A few years ago, I was flying to the Middle East to be the main speaker at a major women’s conference. But there was a slight problem: I had completely lost my voice. I don’t mean that it was a little scratchy. There was nothing, nada! And it had been that way for five full days.
God promised that I would preach so I was confident that He would come through but it was a little nerve-wracking to say the least. As I prayed and prepared, I realised that I had been unwell four times in just four months. “That’s not right,” I mused. So I prayed, “If all is well, then why am I getting sick so often?”
(I encourage you to be an enquirer. When you see patterns or issues that you know aren’t God’s plans, ask the Lord to show you any underlying causes. You will be amazed what you will learn.)
Almost instantly the Lord revealed the issue. The Bible teaches that faith is of the heart. It’s not a head thing, the kind of faith that can move mountains in our lives grows in our hearts. So if we are entertaining junk inside, it can paralyze our faith.
God showed me a mirror of myself. I would be gearing up for some major ministry then I would feel some flu-like symptoms. “Oh no, that’s not fair! Why me?” I would moan to myself. “I can’t believe it’s happening again. I pray over my health and yet here I am fighting another fever.”
Here we go again
Then I would think, “Oh well, it’s time for Jo the hero to step up once more. Even with aches and pains, I will crack on as I always do. I will minister anyway.” By that time, I would probably be writing a text to our head of prayer sharing my plight and asking for the intercessors to arise.
What’s wrong with all that? Well, let’s say it the way it really was… Sickness would knock at my door. Self pity would open it wide and pride would say, “Come in.”
We can’t afford to pay entertain to either of those enemies. We can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves whenever our journey through life takes a tough turn. And we can’t afford to see ourselves as some of sort super hero for soldiering on.
What’s the problem?
If my heart is full of self-pity and pride, then there won’t be the room or the right atmosphere for faith to rise up and fight my battles. Faith changes things, so we don’t want to crowd it out with with our heart issues.
With tears streaming down my checks I told God how very sorry I was. (Did I mention that I was on a plane sitting beside a random stranger? I sure was glad that my hair was long enough to cover my tear-stained face!) I repented of self pity and dealt with my pride. I asked God to cleanse my heart and heal my body.
I woke up on the morning of the conference in my hotel room. I was due to preach in about 3 hours. I opened my mouth, and after a week of silence, a booming voice sounded. I was healed. But not just healed, I was changed too.
If you want God to shine His light into your heart and reveal the issues that you didn’t even realise were holding you back, I encourage you to read our books and come along to Healed for Life. You’ll be amazed at what God will do.