The Value of Deliverance
I believe in deliverance. I believe that healing is in the atonement... just as every other blessing of God is in and through the atonement.
I also believe that deliverance and healing are for every believer, with no exceptions.
I believe, too, that I can claim this deliverance despite any visible evidence to the contrary. "By His stripes we are healed" is a very real provision of the cross.
You see, deliverance and healing are part of the package of salvation. From the moment of new birth, the believer becomes heir to all the benefits of the cross.
But when? When does the believer benefit from the benefits?
The Scripture is very clear about the "time" of the new birth. "Today" is the day of salvation. Not tomorrow ... today! God is not willing that any should perish. It is not His will that we put off until tomorrow the salvation He has provided for today.
So faith lays hold of God's provision for eternal life ... today ... and salvation comes to all who believe ... the moment they believe.
Faith also claims the benefits of salvation today. They are the believer's "by birth" ... and whether they have been "delivered" or not, they are part of his inheritance as a son. Faith claims healing even when healing is not yet "delivered."
But there is something else that faith does. Faith accepts the sovereignty and timing of God. Faith recognizes that all the benefits do not come on the day of salvation. Faith recognizes God's priorities. Faith accepts the fact that, with God, the salvation of the lost and the Christ-likeness of the believer come before creature comforts and physical health. Faith knows that the "day of deliverance" is subject to the will of God, and faith confidently waits ... all the while saying, "Deliverance is mine and healing is mine."
To those who are unwilling to accept the sovereignty and timing of God, delay is intolerable and death is defeat. They haven't the faith to wait. They can't believe that death is no faith failure. They want the benefits now ... not tomorrow!
It takes great faith to accept delay and trust the timing to God. It takes even greater faith to accept deliverance after death. The writer of Hebrews speaks in a hushed voice of those who died "not having received the promise." He declares that the world was not worthy of them. Their "day of deliverance" was the day of their death! What great faith it takes to believe God today when the day of deliverance is tomorrow!
Do you remember the incident on the Sea of Galilee when the storm almost capsized the ship? Jesus was asleep. The disciples panicked. They woke Jesus and demanded a miracle. Jesus produced it. Then He rebuked them. "Oh, ye of little faith," He said.
Little faith couldn't wait. Little faith feared death. Little faith demanded a miracle. Great faith would have waited out the storm ... knowing that, with Jesus in the boat, they had the One who not only knew their need, but who had the power to do something about it.
I can hear someone say, "If waiting and trusting takes greater faith, why should we pray for deliverance and healing? Shouldn't we suffer in silence that ‘great’ faith may abound"? The answer, of course, is "God forbid! How shall we, who are heirs of God's promises, fail to lay claim to our inheritance?"
We must pray. As children of our Heavenly Father we are told to present our petitions to Him. But as we pray, we must have the faith to believe that our Father knows best, and that the time of deliverance is His to determine. There is no lack of faith in the words, "Thy will be done." Jesus himself said those very words. Can we be wrong to say the same?
The Importance of God's Will
The point I am making is this: There is something more important than immediate deliverance and healing. That "something" is God's will. Now listen to me, please. God does not delight in our suffering. God does not delight in making us wait. Not at all! But God does delight in seeing His will done. And what is His will? It is His will that none should perish and that all should come to repentance. The deliverance of men from sin's bondage takes precedence over all other deliverance needs. The overriding fact is that the world cannot be reached for Christ without self-denial and suffering. Sahara's sinners will not be saved if self-seeking saints insist on deliverance from Sahara's sun.
Are you one of those who say that sons of God do not suffer? Are you one of those who are impatient for deliverance? Listen to the cry of those that were slain for the word of God and for their testimony ... ''How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled'' (Revelation 6:10,11).
See what I mean? Those martyrs were delivered by death. They were sons of God, for sure, for white robes were given unto them. But as sons of God they recognized that the "day of deliverance" was in the hand of the Lord to do according to His will.
Suppose, then, that we are asked to wait. Does that mean that there is no deliverance for us? Not at all! Deliverance and healing have been ours from the day of our spiritual birth. They were part of the "package" of salvation. But the timing is in God's hands. If that time is not today, then we must have the confidence and faith to wait... or even to die. Death is no less deliverance than life, if our sovereign God directs it. Do we have the faith to believe and accept that?
Speaking of God's sovereignty. I know a sister ... a marvelous sister ... a sister of great faith. She has arthritis ... terrible arthritis. Her hands are all gnarled and twisted. She found a brother who also had arthritis. He was discouraged and despondent. She laid her crooked hands on his and prayed for his deliverance. God healed him completely.
She still has arthritis ... terrible arthritis. Why? I don't know why. I only know she is a woman of great faith ... greater faith than many who have received their healing. Some who have been healed don't have the faith to wait. She does ... confidently ... uncomplainingly ... trusting God implicitly ... and her faith spurs on many of us who haven't her "measure of faith." She, too, is an heir to healing ... it was a part of salvation's package. But she hasn't yet received this benefit. It's hers, but she hasn't received it. She trusts her Sovereign God who controls the day of deliverance.
Dear God ... help our unbelief. Give us faith to trust Thee even when the pain is still there ... even when the symptoms show that we are sick. Grant us faith to trust Thee for healing. Give us faith to trust Thee for deliverance ... today. But if not today ... give us faith to put ourselves in your Sovereign hands and allow you to determine the DAY OF DELIVERANCE!