As we grow more and more in the truth of Grace and the reality of the finished work of Jesus Christ and what He has done, one of the things that happens is that we see more clearly what He has freed us from. We begin to see that many of the things which we have blindly accepted all of our lives without question and a lot of the things we put up with, simply need not be upon us. We have grown accustomed to many afflictions, hurts, pains, diseases and infirmities – we regard them simply as “facts of life” without giving them a second thought.
In this study today, we will be looking at the truth of what the scripture says regarding these things. As we see what Jesus has done for us, we will also realize that we need not suffer the things which we have accepted as natural, and how we are actually more free than we have even imagined.
As we begin today, I want to address a common misconception that believers have today regarding sickness and disease. There has been a very destructive and deadly lie which has been promoted within the body of Christ for a very long time. It has been repeated so often in-fact that many today accept it as a truism even though it is actually very anti-Biblical. This lie is that God makes people sick to teach them lessons, keep them humble or so that they can be a better witness for Him.
Now you have most likely heard this lie before (or one of the many variations of it), and this lie has kept people in bondage to their sicknesses, diseases pains and infirmities for generations. This lie has destroyed lives and shattered people’s faith. However nowhere in scriptures does it ever say that any of these things are the purposes of sickness and disease. The Bible never says that disease is used to make you a better witness for Christ or that sickness is used to teach you lessons or to keep you humble – in-fact God says the exact opposite in Deuteronomy 28:21-22:
“The LORD shall make the pestilence stick to you, until he have consumed you from off the land, where you go to possess it.
The LORD shall smite you with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish.”
It is very plain to see, here that the LORD says that the purpose of sickness and disease is not to make you a better person or to to have you be used in a mightier way for God, but that the true purpose of sickness and disease is to pursue you until you perish off the land.
Please understand that sickness and disease are curses. They are not chess pieces for God to move and use to make you better; they are not playthings to be toyed with. They are curses. And furthermore they are curses that Jesus suffered to free you from! Yet today many people accept them with arms open and eyes closed, and even try to claim that it is the will of God for them to have the curses on them. However, I want you to see the truth as God plainly states… sickness and disease are not allies to you or to God – sickness and disease are not your friends… they are curses that Jesus has freed you from, it is vital for you to grab hold of this truth and never let it go!
An interesting thing to note here is that God specifically says that these things will pursue you. The children of Israel had experience with having pursuers. In Exodus 14, Israel is being pursued by their former slave-masters, the Egyptians. And the chase even reaches a point where the Israelites cry out to Moses wondering why he led them there to die… You see, they didn’t really expect to be rescued. In their minds, the outcome was certain death, but they had a mediator… Moses, one who stood in the gap for them and called to God on their behalf… and the LORD heard the cry of the people and in verse 16 of Exodus chapter 14, He told Moses to lift up his rod, and the sea opened up into dry land so that the Israelites could cross,. The Egyptians began to pursue, and in verse 25, the LORD took the wheels off of their chariots so that they could no longer pursue, and the waters closed in around the Egyptians – and the pursuers were destroyed.
The miraculous became possible when Moses lifted up his rod. When Moses lifted up His rod, a way was made where there was no way. When Moses lifted up his rod, the LORD destroyed the pursuers.
Well now, you might be thinking “I wish I had the rod that Moses had!” – well my friend, you have something better than the rod of Moses! Isaiah 11, speaks of another rod, a different rod than what came before. One of better quality, better purity, stronger might, and one of a different Spirit.
Unlike Moses who carried his rod around with him, this rod carries you around. This rod can be used for full support, and when this rod is lifted up, whatever obstacles are in your path will be split apart, and your pursuers will be utterly destroyed. All the sickness, all the disease, all the pestilence and blight whose purpose to to pursue you until you perish will be done away with.
In verse 9 of Isaiah 11, it is prophesied that none shall hurt or destroy on the LORD’s holy mountain. That’s not speaking of Mount Sinai, the mountain of Moses’ Law, but it is speaking of Mount Zion, the mountain of Grace in Christ Jesus, the city of the living God and to the enumerable company of angels (Hebrews 12:18-22)
When you lift up Jesus over your situation, you will find power and a source of strength and a way that you never knew existed before. Jesus said that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. Now He mentioned the Way first but many people do not see Him as the way. They look for the Way out by themselves and then complain when they don’t see it, just as the Israelites did, but once the rod was lifted up, the great waters of the sea were split open and suddenly the way became very clear and obvious. What was uncrossable before, became easily crossable. What was a great threat pursuing them until they perished, was destroyed, not by their own might or strength, but by the power of God over their situation.
In Isaiah 40:28-29, the following is said about the LORD:
“Have you not known? have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.”
This not only tells us something about His nature, but also about His character. He is an infinite source of strength; He does not wear out. I’ve spoken with many people who actually believe that their requests tire God out, or that they just need to give Him a break… but no, He does not faint or grow weary! I love the way that verse 28 starts by asking, Have you not known? Have you not heard? And sadly for many people the answer is “No” because they don’t know these facts about God – they haven’t heard, because in many places around the world these truths about God are no longer taught!
God does not grow weary, He never runs out of strength and also there is no searching of His understanding. Which is a fancy way of saying that His wisdom and knowledge is infinite! You will never encounter a problem, situation or scenario that catches God by surprise, or that causes Him to scratch His head and say “Hmm, I didn’t see that coming! Sorry you’re on your own, I can’t help!”
Then in verse 29 look at what He does… this verse is just as much of an eye-opening revelation as the one before it. It says that He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increases strength. I want to focus on the first two words here for a moment: He gives. This is not a payment for services rendered, these are not earned merits. These are gifts… He gives. He gives power to the faint and He increases strength to those that have no might. Two different things for two different problems.
He gives power – which in the Hebrew is koakh: honor, glory, substance. He gives these things to those that are faint. Those that are lacking, those that are worn out; these people can come to the One whose strength is limitless. And He doesn’t withhold. He doesn’t say “Oh come on! Just knuckle-down and do it yourself this time – I’m tired!”, Not at all! He gives power to those who are faint.
He also increases strength – which in the Hebrew is asemah: physical strength and ability. He also gives physical help, physical strength, physical ability. Many people doubt this today. Many people believe that the help of God is only ethereal. However we see here in this verse that God does not leave out the physical! He does not forget about our physical needs, nor does He withhold our physical help.
He is generous! This is our God! He is our source of help, and we should recognize Him when we seem to be being pursued by our enemies today. Whether they be spiritual, mental, emotional, or even physical! We still have a rod to lift up high, and it is the best possible rod: the truth of the finished work of Jesus Christ and who we are today in Him! We stand fully justified in all of His divine righteousness!
The LORD God, is the One who destroys all of your pursuers today, whether it be sickness, disease, anguish, fear, worry, doubt, guilt, shame, or any other pursuer that can be named or unnamed.
Trust Him! Raise your divine rod of righteousness high in Christ Jesus! Be confident! And you will see victory over all of your pursuers.