There are a lot of religious traditions floating around the Church today that are just plain wrong. For years, Christians have believed these lies about all sorts of things. They’ve even gone as far as to lift them up as holy. Well, in this six-part series, Lies Christians Believe about Healing, I’m going to talk about the biggest lies Christians often believe about healing. Understand, it’s not about what I believe; it’s about what the Word of God says. The Bible says the traditions of men make the Word of God of no effect (Mark 7:13). In the same way that truth sets people free, traditions, or religious lies, keep them bound. These lies stop the Word from working in people’s lives because there is nothing to produce faith. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Jesus said in Matthew 15, when He was warning the Pharisees about all their unbiblical rules and ideas, “Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (verse 6). Personally, I want to make sure that I never believe a lie instead of what the Word of God says. I don’t want my heart to get hard and unperceptive so that I can’t see and hear the truth. I want to walk every day in faith so I can be healed and blessed in every way. I’m sure you do too. So let’s take the time right now to check up on ourselves. Let’s look at some of the most common healing-stealing traditions and make certain we’ve run them completely out of our lives.
Lie #1: God is pleased when you accept sickness gracefully.
I’ve never figured out how people came up with this idea, but somehow (with a lot of help from the devil) they did. They decided that, as Christians, we can glorify God by suffering physical illness or infirmity without complaining. There could be no greater lie in the world than that!
Only the devil gets glory when our bodies are incapacitated. God gets glory when we have the physical strength and health to be of service to His kingdom and a blessing to others. As Jesus said in John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit.” You can read the New Testament from front to back and you won’t find any record of God getting praise because someone on a sickbed said they were suffering for Jesus. No, He received praise when someone had a testimony to share with the world. In the ministry of Jesus, God got glory when “great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matthew 15:30-31). Clearly, it’s healing, not sickness, that glorifies God!
Lie #2: God puts sickness on you to teach you something.
I imagine the whole throne room of God shudders over this religious tradition. It’s totally contrary to the Scriptures. Nowhere in the Bible does God say that we learn truth and grow up in Him by suffering sickness, disease and turmoil. Not once in the New Testament does it say that sickness is the teacher of the Church. On the contrary, the Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Look at those verses again. What do they say corrects us? God’s Word! What do they say instructs us, furnishes us and makes us perfect (or mature)?
God’s Word! In addition to His Word, God has also given us the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. That’s why it’s important for us not only to be born again but filled with the Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is the One who will “teach you all things” (John 14:26). He is the One who will “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). If we want God to teach us something, we don’t have to go out and catch the flu. All we have to do is take time to open our Bibles. We can just read the Word, believe what it says, and let the Holy Spirit show us how to apply it to our lives.
It’s a simple process. Anyone can do it, and I can tell you from years of experience, it’s a lot of fun. I love getting up in the morning and heading for my prayer-and-Bible-reading place first thing. I always get happy looking in the Word and seeing what belongs to me as a believer. It’s a great way to start the day. If you haven’t already made it a habit to spend daily time in the Word, do it now. It will change your life. You can’t read the Word, believe it and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, and stay sick and defeated. God’s Words “are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh” (Proverbs 4:22). What you learn from the Word will bring victory in every area of life!
Lie #3: Sometimes sickness is a blessing in disguise.
The only time people believe this tradition is when they’re in church, and they only treat sickness like a blessing when they’re around their religious friends. The rest of the time, they’re trying to get rid of it. They’re going to the doctor, taking medicine and doing anything else they think will cure them.
Why? Because, as every sound-minded person knows, sickness is never a blessing. It’s always a curse. It’s the work of the devil, and it came into the world as a result of sin. The Bible confirms it. In Deuteronomy 28, God described in detail the curse that came on people who broke His Old Testament laws and said it included “every sickness, and every plague” (verse 61). But here’s the good news: As New Testament believers we’ve been set free from that curse! Jesus redeemed us from it. When He went to the Cross, He was “made a curse for us” so that the blessing of Abraham might come on us through Him (Galatians 3:13-14). Isaiah 53:4-5 says it this way: “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses)…. He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.