|the Sun of Righteousness|
In His Wings
by haRold Smith
"For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His Wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as fatted calves of the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, says the LORD" Malachi 4:1-3
Her complexion was pasty, almost white, and her eyes had become glazed, having lost the luster that I had come to know. Her walk was halting, and slow as she tried to maintain her balance from one step to the next. I had heard various accounts in my life of people on the verge of death before, but there are just no words, really, to describe the different things you notice when you are up close to someone who is in that condition.
Slowly, we made our way down the long corridor, stopping ever so often to allow her a few moments to gather herself for the next leg of the journey to the doctor's office. When we arrived in the sparsely furnished waiting room, she collapsed in a heap on one end of the chair-bench. I was amazed at the resilience she showed, in spite of her weak and noticeably haggard condition, as she proceeded to fill out some forms on a clipboard handed to her by a nurse when we entered.
I had only come to know Eliza for a few short months before she had asked a friend and I to accompany her to the hospital. In her mid-fifties, she was fighting leukemia, a cancer of the blood, after having been diagnosed with it 12 years earlier. This disease had already left her at death's door several times previously and that she had remained alive this long was a miracle in itself! She had been getting progressively weaker and weaker, to the point where she was beginning to be unable to manage even the mundane things of life by herself. A solitary woman to begin with, she stayed in her apartment most of the time, paying a taxi driver to retrieve her phoned-in grocery order from the store to her when needed. Just to walk down a flight of stairs to her mailbox and back had become so arduous that it was sometimes the only adventure outside her door for several days at a time. A simple cold would put her in bed for weeks.
A woman of faith, she had determined that she was going to see God heal her - no matter what (and she was a very determined woman). She would sit in her apartment, day after day, reading scripture, praying and watching Christian television, believing that she was as good a candidate to receive healing as all the testimonies of those people being healed on the television screen. It was only at the mounting insistence of some of her closest confidantes that she finally agreed to go to the hospital. I believe her agreement was primarily motivated to just shut them up so they would leave her alone. She was not going to be found lacking faith - even if it killed her.
We sat waiting for her blood work to arrive back from being processed by the lab when the doctor, a woman, approached us very apologetically. It seems that the lab had made some sort of mistake, she said, and that they would have to draw some more blood to re-run the test. The tests showed that there was no blood in Eliza's body - that it was only water. "And we know that can not possibly be true," she animatedly quipped, "because then you would be dead. Right?" So, they drew more blood and sent it off to the lab for a second testing.
When the doctor reappeared, her face was as white as the lab coat she was wearing as she informed us that the first test was not a mistake. The second test confirmed that there was no blood in Eliza's body, only water. To which Eliza was promptly escorted into a room where they proceeded to intravenously inject two units of blood into her. The following day, we brought her back where she was given two more units of blood and was advised to come back another day for yet two more. After the first injection, I saw the life begin to reappear in her eyes and her complexion return to its rosy hue.
Eliza told us on the way back from the hospital that the doctor had wanted her to begin chemotherapy immediately to combat the leukemia. Eliza was determined however, that even though this had been a setback for her, Yeshua was going to heal her and she was not going to give in to the unbelief surrounding her. I sat in amazement at this woman's faith in the Lord in the face of overwhelming circumstances and, at the same time, wondered myself at why she wasn't finding that place of healing.
She had become very disillusioned with trying to "keep the faith" about being healed A few days later, as we were talking about this whole incident, Eliza said that the doctor, in the face of her adamancy about treatment, had told her that there was a less intrusive, non-evasive chemotherapy treatment in much lower doses that she could administer orally that had shown much success in placing this disease under control. Eliza confessed to me that she didn't know what to do - that she had become very disillusioned with trying to "keep the faith" about being healed and was very tired of trying. She began to recount all of the discouraging trips she had made to this place or that event where she was prayed over; of the numerous people who, when she wasn't immediately healed, inferred that it was according to her faith (or more exactly, her lack thereof) and of the perplexing disappointment heaped upon her that she had carried for all those years of not being able to "measure up" to everybody's expectations of faith. Indeed, even to her own - of what it meant to not have enough faith to "be healed in the Name of Jesus".
I told her I wanted to pray and stand with her and asked her what the Father had specifically said to her about what position she needed to take in the midst of these new developments. She responded with, "I don't know." Now, it needs to be stated that Eliza is well read in scripture, able to quote verse after verse, and in the ways of the Lord found therein. She had vigorously sought after Him about her condition these past 12 years and why she wasn't being healed. She knows the book front to back and can hold her own in just about any theological discussion. Consequently, I was rather dumb-founded when, after asking her if she had asked the Father about this situation and what she should do about it, she answered rather meekly with, "no" - but, she went on to say she believed God could heal her.
Yeshua said that He did not do anything unless He first saw the Father do it and He did not speak anything unless He first heard the Father speak it (John 5:19, and John 12:50 click on highlighted words to view scripture).
|"Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Yeshua: [Let Him be your example in humility:] Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God Who He Is], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained�" Philippians 2:5-6 (Amplified)|
In the Spirit walk there are variables and absolutes. Too often as believers we tend to place our faith and focus on the variables rather than allowing the absolutes to be the guiding pillars in our lives. There are many variables in this story, but only one absolute - the source of healing rests in the Present Presence and unless the Father speaks the word of healing as He did to create the universe, there is none. YHVH is the Source of Life, which is Light. (John 1:1-4, 1John 1:5, see the Word). The Hebrew word translated "sun" in Malachi above is shemesh which means "brilliant". Hence, it denotes the brilliance of the Light of YHVH's Righteousness arising in our lives by which healing comes - not the Son of God as has been popularly portrayed inaccurately. It becomes supremely important, then, that we first hear what it is the Father has for our life before we embark on a course that might cause us to land in a place different from what He is wanting to work in us.
We know that the Father wants us to be healed and whole because we are told so over and over in the scriptures. But, there is a caveat to healing that is often overlooked because of our preconceptions of how that healing should take place. That caveat is in first hearing and, then, obeying His Voice. (Exodus 15:26, see the Righteousness of the Law). Scripture tells us "�how God anointed Yeshua of Nazareth with the Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him." Acts 10:38. Yeshua was able to do this because He first listened for the Voice of the Father and was then obedient to what He heard. Where the religious folk of the day quarreled with Yeshua was not in God's ability to heal, but the manner in which that healing occurred. It didn't fit into their preconceived notions of how that should take place. Since their traditional way of approaching healing rendered God powerless - consequently, they also did not see much healing taking place in their midst (Mark 7:13).
So, then, the question becomes HOW that healing is to occur and it is here that we run into all types of variables. The appropriation of healing is as different as there are individuals. There were some that He merely spoke to and they were immediately healed. There were others that some action was required on their part in order to obtain their healing. Since it is not recorded where Yeshua ever healed anyone the same way twice, it becomes paramount that we should take our cue from His Way and first hear the voice of the Father in matters that involve our direct participation.
In Galatians 5:22-23 faith is listed as one of the Fruit of the SPIRIT and, like repentance, is a gift not to be wielded at our discretion but at the direction of WHOSE IT IS. Our faith (different from the faith imparted by the Spirit), while important, is but one element in the process of healing and, traditionally, has been amplified way out of proportion from what it is intended to do.
|"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, 'and was not found, because God had taken him' for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:1-6)|
The rest of that chapter in Hebrews goes on to list example after example of men and women who, after having FIRST HEARD GOD SPEAK, then went on to see the performance of that word because their faith was IN THAT WORD THAT THEY HEARD GIVEN AT THAT MOMENT. Their subsequent obedience to that word was the evidence of their faith in it. However, before hearing Him speak, they first had to occupy that realm of being pleasing to Him. Pleasing God means what? The pre-requisite to hearing God speak is to believe that He is and that He will reward us for seeking Him. But being pleasing to Him does not constitute the reward. Becoming pleasing to Him creates an environment of faith that enables Him to operate because He can only operate in a realm of faith. That is what is known as the measure of faith that is given to each of us that allows us to come across the threshold of the doorway into the kingdom. Once inside the door, we can then receive the reward. What is the reward for seeking Him? That we will find Him and WE GET TO HEAR HIS VOICE! That was the essential message of the Son - that if we hunger and thirst after righteousness, WE WILL BE FILLED (Matthew 5:6).
That does not necessarily mean we immediately get what we are asking for, however. We too often mistake the place of merely believing that He is as that place of reward and fail to wait to hear His voice of instruction�.and, unless He speaks the word FOR THAT MOMENT, all the believing in the world on our part won't make it happen. This is not to say that our prayers and petitions do not have an effect on the word that He speaks, for they do; but, ultimately, if the word does not come from His Mouth there is no power released to cause anything to happen. Because we wish and hope and pray for it to happen does not make it so nor does it place any obligation on God to do anything.
Once we obtain a clear word from the Father then the faith fruit of the Spirit kicks in and becomes added to the measure of faith we were granted to enter the door. As we exercise our belief in the word by our obedience to that word, that is when the power of the Almighty is unleashed and we can then expect God to fulfill the Word He has spoken. This process takes all the emphasis off of us and, instead, places it onto the creator of the universe to do what He said He will do.
|"You do not have, because you do not ask." (I John 3:15). "[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and selfish motives." (James 4:3 - Amplified)|
One of the basic tenets of faith is listed in the Ten Commandments, "You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (Exodus 20:7) The dictionary defines vanity as something that is used or done for selfish purposes. God was trying to say that when we attempt to force our will and desires into the realm of the spiritual, the atmosphere of faith he needs to operate in becomes nullified; hence, we can not be "pleasing" to Him because we have not sought after Him and His will first.
She simply quit running to this one and that one, this meeting and that rally, looking for someone else's touch; humbled herself before the Father to wait only on Him and became obedient to those things He had given her specifically to do. If He does not speak the Word of Healing into our bodies, all the faith we try to work up won't do a thing. Since, as believers, God is more concerned in the eternality of our spirit than He is in the temporal nature of our flesh, it is imperative that we "go to the Source" to find out what He has to say about whatever condition we find ourselves in and leave all our preconceived ideas about how that is to happen behind. In scripture, He never healed the same way twice. We want formulas. "So faith comes by hearing, and hearing from the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14) The Word is not a book, it is the manifestation of the Life of Spirit. The Book only speaks of Spirit. "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." (John 5:39.40) When we lift our eyes off of ourselves and our problems and put them squarely on Him, it is then that we will gaze on the Source of Life. No one else can do that for us.
The Hebrew word translated as "praise" is halal and means to shine - to flash forth light. When we begin to praise the Source of Life in the midst of our circumstance we allow the Sun of Righteousness to arise in our being and we become brilliant.
Today, there are many who want us to believe in this way or that way to obtain favor from God. There is only One Way, however, and that Way is the example set forth by the One who exampled the Way - Yeshua, and that Way is to wait on the Source of Life, Who is Light. That is why Yeshua spent so much time alone with the Father, training His ear to hear the Father's Voice. So should we. He is speaking to you now - are you hearing?
"While I live I will praise YaHoVeH; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being."|
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.