It wasn’t the widespread need for healing within the Church that led me to a life of healing ministry. At the time, in my thinking, just about every other Christian had their life together; I was the defective one. But God, in His abundant mercy and love, brought significant healing to my life, and then He showed me how healing ministry was to be my life’s work for the benefit of others.
Taking on that mission was not easy. Eager to share my personal healing experience and victory over the affects of sin (those I committed and those committed against me), I expected everyone to rush to the opportunity that I was offering them. Repeatedly, though, my offer was dismissed by the words, “but I’m already saved,” and that seemed to be enough.
Frustrated, I turned to God. If healing was what He wanted me to be about, then He needed to show me how to convey His heart on the matter. The answer came in a picture from the past. (It’s an amazing story how it came about, but that’s for another day.) From a starting point in Luke, the Holy Spirit led me on a journey back to the pivotal event of the Exodus. There, God uncovered the evidence I needed.
The Exodus Reveals Today’s Need for Healing
The story of the Old Testament Exodus fixes our eyes on the enormity of God’s power. The miracles that took place are nothing less than spectacular, so it’s really easy to miss the critical factor that’s linked to healing. Clues start emerging three days after the Red Sea crossing, but the momentum of the unfolding saga keeps carrying us forward, so you don’t track back to make the connection. And the space between then and 1500 years into the future doesn’t immediately connect it to the Cross.
But here’s the critical point of what happened.
While our attention is focused on the Israelites crossing over with massive walls of the Red Sea on each side, and Pharaoh and his army behind in clear sight, we don’t catch everything that God saw crossing over…
- Who was crossing over, and
- What was crossing over with them.
For 430 years, the Israelites were slaves…subjugated by a foreign people, influenced by their culture and their gods, familiar only with oppression and poverty. Then, suddenly, they are free!
- They’re overnight ‘conquerors,’
- Possessing unimaginable wealth,
- Leading their oppressors (those who chose to follow), and
- Their destination is a land flowing with milk and honey!
The problem is that their years in bondage did not prepare them for the life they were walking into. Conversely, they were conditioned only to think and act as slaves, and history bears witness to the fact that even though God was ready to transform them, Israel never reached His goal for them. Over and over and over again, God’s people failed to become who He intended them to be. For Israel, victory was never complete, freedom was never secure, God’s promises were never fully experienced, and they never fulfilled their purpose.
Fast forward to today…
Just as we distinguish the Exodus as God’s means of freeing the Hebrew slave, the Cross is His means of liberating the sinner today. The Cross is our Exodus experience, crossing over from death to life, from slavery to freedom. The sinner answers the question of who crossed over, but it doesn’t uncover what the sinner carried over.
To be saved, identifying as a sinner in need of Jesus, our Savior, gets us to the other side. How life goes from that point, however, depends largely on what crosses over and remains with us. The difficulty, though, is that much of what we bring is cloaked in years (sometimes generations) of “old man” conditioning. There’s where the invaluable blessing of healing ministry comes in…it uncovers what’s keeping us blind and in bondage, and it sets us free to become victorious followers of Jesus, powerfully transformed to impact the world as God intended.
This week marks the most important season of remembrance in the Christian experience…the week when Jesus gave His life as a ransom for sin, then rose again that we might truly live. If you have experienced your Exodus through the Cross of Christ, then set aside time during this holy week to return to that place, and ask God if there is anything you’ve carried over that He desires to remove, heal, and bring lasting freedom and peace to.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. (Psalm 139:23-24)