Sunday, February 22nd, 2015
Fellowship (Part 17)
Essentials: Group Healing (B)
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
James 5:14-16 (NKJV)
He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, 'Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.' And He laid His Hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Luke 13:10-13 (NKJV)*
Within God's healing prescription detailed in James Chapter 5 are one wise truth, one neglected step, one inescapable conclusion and one uncomfortable association:
1) One Wise Truth: In the Name of Jesus, God uses fervent, seasoned saints united in prayer to heal. Consider anointing oil as a binding agent.
2) One Neglected Step: Confessing our sins in fellowship is like a holy detox treatment. Admitting our failures to our brethren invites spiritual cleansing, group prayer and future accountability.
3) One Inescapable Conclusion: Sometimes, illness is connected to sin. Of the paralytic, Jesus prefaced his healing by saying, 'Son, your sins are forgiven you' (Mark 2:5).**
4) One Uncomfortable Association: The woman with a spirit of infirmity was victimized by Satan. Since Jesus found her in a temple and she 'Glorified God,' we conclude she was a devout believer.
Can believers be tormented by demons? Even under their influence? I believe so. If so, how did demons gain access to her? We don't know, but Jesus describes one sin that invites the demons of hell to attack us with God's permission: unforgiveness, as in ours toward others, regardless of cause.
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant spells it out quite uncomfortably: As the unforgiving servant was delivered 'To the torturers... So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses' (Matthew 18:34-35).***
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you or those beloved to you need healing, if illness is bringing you down or holding you back, then: 1) Read His Words on the subject; 2) Find godly friends who are wise; 3) Join in prayer with your brethren, and 4) 'Get wisdom! Get understanding!' (Proverbs 4:5).****
To Be Continued...
* Woman with a Spirit of Infirmity: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+13%3A10-17&version=NKJV
** Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%202:1-12
** When Jesus healed a man born blind, He made it clear that illness or infirmity is not always associated with sin. But according to the story of the paralytic, it can be a cause: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9%3A1-3&version=NKJV
*** The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+18%3A21-35&version=NKJV
**** FOR MATURE BELIEVERS ONLY! After God, my favorite author on the subject of spiritual warfare is Derek Prince, http://www.derekprince.org. I recommend two of his books: Spiritual Warfare and They Shall Expel Demons.
**** Also, consider this article on deliverance: http://www.greatbiblestudy.com/deliverance_believers.php
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.