Healing is always on the Father's heart...and I believe we are on the cusp of some of the greatest healing revivals we've seen yet.
I've heard from more people who have said they feel a great healing outpouring for "raising the dead" is about to happen. Let's keep having the faith to believe for this type of healing to be a "normal" way of Christian life...it's part of the greater works that Jesus told us about! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Since the great healing revival of the late 1940s, many anointed men and women have championed the ministry of healing. However, controversy has always been close by. Most of the controversy has been around three issues:
• Whether or not claims of healing were genuine.
• The lifestyles of prominent healers.
• Biblical theology about healing.
Rather than getting embroiled in controversies, we need to answer a simple question: How important is healing to the Father?
A Modern Day Sign
A few years ago, God revealed His heart to me about healing. He did it by giving me a glimpse of the prophetic significance of several cities within my nation. One of those cities was the city of Nelson. Here is what I wrote at that time:
"Those who are uniquely and powerfully called to champion the ministry of healing will be known for lifestyles of humility and holiness."
"Nelson will experience a profound healing revival. Healing is very close to the Father's heart. That which is coming is radical, radical, radical. Nelson is strategically located at the center point of New Zealand. A powerful mandate will come forth from this city to restore the ministry of healing to center place."
Prophets come in all shapes and sizes. Some prophets speak prophetically, but others actually become a prophetic message through the way they live their lives and the things they do. The same can be true of nations. New Zealand is destined to be a powerful, prophetic message to the nations and healing will be a central part of that message.
The Ministry of Jesus and the Heart of the Father
Jesus demonstrated the Father's heart to us. In John chapter 5, He was accused of healing a man on the Sabbath. Jesus' response was revealing: "My Father has been working until now, and I have been working" (John 5:17). The specific work referred to is that of healing people. Jesus went on to say that He could only do that which He saw the Father doing (John 5:19). When it came to healing, Jesus and the Father were in total unity. Jesus and the Father were both busy doing their work – healing people.
It's no surprise that Matthew summarizes the ministry of Jesus by mentioning three things: "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people" (Matthew 4:23 emphasis added). It's hard for us to fully comprehend just how intensely passionate Jesus was to display His Father's heart through healing the sick. Of course, Jesus wasn't the only one who was passionate. Multitudes flocked to Him in pursuit of healing. (Photo via Unsplash)
Healing is a manifestation of God's Kingdom rule. When people came to Jesus, they discovered not just a Healer who could heal, but a King with a Kingdom. At the heart of God's Kingdom is a tender Father whose heart yearns, even aches, for people to be healed. God's Kingdom is coming with increasing force, and healing will take center stage along with it. Healing revivals have come and gone. However, we are entering a time when the ministry of healing will have a continual prominence.
Why All the Controversy?
I wish I could say that all the controversy will go away, but it won't. The world is at enmity with the Father. James says it rather bluntly: "...Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (James 4:4). If healing is so significant to the Father, and the world is at enmity with Him, we can expect controversy.
Concerning the three main areas of controversy that have surrounded the ministry of healing I can say the following with confidence: There will be so many undeniable healings it will seem pointless to expose false claims.
"Prophets come in all shapes and sizes. Some prophets speak prophetically but others actually become a prophetic message through the way they live their lives and the things they do."
Those who are uniquely and powerfully called to champion the ministry of healing will be known for lifestyles of humility and holiness. A powerful wave of mercy and understanding will flow towards those who have championed the ministry of healing, but failed to model God's Kingdom in their personal and public lives. There will be a greater understanding and appreciation of the intense warfare endured by these wounded warriors. Understanding will give birth to mercy. Mercy will in turn bring forth repentance, healing and restoration. Some prominent ministries will arise with a second wind and astonish many.
Scholars, apostles and teachers will bring great clarity to areas of theological contention. We are of the Kingdom of light. Greater light and clarity is coming. Systems of thought that war against the ministry of healing will be dismantled with such authority and love, it will disarm even fierce opponents. Of course, as is true about any emphasis, wrong teachings have been promoted about healing. Some healing ministries became defensive when they encountered intense opposition. Others simply went beyond Biblical moorings in their passion to promote God's heart of healing. Devotion to both Biblical theology and the heart of the Father will bring any needed alignment.
The Future Healing Explosion
The way the Body of Christ ministers healing will change. One of the main emphases over the last few decades has been the faith of the person seeking healing. This emphasis is Biblical (see for example Matthew 9:22, 28-29, Mark 5:36, 9:23-24, 10:52, Luke 17:19), but God's intense love for people is an even deeper foundation.
Faith is an open-hearted response to the love of God. The core meaning of the Greek word for faith is trust. Love is the environment in which trust flourishes. If people know how much God loves them, faith follows naturally. We need to be careful we don't put people through mental gymnastics in their attempt to have enough faith. A couple of important questions to ask ourselves are:
• Do we treat people with care and respect?
• Do people feel loved or condemned after we have ministered to them? (Photo via Unsplash)
Nobody would have been healed under Jesus' ministry if He hadn't left Heaven and come to earth. Love motivated Him to come. Faith is our response to His incredible love. When the ministry of healing is firmly established on the foundation of the Father's love, demonstrations of power will be unprecedented. Healing will not remain on the sidelines. The nations will be embraced with the Father's healing, mercy and compassion. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
Heart of David Ministries
Nathan Shaw helps bring individuals and churches into dynamic encounters with God's indescribable love. Over the last twenty years he has been instrumental in ushering in significant moves of the Spirit in over ten different nations. Many have experienced life-changing prophetic encounters and dramatic visitations from God. Nathan is the author of two books: Passion and Fire and Unto the Least of These. Nathan is senior pastor at Fire and Destiny Centre, Dunedin (www.fireanddestiny.org) and Celebration Church, Mosgiel (www.celebrationchurch.xyz).
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