F F BOSWORTH
CHRIST THE HEALER
CHAPTER 6 APPROPRIATING FAITH
THE APOSTLE PAUL IN HIS LETTER to the Galatians tells us exactly how God works miracles. “He [God] therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit [the Spirit is the Miracle-Worker], and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing [message] of faith? Even as Abraham believed God” (Gal. 3:5-6).
Moffatt translates this passage: “When He supplies you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, is it because you do what the Law commands or because you believe the gospel message? Why, it is as with Abraham, he had faith.”
In this passage God tells us that He works miracles upon our bodies in exactly the same way as upon our souls. It is by having us hear and “believe the Gospel message.” In fact God’s way of doing everything is by making promises and then by fulfilling them wherever they produce faith. He says it is with us as with Abraham. How was it with Abraham? Note carefully:
He simply believed the Word of God. “He had faith” that God would do exactly as He promised.
He was “fully persuaded” by the Word of God alone.
He held fast the beginning of his confidence when his faith was tested.
He was wholly occupied with the Word of God in the matter.
He refused to cast away his confidence when God, by telling him to offer Isaac, was apparently removing the visible encouragement to his faith.
He “considered not his own body” or the fact that he was about a hundred years old. He didn’t look at “the deadness of Sarah’s womb” (Rom. 4:19) as any barrier or any reason for doubting that Isaac would be born. These things, which, according to nature, made the birth of Isaac impossible, were not considered by Abraham as the slightest reason for doubting. He knew his age; he recognized the barrenness of Sarah. He weighed the difficulties; but notwithstanding the impossible, he believed God. Under utterly hopeless circumstances, by “looking unto the promise of God” he “waxed strong in faith,” being “fully persuaded” (“absolutely certain,” Weymouth) that God would fulfill His promise.
Note well: It was by “looking unto the promise of God” that Abraham “waxed strong in faith.” Every one that. . . looketh upon it” [the brazen serpent, God’s remedy and God’s promise] was likewise the condition God required for the healing of the dying Israelites (Num. 21:8). When coming to God for healing, be sure that this shall be your attitude, because there is no healing promised except on this condition.
THE BASIS OF OUR FAITH
When we base faith on our improvement, or are affected by our symptoms or by what we see or feel instead of by the Word of God alone, just to that extent ours is not real faith. To be occupied with what we see or feel is to exactly reverse the condition God lays down for us to follow. “Every one that … looketh upon it, shall live.” This simply means that every one who, like Abraham, occupies himself with God’s promise so that he is no longer affected by symptoms “shall recover.” It means,the Word of God (not what we see or feel) shall be the basis of our faith. Our looking unto the promise of God is a good reason for looking to God for mercy. Then there is no time to stop looking until God withdraws His Word. Note that it was by continuing to look unto the promise of God that Abraham experienced the miracle. To be occupied and influenced by symptoms instead of God’s Word is to question the veracity of God. Instead of making God a liar, Jonah, from within the fish, gave the name “lying vanities” to the symptoms and circumstances that seemed to stand in the way of his expecting God’s mercy. Realizing that it was symptoms and not God that was lying to him, he said, “They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.” God never refuses to give mercy, but many “forsake” it by observing their symptoms. The symptoms are real, but become “lying vanities when they say to us that God is not plenteous in mercy to all that call on Him.
Abraham’s faith was not based on anything he saw. You must see to it that yours is not. All that Abraham could see was contrary to what he was expecting. After Isaac was born, Abraham had a prop for his faith. Through Isaac, “all the nations of the earth shall be blessed.” With his eyes upon Isaac, the channel through which God was to fulfill the rest of His promise, it was easy to believe. So God tested his faith, by telling him to offer Isaac, to destroy the channel. This did not daunt Abraham. Real faith thrives on a test. Since he still had God’s Word for it, he was ready to remove every visible encouragement to his expectation and yet continue to be “fully persuaded.” God had to halt him or he would have offered Isaac. This test was God’s way of perfecting his faith, not of destroying it.
If, after coming to God for healing, He finds you more encouraged by your improvement than by His Word, He may find it necessary to test your faith. This is to teach you the glorious lesson of believing His Word, when every sense contradicts Him. Faith has to do only with the Word of God.
In Hebrews 10:35-36 God says to all whose faith is based on His Word, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Heb. 3:14).
Many act directly contrary to this. After being anointed and prayed for, instead of rejoicing in the promise of God, I have heard some say in disappointment, “I thought sure I was going to be healed.” I knew instantly that they had never caught the idea of what faith is. Their idea was to get well first, and then to believe that God had heard prayer. If God’s Word were the sole reason for their expectation, they would have held fast the beginning of their confidence. It is never Proper or reasonable to cast away your confidence as long as you have the Word of God as its basis. It is promised that we shall be partakers only on the condition that we “hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast” During the interim between God’s promise and its fulfillment, instead of watching symptoms and casting away his confidence because he had nothing visible to encourage him, Abraham did exactly the reverse. By “looking unto the promise of God, he wavered not through unbelief; but waxed strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Rom. 4:20 RV). After Jonah prayed for mercy from within the fish, he did not cast away his confidence because there was no visible proof that his prayer was heard. He held fast his confidence and added to it, in advance, “the sacrifice of thanksgiving.” After marching around the walls of Jericho, Joshua and the children of Israel did not cast away their confidence because the walls of the city were still up. Their faith was based on God’s Word: “I have given unto thine hand Jericho.” If none of these cast away their confidence, why should you?
Your state of mind should be the same as Noah’s when he was building a ship on dry land and putting pitch into the cracks to keep the water out. In his mind, the fact of a coming flood was fully settled, and the Word of God was the sole reason for this state of mind. Your state of mind should be the same as
Abraham’s. With him, the matter of Isaac being born was fully settled, even though all the symptoms were to the contrary. God’s Word to you concerning your healing is just as clear and explicit as it was to Abraham.
In Mark 11:24 Jesus tells us exactly the conditions He requires for our appropriation of any of the blessings He has promised. He says, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. That is, “Ye shall have them” after you believe He has heard your prayer. As Jesus said, “I thank thee that thou hast heard me,” while Lazarus was still dead. We should be able to say, “I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me” while we are still sick. “Ye shall have them” is your answer from Jesus and is also your proof that your prayer has been heard. To faith, the Word of God is the voice of God. He has not promised us that our healing shall begin until after we believe that He has heard our prayer. “If we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” If this is true, then believe your prayer has been heard when you really pray. We must be able to say> “We know we have the petition we desire of Him,” not because we see the answer, but because “God is faithful who also will do it.”
It is never proper to base faith on our improvement after prayer. I have heard some say, with great delight, “Oh, I am so much better since I was prayed for; now I know I will get well.” This means that in the place of God’s promise they have some other reason for expecting to get well. There is no reason for faith as good as the Word of God. Suppose, as soon as I pray for a man’s healing, he could know he was just 50 percent improved. This improvement in his condition is not near as good a reason for knowing he will entirely recover as is the promise of God. The promise of God is a better reason even though after prayer he should become 50 percent worse. Suppose you promise your child a certain thing and the next day you find that she is expecting exactly what you promised, but not because you promised it. She has some other reason for expecting it. This would grieve you. It would prove she did not trust your word.
It honors God to believe Him even while every sense contradicts Him. He promises to honor those who honor Him. God has promised to respond only to the faith that is produced by and rests in His Word, His promise. Some expect to believe they have been heard as soon as they feel better. He did not say that He sent better feelings to produce faith and then healed them. “He sent his word, and healed them.” God Himself “sent his word.” We did not “worm” it out of Him. How absurd, then, to doubt it. Is it not more rational to expect God to keep His promise than to expect Him to break it? Really, nothing can be more ridiculous or absurd than to allow symptoms or feelings to cause us to doubt the fulfillment of God’s promises. Suppose your child, after being promised a new dress, should sprain her ankle and should cast away her confidence for the dress cause the ankle was painful. You say to her, “My dear child, I promised to get you the new dress. Can you not believe my word?” She answers: “But, Mother, my ankle still hurts; it doesn’t feel a bit better; it seems to be getting worse.” How absurd is such reasoning. Now if it be absurd to doubt one promise because of pain, then it is equally ridiculous to doubt any promise. Suppose again, that after you promise her the new dress, she runs to the mirror to see if she looks any more “dressed up.” She then says: “I cannot see any difference; I do not look a bit better”; and then gives up the idea of having a new dress.
To learn how to believe that God hears us when we pray is a much greater blessing than is the healing itself. Then the prayer of faith can be repeated ten thousand times, for ourselves and others. In this way our whole life can be spent in obtaining the fulfillment of divine promises.
We have seen how Abraham experienced a miracle; and God says it is with us “as with Abraham.” In this same way, we may all receive the fulfillment of God’s promises, “who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Rom. 4:12).
*ALL MINISTERS ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR TIME INCREMENTS TO BE MET. ALL PREACHING MUST BE COMPLETED BY TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE THE TOP OF THE HOUR TO ALLOW FOR THE WORKING OF THE WORD.
**IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT BEFORE YOU PREACH YOU SPEND 30 MINUTES – SITTING IN A CHAIR – SAYING THE FOLLOWING – OUT LOUD:
*I THANK YOU LORD – ACCORDING TO 1 JOHN 2:27 – I HAVE AN UNCTION TO SPEAK. ACCORDING TO MARK 16:17-18, “WHEN I LAY HANDS ON THE SICK THEY RECOVER.” *I HAVE HEALINGS, MIRACLES, SIGNS, WONDERS, WORKING OF MIRACLES, WORD OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE GIFT OF FAITH MANIFEST THROUGH ME.
*ACCORDING TO JOHN 14:16 THE HOLY SPIRIT IS HELPING ME TO MINISTER. I DO NOT DO IT IN MY OWN STRENGTH.