Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights (Jas 1:17). But the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy (Joh 10:10), and he will try to steal from us the perfect gifts we have received from the Lord.
Let's take for example, the gift of salvation. Consider a person who repents and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of his sins, and afterward receives an assurance of his salvation. That person experiences peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable. However, do you think the devil is going to say, "Oh, that person got saved, so we lost him. Let's leave him alone and move on to someone else."? No, he is persistent and tries to capture that soul back to himself once again.
Once a person is saved, the devil tries to tempt him to sin. And if he does sin, then the devil tries to make him doubt his salvation. The devil will tell that person, "You did this, and this, and this. You're still sinning. You're not saved." If the person listens to the enemy's voice, and does not fight back, he will begin to doubt whether he is really saved. I have seen this happen. And even if you remind the person of the joy unspeakable he had when he got saved, he may say, "Well, that was a questionable experience." That's because they have chosen to believe the devil's lie rather than the Word of God, which says, "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved...for 'whoever will call on the name of the lord will be saved.'" (Rom 10:9,13).
Jesus said, "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them." (Mar 4:15)
Consider the woman with the issue of blood, who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. The Scripture says, "Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction." (Mar 5:29). Notice that she felt in her body that she was healed. There was physical evidence that she could perceive. That often happens when someone gets healed. They may feel a heat or a warmth. They may feel that a lump is no longer there. They may notice that the pain is gone. They may try to do something they could not do before and find that they are now able to do it. In any event, regardless of the evidence, they perceive in their body that they are healed.
Let me remind you that the person who prays for the sick must exercise faith, which is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen (Heb 11:1). So too, the one who receives the healing must exercise his faith. However, the devil is not going to take that sitting down. He wants to kill, steal, and destroy. That's his nature. So he sets about trying to make the person doubt the healing he has received. This temptation may begin immediately after the healing, or soon afterward.
The devil will try and give the person a pain or other symptom that he used to have before he was healed, and then try to tempt the person to believe he is not healed. The healed person must fight to keep the devil from stealing his healing. It's spiritual warfare. In the spiritual warfare, the healed person must take up the full armor of God and use it, especially the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For example, he may say, "By the stripes of Jesus I was healed." (1 Pe 2:24).
This is why when someone I pray for gets healed, I often admonish them to hold onto their healing and I give them spiritual medicine to take each day. The spiritual medicine is comprised of some Scripture verses about healing that the person can recite aloud at meals daily, just like they might take natural medicine with meals. The meal time is a reminder for them to take this spiritual medicine. This helps them to learn to keep their healing, so the enemy doesn't steal it.
Let me illustrate this analogy below in a chart:
|Person exercises faith to be saved, along with repentance||Person exercises faith to be healed, and does something he could not do before.|
|Person experiences an assurance of his salvation and receives a witness from the Holy Spirit.||Person feels in his body that he is healed of his infirmity.|
|The devil comes to make the person doubt his salvation. He will provide the person with evidence to back up his assertion.||The devil comes to make the person doubt his healing. He will provide the person with evidence to back up his assertion.|
What happens next in the chart above depends on the individual. The one who has been saved either let's the devil steal the seed of God's Word that was sown in his heart, or he fights back with his faith and the Word of God, persistently holding on to his faith in Christ. The one who has been healed either let's the devil steal his healing or he maintains his healing by faith and fights back with the Word of God.
I want to emphasize that not every healing experience is exactly the same, and not everyone will feel in their body that they are healed at the moment they receive prayer. Sometimes you have to receive it completely by faith and don't have any immediate evidence to prove you are healed.
Therefore, if someone says he has researched certain people who have received healing and found that they were not actually healed, we must keep in mind what I have just explained. Receiving a healing is one thing and keeping one's healing is another. We cannot blame the one who prayed for the sick if the person does not keep his healing. I admit there are fakes out there who claim to heal the sick but do not. The devil can counterfeit the real thing. But there are still genuine gifts of healing and miracles, and we must not doubt that, just because certain people did not keep their healing.
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
Author's note: This post is part of a series. If you enjoyed it, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar, such as The Power of God to Heal and Healing is in the Atonement. I also recommend Keeping Power of God, The Conditional Security of the Believer, You Must Be Born Again, Evidence of the Second Birth, The Name of Jesus and my daughter's poem, Faith Should Not Depend on Feeling, which she wrote the same day she received a divine healing in her body. You may also access my blog directory at "Writing for the Master."
Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.