I bought chicken fingers for lunch Sunday – my only outing. I was very sick. The young man at the window told me that nearly 20% of university students had the flu. I know about the flu. I put my picture up on Facebook wearing a mask at my doctor’s office last week. I thought I looked nice. I have a good face for radio.
In my early days as a Pentecostal pastor, I often ministered using the prayer of faith to obtain healing for sick folks in my church. (Mark 16, James 5) The exception was anyone with the flu. I’d joke and say, “If you get the flu, don’t call me. I don’t have faith for healing folks with the flu.”
Then a humble man with no education called me. He begged me to come lay hands on him so he could be healed of the flu. God said, “Go!” I went. Walking up to him inside his small home, I saw him lying on the sofa. I could feel the heat of fever rising off his sweaty body.
Suddenly my faith rose. The Holy Spirit was helping me. I wasn’t there to do a nice church visit but to act in Christ’s stead. No small talk, just dealing with the devil. I rebuked his fever and commanded him to be healed in the name of Jesus.
I remember that this simple man suddenly raised his hands (one with only three fingers) and began praising God. He got up and followed me to the door, rejoicing. The fever was gone. His body was cool. He was well.
I’m a lot older now, a bit more cautious. But the Bible says that the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable. So, the gifts reside in me subject to being stirred up. I love the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Yet today I have the flu. I really do!
“Heal yourself,” you say? But I can’t. That’s why we have many different members in the body of Christ. We don’t have the same gifts. I say, “The gifts that I have aren’t for me. They are for the people God sends me to.”
Likewise, the gifts of grace in you. When you operate a gift of the Spirit by faith, you move past praying or asking. You have stepped into God’s kind of faith: with his authority, boldness, and certainty.
Months ago, a friend was due to have surgery for 100 large stones blocking his kidneys. He suffered much pain and had a drain tube installed. Laproscopic and sound blasting had failed.
Since I had prayed for him before without success, this time I asked him if I could shift into my supernatural mode and pray in the Spirit. “Sure,” he said. I prayed fervently for him in my heavenly language. He told me later that he didn’t understand a single word I said. Hey, I wasn’t speaking to him, but to God!
The next day at his pre-surgery exam, x-rays showed the kidney stones were gone. Two doctors verified it. His doctor confirmed this week that there are still no stones in his kidneys. He remains healed by the power of Jesus.
At the same time, since I am an honest preacher of the gospel, I know that nothing will keep you humble like trying to re-present Jesus as Healer to this skeptical generation.
Ron Wood is a minister, writer, and teacher. He and his wife, Lana, live in NWA near their two adult children (Scott and Rebekah) and their six lovely grandchildren. Sign up for regional seminars coming to a location near you.
600 words, column for NWADG weekly, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2017.