Deepening Your Spiritual Connection
The last of the nine things that Radical Remission survivors did in their journeys to healing and wholeness was to deepen their spiritual connection. Each one felt a strong pull towards the divine and a desire to understand their own spirituality. It is important to note that they didn’t seek religion or an organization to attach themselves to, rather they each described their experiences as, “something they felt simultaneously as both a physical sensation and an intense emotion, typically described as a feeling of warm, peaceful energy that flows downward, from head to toe, coating both the physical and emotional bodies with a blanket of deep peace and unconditional love.”
Many of us have had this same experience in times past when the Spirit of God has touched our soul. It is a very personal event, one that causes us to know that the Creator of the Universe knows our name and what is going on in our lives, like my friend Kathy who not long ago mentioned she had received an overwhelming sense of peace.
When I began this journey my faith was already strong, so what I have gleaned thus far from my own attempt to deepen my spiritual connection to God has been life altering at even a deeper level; it is occurring in phases, the obvious being at the onset making petitions for God to heal the cancers. Phase I – Making my petition for healing. In my naiveté, I honestly thought I would be healed rather quickly, like the woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5:28. She simply said in her heart, “If I can only touch the hem of his garment I know I will be made whole.” I checked numerous translations, and these are some of the words that are used in this passage: whole, lived, cured, get well, saved, delivered, restored to health. The root of the words literally means, healed in body, soul, and spirit, in virtually every area of your life, and to preserve and make safe from danger. So, while the woman was wanting her body healed, she was reaching for a deeper level of healing in her life, even down to the root of why she became ill in the first place.
On to Phase II – Accepting my illness and leaving it in the hands of God for His perfect will. So, this was the hardest part of the journey thus far. I attempted to come to a place of not asking for God to heal me, rather, release the cancer to him to do with me what He wanted. Isn’t that what we are taught? Put our issue in the hands of God so He can do what he wants with us? While there is an element of truth to this, I have come to believe that there is a higher walk of responsibility that we toss out the door because it is a very difficult road to walk down. From July to only a week ago I went through phases I and II asking and relinquishing, pleading, asking, relinquishing, pleading, reminding God of the scriptures that instructed us thusly. To that point I had only brief instances of real peace and assurance, the only one being the original scripture that was given me, “I will not die, but live and proclaim the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17. What I was doing was not living at all. The battle in my mind and soul have at times been nearly unbearable. It wasn’t until last week that the Lord spoke to me and basically told me I didn’t need to ask anymore, and to take up my bed and walk. I entered Phase III, and what I am hoping is the last phase of this journey.
Phase III – Walking in real faith. I had gone through a terribly rough day to the point of not wanting to continue the journey so went to bed early. After lying awake for a while, I asked Marion to find the little book of healing scriptures he used to read when he was working to heal his own body of illness several years ago. After reminding him of it he brought it in and read the scriptures, I cried, then fell asleep. The next morning, I felt to get that little book and read it myself. When I did, I recalled my early days in the Word of Faith movement. I wanted to walk the word and not just confess it, which was what I was seeing by many faith leaders, so basically threw the baby out with the bath water, unintentionally, a stopped using the word in vain.
A new sense of understanding the phrase, not my will but thy will, infused my being. It is not relinquishing that God wants from us, it is repenting – changing our walk to fit His will. It is indeed God’s will that we (all of us) be healed. I repented from the human doctrines I came to fall for that justified my lack of healing; professions that it must not be God’s will for me to be sick, or He’s punishing me and that is why I am sick, or any other reason we can think of to blame God for not healing us. After all, it is easier to give up. We often shift our inadequacies to God whose desire is that we be healed and made whole.
A scripture many of us grew up on and quote anytime we are sick is Isaiah 53:4-6 “…Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.”
I’m beginning to believe it is only when we really place ourselves on that cross with Jesus, become one with the essence of what happened at Calvary, that we can truly walk in the faith that it takes to receive total healing of body, soul, and emotions.
We are taught that if we believe in His name (which means His nature) we will be saved and live an eternity in a place called Heaven. We are NOT taught that part of that salvation includes freedom from sickness, freedom from oppression, guilt, depression, distress, anything that keeps us from living the abundant inner life of Christ now, while in our bodies. Essentially, we are still eating from the tree of good and evil, the law of sin and punishment, darkness and light. Yet we are told in scripture to eat only from the tree of life which is exactly what Jesus is – the tree of life. His words are LIFE. I feel alive – really alive – for the first time since July.
I’m hoping there is not a Phase IV, but if there is, I will continue my walk with a greater understanding of the One I call Savior. We are delivered from the curse of the law, and free from the law of sin and death. By his stripes we are indeed healed.