Healing Flows When Grace Is Exalted
Have you been waiting and waiting to experience the healing you have been believing God for? Perhaps you are already doing all you know to do, yet you feel like you are missing something, and you have no idea what it is. Take heart, my friend. What I am about to share with you will bridge that gap, rest your weary soul, and carry you through to your miracle!
Not long ago, the Lord opened up to me the story of Abimelech in the book of Genesis and showed me important truths about divine healing. My heart was so blessed and I believe these powerful truths will also help you receive your healing or any other breakthrough.
Do you know that the first mention of healing in the Bible is found in this story? We read that “Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants”(Genesis 20:17, emphasis mine). When studying the Bible, there is a principle called “the law of first mention”. When a topic, in this case healing, is mentioned for the first time, there are significant, fundamental truths that God has for us that will greatly aid our understanding of the subject. So let’s dive right into Abimelech’s story and see what God has for us!
If you read Abimelech’s story, you will see that he took Sarah, Abraham’s wife, for his harem. Sarah was beautiful despite her age and Abimelech wanted her. And he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong because Abraham had said of Sarah, “She is my sister” (Genesis 20:2). However, when Abimelech took Sarah from Abraham, Abimelech and the women in his household became barren.
God then appeared to Abimelech in a dream and said, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife” (Genesis 20:3). How those words must have shocked and frightened the king! But God knew Abimelech had acted innocently as Abraham had told him Sarah was his sister. So God gave Abimelech a chance and said, “Restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours” (Genesis 20:7).
When Abimelech awoke, he did more than just restore Sarah to Abraham. He also “took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham.” He even gave Abraham any land of his choosing — “See, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you” (Genesis 20:14–15).
After Abimelech put Sarah back in her rightful place and enriched Abraham, we read that “Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife” (Genesis 20:17–18).
I want you to take note of the phrase, “because of Sarah.” Sarah played a central role in this story and in how healing came to Abimelech’s household. When she was restored to Abraham, at Abraham’s prayer, God healed Abimelech and his household and they became fruitful. It was all because of Sarah!
What do you mean, Pastor Prince? What does Sarah have to do with God’s healing flowing freely in our lives?
Faith and grace always go together.
My friend, it all becomes clear when you understand what Sarah and Abraham represent in the Bible. Let’s begin with Abraham. Scripture tells us Abraham was made righteous by faith and he is known as “the father of faith” (ref.: Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:16). So Abraham represents faith. Sarah, on the other hand, as taught by the apostle Paul, is the freewoman who symbolises the new covenant of grace (ref.: Galatians 4:22–26). So Sarah represents grace.
Putting it all together, Sarah (grace) was taken away from Abraham (faith), and that’s when Abimelech’s problems began. But when he restored Sarah (grace) to her rightful place beside Abraham (faith), healing flowed. Note that it was grace that was taken away from faith, not the other way around. Isn’t that also our challenge today?
In many places, believers learn about faith, preach about faith, and exercise faith, but God’s grace is not in the picture. Sometimes, even when we’ve heard about His grace and mercy, we forget to lean on His love and kindness towards us. Faith becomes a work: We do all we can to stretch our faith to receive our miracle. We pray, we confess scriptures, we bind, we rebuke, we loose, and we try this and that remedy. God’s grace or unmerited favour is left out of the picture when oftentimes, it was the warmth of His love and grace that first drew us to Him. We end up focusing on our faith to receive our miracle and we become frustrated when we don’t see any results. We forget that salvation, which includes healing and deliverance, is by grace through faith (ref.: Ephesians 2:8).
Today, God wants to remind us to restore grace to its rightful place. Faith and grace always go together — “it is of faith that it might be according to grace” (Romans 4:16). You can’t have faith without grace or you will burn out. But our tendency is to remove grace from faith, as we like to depend on our strength and efforts rather than rest in God’s grace. I have received so many testimonies from people who, after “exercising their faith” for so long and getting nowhere, finally experienced their breakthroughs when they encountered and leaned on God’s grace. When grace was restored alongside their faith, their chronic conditions were healed, their long-term addictions were broken, their failing marriages were restored, and their mounting debts were cleared. Grace was the missing link!
Brandon’s testimony is a case in point. Brandon, who wrote to us from Australia, shared that he had been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. As he had difficulty keeping the flare-ups under control, he had to be hospitalised. He was also given multiple drugs and steroids to suppress his condition, as it has no known cure.
Brandon wrote, “Once, I cried out and shouted at God for not healing me. I told Him I didn’t know what else to do to receive my healing.” Brandon was trying his best, exercising his faith, doing all he possibly could to experience healing, but to no avail. He continued going through some rough times while trying many different types of medication that cost thousands of dollars.
But things started to change for Brandon when he gave grace its rightful place. He shared, “My efforts went on for many years until I learned how to rest in the Father’s love through listening to Pastor Prince’s preaching on God’s grace. Over time, I learned that God is my heavenly Father and that He loves me very much. His grace in my life is a gift and there is nothing I can do to earn or lose it. I also learned how Jesus’ finished work on the cross has accomplished everything I need, including my healing. Meditating on these truths filled me with complete joy and peace.”
Brandon received God’s free gift of grace by simply hearing about it and meditating on it. And it filled him with joy, peace — and unconscious faith. Now, more consumed by God’s goodness than by his condition, he went for another scheduled colonoscopy to track the extent of his disease…and found out he had been healed. He shared, “The specialist could not find any evidence of the disease or damage! That was when I realised I had not been experiencing any symptoms over the last six months! My eyes have finally been opened to the amazing grace of our Lord through His finished work. I now live worry-free, happy and trusting in my heavenly Father’s goodness. What an amazing way to live!”
Our faith is enriched when we restore and exalt grace in our lives.
What a precious praise report! Did you notice what happened when Brandon began to prioritise God’s grace by hearing message upon message of the Lord’s love and finished work and meditating on these truths? The reign of his condition ended. It could no longer torment his body or his emotional well-being. God’s healing flowed so supernaturally — Brandon began enjoying the Lord’s peace and rest to the extent he wasn’t even aware his symptoms no longer plagued him! Whatever your symptoms and no matter how long you have had them, I pray you will also receive the Lord’s supernatural healing as you give weight and time to His word of grace.
When you allow God’s grace to flood your situation, your faith is strengthened. Worry and fear begin to get cast out as rest and peace begin to move in, as in Brandon’s case. Now I want you to recall how Abimelech gave Abraham sheep, oxen, servants, and land when he returned Sarah. The powerful truth here is that our faith is enriched when we restore and exalt grace in our lives. There is no trade-off here. You don’t lose out on faith when you exalt grace. On the contrary, you get a faith boost!
Have you ever lamented, “If only I had more faith”? Well, my friend, you embolden your faith when you focus on God’s grace and give it its rightful place. The Bible tells us that “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, NASB). But what is it about “the word of Christ” that brings faith? I submit to you that it is the word of His grace.
The book of Acts records for us that Paul and Barnabas preached boldly in the Lord, “who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3). When the word of His grace is preached, faith is imparted and miracles, signs and wonders happen! A few chapters later, we find Paul commending the brethren “to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32). What builds us up and causes us to possess our inheritance, including healing? The word of His grace! Not more legalistic laws, rules or human strategies to follow, but God’s amazing and liberating grace.
The more you hear or read about the Lord’s goodness and grace, the more your faith grows. If you need a faith boost today to receive healing, read all the healing miracles of Jesus in the Gospels and see His goodness and compassion in healing the sick. See how He cleansed the lepers, opened blind eyes, made the lame and maimed whole, cast out demons, and raised the dead. He always had compassion on the sick who sought Him and He never turned anyone away. And because He is the same yesterday, today and forever, He also has compassion on you and will never turn down your request for healing!
Here is another thing: Do you know that when you simply see the Lord in His grace, He sees you in your faith? Don’t focus on your faith — “Do I have enough faith? Am I in faith?” Focus instead on His grace and faith for your miracle will come effortlessly. How did the woman with the issue of blood for 12 years have faith to push through the multitudes and reach out to our Lord Jesus for her healing? Did she go around saying, “I must have faith. I must have faith”? No, she simply “heard about Jesus” (Mark 5:27), and that stirred up bold faith.
When you see the Lord in His grace, He sees you in your faith.
This woman must have heard how Jesus “went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil” (Acts 10:38). She saw a good Saviour who had compassion on the sick and those who were suffering, and who was most willing to use His power to set them free. Hope and faith erupted in her despite 12 years of suffering and all kinds of attempts to be healed. And when she saw the Lord in His grace, He saw her in her faith. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34, emphasis mine).
Beloved, are you all worn out trying to exercise faith? Has your faith been run to the ground? Simply turn your eyes upon Jesus today and focus on His compassion and grace. Let His grace back in and you will find your faith being enriched effortlessly. And like the woman with the issue of blood, you will soon find yourself reaching out with bold faith to take hold of your miracle!
When I talk about restoring grace and giving it its rightful place, I’m not talking about one more thing you need to do in order for God to heal you. You can’t get grace by your efforts; you can only receive it. The Bible says that “those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17, emphasis mine). As God’s Word clearly states, reigning in life — over our sinful habits as well as chronic sicknesses — involves receiving His grace, and we can never receive too much of it.
I have been criticised for preaching “too much” grace. But the truth is that we need to receive an abundance of God’s grace. We need to keep hearing about His grace and to keep receiving it, because our tendency is to return to and trust in self-effort. Whenever we fall back on our self-efforts — “God should heal me because I’ve prayed for three hours and read 10 chapters of my Bible” — we make Christ of no effect to us. We fall from His grace as we have set it aside and replaced it with our works (ref.: Galatians 5:4; 2:21). But the solution is simple: Put grace back in its rightful place and healing will flow as Christ becomes of effect to us once more!
To win the battles of life, receive an abundance of grace each day.
My friend, it will always be about His grace. The Bible tells us that “in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace” (Ephesians 2:7). Aren’t you glad His exceedingly rich grace will always be there for us?
When Jehoshaphat’s army set out to face a vast and formidable enemy, what did this king tell his appointed singers to sing? “Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 20:21). In the Psalms, David, who took down a giant and won many battles, wrote this of the Lord: “Your lovingkindness is better than life” (Psalm 63:3). The words “mercy” and “lovingkindness” are both translated from the Hebrew word hesed, which means the grace of God.1
When God’s people simply valued God’s grace in their lives and in their situations, they won their battles hands down. Beloved, that amazing grace that will never run out or fail us is available to you today. In fact, the Lord’s grace is new for us every morning precisely because He knows we need it every day (ref.: Lamentations 3:22–23). If we want to win the battles of life and live an overcoming life, let’s give grace its rightful place by simply receiving an abundance of it each day!
Whatever condition or challenge you are facing and whatever breakthrough you are believing God for today, my prayer for you is that you will keep your eyes on our Lord Jesus and His love for you. Keep hearing and reading about our Lord’s grace. Let it wash over you and remove your fears, doubts and anxieties. And as you grow in your revelation of what He has already accomplished for you on the cross and see His heart to enforce His blessings in your life today, I pray you will see His healing and miracles flow into every area of need!
Copyright © 2017 Joseph Prince. All rights reserved.
1. OT: 2617, William Edwy Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
Healing Flows When Grace Is Exalted, 8 July 2012