Don’t Let A Self-Centered Focus Obscure Your View Of God
Last week I wrote about having an outward-focused approach to divine healing vs. a self-centered approach. Of course, you should want “your healing” because Jesus died for you to be healed, and your healing glorifies God. However, it’s a sad thing when our whole approach to divine healing is self-centered. Such a truth should compel us to reach others with God’s goodness.
I promised to share a few stories of how God touched me when I got my focus off of myself. It’s not that God was waiting to touch me until I got my focus right. Somebody else with faith could have ministered to me and I could have been healed, regardless of my heart’s position. God’s isn’t a legalist.
However, for me to be healed by the release of God’s spirit through me (as opposed to through someone else ministering to me), something happened when I got my focus off of myself. Real faith is seeing God and being more impressed with him than with anything else. If we are self-centered and have our eyes on ourselves, our misplaced focus obscures our view of the Lord. Self-pity and self-centeredness are some of our biggest enemies.
Healed As I Was Singing
I got a bad cold right before my second trip to Russia. I was exhausted from lots of hard roofing work and little sleep. And I was planning to minister to the sick and teach on healing in Russia!
For the first few years after I started healing the sick, I got colds just like I always had. I hated being sick! Yet I didn’t let that stop me from ministering to others. Other people were healed even when I wasn’t doing so well!
I felt afraid that this cold would last for two weeks and ruin much of my trip to Russia. But the Lord told me to reject the fear that things would be as they had been every time before that I’d gotten a cold. So I just refused that whole line of thinking, and refused to worry about the cold ruining my trip.
A ministry called Eagle’s Wings was hosting a conference at my church, right before I left, starting Friday night. I was exhausted, my throat was raw, and my nose was runny. According to all natural wisdom, I should have stayed home that night and rested. But I wanted so much to go to the conference and sing to Jesus!
I went. God’s presence captured my attention and got my focus off of the way I was feeling. As I sang to God with all my heart, I began to feel my mouth and hands tangibly vibrating with God’s goodness. I was touching God. That sensation spread over all of my upper body.
What I was experiencing was so powerful that I wondered “How can I be experiencing such a powerful manifestation of God’s presence and my throat still feels sore?” My throat still hurt, but what really mattered was God’s presence. I kept singing.
About 15 minutes after the meeting finished, the soreness and symptoms were gone. I was healed! Even though I was up until almost midnight, the cold was stopped in it’s tracks and didn’t come back.
Does Anybody’s Right Elbow Hurt?
Several years ago I injured my elbow. Being a young man, I liked to do stunts. I used to balance on my two hands and then flip myself over and land on my feet. One day I was doing something like that, and I got hurt.
I laid my hand on my elbow and said “In Jesus’ name, be healed.” It still hurt. I did this a few times, but didn’t feel any improvement. I kept ministering to other people even though my elbow hurt.
Not long after that, I went to an event at a bilingual church in Reading, PA. I began to give words of knowledge as the Holy Spirit showed me what physical conditions the people there needed to be healed of.
I felt my right elbow get hot. Momentarily forgetting about my injury, I asked if anybody had pain in the right elbow. Nobody. I thought the heat on my elbow was another word of knowledge. Had I missed this one?
Then I realized that it wasn’t a word of knowledge. My elbow had been healed!
I had this experience at one of the early Global Awakening conferences. Randy Clark emphasizes impartation of spiritual gifts, and Global Awakening always has an impartation night at the yearly Voice of the Apostles conference. They pray for the Holy Spirit to touch people. Some people begin shaking with God’s power, feel heat on their hands, weep as God’s compassion overwhelms them, or experience other manifestations. They pick out the people who are experiencing powerful manifestations, then bring them up front to lay hands on them and pray more for them.
Readers who know me might wonder what I think of seeking impartation, since I emphasize that we have been given fullness in Christ. Well, I do believe we have been given fullness in Christ, and I do believe in impartation and laying on of hands. That’s a post for another week.
As they prayed, I desperately wanted to get zapped with a thousand volts of God’s power. But as I saw other people begin to shake, fall on the floor, and weep, I didn’t feel anything happening to me. I thought I had missed it, and I was bummed! I started feeling sorry for myself, feeling like God had passed me by.
Then I saw two people helping a young girl to the front. They needed to help her, because she was crying so and shaking so much that she could barely stay on her feet. When I saw how God was touching her, I said “Thank You Holy Spirit!” What I was seeing was so wonderful, so holy.
When I thanked God for touching her, I also began to weep profusely as God let me feel his compassion. I felt God’s power on my body and started to have trouble staying on my feet. Then the people came and brought me up front as well.
This God-experience was triggered as I got my focus off of myself and thanked God for touching someone else. When I thanked God, the same thing began to happen to me.
Next week, I’ll share some of my recent experiences in Wal-Mart along with some thought about how to approach people to minister to them.