Did you ever hear a message so compelling that you had to listen to it a second time? That was my experience as I heard a doctor share her story of physical healing as she was on her deathbed with all kinds of severe infirmities in her body, and then testify of her journey back to health.
That doctor was Sina McCullough,and her degrees are in neurobiology, physiology, and nutrition science. What I found so fascinating about her story was how medicine is now testifying what God’s word has already told us: life and death lie in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat itsits fruit, according to Proverbs 18:21.
So science is catching up with what the Bible has said for thousands of years on the impact of words on the physical body. Citing different studies, Dr McCullough observed that a person’s beliefs actually affect their biochemistry. She pointed out that we tend to forget that the brain is an organ and it sends messages to the rest of the body.
I have been blessed all my life with good health, and yet I have always been very cautious about going even for routine check ups in the past because I don’t want to hear any words spoken over me that are not life giving. I’m a sensitive person and I know I would have a tendency to come into agreement with any negative prognosis and let it take on a life of its own.
Again, science speaks of this. Studies were done that show leptin, a hormone, changes in response to what you hear. Dr. McCullough referred to a study in which two subject groups had their leptin levels tested as they were given two different reports about themselves. The one group was told that they had a gene that protected them from getting fat. The other group was told that they did not have this gene. And when they followed up later with the subjects, their bodies had responded according to what they’d been told – and here’s the kicker, all of the subjects in both groups had been lied to!
Why is it so difficult to come into agreement with the word of God and who He is and what He says about us all throughout scripture as Healer? As The Giver of Life. That he came to destroy the works of the devil, including sickness. That he is not a respecter of persons, and if He healed one person He surely will heal you. That he is able to do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine according to the power at work in us. That Jesus Christ, Who never turned away anyone who asked for healing, is the same yesterday today and forever. That the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us. That he heals all our diseases. That His name is healer.That he longs to be gracious to us. Why is it so difficult to come into agreement with those infinite promises out of the mouth of our Creator, and so easy to start believing a negative or less than life-giving observation?
We must always go back to the word of God. I sense the Holy Spirit just telling me again and again in the face of “reality,” My reality is higher. My word is higher. My name and My nature and My Spirit are higher than anything the natural realm suggests. My will and the whole reason I came was to bring life and life more abundantly (John 10:10).
In all of the healing we expect, my prayer is that God receives the glory. And the highest glory I have seen the Lord receive, the glory that paves the way for a deeper belief and a deeper level of worship and a deeper surrender to him is when people are dramatically healed in such a way that even doctors must acquiesce they have no answers. Only God the Father could have done it.
A man in our church who is in behavioral medicine (and had permission to share this story) was counseling an expectant mom. She went for her ultrasound and it revealed that the baby had multiple things wrong with it. And she was given the grim news that her baby was not growing in utero, that it was in fact terminal. In her devastation, this woman asked her father, who was a self proclaimed atheist, to pray for the baby. And her dad agreed to pray.
She returned for another ultrasound, and the doctor came into the room shaking his head. He said, “The ultrasounds are normal. We can’t account for it.”
The baby came out perfect. And this woman’s atheist father is now a follower of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:36 that we will be judged for every idle word that we speak. Talk about a thought to stop you in your tracks! The word for “idle” in the Greek means “every word that does not build up” or “every word that does not bring faith.”
So in effect, it is sinful to start identifying or speaking a disease over your life. Or someone else’s life.
We must not say, “my diabetes” or “my rheumatoid arthritis.” They are not from God and you don’t want that physiological response in your body from owning that dreadful phenomenon of Satan’s kingdom.
A friend of ours had a four year old granddaughter who had failed her hearing test in one ear. And the parents of the little girl were devastated. As their church prayed for them, someone sensed the Lord saying that the parents should whisper the word “ephrata” just like Jesus did over the deaf man in Mark 7:34. the word “ephrata” means “open up.” And so the mother would do this every night in the daughter’s ear. Then one evening, the daughter repeated back the word – “ephrata.” That ear was opened. That little girl now hears.
I’m amazed as I read through the scriptures how delighted Jesus became at simple childlike faith wherever he found it. And by contrast how grieved he was, even outraged by the lack of faith. It says that he could not do many miracles in his hometown of Nazareth because they had no faith. They saw Jesus as common because he had grown up there. And scriptures says he marveled at their unbelief. Another time, a boy who suffered from seizures was brought to Jesus, and the father said, “I brought him to your disciples and they couldn’t heal him”. And the reaction of Jesus in this passage is absolutely astounding. He says “O unbelieving and perverse generation! How long must I remain with you? How long must I put up with you?”
I have been deeply convicted that here in the West we put more faith in human beings than we do God. We put more faith in prognosis and diagnosis and the word of man and the will of man than we do over the Lord’s opinion and the Lord’s death on the cross and what it accomplished. And I am convicted that we see problems as larger than our Savior.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that the natural man does not comprehend the things of the spirit; that they are foolishness to him. I fear that practically speaking, too often we Christians act and react as natural, not spiritual, individuals. Yet scripture says that the spirit realm, the unseen, is more real than the natural because what we see with our eyes is passing away but what is unseen lasts forever (2 Cor. 4:18).
We live impoverished and shallow lives, most of us. The great healing evangelist Smith Wigglesworth said of the Bible, “This blessed Book brings such life and health and peace, and such an abundance that we should never be poor any more. This Book is my heavenly bank. I find everything I want in it. I want to show you how rich you may be, that in everything you can be enriched in Christ Jesus.”
I encourage you today to use the Bible as your heavenly bank account. Meditate on the word, ruminate on passages of scripture. Speak them out loud over your physical body. You can find audio files of healing scriptures and just play them as you go about your work, your commute, your errands, your chores.
I’m reminded even as I compose this, of another story of a boy who had a learning disorder and couldn’t read. His father had the Bible on cassette and would play it for him, over and over. And the boy’s reading capacity improved, and comprehension came to him, and the joy of learning was restored to him. And this boy ended up graduating valedictorian of his class.
God said through the prophet Isaiah, “My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Blessings on you today, dear friend!
*For more on Dr. Sina McCullough, visit her web site here