Healing: The Four Types And How They Are Intertwined
The ministry of healing is a tenet of the Christian faith but how often it is misunderstood. Meet two Christians and ask them for the definition of healing and you will most likely hear two very opposing viewpoints. How can this be for such a simple word and concept?
In Malcolm Hedding’s latest book called Mark: A Devotional and Contemplative Study of Jesus’ Remarkable Ministry and Passion, he points out that the Bible demonstrates four interlocking types of healing. Here they are as a bulleted list:
- Spiritual healing or healing that delivers us from sin and saves us eternally
- Physical healing or deliverance from disease
- Inner healing or the healing of a wounded spirit
- Demonic healing or deliverance from satanic powers
Malcolm points out that Jesus never walked around asking if someone wanted to be healed. Throughout the book of Mark, the healing stories of Jesus were sacredly performed only after someone presented themselves to Jesus for healing. It was in that presentation when Jesus revealed their faith to be healed. Without such faith, a healing could not take place.
So important to understand is that, and as stated above, these types of healing our intertwined. How often is it that you and I pray for someone to be physically healed without looking at the emotional healing that may have needed to take place in order for the physical?
Jesus healed the crippled man’s sins before healing his legs. Most certainly the crippled man’s friends believed that his healing needed to come in the form of physical healing but did not recognize his need for spiritual healing first. Jesus is the best discerner we have ever known. You and I also need to become great spiritual discerners and not just recognizers of the obvious.
The most troubling part of praying for someone to be healed is in hearing story after story of someone being prayed for and their not being delivered. To be honest, that has to be the toughest question that I often ask of God. Why are the closest loved ones I have either taking longer than expected to be healed or perhaps not at all.
An answer to this question that I recently read through Ben Carson’s book called Gifted Hands is that we are the Lord’s and we are only entrusted to one another for seasons and as benefactors of a gift. God is sovereign and his kingdom is eternal. Our hope is not of or in this world.
This is not it all to say that I do not believe in healing. I believe healing comes through anointed prayer. As stated in my devotional related to prayer called Prayer: God’s Building Blocks, I believe intercessory prayer moves mountains. What opens my mind in Malcolm Hedding’s book about Mark is that healing may need to be unlocked by one or even all four of the types found within the Bible before deliverance.
In my son and daughters’ children’s Bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible, author Sally Lloyd Jones calls God’s love: “Never stopping, never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love” God sees his work through to completion and it is our job is to believe and act on that faith.
If you are yet awaiting a healing today I pray in Jesus’ name that you will be healed. Continue to find those who will act in faith on your behalf around you. Do your best to seek out God’s counsel through scripture and rely heavily upon it. Be careful to stay rooted in the words of the Bible and not to be drawn into following mystic ideas that are here today and gone tomorrow. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. That is our great hope!