The video version of this news letter is here.
The paradox in the mind of every Christian is reconciling the incredible promises of God versus our own personal experience. Healing and wealth creation are two of the larger battlefronts. Jesus didn’t tell us to pray for the sick as much as He told us to heal the sick. The heart of the father is very clear on this issue… God is in favor of healing the sick. Yet, you and I see some healed and some are not. The pharisaic temptation is to develop a logical/mental reason in our theology to support our experience and to make room for the exceptions. I want to suggest that is the mentality of a servant, and to contrast it with the relational approach of a King or a Son… who simple believe and pray and act according to the heart of the Father.
The mindset of a servant is, “I’m a sinner saved by grace and I surrender, sacrifice, obey, submit, ask, pray, wait on God, and trust His control of my life. I submit to circumstances and serve other people.”
The mindset of a son or Kings is, “I’m a son with a calling and I receive, reign, decree, prophesy, proclaim, create, work, and overcome. I take dominion over circumstances and release others into the same level of empowerment in their metron.”
The servant is safely and intellectually putting the responsibility on God. The King is hearing the heart of God and exercising initiative to co-labor with the Spirit or heart of the Father. Servants are really strong on doing the “will of God” as opposed to their own will. The issue is that they never know what that is, beyond a set of rules that they have intellectually defined from the Bible. It’s exactly the pharisaic formula, and it feels equally controlling when you hear it or try to relate to it. The logical end of servants is that they produce more servants, in touch with their rule-oriented intellect, but out of touch with the heart of the Father. Let’s look at our two practical applications.
Prayer for the sick – Evangelicals used to teach cessationism: that miraculous gifts are not for today. Over the past 5-10 decades so many people have been healed that this belief has become untenable. Jesus gave us the power and authority to drive out diseases and heal the sick – It’s in the atonement (Isa 53)! That’s the exact heart of the Father. He’s not “willing” that any should perish (2Pet 3:9).
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick… 6 So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere. Luke 9:1-6 NIV
Servants exercise one of two choices: They won’t pray for the sick with any level of faith, or they will pray to convince the Father to do it as though he might not be willing. Jesus spoke to the waves, sickness and demons; so should we. People who are most effective in healing aren’t trying to convince the Father to heal the sick; they simply do what Jesus did and speak the heart of the Father with a word, address the problem, and command it to leave. They know that, as a son, they have been given power over disease. The “prayer of faith” is not another rule (prayer technique) to pray toward the disease. It’s simply praying the heart of the Father in every situation. Our Father doesn’t need to be convinced to heal the sick, and He’s already given us all the power and authority that we need.
“But, what about” – The very next intellectual objection from servants is always the same, “What about all the people who aren’t healed?” The son’s answer is always the same, “I will always pray the heart of the Father over the theology of my intellect.” The fact that the world isn’t perfect yet is simply a reflection that God doesn’t always get His way and that the Kingdom is still growing from a mustard seed 2000 years ago to a place where the earth is filled with His glory sometime in the future. We will not allow a delayed answer to prayer to take us out of the warfare or out of the heart of the Father.
Practically – I don’t go through hospitals clearing out the sick. However, when I cross paths with a person in need of prayer, I will always gain their permission to pray and command the sickness to leave. There is always an amazing anointing to pray for a willing person. God is 100% faithful even if the results are mixed. In my own experience, people do get healed as a result of that approach – lots of them! I will never trade “good results” for “no results” because I’m worried about my own reputation.
Prosperity – living out the abundant life is exactly the same issue. We’re called to be the head and not the tail, and financial abundance is also provided through Jesus’ redemption… and we’re responsible to implement it in faith.
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. Deut 28:12-13 NIV
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Cor 8:9 NIV
The servant mentality is too fearful to believe that God would teach them to create wealth, and they usually have a logical reason to support the dangers or evils of “prosperity.” If you abide in the heart of the Father, you will simply come to the opposite conclusion practically and Biblically.
“But, what about” – The intellect in servants always seeks a justification for the exceptions. If you want to remain in poverty, believing that prosperity is against the rules will certainly get the job done.
It’s not really about healing or prosperity; it really is all about the heart of the Father. Servants will debate these two issues tirelessly, but they are not yet able to experience the simple heart of the Father. Kings and sons live in a different and much simpler world; they do abide in the heart of the Father and they really do know His business in regard to their own metron and future. They don’t doubt and they really can pray the prayer of faith on the strength of that relationship. Kings “routinely” make a difference. They are “empowered” …and the difference is night and day in terms of attitude, prayer, persistence, and results. How do they respond in the face of setbacks or delays? Instead of inventing a “reason” why, they just stay right in the heart of the Father, pray accordingly and act accordingly. They are not driven by a formula. They understand that Kingdom warfare is not just about them – they don’t take the outward trappings of success or defeat personally. They keep their eyes on the prize… the sick are healed and they are generous out of their own abundance. When they run into an obstacle, they “eventually” find a way through it or around it… no excuses. In the mean time they are “abiding” and “warring” at the same time. Their end may be promotion to ruling over nations, or martyrdom… their relationship keeps them “in Christ.” Their heart is the Father’s heart, their work is in the Kingdom, their goal is big… discipling nations.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:7-8 NIV
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. John 15:15-17 NIV
Homework – So what do I do with all this? Ask the father to show you your metron and your future. Get it in writing and get to work on it. He will pull the curtain back on your destiny if you will look into the desires of your own heart and His heart with wisdom and persistence. You have both a relationship with the Father that is close and role in the Kingdom that is important, practical and vocational. Jesus came for that reason. We can do this. If you need help, take a look at the suggestions below. God is looking for enthusiastic, healthy and generous sons and daughters who put the Kingdom first.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord… Jer 29:11-14 NIV