In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk. (Acts 14:8-10)
Numerous preachers and theologians insist that it would be wrong to say that if a person has faith to be healed, then he would be healed. This is like saying that if I have faith to move a mountain, that mountain might still not move. In other words, these preachers and theologians insist that Jesus lied to us, because Jesus was the one who said that if a person has faith, he can command a tree to be plucked up and a mountain to be thrown into the sea, and it would happen.
A better explanation is that the person has faith in God to save him, but has no faith in God to heal him. He has no faith for healing, even though he has deluded himself into thinking that he has it. Since faith is a sovereign gift from God, and since Jesus said that faith could even move a mountain, then for one to have faith for healing necessarily means that he would receive healing.
There is no room for the objection that this denies God’s sovereignty, because we have first acknowledged that faith is a sovereign gift from God. On the other hand, it means that those who insist that one can have great faith for healing and still not receive healing have made faith a matter of man’s will and have denied the sovereignty of God. And the fact that they have failed to resolve this subject in this manner, which requires only the simplest inference from Scripture, means that their pride in their own intellect and scholarship is unfounded.
Jesus associated healing with the people’s faith. Again and again, he said to those who received healing, “Your faith has healed you” and “According to your faith will it be done to you.” When he did not perform many miracles, what was the explanation? “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58). And when his disciples failed to perform miracles, what was the explanation? “Because you have so little faith” (Matthew 17:20).
Here we have also arrived at the real reason for this reluctance to associate faith and healing – it is a conspiracy against the biblical doctrine to mask and excuse unbelief. As in the days of Jesus, religious scholars would use their training to invent extended explanations for their lack of faith in God’s grace and power, and to justify their persecution against those who had such faith. But their complicated theories and formulations are unable to stand against the plain statements of Scripture. And they are exposed and embarrassed by anyone who would believe in the power of Jesus Christ and dare to proclaim it. God’s power has never ceased, but it is faith in God’s power that has ceased.
Perhaps you have been placed under a theology of unbelief for so long that you have become a spiritual cripple. The preachers and theologians have smashed your legs and snapped your spine. They put you in a wheelchair and assure that you have great faith. You will be fine as long as you do not get out of line or do anything to upset them. But as you read the Bible for yourself, you cannot help but wonder if the power has really passed away. An expectation begins to stir within you. This is the voice of the Spirit of God, awakening your faith to the truth about Jesus Christ. But then the oppressive darkness of the preachers and theologians come rushing back, and so you quench the Spirit and submit to the doctrines and traditions of men. Now, although they have more degrees than you have underpants, unless these people encourage you to have more and more faith – not just enduring, suffering faith, but miracle-working, mountain-moving faith – your underpants are more useful, because these charlatans are misleading you.
This is your life. This is your faith. Do not allow anyone to cheat you of the blessings of Jesus Christ, and then use you to mask their own unbelief and rebellion. They will have to answer to God, but why let them drag you down with them? Why should you suffer because they cannot believe that Jesus still works miracles today and that the manifestations of the Spirit continue in great power? Hear the words of faith and power straight from Jesus in the Gospels.
Even if you do not have faith for healing or for whatever the theologians say you cannot have, begin by adjusting your perception of Jesus from the one that unbelief presents to you back to the one that faith presents to you, to the Jesus that the Bible presents to you. Open up your mind to the possibilities of God’s grace and power. Let faith be revived. Do not let unbelief keep you down. If you cannot stand up with your legs, then stand up in your spirit. Believe! Have faith! And stand up! This man had never walked, but when he had faith in Jesus Christ, he walked. When you have faith in God, he will give you power to break through your limitations and do what you have never done before. And then all the unbelief and tradition of men will come to nothing.