In the last blog I said there were three things important to note with the Canaanite woman and explained the first two, her faith and desires. The third notation is the healing of her daughter.
She had desire for her daughter to be set free from the demons, but there was also a desire for worship, for Him to notice her, for Him to feed her. She wanted Jesus! We see her desires being met, and her daughter healed! Praise the Lord! Satan had buffeted her daughter, but through the grace of God, through His all-sufficiency, she was not overcome, but she overcame! She was more than a conqueror!
We should have the same response to the invitation and call to believe Jesus, to desire Him more than life itself, and to worship our King be one of faith, persistence, submissiveness, and willingness to dwell with Him, seeking His face, adoring Him, and giving Him all the honor which is due His most holy Name!
When I taught this revelation from the Word at our School of Worship, I made the declaration I wanted to have the Canaanite woman faith. When you declare something to the Lord and mean it from your heart, you will probably have opportunity to walk that declaration out in the natural realm. And since we have the mind of Christ, we have the privilege of entering into Kingdom mentality and bringing that reality to the earthly realm. God will give you the opportunity to walk in His grace and truth.
The very next day after teaching this Scripture, Mark came home from up north where he is building our sanctuary with something on his leg. It looked like a bite of some sort, red, blistered, and a little bruised about the size of a quarter. He thought it might be a spider bite since he wasn’t around poison ivy or anything where his leg was uncovered. Sunday morning it looked a little bigger, perhaps a fifty cent piece size in diameter. At the close of worship we had a pot-bless and fellowship time then realized it was very uncomfortable. We looked and it had spread some more and was now painful when blood rushed down to his foot and it was very swollen. We went home and noticed it was looking perhaps infected since he had used a pin to drain the blisters. We cleansed and prayed and noticed two small bite marks. We then did some investigation into spider bites determining it was most likely a brown recluse spider which bit him.
Go ahead and do some research and the only thing you will receive from the world is fear. The prognosis is not good for these spider bites as it can lead to necrosis and take up to six months or more to heal. The pictures are grotesque and the facts not encouraging at all. We made a decision at that point to trust God and worship Him.
The Word says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit.” Paul tells us “in” everything give thanks, not “for” everything give thanks. We give thanks in the midst of sickness by proclaiming His Truth, “By His stripes I am healed” (1 Peter 2:24), “He took my infirmities and bore my sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17), “I am the God Who heals you” (Exodus 15:26). In other words in all things, we give thanks to God for His Word and for His truth and His grace, thus celebrating our victory and triumph in Christ. We don’t give thanks for those things which have us bound, but we give thanks that we don’t have to remain bound, by thanking Him for those truths which set us free. Our thanksgiving then uplifts the power of the Word in our lives, gets our faith moving and prepares us for the miracle working power of God in and through our circumstances. The Gospel message works! This was our intention. To give thanks not “for” the spider bite but “in” the midst of crisis.
The Word says everyone who came to Jesus was healed. We intended to go to our only Resource, the only One who is our sufficiency, and trust Him. You will notice through a careful reading of Scripture never did Jesus send anyone to Dr. Luke. He met people, healed them, delivered them, and set them free. If He did it when He walked the earth, He is still doing it now since He is our God who never changes.
The pain was excruciating for Mark when he would stand or start moving the foot. The swelling increased as the days wore on. It just happened this was the week of a big conference for the ministry he works for, so he would need to be on his feet twelve or more hours a day for three days. We had made the decision to trust God and we were committed to remaining unmoved. We thanked God and prayed for His grace to endure and what a privilege it was to stand in faith in the Only One who can heal. The leg looked worse each day, more purple, more swollen, more infected. But we continued to pray and believe as well as ice his leg as often as possible.
One of the most frustrating and fascinating things we experienced throughout this journey was discovering what most Christians really believed. Because there was this conference many people would notice Mark limping, and enduring intense pain each time he stood until the blood had fully flowed into the foot. They wanted to know what had happened. Out of perhaps 150-200 Christian, Spirit-filled people, there were only two who prayed. The rest told him he needed to see a doctor or asked if he had seen a doctor. Mark consistently replied “Yes, I have talked to a doctor.” They would ask what the doctor said. Mark’s answer was, “He said, ‘Trust Me’. Jesus didn’t ask me if I trusted Him. He simply told me to trust Him.”
Mark would tell people he only had Plan A with no options. Jesus alone! People would then tell Mark that God provides doctors to bring healing. He would tell them Jesus is the only Healer. Doctors can treat symptoms and introduce possible cures, but only Jesus heals. People actually got angry because he said “Jesus only”. He would then tell them they had Plan A and B and that was fine with him, why couldn’t they be fine because he only had Plan A.
These are questions we should all ask ourselves. Why is it so difficult for us to allow people of God to rise up in faith and believe God? Why do people think it is a reflection on themselves or their faith when others choose differently than they choose? Shouldn’t we be encouraged by the faith of our brothers and sisters who want to believe God for miracles? It is true Jesus died for all our sins and infirmities – Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” Why is it we get angry when people don’t see a doctor and choose to believe by His stripes we are healed and wait on Jesus?
Mark and I have been faced with this same challenge several times in each of our lives. God has always come through in His perfect timing, though not always in our timing or our way. Both of us have experienced personal encounters, healings, and amazing manifestations from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Each time we are challenged in life we need to exercise our faith by remembering His goodness. We remember to ponder His Word and seek Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We remember this is about relationship not merely a set of rules or something we do in order to “get” something out of God. We remember He is a God who makes promises and covenants with His people and has no intention of breaking those. And we remember He alone is the God who saves.
All that to say, God gave me an opportunity to live out my declaration about the Canaanite woman the very next day after I taught. I had to be desperate for God to heal my husband. I had to have an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ alone, His character, ability, willingness, grace, and unconditional love. This woman came to Jesus knowing He alone could set her daughter free. I came to Jesus, agreeing with my husband, only Jesus could set him free and heal his leg. She had a desire to worship Jesus and eat even His crumbs. Oh, I desire to worship Him every day! I will take everything He gives. And finally, she was commended for her faith and she received what she desired, her daughter healed. I too received what I desired, my husband’s healing.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!!!! Here are the pictures! Keep in mind most spider bites of this magnitude take months to heal. On the seventh day, Mark was pain-free. And though most Christians told him horror stories about necrosis, amputation, and even death, we chose blessing and life! To God be the Glory!