Monthly Archives: July 2017


We live in a time of voice-controlled technology, which, most likely, will only get more so.  Imagine getting into your car and telling it to take you to an address and it asking if you want 158 on south Maple or north Maple.  It’s coming.

We sometimes forget the true power of the voice.  There are numerous ways to follow that thought but I’m heading toward faithfulness.  God, we are told, created through speaking.  “Let there be light.” LIGHT! And we can sometimes misplace the truth that our voices lean in that direction.  What we tell ourselves, about ourselves, what we say to others, about themselves, has power.  It creates.

This is the significance of the blessing in the Bible and explains why, once it is given, it’s done.  When Esau learns that Jacob received the pronounced blessing of Isaac, the words spoken over him even though he was disguised, he asks, “Is there nothing left for me?”  And there isn’t.  Isaac explains that he said it all.  When people used to say, “I give you my word”, it meant something.  One’s word was a created thing, more than a promise.  The blessing said over Jacob became literal, handing him the full inheritance.

In Romans 12, where we’re told to “Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse”, we’re being told to create the world through our words.  We’re being told to join the work of God in the lost regions of another’s soul.  People who seek to do damage to others are, for the most part, damaging their own souls.  They are deadening a part that should be functioning, that should be telling them that what they’re doing should never be done to any human being.  The restoration and healing that needs to take place there must start with blessing, with the creative saying that brings life into existence.

So, we need to not only bless those who persecute us but also bless those who love us.  We need to pronounce blessing to our children and to others’ children.  We need to bless friends and neighbors.  We need to say more than truth, but to speak life, the life that should be, into the souls of those we cherish.

The deepest blessing we can bring to another comes from the place of our own healing.  Out of the damage that sought to deaden our souls, to separate us from life, God, other people, out of the healing and hope we have received comes words that carry new life.  When we bless from our own healing, we restore and heal because the ones who need that most are living in the damage and darkness of their own deadening.  This is why the word of the Lord is living and active and effective and more than just the Bible.  It is the life that comes through the Bible, from the creating word of the one who restores and heals, truly.



After we are restored, reintroduced to our place in the family, we need to get healed.  All sorts of images are conjured up here of cancer disappearing, to visible disorders like leprosy, to being able to walk or talk or see again.  But the essence of healing that we find in the Bible is offered to all people and it is, quite simply, freedom.  It is the ability to move and act freely.  This may include physical healing, where the trap of restriction and even captivity of illness prevails, or it may be being set free from the constraints of the demands of life, family and society.

Healing is brought to people who are healthy and well, physically, but are mentally restrained.  Healing is brought to people who are spiritually oppressed.  Healing is brought to people who are trapped financially.  Usually, when healing takes place, the person is brought to a new understanding, similar to being restored, but with practical consequences.

They can finally move… either again or for the first time.

It is an amazing experience to find someone who is healed physically.  I have been a part of a handful of these moments.  Just last week a man came to church to tell me that it was after my prayer over him in the hospital that he began to feel well again, pulled back from the expectation that he had only a short time of life.  Another man, some time back told me that as I laid my hand on his shoulder and prayed, that a “warmth moved from (his) shoulder down to his hip” where a disease was requiring an operation.  He told me that as he came away from the prayer time he knew he was healed.  An examination, just prior to the planned surgery, revealed that this was true.

I experienced nothing within these profound moments.  I didn’t feel anything different than when I’ve prayed at any other time.  And that makes me reconsider Jesus’ words to the people who found healing with him, “Your faith has made you well.”

Faith isn’t a measure, an amount, of faith (which Jesus makes clear with his “mustard seed” parable (Matthew 17).  It’s a relationship… which tells us that it is interwoven with restoration.  When someone comes into the relationship that God always intended and, then, discovers the way life actually moves in living ways they find healing, freedom, the ability to move.  They choose to help when others shy or back off.  They walk into new understanding and their minds clear up with direction and purpose.  They find hope and relax and rest from anxiety.  Healing takes place in all sorts of arenas of our lives and the peace that comes upon us moves us to take hold of things we could never imagine were possible.

When we talk about healing we sometimes forget that this takes place in relationships, within our minds, in our spirits and can also be in our bodies.  But, once healing takes place, we find freedom and freedom is the reason Jesus came.  We sometimes forget that as well.  Salvation isn’t seen in becoming good.  It’s seen in freedom.  Once we are free in Jesus, we are free indeed.