At any moment in time we may pass through difficult and challenging periods of life. There are of course always going to be mountaintops and valleys in our experience. It is when passing through the valleys that the quality of our faith is tested, like gold in a crucible (1 Peter 1:7). We think we are really trusting the Word, but alloys of doubt and unbelief are still in the mix.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking in the countryside with my dogs. The ground was wet and I slipped heavily on my side on a rock in the river. I wasn’t badly hurt, apart from a grazed leg and some bruising. But as the days went by it became more and more painful to move the lower back muscles near a floating rib.
So I talked to the Lord about why the healing wasn’t manifesting. He showed me that the pretty area of river was in fact private land, and I shouldn’t have been there. I repented and promised Him I wouldn’t go back. This should always be step 1. Ask the question: “Where did I miss your will? What gave the devil legal right to attack me?” Trespassing even by accident opened that door for me.
However even after repentance the pain continued. At the same time my wife was also suffering discomfort in another area of her body, which was not responding to our faith.
It was obviously a suitable time to seriously consider why our faith was not working. The Lord gave me this scripture as I awoke one morning: “Whoso offers praise glorifies Me and to him who orders his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God,” (Ps. 50:23).
Now this is King James’ English. To those of you who struggle with this old type of language, what God told me was that my conversation, (the way I was speaking) was not correct so that’s why I was not seeing the pain disappear.
The Apostle Paul taught the church at Philippi that : “Our conversation is in heaven as we are citizens of the state of heaven, it’s our homeland,” (Phil.3:20 Amp.)
I certainly had not been speaking heavenly language. When I moved it hurt so I was shouting “Oww!” many times a day and I was constantly complaining how hard it was to get up from a chair or turn over in bed.
You probably can sympathize with this “natural” reaction to pain. But God had corrected me and told me to sharpen up and correct what I spoke. I remembered Abraham: “who did not weaken in faith when he did not consider the impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about 100 years old,” (Rom. 4:19 Amp.).
When first given the promise of a child he had seriously strayed from God’s plan by having a child with Hagar (Gen. 16), but when he was 99 years old God renewed the covenant with him and even changed his name to Abraham (from Abram). We read this in Genesis 17.
God gave him a promise that Sarah would bear him a son (Gen.17: 15, 16). He held fast to that promise: “No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise - being fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His Word and do what He had promised,” (Rom. 4: 20,21 Amp.).
Doubt and unbelief were the enemies that Abraham refused even to consider or listen to. James warns us that if we listen to these thoughts from Satan, we too will waver because of them and be: “like a wave of the sea. Let not that man think that he will receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,”(James 1:6-8).
So to recap. I had repented and was now standing on my promise from Isaiah 53:4. “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”. On checking out the Hebrew words translated here “griefs” and “sorrows” this is what I found. The word translated griefs is choliy (Strongs 2483). In all other uses of this word it was translated “sicknesses” but here the translators chickened out and wrote griefs!
A similar weak translation of “sorrows” comes from the Hebrew word makob (Strongs 4341), which normally is translated pain.
Therefore it is clear that Jesus had already carried my pain but my hurt rib and muscles were loudly speaking to me. I was considering the pain, listening to it, looking to see if it had diminished.
Now like other born again Christians I am a new creation in Christ (2 Cor.5: 17). As a new creation I have a new spiritual mind, which in fact is the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). The mind of Christ is not governed by the feelings in our body. It only thinks and believes what is written. Remember how Jesus answered the devil. He was extremely hungry after a 40 day fast, but He could only think and speak: “It is written,” (Luke 4: 4,8,12).
I had been governed by thoughts of pain and discomfort. Instead of: “setting my mind (and keeping it set on the things above. For as far as this world is concerned I have died and my new life is hidden with Christ in God,” (Col.3: 2,3 Amp.).
So that’s the challenge! Unless this is true for us then our thoughts will remain carnal, governed by the sense realm of the flesh and pain will stay king.. Look at Paul’s warning: “For to be carnally minded is death, to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is an enemy of God,” (Rom.8: 6,7).
Notice also that Peter’s sentimental comment: “Be it far from you Lord” (Mat.16: 22), when he challenged Jesus about not going to the Cross, drew the strongest rebuke from Christ: “Get behind Me Satan, you are an offence to Me for you are not minding what concerns man and not God,” (Mat. 16: 23).
Well I did not want that kind of rebuke! So quickly I took a quality decision to keep my thoughts and words in order with what is written. From that point I have ignored any pain and considered any symptoms like Jonah as “lying vanities” (Jonah 2:8).
Once my mouth had stopped speaking death (Prov. 18:21), if people asked me how I was I would reply: “I am standing on God’s promise.” After a while I gradually realized that I was now moving freely. I simply had to make that fundamental adjustment.
“God has already given us all things we need for life and godliness,” (2 Pet. 1:3). This includes health. The devil is busy wanting to steal from us what God has already given us. We must hold fast to the promises that we have, (Rev. 3:11) by thinking faith, speaking faith and acting faith. This is how we order our conversation correctly and we shall indeed see the salvation of God in all aspects of our life. Conversely those who do not implement this discipline will not see the results they seek.