God's Word also provides for your physical body. Through His Word, God offers us healing and health for our physical body. How? Scripture says, that God's Word did three things for the people who cried out to Him. It says He saved them, He healed them, and He delivered them from their destruction.
It’s good to be with you again today.
This week I’ve been sharing with you on the theme “What God’s Word will do for You.” Yesterday I explained how God’s Word provides suitable spiritual nourishment for the new life that has been produced in us by the new birth. I said that this nourishment comes in various forms suited to the successive stages of our spiritual development: first, milk for new-born babes; then bread for those who are growing up; finally, solid food, or a complete diet, for those who are mature.
Today I’m going a step further. I’m going to speak about what God’s Word will do, not for our inward spiritual nature, but for your physical body. I’m going to show you how, through His Word, God offers us healing and health for our physical body.
The first Scripture that I’ll turn to is in Psalm 107:17–20, where the psalmist says this:
“Fools, because of their rebellious way, And because of their iniquities, were afflicted. Their soul abhorred all kinds of food; And they drew near to the gates of death.” (NAS)
Here we find men in terrible extremity. They’re at the gates of death. They can no longer eat. They’re wasting away. The doctor has told them there is no more hope. And the psalmist says they’re there because of their rebellious way and because of their iniquities. We need to take heed to that. Then the psalmist goes on to say in verse 19:
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.” (NAS)
We need to see how God answers our desperate cry for help. Because if we don’t recognize the answer, we may not receive the help He sends.
How does God answer the cry of men in this desperate condition—at death’s door? It says, “He sent His word.” In other words, it’s God’s Word that becomes the answer to our cry for help. Help comes to us through the Word of God. Now it says in that passage that through sending His Word God did three things for the people who cried out to Him. It says He saved them, He healed them, and He delivered them from their destruction.
Notice those three operations of God’s mercy. He saves. He heals. He delivers. I believe that’s God’s total provision for human needs, spiritual and physical.
To save is to save us from sin—its guilt, its power, its consequences. That’s spiritual.
To heal is physical. We are healed from sickness. God sends His Word, saves us from sin, but also heals us from sickness.
The third thing He does through His Word—He delivers us. Or some translators use the word “rescue.” I believe deliverance is not primarily from sin or from sickness, but it is from the very person and power of Satan himself. Salvation is from sin. Healing is from sickness. Deliverance is from Satan’s power. Notice the basic way which God provides these three things for us—salvation, healing and deliverance—is through sending His Word.
Now I’m going to tell you how I proved this in my personal experience. I mentioned earlier this week that I had lain for many months on end as a patient sick in the hospital in North Africa in World War II. I described how I found myself in the “Slough of Despond,” that dark valley of despair. And how a brilliant ray of light came to me out of Romans 10:17: “Faith comes.” God showed me that I didn’t have to go on without faith, that I could receive faith, that through faith I could receive the provision of physical healing. Actually, I spent almost exactly one year on end in hospital. And when I came out of the hospital it was because I had received faith and learned how to appropriate God’s provision for my physical body.
God directed me to His medicine bottle. It’s found in Proverbs 4:20–22. And I want to tell you that this is no mere theory or theology that I’m offering you, it’s the testimony of personal experience. This medicine bottle got me out of hospital, made me well, and thank God has kept me and this is “God’s Medicine Bottle.” All right. Proverbs 4:20–22:
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their whole body.” (NAS)
Notice that last phrase, “health to all their whole body.” As I lay there in that hospital bed and read those words, “health to all their body” or “all their flesh,” I said to myself, “If I rightly understand that, God is promising me health to all my body. And if I have health in all my body, there is no room for sickness because health and sickness are opposites. Where there is sickness there isn’t health. And where there is health there isn’t sickness.” So I said, “I’m going to go back and read that again and find out what it is really saying.” And I came to the conclusion that this is God’s Medicine Bottle. But as I was meditating on this and concluding, “Well, here’s the provision for my need of healing,” God actually spoke to me. He didn’t speak audibly, but He spoke very clearly to my mind. And He said this: “When the doctor gives his patient a bottle of medicine, the instructions for taking it are on the bottle. And if the patient does not take it according to the instructions, the doctor offers him no cure.” Then He said, God said to me, “This is my medicine bottle. The instructions are on the bottle. You’d better read them.” So I went back and I read that passage many times over. And I saw that the instructions are on the bottle. And that there are four things that God requires.
First of all, notice that the opening words there are “My son.” God, our Father, is speaking to each one of us individually as His children. This is not for people who do not know God as Father. This is only for the family of God. In the New Testament in one place Jesus called healing “the children’s bread.” It’s the bread of the children of God. It’s our legitimate right. But it’s not offered in the same way to those who do not know God as Father. God says, “My son.”
Then He goes on to give these words. Now the directions that are on the bottle are fourfold. First, give attention. Second, incline your ear. Third, do not let them depart from your sight. Fourth, keep them in midst of your heart. Let’s look very briefly at what’s involved in following those directions.
First of all, “give attention.” Give undivided attention. Don’t read your Bible with the radio on or the television on. Or trying to work out your daily menu or plan your office routine. Just hold everything and give undivided attention to what God is saying to you.
Secondly, “incline your ear.” That means bow down your ear. What does it mean to bow down your ear? It’s an attitude of humility. You’re saying, “God, you’re the teacher, I’m the pupil, You teach me.” So many people approach the Bible with their own preconceived ideas of what God ought to have said, their doctrinal or theological preconceptions, or their limitations is to what God is able to do. Consequently they don’t bow down their ear. They never really let God teach them.
The third requirement is “do not let them depart from your sight.” Keep your spiritual sight focused on the promises of God. Don’t let your eyes wander away because there are many, many other writings, many other teachings that do not impart faith. Many times they actually impart unbelief. If we want faith, we’ve got to focus on the promises of God.
Fourthly, it says, “keep them in the midst of your heart.” And the very next verse of Proverbs says this: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” In other words, what’s in your heart will ultimately determine the course of your life. Whether it goes well or whether it goes badly is determined by what’s in your heart. But if you can get God’s Word into your heart then it will be life to you and health to all your flesh.
And there are two gates through which God’s Word will come, the ear gate and the eye gate. It says “incline your ear”—that’s the ear gate. It says “do not let them depart from your eyes”—that’s the eye gate. As you focus ear and eye on the promises and statements of God’s Word and receive them into your heart, God says then, “I’ll guarantee that the medicine will do it’s job. It will bring you health in all of your body.”
Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again next week at the same time, Monday through Friday. I’ll continue to speak on this theme of “What God’s Word Will Do for You.” I still have many more wonderful secrets to share with you concerning God’s Word.
Stay tuned now for some important announcements; in particular, how you may obtain my book Foundation for Faith. This book will make available to you in permanent, printed form, the secrets of God’s Word and its working that I’ve been sharing with you this week and many others besides.