W is for Will

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 23 of The ABC’s of Contentment. Today we’re on the letter W, and W stands for the word Will. There’s two verses today. The first verse is James 5:14 where it says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.” The second verse is James 4:14b-15 where it says, “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” Again, today’s word is Will and this is a very touchy subject. Some Christians could look at those verses and they could say, “Shouldn’t we expect miraculous healing? The age of miracles is still with us, right?” That’s a good question. I’ve done a lot of research on the subject. As you know, one of my favorite spiritual mentors is Joni Earecksom Tada. I mention her a lot because she’s been very influential on my thinking throughout my life when it comes to subjects like this. She actually went to many faith healing services when she first had her accident and she wrote a pamphlet called, “Where’s My Miracle?” When we’re done and I upload the video, I’m going to leave a link to the pamphlet in the description. In it, one of the first things she says is that the age of miracles is still with us. She says the mistake in this line of reasoning fails to understand the purpose for miracles in the New Testament. Miracles had a special place at the time of Christ because they proved who He was and who He claimed to be- the Promised One of Israel. Miracles had a special place at the time of the apostles because they proved they too were who they claimed to be. She goes on to talk about how all of this was happening before we had the New Testament written down. So anyway, we live in a society where we want everything to be a quick fix. However, God is not required to stick to a formula. Just because He did something in the Old Testament times, doesn’t mean He has to do it the exact same way now. Look at me. Do I believe in miracles? Yes. Take for instance my birth. The way I survived when I was two months premature; that shouldn’t have happened. The only way that can be explained is a miracle of God, and I’m alive to tell about it and proclaim His good news. When I had the surgery, we didn’t know that it would turn out as well as it did. But God did. The same thing happened when I was born premature in the Neonatal Unit. God had His hand on the doctors. He knew how things were going to turn out. He had a special plan. God worked through the doctors as I believe He works through people today. However, people have come up to me over the years and they’ve prayed for me many times as if prayer is what’s going to make me rise out of my wheelchair. You know what? I appreciate prayer because I do need prayer to deal with my disability on a daily basis. But people cannot make me rise out of my wheelchair. It hasn’t happened and I don’t expect it to. Does that mean that I did something? No. Does that mean that my birth was caused by a sin my mother committed? No. It means that God had plan, God has a Will, God has a purpose, things turned out the way they did, and that’s okay. I have to be thankful that I’m living, that I’m able to do what I’m able to do, and just have thankful heart. Here’s another example of a miracle; a story that my friend Jessica shared with me. Another church that she went to a while ago had somebody who was deaf in both ears, which means she couldn’t hear at all. So people prayed over her, and Jessica’s dad and the kids started talking and she was covering her head. He was like, “Are you okay?” She said, “They’re talking too loud.” So then, just to make sure that he wasn’t crazy, he started talking to her softer and softer and she could hear him. Again, the only way stuff like that can be explained is by miracles of God. So why does God allow some people to be healed and some not? Or is it just the way we think of healing in our society? I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t have the mind of God. But I do know that, like I said, God reserves the right to heal or not heal people physically as He sees fit. If He believes that physical healing is how they’re going to serve Him best, then He will. However, if He doesn’t feel that physical healing is the best thing for them, then He won’t. He is in control of all things. That’s what sovereignty and God’s Will is all about. Another great speaker, Elizabeth Elliott (she is in heaven now) said, “God’s will is never exactly what you expect it to be.” Amen. I know that. I’m a living example. My biggest problem with faith healers on T.V. is that people have a tendency to give them all of the credit. As if the faith healers are God, and God is not. In my mind, if those people really had that gift, (again, I’ve done a bunch of research) why are they making money healing people? Why are they going on extravagant vacations? They should be using their gift to honor the Lord and bring glory to Him, not themselves. When I was born and doctors didn’t think that I would make it, my mom and my family said, “Thank you Lord.” That’s what I wish people would say more often, but they don’t. They tend to give credit to the one human being as if they’re God; and only God is God. If it wasn’t for God pulling me through my birth, I wouldn’t be here today. It’s only because of God, by His grace, that I’m still breathing; even with some of the health issues I face with cerebral palsy. I don’t expect in my case (while I know healing can happen) the cerebral palsy to go away; and that’s okay. Instead, I’d rather study God’s Word and just learn how to make my joy complete in all circumstances that come my way. That’s what I’m really stressing in the series; how do you make your joy complete in all circumstances? Even when God doesn’t give you everything you ask for. It’s like, think about when you were a child. You knew Christmas was coming and you had toys and gifts that you wanted, but did you get everything on your Christmas list? No. Even when you went to the store with your mom or dad, did you get that piece of candy all the time? No. Why not? Because a loving parent doesn’t give you everything that you ask for. The same goes with God. Just because we ask for healing, and there’s nothing wrong if we ask Him for healing; the Bible talks about it. That doesn’t mean that God’s going to give it to us all of the time. My concern, and that’s why I started this series, is that as Christians, we tend to pray for healing; and that’s it. While praying for physical healing is not a bad thing, it shouldn’t be all that we pray for. If we don’t get that physical healing, like I think of that physical healing that the doctors thought I would receive when I had the surgery, we should be praying, “Lord, can you please help me learn how to live with this? Show me how to live and get through it; depend on you and be a blessing to others.” I hope that makes sense. I think I covered everything. Now let’s see, and that there’s my friend Jessica who who’s behind the scenes. She reminds me and keeps me on track. Just like Jodi says in another quote from “Where’s My Miracle?” She says, “On a scale of one to ten, how quick are you to ask God to remove that painful situation from your life? On the same scale, how quick are you to share the gospel with others? Remember, God saved you so that you could share the gospel with others. And your painful situation may be His best platform to showcase that.” Remember, if He doesn’t heal you, it’s not about you. It’s for His glory; to bring glory to Him. I think that says it all. Amen. Now let’s close in prayer. Lord, please make my desires the desires of your heart. Give me compassion for those who have greater afflictions than mine. Help me to be made selfless. Give me patience and endurance as I learn to pray according to your Will. Thank you that you’ve brought me to a place where I can accept the Cerebral Palsy as a gift and remind me on a daily basis, through your word and through people, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank you for healing me, not physically, but spiritually, because our world needs more of a spiritual healing than a physical healing. In Jesus name, Amen. That’s it everybody. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time when I talk about the letter X and X will be about the history of Xmas Bye. God Bless.
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