Where are the Faith Healers? #COVID19SERIES
Welcome to the 3rd part of the series on God’s sovereignty and Healing during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Do check out the previous parts before reading this one (if you haven’t already).
Jesus sent out his followers expecting them to not only proclaim the gospel, but also heal those who were oppressed by demons through sickness (Luke 9:2). Jesus did so back then, and I believe he is still doing it now. The gift of healing, like all the other gifts, is not reserved for a special group of Christians. The Holy Spirit gives it as he wills and the believer is expected to desire for it earnestly to operate in it (1st Cor 12:11, 14:1).
I have seen a few posts on social media that seek to ridicule this special gift of God to believers during the COVID-19 global pandemic. These posts seek to question where the men of God who operate in the gift of healing have been hiding in the wake of the pandemic.
On my social media timelines, most of the people doing the mockery are atheists. Atheists according to the precepts of their worldview, do not believe in anything supernatural hence for them, to question the authenticity of the healing anointing in these times we are in is basically a projection of their worldview. You cannot fault an atheist for thinking and speaking like an atheist. However, I have seen some Christians share these same views in their posts as well. They dare men of God they call ‘Faith Healers’ to come out of hiding, walk into hospitals, demand to have access to those who have been infected by the deadly virus and heal them all. This very much sounds like a challenge. It sounds something like this, ‘if you claim to have the power to heal, prove it to us by healing the COVID19 patients’.
There are a number of assumptions and misinformation about the healing anointing that probably led to this perception. I will try and address them. First of all, the healing anointing is not authenticated by the number of people, the kinds of people or even the kinds of diseases healed. If there was only a single healing done by Jesus during his entire ministry here on earth, it is enough proof that he can heal the sick. If he healed only blind people in his ministry, it is still enough proof that Jesus can heal. The gifts of the spirit are given for the common good of believers not to satisfy anybody’s curiosity or doubt (1st Corinthians 12:7).
The second point I would like to establish is the sovereignty of God in the operation of the charismatic gifts, better yet, the sovereignty of God, period! God is sovereign. He takes orders from no one and answers to no one. He has the right to exercise his authority and nobody can question him on that. He gave gifts to men to operate in. He still decides who gets healed and who doesn’t, what to heal and what not to heal, when to heal and when not to heal. There were times when Jesus could minister to a multitude of people and heal all who were sick. Like in Luke 6:19, the bible says as the crowd pressed in to touch him, power emanated from his body to heal them all. You heard right, everybody was healed. But was everybody healed everywhere that the healing power of God was manifested? No! In fact there was a time when Jesus couldn’t heal anybody because of their unbelief. Then there is the story about the healing pool of Bethesda. According to John 5:4, periodically an angel came to stir up the water and right after that the water assumed some healing powers. The first person to plunge into the pool gets healed. So the sick man that Jesus met there, had been lame for 38 years and probably been at the pool for a number of years too, seeking healing. He tells Jesus how there is no one to toss him into the pool when it is stirred. And anytime he makes the move to enter it, another person goes before him and gets healed. The pool of Bethesda was a healing move of God that was in operation at the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem yet not everybody got healed when the pool was stirred. Even in this scenario, we are not told whether Jesus healed any other sick person at the pool apart from the man he spoke with. My point? The fact that not everybody gets healed doesn’t mean what happened wasn’t a move of God. The fact that no supernatural healing happens at all doesn’t mean God isn’t powerful enough to heal. Also, the fact that only a few people are healed doesn’t mean God cannot heal through his servants at all. He chooses to do as he pleases and very much according to his will and purposes for individuals. There are seasons and times for everything – including healing.
When Christians question the authenticity of the healing anointing on the lives of some men of God during a global pandemic, they are calling into question the sovereignty of God. I know some may argue that they are rather calling out the ‘fake faith healers’ who boast of their healing powers. That is still not enough reason to make social media posts asking for the whereabouts of faith healers during the COVID 19 pandemic. Whether or not people get healed supernaturally during this pandemic does not prove the authenticity of the call of God on anybody’s life. What we are told in scripture is that we will know the fake men of God by their fruits. Their fruits here stands for their general conduct, character and behavior. Do we call out evangelists because the world is drenched in sin and many more people are dying without coming to the saving knowledge of Christ? Do we not see it as a collective responsibility to spread the gospel even in the little corners of the world that we reside? Jesus said the gift of healing is one of the signs that will follow those who believe in him (Mark 16:17-18). One must believe in Christ to be a Christian, so it is our collective responsibility as Christians to pray for the healing of the sick and even raise the dead. So the more important question to ask here is this, have we prayed to God to heal those infected by this dangerous virus? This is not the time to make mockery of anyone. We are warned in scripture that in the last days there will be pestilence (Luke 21:11). The fulfilment of any of the end times prophecy is not a dent in the ministry of any servant of God. There will be wars and rumors of wars in the end times. Do we actually think when these things happen it is enough reason to mock men of God for not praying enough? Where is the sense of responsibility that we should all have concerning things that happen in our world? When Paul became blind, God didn’t use any of the Apostles to heal Paul. No! He used a disciple named Ananias (Acts 9:17-18). The point here is, God can use anybody to heal the sick. So instead of questioning why God isn’t using faith healers to heal those infected by the virus, ask why you haven’t been used by God to do it.
For if God’s people who are called by his name, would humble themselves and pray, he would hear their prayers from heaven and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14). The spread of this virus should rather drive us to pray for the sick and also for souls to be saved. It should compel us to pray, period! WIll God supernaturally rid this world of the virus? We don’t know. Will he do it through a vaccine? We don’t know. Does God heal through known traditional remedies? Yes, he does, refer to the story of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20. Whatever way that God chooses to bring healing to this world, it is up to him. Our responsibility here on earth is to pray and observe safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
I have always told people that my position on healing is the attitude I see Jesus exhibited in scripture when he came into contact with sick people. Anytime he did, he prayed for them. This is what I see in the bible. Do I always have the faith to lay hands on the sick and pray for them? No, I don’t. But this is something I am learning to put into practice these days. When Jesus told his followers to heal the sick in the bible, it was a command. This command still stands today. Will you obey him?
(Thanks for reading each of the articles in the #COVID19series. I hope you learnt a thing or two about healing, God’s sovereignty and what Christians should do when faced with sickness. It is my prayer that God will heal people of their sicknesses who read any of the parts of this series, in Jesus’ name, Amen!)