As a product of the charismatic and Word of Faith movement in the early 1980s, I will be forever indebted to ministries who brought much light to the body of Christ through their teachings. I learned how to pray, exercise my faith and authority, resist the devil, walk in victory and minister to others by listening to those classified as Charismatic/WOF ministers and reading many of their good books.
Having said that, I want to touch upon one area of imbalance that I've observed in Charismatic/WOF circles that is hindering many people from receiving God's best in their lives. Modern-day charismatics and WOF Christians can quote the Word, but many are not walking in the fullness of the blessings that God has provided for us. For example, most know that healing is provided in the atonement and in the covenant God has made with us, but so few seem to be able to appropriate it in their daily lives. It's even worse for those who are not in the full-gospel movement and do not have light on such areas as faith and healing.
Ironically with more knowledge and more resources available on faith and healing today, there are actually more sick people in the Charismatic/WOF churches now than there's ever been. That shouldn't be. Something is awry. The large gap between what we believe, what we say and what we actually possess needs to be narrowed.
Just the other day my wife and I were conducting a weekend of meetings, and we made a call for the sick to come forward to be ministered to. To my amazement, every single person in that place came forward. These were, for the most part, full-gospel, tongue-talking Christians. And this is the pattern we are seeing in most full gospel churches we've been to.
Something is wrong. It is not the will of God for His children to be sick and diseased. This has troubled me and become a present burden. My heart goes out to so many who are struggling with their health. It is not God's fault that so many Christians are sick and diseased. There are causes and there are hindrances to people receiving healing in their bodies.
Think about this: There was a day in the old covenant era when there was not one sick and feeble person among 3 million Israelites. How much more ought this to be the standard under a new and better covenant established upon better promises by the precious Blood of Jesus?
"He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes" (Ps. 105:37, NKJV).
I've ministered healing to people for most of my ministry life. My wife and I have conducted healing schools and healing centers in the nations and in America throughout our many years in ministry. This is an area we have some knowledge and experience in, and yet we are ever growing and learning. As I stated, there are reasons Christians are sick; there are hindrances to them receiving healing. Many pray, and ask and plead with God to heal them. They say they are believing God and they are confessing the Word, but it's not working. Something is not right on their end.
We must understand that God does not change. His will and word are forever established in heaven. His will is always healing and brings divine health for everyone all the time. There are so many traditions, false beliefs and erroneous mindsets in the church today concerning healing. For example, many Christians believe that whatever happens in life is God's will. Some even have the audacity to say that God works in mysterious ways and you can never know what He's going to do. Where is that in the Bible?
What you will find in the Bible is the character of God and the revealed will of God for every area of life, including divine healing and health. What you find in the Bible is God's compassion for the sick and diseased in operation through the ministry of Jesus. Never did He send anyone away who came to Him for healing or a miracle. Never did He say that it wasn't His will to heal or deliver them.
Sickness and disease are a curse. Healing is the children's bread. There are many Old Testament scriptures that clearly reveal this. The entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28 is one of my favorites. How much more true is it under this present dispensation of the new covenant. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13). The curse cannot come upon God's children unless there is an open door for the enemy to have access.
Check this verse out in these two different translations:
"As the bird by flitting, as the swallow by flying, so the curse without cause will not alight" (Prov. 26:2, MEV).
"Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim" (Prov. 26:2, NLT).
This verse tells us that the curse without a cause cannot come. In other words, there are reasons that new covenant believers are sick. It is not God's fault. The problem is not on the sending end with God; it's on the receiving end with us.
I've been around charismatics/word of faith people and Pentecostals for most of my Christian life, and too many of them are failing to appropriate the blessing of healing and health for themselves. It has been my experience in observing them and in working with some of them that there are three primary hindrances to receiving healing and walking in divine health. Unbelief, unforgiveness and disobedience. I want to share with you what the Lord made known to me specifically about modern day charismatic/Pentecostal people, especially in the word of faith camp.
He said to me, not in an audible voice, or out here in the physical realm, but on the inside in my spirit, that one of the big problems with many modern- day Charismatics is that they've forgotten the "if."
"He said, 'If you diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases with which I have afflicted the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you'" (Ex. 15:26).
There is a condition attached to healing and health. It is obedience. In Deuteronomy we find the same condition.
"Now it will be, if you will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I am commanding you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God" (Deut. 28:1-2).
Although the blessings of God encompasses the totality of our lives, two of the main areas it covers are divine health and financial/material provision and prosperity. And this chapter also outlines the curses that will come upon God's people if they do not hearken to the Lord's voice and obey Him.
"But it will happen, if you will not listen to the voice of the Lord your God, by being careful to do all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you" (Deut. 28:15).
This is what I wanted you to see. There is a condition attached to the blessings of God that is not only seen throughout the old covenant but carries over into the new covenant as well. This is where many modern day Charismatics and word of faith people have missed it. The Lord showed me that it's a mindset. To them, it sounds like works. In other words, if we do everything just right, we will be healed. No, that's not it. The issue is walking in the light that you possess. The issue is obedience to what you know to do or not to do—obedience to both His written word and what He says to you by His Spirit.
"For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, then we have confidence before God. And whatever we ask, we will receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another as He commanded us" (1 John 3:20-23).
Here's the bottom line: If your heart condemns you you cannot have confidence toward God (1 John 3:21). You cannot come boldly before the throne of God. You cannot believe and receive what you ask for. You cannot resist the devil and take hold of the promises of God. You cannot exercise your God given authority unless you have confidence toward God. Condemnation kills that confidence.
Disobedience results in condemnation and condemnation causes your faith to shrivel. Confess and quote the Word all you want. Without obedience your faith won't work.
Obey the written Word of God, especially concerning your love walk. Obey what His Spirit is saying to your heart. Walk in the light of what He's revealed to you, and the blessings of God shall be fully manifest in your life.