I received an email three years ago from a young man in India. He said, "I'm lamed, I walk with sticks, can God heal me?" I replied, yes God can heal him. I also send him several quotations from the gospel pointing out many occasions when Jesus healed the blind, the lamed, the deaf, and those possessed by evil spirits.
He wrote back reminding me that he wasn't interested in what happened 2000 years ago. He wanted to know if God can heal him today. Adding, he is embarrassed by his handicap that he hardly goes out. He feels very uncomfortable among people, is lonely, miserable and has no friends.
It was obvious my Indian friend had heard about the healing miracles of Jesus in the 1st century. He wanted to know if those miracles could be repeated in the 21st century. In his own life experiences, and the experiences of people he knew he could find no evidence of a lamed person who threw away his crutches, and walked on normal healthy legs. He is right, there is no religious institution where you could find a priest able to heal the blind, the deaf, or make a lamed person walk again.
What perplexes my Indian friend is that if it's true that Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, the lamed to walk and raised the dead 2000 years ago, why are priests, praying in the name of Jesus, unable to repeat those miracles in our time? The difficulty of finding a satisfactory answer to this question led the German philosopher Nietzsche to claim that "God is dead."
Nietzsche implied that God once lived, but is now dead. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nietzsche is wrong because he misunderstood the death of Jesus on the cross. Consequently, he couldn't accept the resurrection of Jesus, and failed to see the difference between the body and the spirit.
My friends, God is not dead. His Holy Spirit lives among us, and those who seek him in spirit do hear his voice, and do see him. The reason some people hear and see God, while others don't depends on how we seek God. Many believers think that praying, fasting and mentioning the name of God in every conversation is the path to God. These religious activities are important, but more important is practicing the word of God.
Without practicing the word of God, all else fails in relating us to God in spirit. In the gospel you will find many laws and rules of conduct, among them are two divine laws that connect us directly with God in spirit. These are: to love God with all your heart, mind and soul. The other is to love your neighbors as you love yourself.
When you love God, you would want to know his will by reading the gospel daily. This would lead you to the next level in your spiritual development, and that is to demonstrate your love for God by loving your neighbors as you love yourself; meaning to do onto your neighbors as you would want done onto you.
Why are these two the most important laws in the gospel? They open the doors of our souls and let in the Holy Spirit to live in us creating a direct connection with God, and opening our eyes and ears to see and hear spiritual revelations. These spiritual revelations present to us the evidence that God exists. The indwelling Holy Spirit also brings us God's wisdom and power to enable us create the conditions in which what we pray for takes on physical form.
While the Holy Spirit lives in our souls, we are informed by revelations of our power to heal the problems in our minds, body and souls. But just as our bodies and minds when ill need medications or surgery to return to good health; so too our ailing souls need the word of God, to help us do onto our neighbors as we would want done onto us, in order to invite the Holy spirit to dwell in our souls.
While the two mentioned cases may seem separate, they do overlap with each other. When your soul is healed by the gospel, your mind is informed by God's wisdom toward righteousness, and your body is strengthened by God's power toward good health to enable you create the conditions where the things you hope for your happiness will become yours.
This spiritual principle brings me back to my handicapped Indian friend. He wants to be healed by God because the gospel tells him God can heal him. However, it's important to know that God heals us in two ways. He may take away the effects of our problems, or take away the problems. In the first case, the problems remain, but their negative effects on us would go away. In the second case, both the effects and the problems go away. Not surprisingly, believers prefer the second case, but this does not always happen.
Concerning my Indian friend, I will say his physical handicap does not cause him as much problem as the effects of the handicap. The effects are that he has limited mobility and suffers from self-pity. He sees himself less than people around him, and consequently is discouraged from lifting himself off the ground and pursuing his dreams and happiness.
Let's assume for a moment that the effects of his handicap were taken away, he would still be a handicapped person, but his mobility wouldn't be limited because he would have a motorized wheelchair, a car he can operate with his hands, and handicap ramps on every building he wishes to enter. His enhanced mobility would boost confidence in his ability to do what others can do, and end feeling inferior to others. He would feel comfortable among people, and begin to attract new friends into his life.
These are the things my Indian friend wants and hopes for, and as I said before, the Holy Spirit can help him give physical form to these things. But, the Holy Spirit wouldn't intrude into my friend's life, and take away the effects of his handicap. Through prayers, he has to invite the Holy Spirit into his soul. Not only that but he also has to cleanse his soul by reading the gospel daily, and doing onto his neighbors as he would want done onto him.
I agree that this spiritual principle is unsophisticated, but Jesus intended it to be so. He wanted every body to understand and benefit from it, regardless of one's station in life or education. Unfortunately, due to the simplicity of this spiritual principle many have missed the mystery in it, and have gone after exotic and sophisticated spiritual principles that have led to confusion and break in the relationship with God.
More than anything the foundation of our relationship with God is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we can have no spiritual relationship with God. In Mark 1:7-8, we read that John baptized with water, but Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
John's water baptism is for the repentance of sins, but baptism by the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, connecting us with God in spirit, empowering us to resist the temptation to do verbal or physical harm to our neighbors, and bringing to fruition what Jesus said in John 14:23, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot be had with money, or prayers, fasting and being a devout servant of the church. Only a heart purified by loving God, and loving your neighbors as you love yourself can transform your soul into a comfortable dwelling for the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, many believers miss what has to be done to realize the transforming effect of loving God and their neighbors, as we read in First John 3:18,"Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth."
In verses 21-24 John added, "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God, and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his command and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us."
Whatever the size of your problems, I want you to be certain beyond any doubt that the Holy Spirit, working through your thoughts and actions, can help you eliminate those problems, or their negative effects on your life. If you have questions regarding how this could be done, send them to me for answers. Meantime, get more detail on the power of love and faith at: www.squidoo.com/meaning-and-application-of-faith