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God’s Healing Arsenal

Let the Spirit Guide Your Choice of Weapons

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After being diagnosed with cancer, I asked the Lord for guidance, bewildered by all of the medical, nutritional, spiritual and alternative methods of treatment proposed by doctors and friends. “Should I trust You or go through with the radiation, chemotherapy and surgery? Or should I use alternative therapies? If so, which ones?”

I heard as clearly from God as if it were audible. Trust Me—and use radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Use My healing arsenal.

Heavenly Cocktail

I discovered that physicians often talk about an armamentarium, the equipment and methods used in medical treatment. This is a military term, derived from the word “armament”—referring to fortifications or an arsenal. Using other military terms like “giving orders” and “fighting infection,” physicians look at their healing arts and sciences as warfare against disease and the distress often related to it. The New Testament church viewed overcoming disease as a spiritual battle (Acts 10:38). Minucius Felix, an Early Church father, asserted, “Pain is warfare.”

Paul writes that there are “weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left” (2 Cor. 6:7, NASB). We are not cookie-cutter personalities, so God does not use a one-size-fits-all formula in overcoming distress and disease. Our loving Heavenly Father, who is creative, dynamic, resourceful and all-encompassing, tailors your path to healing and overcoming to your unique need. My oncology nurses talked about a “chemo cocktail,” a mixture of various chemicals intended to have a specific effect for the type of cancer with which I was diagnosed. God has a “heavenly cocktail” just for your healing. For example, one of my colleagues told me that God’s healing arsenal for her back problem included water aerobics, osteopathic treatment, physical therapy, diet and exercise.

S. D. Gordon’s counsel was helpful to me: “Christ heals human bodies today by his own direct supernatural touch, sometimes through the physician and medicine, sometimes without medicine, sometimes when medicine is confessedly powerless and sometimes overcoming the unwise use of medicine. The Holy Spirit’s leading is the touchstone. . . . The answer is this: Ask Christ. Get in touch, if you are not already. Then when the need comes, ask Him. He will tell you. . . . He is a true physician, for He advises.”

Weapons of Mass Construction

I made use of every weapon in God’s artillery that He impressed upon me to use in addition to medical means. Among them were the following:

Praise and Worship. Out of his own experience, A. B. Simpson counseled, “Joy is the great restorer and healer. Gladness of spirit will bring health to the bones and vitality to the nerves when all other tonics fail and all other sedatives cease to quiet. Sick one, begin to rejoice in the Lord, and your bones will flourish like an herb, and your cheeks will glow with the bloom of health and freshness. . . . Joy is balm and healing; and if you will but rejoice, God will give power.” There were times in the midst of my pain and depression that I had to give a sacrifice of praise. Even when I did not feel like I had anything to praise the Lord about, I determined to worship Him by soaking in hours of worship music daily.

Praying, Confessing and Commanding the Word of God. Simpson wrote, “Faith dies without confession.” I took hold of the promises of the Word of God daily and confessed, “I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (based on Gal. 3:25); I am redeemed from the curse of cancer. Cancer cannot dwell in me. By my authority as a believer in Jesus Christ, I command every cancer cell to wither and die and be gone from my body, never to return. By Jesus’ wounds I am healed (Isa. 53:5).” I saturated my mind with Scripture, listening to, repeating and memorizing verses on healing and overcoming.

Gathering My SWAT Team. My strategic weapons and tactical team, my “God Squad,” included prayer warriors, pastors, elders, advisors, friends and medical and nutritional personnel—everyone who could help me fight my battle. I realized I could not fight my battles for overcoming distress and disease alone.

Fervent Soaking Prayer. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16, KJV). That word “fervent” means energetic. Paul also describes wrestling or agonizing in prayer. I realized that anemic prayers will not overcome cancer. It takes forceful, aggressive, repeated praying. I found that the early Alliance practiced “soaking prayer,” persistent prayer for extended periods of time daily for several days or weeks, especially in “healing homes,” retreat centers that provided an atmosphere for faith and personal ministry.

Positive Attitude. It is so easy to get depressed and discouraged when feeling sick. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22). I took Simpson’s counsel to heart: “Don’t expect to be sick. . . . A flash of ill temper, a cloud of despondency, an impure thought or desire can poison your blood, inflame your tissues, disturb your nerves and interrupt the whole process of God’s life in your body! On the other hand, the spirit of joy, freedom from anxious care and worry, a generous and loving heart, the sedative of peace, the uplifting influence of hope and confidence—these are better than pills, stimulants and sedatives, and the very nature of things will exercise the most benign influence over your physical functions, making it true in a literal as well as a spiritual sense, that ‘the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”

Praying on the Armor of God Daily. Charles Wesley’s hymn “Soldiers of Christ, Arise” bids us to clothe ourselves in the armor of God, “each piece put on with prayer.” Every day I pray on each piece of that armor. Beyond this daily prayer, there are many actions and attitudes of faith that we can take to put on each piece of the armor of God, speaking and living it out in our actions.

Abiding in Christ. This was for me the greatest key in overcoming cancer. These other weapons above are all summed up in abiding in Christ—staying connected to Jesus and staying close—“clinging to Jesus,” as Spurgeon put it.

Let Him Choose

There are many other weapons in God’s arsenal: exercising the authority of the believer, inner healing, counseling, fasting, praying in tongues, deliverance from demonic oppression, renouncing generational bondage, meditation, nutrition, diet and exercise, calling for the elders, the Lord’s Supper and many more. In football there is both defense and offense. In God’s battle plan certain components of His arsenal provide protection, others provide means of attacking our distress and disease and some do both.

Not all of these will be applicable in every situation, but it is good to know what is there. I did not use every available weapon in my battle against cancer but looked to God for His choices. I have used almost all of them during my life for various distresses and diseases. Some, such as abiding in Christ, confession of the Word, soaking in the Word and worship, are valuable in all situations.

Find God’s healing arsenal for your needs, and be guided by the Holy Spirit to recognize and use those that are essential. The most important thing to understand is that God is the Healer. Ultimately, none of these methods are the key to healing in itself. They are resources from God at your disposal.

An Overcomer

My diagnosis of rectal cancer came when I was teaching a seminary course on divine healing. In our next class session, I told my students, “This is no longer academic; this is real. Now you get to put this into practice. You get to pray for me each class session.” To relieve the tension, I joked that their grade would depend upon my healing. One student actually dropped out!

During each class the students prayed for my healing, as well as for the healing of others in the class. They learned how to pray—with specific words of wisdom, faith and power and by trusting and waiting upon the Lord. While I did not receive instantaneous healing, others did. One woman who had throat problems found that her hoarseness decreased (especially when testifying or when praying for me). Another student had ear pain that was healed instantly.

Still in a state of shock after receiving the diagnosis, I prayed, “Lord, am I going to live or die?” I heard Him clearly say, Paul, you are not going to be a cancer survivor. Immediately, I thought, Lord, I guess You are telling me that I am going to die. But He went on to say, No, listen carefully. You will not be a cancer survivor; you will be a cancer overcomer. I found great power and hope in those words, and they sustained me through the ordeal of treatment and surgery.

When the doctors performed surgery and removed a foot of my colorectal tract, they were astounded that they found no cancer! God performed a miracle, going beyond what radiation and chemotherapy could do. I have indeed become a cancer overcomer through the grace and power of God—and Him alone.

You, too, can be an overcomer through God’s healing arsenal.

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