One Sunday after worship my husband was praying healing over my neck and back! As I rested in the Spirit and continued to pray quietly, the Lord said, “By My stripes you are healed. Yes, Julie, it really is that simple!” He knows me so well! He answered my question “Really Lord?” even before I asked it because He knows I would have asked it! Then I asked Him to share more but His only reply was “By My stripes you are healed. It IS that simple!”
I know very well the Scripture which promises this healing! 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.” Jesus was literally pierced through His skin for our rebellion! Jesus was literally crushed and broken into pieces in His spirit for our perversity, crime, and sin. Jesus took the discipline, the chastening, and correction for our completeness and soundness! Jesus took the blows and bruising upon His skin so that we are made completely healthy! How simple! How profound!
It really is that simple because Jesus made sure of it! And since the Word of God says this, it’s a done deal! I believe it wholeheartedly and I hope you do too! However, our experiences don’t always match what we believe! We pray for healing yet sickness, disease, and pain keep coming on a regular basis. We know the results of living in a sin- riddled world will include some serious trials including sickness and disease and so we pray for God to heal us and the truth still holds…by His stripes we are healed!
Some people say this healing only refers to spiritual healing, not physical. Yet, the Word of God says our spiritual healing; our cleansing, redemption, forgiveness, and nearness to God come through the blood of Jesus!
Ephesians 1:7 “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” That’s spiritual healing!
Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” That’s spiritual healing!
If we believe His stripes only bring spiritual healing today, where is the hope for physical healing? Was physical healing only for the people who Jesus touched when He was on earth? Or was it because Jesus was their ONLY alternative for healing? Or did God HAVE to heal them because they didn’t have the medicine and treatment plans we have today?
I’m familiar with the arguments we use for the lack of physical healing we see in the United States today. Apparently we are so sophisticated and medically advanced here with God blessing us with brilliant doctors and research ability that He doesn’t need to touch and heal us Himself. He could! But He expects us to use the resources He has provided.
Then there’s the food argument. With so many preservatives being added to our food, our bodies cannot process all the processed foods, thus we see more disease. Then, animals raised for meat and dairy production are given natural and synthetic hormones to speed up the growth process and increase milk production, disrupting human hormone balance, having a negative effect on our health and causing cancer and other issues. God can’t heal us if we continue to consume all this unhealthy and unnatural food.
There is also the “God’s will” argument. We should just pray for God’s will to be done when disease hits. If it His will to heal us, then we will be healed. If it is not His will to heal us this side of heaven, we will be healed by going to heaven.
And then we have the thorn argument. If we have tried everything to be healed and aren’t, it is probably our thorn in life, just like the Apostle Paul. Since God’s grace was sufficient for him it should be sufficient for us. If we aren’t healed but don’t die, it must be God’s plan to let us suffer because we have Him and His grace.
Even though I believe whole heartedly God’s grace is sufficient, I can’t possibly compare the pain in my body with the thorn in Paul’s life, and we honestly aren’t given enough information about the thorn to conclude exactly how much pain he was in on a continual basis. Not to mention, God gave him the thorn to keep him from being exalted because he was given revelations of Paradise. Can any of us say the same? Absolutely not!
I personally hate pain (well, I guess most people do) but I also don’t like spending God’s money on doctors and medicine. I’m not opposed to them, just allergic to them! (that’s a joke – laugh) I am thankful for the ability of doctors and medicine to alleviate the symptoms of disease and sickness but I am more thankful we have a God who heals! Exodus 15:26 “…For I am the Lord who heals you.” Psalm 103:3 “Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases.”
It was after a debilitating auto accident more than a decade ago that I came to know the Lord as my Healer! Since then I’ve had numerous “sudden” healing experiences and also gradual ones, all of them miraculous! And through all of them, I learned much about “God and me”! Now, I NEVER take health and healing for granted! Every single day I’m reminded of the goodness of God when I walk, run, ride my bike, play with my grandbabies, play Frisbee, cook a meal for my family, laugh, clean, do laundry, iron, and the list is endless.
See… I couldn’t do any of those things for five years after the accident. If I tried, the pain was excruciating! Doctors had no solution other than get used to it! So I know first-hand the healing power of a God whose healing presence surrounds me every day of my life! Yet, sometimes the pain returns! The day I received prayer and heard God tell me “By My stripes you are healed. It really is that simple” followed a string of days where I was experiencing excess pain.
It was a day I came face to face once again with the living God who reminded me how cautiously I’d been living to protect and prevent injury and pain! I was living in fear of its’ return so not doing the things I wanted to do. It bothered me to know I was settling for partial healing when I knew God healed me! It is God’s “more than sufficient” grace that motivates me to say “More Lord! Complete Your work in me!”
I will soon pass over the half century mark in life, and that means the skin starts to sag, the muscles aren’t nearly as tight, the energy weans a tad, and well, the body just starts to look and act tired. Age had begun to limit even my ability to fulfill my desire to worship and praise the Lord with all my soul, strength, and mind! All the more reason to trust God for more! To give me all I need to live fully, to dance before Him without fear of pain and never again let that pain keep me from loving on Him! (Okay! Dance is a strong word choice! I actually just jump up and down like a pogo stick in my excitement but still…)
Though it was a spiritual challenge for me to move beyond where I was at with healing to a place of total trust in Jesus by pushing my body more, it’s a prize worth pursuing! See, when the challenge comes from the throne of God, He gives you everything you need to face it! So in effect, I have “worked out” with God all these years, and just need to make sure I stick with Him because He is a great coach! Turns out, it wasn’t really healing I’ve been pursuing! It’s Jesus! And in Jesus, all things are made new! (Revelation 21:5) Simple! Life-giving!
This all leads back to the beginning of this blog! Simplicity! If I want more, I need to keep it simple! If I want my experience of healing to match my faith in God for healing, I need to keep it simple! By His stripes we are healed! It IS as simple as that! No more! No less!
Oh, I can theologize, complicate, and debate this whole healing thing with Christians but then, why would I want to? Why argue about what His stripes are and what kind of healing He speaks of? Why limit Him? If I need healing, and it is by His stripes I am healed, then yes! It really is, as Holy Spirit spoke to me that day, THAT SIMPLE!
Sure – there are days pain comes back to try and drag me into unbelief! But then, I have only to remember His Words to me today! By MY stripes you are healed Yes, Julie! It really is that simple! Those words of encouragement stir me to faith, moving me to believe Him more than I believe the pain, to trust Him and His truth more than the facts, to walk by faith and not by sight!
Today, He says the same to you! By My stripes you are healed! Yes, it really is that simple!