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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Healings and Miracles

Allen Jackson - Healings and Miracles

Allen Jackson - Healings and Miracles
TOPICS: Healing, Miracle

My father was a veterinarian, and it didn't take me too long to figure that out. God built us to get better. Now, we kind of yawn and go, "Yeah, well, what's the revelation in that"? Well, your iPhone's not built like that. You drop that rascal, it doesn't heal. They're going to line you up for a several hundred-dollar advancement. You can't even get a software download for very long without having to purchase new hardware. But God built you and me to heal. Our bodies are amazing in that. So when we pray for one another to be healed, we're simply asking that God would release us from anything that's impeding what he designed us to be naturally.

Now, miracles are a step beyond that. It's restorative. It's God restoring something. It's beyond the natural healing process. We'll talk about that in a few more moments. But God says he's in the business of both of those. Jesus demonstrated it for us. When they're discussed in the New Testament, they're discussed in plural. It talks about gifts of healing. There's more than one of the working of miracles. Now, the good news in that is because they are plural. There's more than one way to experience healing or a miracle. It's not a formula. It's not a location nor a specific person, or standing on your left foot, or raising your right hand, or being outdoors, or indoors, or in Tennessee, or Alabama. Now, this is a stumbling block because we often predetermine what we want God to do for us, and we're angry with him or resentful with him or we withdraw from him "Because he's not operating according to my plan, to my timeline, to the way that I wanted to receive. I didn't want the medical community involved. I wanted a supernatural miracle".

I talk to people frequently. I've been there myself when I was frustrated because I wanted God to bring healing to my body and he asked me to walk it out in a process, and I didn't want to process, I wanted my way. And with all the self-will of a toddler, I'd lay in the floor and kick, at least emotionally. So when we talk about healing, we need to understand that God is still sovereign and how he does that and the delivery system for that is not under our control. The way Jesus ministered to people was very diverse. Some he laid hands on. Some he spoke a Word to. Sometimes he spat in the dust and made mud and spread it on their faces. Sometimes he prayed and he had to pray again. I mean, it was a great variety of ways in which Jesus ministered to people, and that followed up in the church as it begins to emerge through the balance of the New Testament. And God is still moving in the midst of his people creatively. And you've got to be willing to lay on the altar your determination that God meet your timeline and your preference.

I know that's not easy. I'm not suggesting it's easy. I'm suggesting we have to choose a new path. Who said following God was easy? Who said being a faithful disciple of Jesus was supposed to be simple? Who said that it takes more of your intellect to understand physics than it does to understand the kingdom of God? We have dismissed and diminished our faith for too long. It needs to be the greatest pursuit of our lives. It is a lifelong pursuit. And when you're finished with your days under the sun, you're still a beginner. We'll step into eternity, see his kingdom in all of its glory. In 1 Corinthians 12 when the Gifts of the Spirit are listed, the miracles and healings are both in plural.

Now, there's another component to this discussion that we need to acknowledge, that supernatural healing or divine healing or praying for a miracle is not intended biblically or otherwise to be a remedy for aging. "Amen, Pastor Allen. And that is a nugget of wisdom, and I'm glad I came to church for that tonight". I think sometimes we want God to walk the clock back for us, and I think he can certainly restore and bring renewal to us, but we are creatures of time, and that's a very important part of the lesson that we have to learn as we follow the Lord because casualness about time is a luxury of the immature. As you mature it doesn't have a lot to do with chronology, but as you mature spiritually and emotionally and in other ways you begin to recognize the value of time.

Now, there's something you should know about your earth suit. It's there's an upgrade scheduled if you're a Christ follower. In 1 Corinthians 15 and verse 42 it says, "So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown perishable is raised imperishable, it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory, it is sown in weakness, and it's raised in power". Sometimes Christians have the mistaking notion that we're going to spend the rest of our existence in heaven with God. We're coming back here, folks, with a new earth suit, and it's a significant upgrade, hallelujah. I'm more excited about that than you, but it's okay.

Now, while I can tell you that healing is not a remedy for aging, what the Bible does promise is that God will give you the strength to complete your assignment if you're willing to utilize it. You have to care for your temple. We have assignment around that, we've been pretty sloppy with that, or we have some of our rules and regulations about things, but we haven't really cared for ourself, and that's a part of our biblical assignment. It's a part of your reasonable worship to God. Don't take license, don't do intentionally destructive things to your body, but God will give you the strength for your assignment. Deuteronomy 34:7. I read this just the other day. It made me smile. I've been grinning about this for several days. It said, "Although Moses was 120 years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated". Moses did not fail to lead the Hebrew slaves into the Promised Land because he was feeble; he had completed his assignment. He had completed his assignment.

Now, it had to do with some of God's pronouncement for him. But God will give you the strength to complete your assignment. That is very important news. You can trust him for that. Now, that promise isn't overly effective if you don't care about his assignment. If your life goal is your assignment and your agenda and your plans, you're going to forfeit a great deal that God has for you. We serve at his pleasure until we step into his presence, and then we'll learn about our next assignment. In Joshua 14, this is Caleb, he said, "I'm still as strong today as the days as the day Moses sent me out. I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then". It's 40 years later, and Caleb has said, "Let me go. I can do this. I can take that hill". Don't use your age, whether you're young or old, as an excuse for disobedience. Give God the best effort of your life. Focus your thoughts. Give him the best part of your time.

There was a significant breakthrough in my journey with the Lord. It happened some years ago. I grew up in a home where my parents were Christians, and I understood something about what that meant and I understood that reading my Bible was a part of that journey. So when I left home, I went to college. And I made a time every morning and I'd get up to read my Bible. Now, I was pretty tired. I lived in a dorm. It was college. Sleep was usually in short bursts. But I would get up every morning early enough before breakfast or class to read my Bible, and most mornings I'd go to sleep reading my Bible, but I was dutiful. And finally I said, "You know, this is nuts. I don't remember what I read. I'll read the same verse six times. I'll nod off twice".

Now, it didn't occur to me to go to bed earlier, I was learning, but it did occur to me to take the most fruitful time in my day because studying was my primary assignment at that point. And I knew the time of day when my retention was best, my focus was best, and I said, "I will take that time of day when my focus is the best and take time to read my Bible".

Now, I can't tell you something happened immediately. It wasn't like day 2 and I began to see angels all around me, but the willingness to plug that discipline into my schedule began to change the trajectory of my life and there was a whole host of components that game together that ultimately enabled me to make a change that took a whole new direction. Give God your best. We've been sloppy too long. We've put our faith everywhere else. We've imagined every other thing could secure our future: our hard work, our connections, our intelligence, our education, our resources, our friends. We've protected our schedule, the things that we've wanted to do, the things that were important to us, and in our hearts we didn't really value the things of God. They were kind of like, you know, taking vitamins.

"Well, that's probably better than not taking them, but if I miss a few days, who cares? I'll eat more spinach next week". We have been beyond sloppy in our attitude with the Lord, and then we hear that message, and we say, "Well, the pastor is just trying to convince me to come to church". Duh. Does that surprise you? And if you listen to somebody who's trying to influence your spiritual journey and they tell you that the gathering of God's people is not important, listen to somebody else. Now, you want to gather with people that will encourage you to believe the Lord, and follow the Lord, and be obedient to the Lord, and choose holiness and purity, and to walk uprightly before him, but we need one another. God will give you the strength to complete your assignment.

Sometimes healing is an expression of God's mercy. It's not sought or requested; it's simply a display of God's character and power on our behalf. Oftentimes I think people are beneficiaries of the mercy and the power of God and they don't even recognize God did it. They'll say it was a blown diagnosis. They'll be frustrated with the process. But so often God intervenes in our lives. In John chapter 9, one of my favorite miracle stories in the Gospels, it says as Jesus went along, he's in Jerusalem, he saw a man blind from birth. Blind from birth. So he needs a miracle. "And his disciples ask him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'" Don't you love religious questions? No compassionate, no mercy. "Whose problem was that"? Don't be like that. Show people compassion. "Oh, I always thought they were going to fall". Don't celebrate it when you see other people struggle.

Now, if you see someone stumble and it's in your power, extend a hand to them. Be compassionate to them. Be merciful to them. "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind"? And Jesus said, "You asked the wrong question". You know the story. He made mud, he put it on the man's face, he sent him all the way across town to wash, and the Bible says in a rather understated way, he came home seeing. The man didn't ask to be healed. He wasn't like the blind man in Jericho. This isn't Bartimaeus screaming at Jesus, "Me, me, me, me". This man didn't ask for the interaction. He didn't request help. Jesus simply stopped at the question of the disciples, and he brought sight to that man's eyes. It caused quite the stir and commotion in the city of Jerusalem. Even his parents wouldn't acknowledge it was a miracle of Jesus, but it was an expression of the mercy of God. And God is still demonstrating his mercy in the earth. Sometimes we get bent out of shape about our faith and, "I didn't believe God would do that. Or what about that"?

I want to be guilty of inviting God into the circumstances of our lives. God's grace and mercy and compassion exceed ours. His imagination is greater than the most creative person amongst us. Let's persistently invite God into our world. We need his help. We've stepped away from this for too long. Sometimes we're healed in response to a request that we present to the Lord. It's appropriate to ask him. You're not a nuisance. You're not an intrusion. The point of the whole Jesus story is to open a pathway that we might come, the Bible says we can come boldly into the throne of grace and find mercy to help us in our time of need, not in our time of achievement or our holiness or our accomplishment, but when we most need God's help we can come boldly before him. In Luke chapter 8 it says, "A man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus's feet, and he pled with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about 12, was dying".

He's a powerful man. Jesus is an itinerant rabbi. This man has a position, and authority, and a community, and connections to the power structure, but he is desperate. His daughter is dying, and he comes and falls at Jesus's feet, and he said, "Will you help me"? And Jesus said, "I'll come to your house". And they're on their way. And you know the story. Before they can get to Jairus's home, they interrupted by somebody else that needs a miracle, and before they can disengage from that encounter, the messengers from his home arrive and say, "Don't bother the rabbi. Your daughter died". And Jesus said, "No bother". Jairus asked for a healing, and he got a resurrection. It's so easy to be frustrated with the Lord because we want him to do something when it seems easy or convenient. And we watch the circumstances begin to scroll forward and think, "Now it's more difficult or it's more intimidating. It is more frightening".

Folks, the magnitude of the need does not threaten God. It doesn't threaten God. There is a God, and it's not us. You know, reconciling the sovereignty of God is not an easy thing. It's not an easy thing. Healing was an unmistakable part of Jesus's ministry. In Acts 10 and verse 38 says God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil because God was with him. I enjoy that verse because healing is presented as far more than physical restoration; it's being delivered from the influence of Satan and his kingdom. We need healing in many ways other than just physical help. We need emotional strength. We need forgiveness. We need anger, and resentment, and bitterness, and rejection. We need to be delivered from those influences in our lives. We need God's help, folks. We've been trying to out-study evil for too long. We've got to be willing to invite the power of God into our midst.

Don't think of the narrowest possible definition. When Jesus taught us to pray, he said, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one". Jesus gave us permission to pray for prayers of deliverance from evil. That's our assignment. If evil is gaining ground and expressing its authority, it's time for the church to stand up and begin to pray what Jesus taught us to pray. We've been timid for long enough. Psalm 103 and verse 2 says, "Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases". The one who forgives all your sins also heals all your diseases. Don't lose sight of that. And I'll wrap it up with this. Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever". He hasn't changed. The last chapter of the New Testament didn't cause the Spirit of God to withdraw from the earth. I'm grateful for all of the medical technology and the health care workers and all those things. I'm grateful for the men and women that spend years of their lives training to help us. I'm appreciative of it. It's not an either or equation. But let's not discount the power of Almighty God to help us on our journey. He will help us.

You say, "Well, pastor, I don't feel qualified to pray for somebody". Good. If you feel qualified, you bother me. There is a healer, and it isn't us. There is a miracle-worker. It is not you or me. We don't come in our strength or our power or our wisdom, we come in the name of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the authority of the shed blood of Jesus and the power of his name, amen. We need the power of God in our generation. Why shouldn't it start with us? Now, I want to pray. My time's about done. I brought you a prayer, and I want you to say it with me first, and then I want to pray for those of you that have a need, all right? If you're here to be baptized, there's a bunch. We got almost 40 people being baptized tonight.

You know, in Acts chapter 2, day of Pentecost, first sermon after Jesus went back to heaven, there was 3,000. This isn't my first sermon. I mean, we're like woefully behind the curve. So I look forward to the day where we have to have a whole line of pools for the people that are coming to be baptized. But to you, if your family is here with you, you can start to move. We're going to say this prayer together. They'll put it on the screens. There they go. Let's say it together with our outdoor voices, okay, not disrespectfully, but I want you to pray so that you hear yourself. "I thank you that through the blood of Jesus I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil. I have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of light. I ask for your power to bring life to my mortal body today. Give me your strength and health. Reveal to me any harmful thing within me that I may turn to you in humility and repentance. You are my life, my hope, and my deliverer in Jesus's name. Amen," hallelujah.

Now, if you are here, some of you stood already. All right. How are we going to do this? I want everybody stand. If you're here and you need a miracle, I'm just going to ask you to raise your hand. I want you to consciously know that we are inviting God into our lives. Raising your hand doesn't make you a better candidate. But I think it's important to be willing to say to God, "I know I need your help".

Now, how God wants to deliver that help is his business. If he wants to do it tonight, in a moment, wonderful. If he wants to do it as you're driving to church tomorrow, it's okay too. How he does that, we will relinquish to him, but we're going to invite him into that middle of that circumstance. Are you ready? Are you standing near somebody with their hand up? I can't see through the lights real well. If the person next to you has their hand up, and you don't, maybe you put a hand on their shoulder. Introduce yourself first. I'm not being funny. I don't want somebody touching me without an invitation. And if you're standing next to one of those people, introduce yourself, and if they're open to that, just place your hand on their shoulder. If we do it, we've got to do this respectfully and uprightly and cleanly. There's been enough goofiness. We're going to invite God into the midst of this. I believe we'll hear reports for weeks to come about what he does because of prayers we're going to pray together tonight. Hallelujah.

Father, I thank you for what you accomplished for us through Jesus's work on the cross. I thank you that by his stripes, Father, not only were our sins forgiven, but you have provided healing for our bodies. That through the blood of Jesus we have been redeemed out of the hand of the devil. That his power and authority over our lives has been broken. And, Lord, we stand in your presence tonight to acknowledge our needs. Lord, we need your help. You know the details and the circumstances, but I pray for each person that acknowledged that need, that extended that hand as an invitation to you. I pray you'll bring life to their bodies. Lord, I pray you'll restore what has been diminished. The things that have been depressed and haven't functioned appropriately will begin to function appropriately. Lord, where there's a need for a miracle, a creative miracle, I pray that you will intervene and bring life to them. I pray for those that are caring for them, that they'll have wisdom beyond themselves. That where there's been medicine prescribed, that it will have outcomes that exceed expectations.

I praise you, Father, that you are sovereign over our lives, that you are a God who heals and delivers and restores, and tonight we welcome your power into our lives. We praise you for it, Lord. We thank you for the good reports that will begin to come, for the strength it will come to us where there's been depression, and heaviness, and fear, and resentment, and bitterness. That it'll be broken over our lives, and the joy of the Lord will come. We thank you for it, Father. Where we've been anxious and frightened and terrified, Lord, we lay it before you. And I ask you to give us new courage and boldness to believe that our God is able to deliver us in the circumstance. We praise you for it, and we receive tonight in Jesus's name. Amen.

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