While I don’t agree with everything Gordon Lindsay taught, I value the perspective and insight that he gained in the area of healing and miracles. To be honest, I have fluctuated back and forth on my agreement with some things in this article from January 1952, but I still find myself revisiting it occasionally. I find it insightful, and I hope you will as well.
It is a well-known fact that in ministering to the sick, many are healed instantly, some gradually, others not at all. This fact causes many people to stumble, and conclude that there is an element of mystery, inscrutable and imponderable, about the work of healing – that God heals rapidly in some cases, and slowly in others, as He for some mysterious reason, may choose.
This however, is a great mistake, and leads to wrong views on the subject of healing. The fact is that the Spirit of God, in a certain sense, is passive – though a thousand people cry for healing, they will not be healed unless the means that God has provided for the release of the healing power of the Spirit be appropriated. There are a number of factors which govern the intensity and rapidity of the flow of healing power. It is important that we consider these if we are to have an intelligent apprehension of the working of the ministry of Divine Healing.
The First factor on the rapidity of Healing involves the one who ministers to the sick. The Scriptures declare that “to another is given gifts of healing.” It is reasonable to believe that an individual to whom this special ministry has been given will have more success in ministering to the sick than one who has not, though it is also true that there are instances where a simple child of God will pray the prayer of faith and have success in the healing of a stubborn case, where others, perhaps with noted ministries, have failed. This is because there are other factors involved in the matter of the manifestation of the healing of the sick beside gifts of healing, and these also determine the issue. Nevertheless, it is to be expected, that those who have specially entered into this ministry will have greater success than others who may not have entered into the same realm of faith. An instance of this is the case where Jesus brought healing to the demon-possessed boy, after the disciples had failed (Matt. 17). Their ministry had not achieved the same degree of power that Jesus’ had, for reasons that He later explained.
The Anointing of the Minister
The Second Factor in the Rapidity of Healing involves the anointing upon the minister at the time he prays.
Every minister who has had success in praying for the sick, knows that he ministers with greater power on certain occasions, than at other times. Generally speaking, he will have a greater anointing during a service, than when he is accosted at a time when his mind is on other things. The human spirit cannot be at the same degree of intensity the whole 24 hours of the day. Extreme weariness often lowers the effectiveness of a man’s anointing. After a man ministers to a large number of the sick, he begins to feel weak, and he finds it advantageous not to pray longer, until he has had time to rest. So Jesus recreated at times, from the multitude, even though there were many sick to whom He had not ministered (Mark 6:31). It is to be noted that after a time of rest, he returned to minister in great power. (Verses 55 and 56).
The Degree of the Power of The Lord Present
The Third Factor in the Rapidity of Healing involves the degree of Faith in the “Atmosphere” where prayer for the sick is made.
A hostile or unbelieving audience can definitely retard the power of healing. Thus in some very serious cases recorded in the Scriptures, we find that before ministration was made, unbelievers were excluded from the room. This happened when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter (Matt. 9:24-25). Peter also put forth everyone from the room when he prayed for Tabitha to be raised from the dead. (Acts 9:40).
In John 5:4, it is very evident that there was a marked difference in the manifestation of healing power at one time than at another. In this case, it was the presence of an angel that determined the difference. However, since “all power is of God,” it comes back to the same thing that there is a difference in the power manifested in healing at one time and another.
Prayer and the teaching of the Word of God, determine, to a great extent, the Divine healing power present. In this respect, Luke 5:16-17 is an extremely significant passage of Scripture. We are told that Christ withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed, and then returned and taught the people. As a result, “the power of the Lord was present to heal.” On the other hand, in Mark 6:1-6, His attempt to teach the people of Nazareth met with a rebuff. We are told that “he could do there no mighty work, save he laid hands upon a few sick folk and healed them.” (Verse 5). Prayer determined the degree of the healing power present; the amount of faith present determines the release of that power.
The Faith of the Sick Person
The Fourth Factor in the Power of Healing is the degree of faith that the sick person possesses. The need of personal faith, if one is to receive any thing from God is so widely taught in the Scriptures, that we hardly need to dwell upon this matter here. Jesus said, “According to your faith, so be it unto you,” or “Your faith has made you whole,” Many factors determine the faith that an individual has. Generally speaking, when an individual desires healing, he needs to have his faith quickened for that particular healing. Christians of long standing, who call for prayer at a moment’s notice without any heart preparation, often find it difficult to receive their healing. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”
The Individual’s care of his Body
The Fifth factor in the Effecting of Healing involves the individual’s care of his body. It is true that a person, when ministered to, must act his faith. He should begin doing what he could not do before. However, he should not be negligent in the care of his body. A person healed from a serious sickness, should not overdo, or attempt foolish and unprofitable ventures just to show how strong he is. We have known those who have had remarkable deliverances, and who foolishly dissipated their strength by long working hours, eating carelessly, plunging violently into business, without thought that they might go beyond their strength. Healed people should not baby themselves, yet nature itself teaches us that proper care of the body is essential, and people who are careless in this way, have been known to have had relapses, which can be charged to the fault of no one but their own.
The Degree of Damage to the Physical Body
The Sixth Factor Involved in the Power of Healing, is the fact that there is a vast difference between a sickness which may be healed, and a wasting disease that has already destroyed vital parts of the body, and where complete healing involves creative action. As an illustration: a man who has an injured arm may be healed. But if his arm has been destroyed, it may well be that he does not have faith for it to grow back again. Now, let us take a parallel illustration in which two individuals have cancer of the stomach. Both are prayed for and in both cases, the cancer is killed and passes from the body. One person fully recovers, but the other never becomes fully well. In the first case no vital organ was destroyed and the person recovers. In the other case, vital parts of the organ were already destroyed by the cancer. Healing is not sufficient. Because of the advanced stage of the cancer, a creative miracle is required to restore parts vital to life. Where faith is high, such a miracle may, and often does, take place, however, where faith is weak, it is quite possible that the death of the cancer may take place, without the necessary recreation of destroyed organs. Moral: A sick person should seek the Lord for his healing before he is almost dead and not as a last resort. Such delay is parallel to that of a sinner, who waits till he is dying, before he makes an effort to get his soul saved. There are, of course, death bed conversions, and there are also remarkable healings that take place on apparent “death beds.”
The Determination to Stand on the Word
The Seventh factor in the Power and Rapidity of a Healing involves the individual’s determination to stand on God’s Word and his refusal to be influenced by symptoms. The new convert who gives way to feelings or temptation, may, all the balance of his life be a spiritually sick Christian. Being dominated by his senses, instead of God’s promises, he is continually up and down. In contrast, other Christians who learn to stand on the Word regardless of feelings or the devil’s lies, develop into sturdy believers, and enjoy an experience of victory.
So it is with those who come to God for healing. There are those who are entirely influenced by the way they feel rather than by God’s Word. Consequently, they often lose what they already have. On the other hand, there are those who are determined to believe the promise, and as they do the symptoms vanish, and their healing becomes a ringing testimony of God’s healing power.
Some have faith for a miracle, but not all. However, all have enough faith for a healing, if they will only use the faith that they have. Jesus said, if a man had faith as small as a grain of mustard seed, he could speak to a mountain, and it would be removed. But you cannot dig up the mustard seed the next day, or the third day, to see if it has become a tree. But, if left alone, that bit of faith that God had created in the mustard seed, will cause action, and though this at first is imperceptible, yet finally it will result in the seed growing until it becomes a great herb.
The lesson to be learned then, is that we should not become discouraged because of difficulties, or because deliverance does not become fully manifest immediately. The thing to remember is that in every case, the difficulties will eventually be resolved, and overcome, if we refuse to accept defeat.
Lindsay, Gordon. “Why Some Are Healed Quickly, Others Slowly.” The Voice Of Healing Jan. 1952: 6-7.
Jeremy Caris is the founder and president of Caris Ministries. Since he is called as a prophet and gifted as a teacher, much of his focus involves equipping believers to hear, know, and follow God in their own daily experience. He teaches the foundational truth of the Word with simple clarity, while revealing deep things of the spirit in practical ways. He has the unique ability to demystify the supernatural side of real relationship with a living God and make it an embraceable and accessible reality for all believers. Jeremy has been married to his best friend, Mandy Caris, for twenty years, and is the proud father of two boys.