Spiritual Diagnosis

Embarrassed

Among the many embarrassing situations in my life, I consider sitting in the midst of the ungodly in a doctor’s waiting room as one of the worst. As a child of God, I am convinced that I should not be suffering the same judgment as the unsaved, but unfortunately I do.

Though sickness may be God’s appointed means for my chastisement, the fact that I expect healing from the hand of a doctor is really what kills my spiritual ego. To preach healing, pray for the sick, and even see remarkable deliverances on several occasions, does not lessen my guilt or decrease the length of our prayer lines.

In reality, sickness is more prevalent in the church than the limited healing we receive.

The Crisis

As medical science moves ahead with advanced remedies and preventative vaccines, new diseases evolve with stronger resistance to antibiotics. The recent ‘Nile Virus’ situation at the U.S. ?Canadian border was just another scare reported in the daily news. It seems that almost everyone we know has a medical problem. Sickness has made remarkable advances over the past century, and the sad fact is that things are getting worse.

While the medical profession is struggling to find cures, the church is in a greater struggle to offer healing and deliverance to God’s people. As a result, sincere ministers are pressured to adopt many charismatic gimmicks in order to maintain their respect in the ‘man of God’ role. But, an honest minister will never cover up the lack of genuine Holy Ghost power by substituting it with emotionalism. The presence of the Holy Ghost in a service results in a genuine transformation in the lives of God’s people. Though vibrant worship may accompany the move of the Spirit, noise and physical manifestations are not necessarily the sole determinative evidence of God’s presence. The flesh cannot please God and will never be a substitute for the anointing.

Fasting and prayer are necessary, and will, on many occasions, bring deliverance when centered around a specific need. However, it is evident that the majority of those requesting healing remain sick. A good ‘cop out’ for us, as preachers, is to promise our people some future great move of God when healing will be outpoured on society. But healing is for today and should be coveted as such.

To adopt the methods of apostate ministries will not benefit the Body of Christ in any way. The parading and flaunting of a dozen healings on television does not reveal or relieve the thousands that return home sick. The Body of Christ must not incorporate the dishonesty of ‘spiritual charlatans’ and expect God’s approval. The Apostle Paul declares God’s true ministry as renouncing “the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully…” (2 Cor. 4:2).

The Cause or the Cure

Truth is reality, and our commitment to God demands that we walk in it. (3 Jn. 3&4). We must accept the reality of our present crisis. We, the children of God, are suffering as much as the ungodly when it comes to sickness and disease. Why should the plagues of Egypt smite the land of Goshen? Why is the angel of death entering into the house of the Israelite? The answer to these questions lies within the pages of God’s word. Scripture declares that, “the curse causeless shall not come…” (Proverbs 26:2)

Sickness and disease, as well as all natural calamities, are a result of sin. Man’s original sin brought God’s curse on the ground. (Gen. 3:17-19). Using the nation of Israel as an example, we can vividly envision this scenario. In Leviticus 18:1-4, God demanded of His people that they give up all pagan customs and lifestyles. Failure to do so would result in a negative response from the land. “… that the land spue not you out…” (vs. 24-28). Israel was promised blessings, health, and prosperity as long as the commandments were observed. (Deut. 28:1-14). A violation of God’s law resulted in all manner of disasters and diseases. Consumption, fever, inflammation, the botch of Egypt, emerods, scabs, madness, blindness, and astonishment of heart, are just a few of the diseases Israel would have suffered had the laws of God been transgressed. (Deut. 28:27-28, 34-35). To avoid or to withdraw judgment, God demanded repentance and change of lifestyle. (2 Chr. 7:14).

Today, the church may not be under the extreme ceremonial laws that Israel was under, but the principle of judgment still applies to the violation of God’s moral laws. In order to eliminate the ‘disease’, the cause must be sought out and corrected, whether it be on an individual or a national level. “Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment.” (Job 34:12). (1 Cor. 11:31-32).

Spiritual Diagnosis

Prophetic scripture does not exclude us from the aforementioned principle of judgment. The 24th chapter of Isaiah states that “the earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof: because they have transgressed the laws…therefore hath the curse devoured the earth…” (vs. 5-6).