God's Grace and Our Healing
Dr. Valson Abraham
Holistic healing - the harmonious relationship of body, soul and spirit - comes when we learn to live our lives governed by the grace of God.
How do we know we are governed by the grace of God? I submit to you a simple test. Ask yourself this question: When were you saved?
Now-what is the very first thing that comes into your mind when you read this question?
The answer to this question - the only biblical answer - is, “At the cross, by the eternal plan of God the Father before He created the world.” (You can read the details in Paul’s letters to the Romans and Ephesians)
There is a delicate balance between God’s sovereignty and human responsibility. When we keep this delicate balance, we experience healing and transformation. To the degree we tip that balance, we err.
God takes the initiative. We love Him because He first loved us. Even the process of conviction comes from the Holy Spirit. But we must act upon that conviction with faith and belief in the One who convicts us, the One who died on our behalf - Jesus Christ. Faith and belief always have Christ as initiator and object. When we keep this delicate balance, we overcome the world (“ for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. ( 1 John 5:4-5), thereby living in the truth that sets us free from the lies of the evil one. We believe and trust.
If we associate the moment of our salvation mainly with the day we knelt at our bedside, walked down an aisle, prayed the sinner’s prayer or any other thing, to that degree we make our salvation a thing of our own doing more than God’s grace.
To the extent we tip that delicate balance, we become less able to hear the Holy Spirit, and we become more vulnerable to the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil. We become more prone to the stress of believing lies rather than truth, of living at a lower level than God intended for us. We become more prone to doing things in our own power rather than trusting God.
We all have a tendency to reduce God to something less than who He is. Even as Christians, we do not always grasp the truth about what God has already done and how great His grace is. Part of this tendency is due to our own sin nature, and part of it is due to the “wiles of the devil,” who is always quick to distract us in subtle ways.
If we are honest with ourselves, none of us fully accepts the grace of God in our hearts, even if we believe it in our minds. Our habits of thinking and doing are still deeply rooted in fallen natures which want to do everything in our own strength. We are more ungodly in our thinking than we imagine.
An old hymn summarizes well the state of mind we all have at one time or another:
What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer
Oh, what peace we often forfeit
Oh, what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer
This simple idea embodied in the words of this old hymn lies at the heart of holistic healing and why we do not experience it more often than we might.
The devil will always attack us, even as he attacked our Lord, but he cannot gain a foothold in our lives when we, like Jesus, trust God as our true Father, more convinced by His grace than by our failures.
Instead of kicking ourselves for our failures, we must daily remind ourselves that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly.” Learning to live by God’s grace is a lifelong process. Training ourselves in our deepest parts that God saved us at the cross through His Son should better help us to accept ourselves because HE accepts us and aids us in transforming our flawed lives and characters. This is a difficult, but necessary, step toward holistic healing.
Psychology tells us that to accept ourselves, we must look into our past to heal ourselves. But God, the Great Physician, accepts us at a deeper level, and He did it long before we were born. To experience full healing, we come to know ourselves best when we first learn to know God’s grace to us before time began. This is when true healing takes place.
Our failure to live by this radical nature of God’s grace explains the poor health of so many churches and our culture. Too much of the church’s work is done in human power, not the power of the Holy Spirit and dependence upon God’s grace. When the church does not live out the full healing power of grace, we cannot live as salt and light, and we cannot change the culture around us. All of this makes the church appear powerless, unable to bring the Great Physician to a hurting world.
Paul preached the finished work of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9). His emphasis upon God’s grace in Jesus Christ helped to spread the gospel across the Roman Empire among all kinds of people.
Let us pray for an unprecedented Great Awakening to the truth of God’s holiness and God’s grace and work to see the gospel once again spread like wildfire throughout the unreached world!
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Father God, thank you for your great grace which you gave us through your Son, Jesus Christ, at the cross, eternally planned before the world began. Through your Holy Spirit, enable us to comprehend this incomprehensible gift, that we might experience more of your healing power and live as your lights in a darkened and needy world. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.