cognitive, it always came down to the individual believing that He WOULD heal them and this became the deciding factor. How many times did He say, YOUR faith has made you whole? We are reminded that many in His own home town did NOT believe He was the Savior and this hindered the release of the divine manifestations.
When an emergency crisis arrives, there are several solid actions we can take that will make a difference. We do not want to admit it but most Christians do NOT live as close to God as they should and when life becomes “serious” they are caught off-guard and realize they are not equipped to go to war. When life “shows up” sadly we are caught with our pants down and it is difficult to start the faith “boot camp” when bullets are flying over our head. In some cases there is not enough time to learn and develop faith and they pass away. The lack of understanding of God’s Word can result in destruction because knowing who HE is and who we are in Him is our sword and shield. This is why it is wisdom to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit as a “lifestyle” instead of only calling on God when we are in trouble. People usually do not want to hear about this, but a wonderful place to start is self-examination and repentance. Yes it is true, sins like unforgiveness, resentment, jealousy, envy for example can open up doors to many serious problems including our health and in many cases this is associated with our finances. (If we cannot work, we cannot make money). It is interesting to notice that one time when Jesus was ministering, a sick man was lowered down to Him through the roof because it was so crowded. Jesus forgave him of his sins FIRST and then healed his body as it seems this is a spiritual principal of divine order. I believe that God is much more concerned with the condition of our heart than He is with our physical infirmity. Since healing is a part of the blood covenant of Jesus we must see this holy vow as a walk of holiness and not as a vending machine where we ask God to help us get back on the road so that we can keep living a life of sin. When you have repented and made sure there is no sin that stands between you and God, it is crucial that you spend much time in God’s Word in order to absorb the energy of God and to saturate your mind and conscience with LIFE! God’s Word builds faith and this is a time when faith even as small as a grain of mustard seed can make the difference between life and death. Write out a list of positive confessions (what needs to happen in your life) and speak them over your body constantly. “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17) Let us realize as we have said before that if we have done everything we know to do, then it is time to wait before God and draw as near to Him as we can. This may require us to go into isolation or whatever it takes to remove ourselves from the distraction and the attacks from the enemy. Remember, there were several times when Jesus would get away from the world and spend time with His Father alone. One time He went into the desert for forty day and nights without eating. Whatever it takes for you to find the voice of God and to listen to His instructions – do it! I can say with confidence that we can use this standard thought when it comes to our prayer request and the different answers we may find the Lord is saying. I mentioned it recently but this deserves listing again. Yes – No – Wait – or Adjust. All of these can be the will of God and some of them we have heard before and will no doubt hear again. It is all about His perfect plan. As long as He is happy with our life – we should be thrilled. “And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed. Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done” (Luke 22:41-42).
- If I was facing serious financial problems and came to you for counseling, how would you advise me? This is a broad and vague question because there are so many causes and reasons why things happen. Without knowing the specifics of this particular situation, I would first of all ask you to backtrack and find where the problem began. Most general financial problems start with a lack of understanding about money. Finances are a resource that carries a responsibility of stewardship. God blesses us by giving us the opportunity to make money and realizing that it is His blessing makes us aware of how we spend it. Asking God to lead us in our purchases is a huge step toward learning how to walk with Him. Most people figure they work hard to make it and deserve the privilege to spend it however they want however, this is not allowing Jesus to be Lord over ALL of our heart. If Jesus is not the Lord of our spending then what is He the Lord over? When Jesus becomes our Master, the idea is that we are to learn how to become His servant. This includes listening to His instructions and trusting His decisions. This would be a wonderful place to start, and if we do not like this type of counseling then our situation will probably not improve.
Another step in the right direction would be to become serious about prayer. This may sound elementary but praying and fasting can help open the eyes of our heart and reveal what is really going on. Many times our life may seem to be a certain way but we can discover that we are actually not seeing correctly. Things that are important to us in the natural realm may lose their value when observing through the eyes of God’s Spirit. You see, prayer is not begging God to let us have our way – it is letting go of our control so that He can help us fulfill the destiny HE has chosen for us. Prayer helps prepare us to surrender our will which must happen before we can take the next step of the process – obedience. It is true that we can pray all day and nothing will happen unless we are sincere and serious about following what He is saying. He might tell us to give all that we have away, or He may give us instructions to help others or tithe or something that we thing is strange. Whatever it is, He has a perfect idea that will not only deliver us but help us get back on track. If we made some bad decisions and have gotten in over our head, He will reveal to us what to do. We will probably NOT like it and it might not be what we had in mind but it will be a solid learning experience that can help us in the future. Many times MORE money or a “bailout” is NOT the answer! Sometimes we must “re-structure” and start all over in order to find a new beginning within the guidelines of God’s perfect peace.
Let us list one last thing, even though many pages could be written about this. The idea of confessing God’s Word is a very powerful revelation. Most people and this includes Christians, have not realized the power of what they say. We have been called to study and pray and as the Lord shows us His will, we can confess this truth as a way to help us live in victory. It is crucial for us to repent and ask God to forgive us for not listening to Him. This will not remove the financial problems but it will bring us closer to God and clear the way to being able to listen to His voice. With us being pure and holy in our heart, we can speak forth His Word and extend our faith. As we hear His will and know where He is leading us, we can ask Him to help us and confess what we believe God wants for us. For example, we can confess statements like, “I am led by God and not my emotions” and “I walk in God’s wisdom” and so on. We can make a list and say it over and over to help build our faith and encouragement while allowing God to “CREATE” the fruit of our lips. He wants to bless us and take care of our needs but He wants us to be seriously involved with doing exactly what He says. These are just a couple of places where we can begin to realize that where God guides – He provides.