God’s will

Healing School Part 4 – Our Commission

Title:  Healing School Part 4 – Our Commission

Subject Matter:  In this class we look at the times that Jesus sent out people as his representatives.  We see that healing the sick was always a part of the instructions and the equipment.  This includes the great commission, which applies to all believers. Continue reading

Does God’s Will Always Happen?

muddy_shoes_cleaningadvices_blog_comWhat is God’s will?  How can we know God’s will?  Does God’s will always happen?  Can we look at the world around us and assume that everything we see is because of God’s will?  If we pray for something and it doesn’t happen, should we assume that it wasn’t God’s will?

The way that we understand, define, or think about the subject “God’s will” is very important.  This is one of those topics that will affect so many other things.  It affects how we view God’s character.  It affects the decisions we make every day.  It is difficult to overstate the influence this has on the lives of people that believe in God.

In this post, I hope to provide a way to think about God’s will that will be simple, helpful, and most importantly, Biblical. Continue reading

Election

premium-qualityThis is the second installment in a collection that I am tentatively calling “Christian Dictionary.”  I am hoping to give my thoughts on some theological words that, in my opinion, are often misunderstood because of various traditions that surround them.

This article is about the Greek word “eklektos” that is often translated as “chosen” or “elect.”  It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of the definition of this word.  There are huge theological issues that rest on how this word is defined.  It affects how we see ourselves, and it affects our view of the character and nature of God. Continue reading

Casting Out Demons 5 – Overcoming Lies and Unbelief (Audio)

 

Title:  Casting Out Demons 5 – Overcoming Lies and Unbelief

Subject Matter:  The children of God have been given authority over the kingdom of darkness, but many Christians are unaware of this fact.  In this class, we covered the Biblical foundation for the power and authority we have been given, and worked to uncover some of the lies of the enemy that affect believers in this area.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded November 11, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Casting Out Demons 5 – Overcoming Lies and Unbelief

Casting Out Demons 3 – Different Kinds of Demons (Audio)

 

Title:  Casting Out Demons 3- Different Kinds of Demons

Subject Matter:  In this class, we talked about some more areas that demons operate.  Last week the focus was on the mind and emotions.  This week was about how demons affect people in their bodies.  We also spent some time talking about religious spirits and doctrines of demons that Paul mentions in his first Epistle to Timothy (1 Tim 4:1-4).  Becoming aware of this kind of activity can help you identify lies and wrong beliefs about the nature our Father in heaven, and about our position in Him.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded October 28, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Casting Out Demons 3 – Different Kinds of Demons

Timothy’s Stomach

Wine-20-alimenti_vino_rosso_Taccuino_Sanitatis_Casanatense_4182_detail_chaperonIf you have done any amount of Bible study on the subject of healing, you have likely come across material that uses Timothy’s stomach problems as evidence for a belief that sometimes sickness is in the will of God for Christians.

“Timothy’s stomach” is usually brought in to the discussion along with Paul’s thorn.  (I covered Paul’s thorn in another post, so please read that post if you are interested in this subject.)

The way I have heard this come into the conversation usually goes something like this:  “What about Timothy’s stomach?  Paul couldn’t heal Timothy, so healing is not always God’s will.”  Here is the passage that is being referred to in those statements:

1 Timothy 5:23

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

In this verse we see that Timothy has been struggling with “frequent infirmities.”  Timothy has been getting sick a lot.  He is having stomach problems.  I don’t think there is any way to deny that point, nor is there any reason to.  However, I believe that it is problematic to use this passage as proof that healing is not always God’s will, and that sometimes God wants us to remain sick.

When you read the passage, you see very clearly that Paul is telling Timothy how to avoid getting sick so often, and how to relieve his symptoms.  The goal of the advice is that Timothy is not sick anymore.  If it was God’s will for Timothy to be sick and suffer, then Paul was telling Timothy to go against the will of God when he gave him advice on how to feel better.

If Paul actually believed that Timothy’s frequent illnesses were God’s will, then he should have been saying something like “This physical illness and suffering are from God.  It is part of His mysterious plan, and He is using it to teach you something.  So, don’t do anything that would relieve your symptoms.  Timothy, if you want God’s will to happen, you need to be as sick and miserable as possible.”

Of course, that is ridiculous on many levels, and the hyperbole is intended.  But it does make a point.  If sickness is God’s will for Timothy, then it would be wrong for Paul to provide medical advice.  And from what we know of Paul’s character, he would not be contradicting God’s will like that.  Since Paul is telling Timothy how to get better, then Paul must believe that it is God’s will for Timothy to be healthy.  And that means Paul would not believe that God’s wants Timothy to be sick.  Jesus viewed sickness as an enemy (Acts 10:38), and so did his followers, including Paul.

So, I believe that should settle the biggest part of the confusion that surrounds this verse.  “Timothy’s stomach” cannot be used to prove that sometimes sickness is God’s will, because Paul is telling Timothy how to avoid being sick.  Wholeness, health, and wellness is what Paul’s advice is supposed to lead to, and we are on safe ground if we assume that Paul’s advice in 1 Timothy lines up with God’s will.

But why is he advising him to “stop drinking only water,” but to add some wine into his diet?  Why is he not ministering healing to Timothy, or telling Timothy to believe for his own healing, etc?

If you live in an area with unclean water, and you drink that water, and you aren’t used to it, you are likely to have frequent stomach problems.  However, if you use wine or some other beverage with antiseptic qualities, you can decrease your chance of getting sick.  This is what Paul was telling Timothy to do.  That is why Paul is telling him to drink wine.

That tells me that sometimes some good advice on how to avoid getting sick in the first place is appropriate. But It absolutely does not tell me that sometimes God wants people to be sick.

Let me compare this to something that is more common today.  What if someone is smoking 2 packs of cigarettes per day, and they have developed lung problems as a result.  You could minister healing to them and see God heal all their lung problems.  But if the person continues the behavior that caused the problem in the first place, the condition is likely to return even after they have been healed.  Some practical advice, wisdom, and common sense is appropriate sometimes.

This passage in 1 Timothy doesn’t teach us that God wants Timothy to be sick.  In fact, it means the opposite.  The purpose of the passage was to get Timothy to be strong again, and to help him avoid being sick.  This is offering practical wisdom on how to avoid a recurring problem that is hindering Timothy.

Read the passage again, and ask yourself this question.  Does God want Timothy to be sick, or to be healthy and well?

 

 

Healing part 6 – Overcoming Wrong Traditions (Audio)

 

Title:  Healing part 6 – Overcoming Wrong Traditions

Subject Matter:  This is the sixth part of a series on healing.  Putting your trust in church traditions, or traditional beliefs, will cause problems if those traditions and beliefs are contrary to scripture.

In this class we examined some traditions that can lead people into a mindset that is not in agreement with the life and ministry of Jesus.  This is a form of unbelief, and it will have a negative effect on your ability to minister to others in the area of healing.

One way to overcome or break free from these kinds of traditions is to find the truth in scripture, and intentionally change your mind so that it agrees with Jesus and the Bible, no matter how uncomfortable that process is.  The goal of this teaching is to move the listeners in that direction.  I hope you find it helpful.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded September 23, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Healing part 6 – Overcoming Wrong Traditions

 

Healing part 5 – Learning from Jesus in the Scriptures

 

Title:  Healing part 5 – Learning from Jesus in the Scriptures

Subject Matter:  This is the fifth part of a series on healing.  In this class we examined some of the passages in the Gospels where Jesus was healing the sick.  From those passages, we pulled truths and principles that will help us as we continue changing our thinking and our actions so that we are more and more like Christ.  Healing was a major part of what Jesus was doing, and in order for us to accurately represent Him, healing should be a major part of what the church is doing.

Speakers:  Neal Leazer

Recorded September 16, 2015 at Spirit Filled LivingHope Chapel, Apex NC

You can download the audio by right-clicking on the following link:  Healing part 5 – Learning from Jesus in the Scriptures