Am I Like Harry Houdini?

Phillip Baker, in his Daily Move, sent out this short message:
Harry Houdini once failed to unlock a door. He had never failed to pick a lock. So, what happened? The door was already unlocked. All he had to do was kick it open. Many times Christians believe a door is locked to them, when all they have to do is kick it open. What took place at Calvary unlocked everything.

That really got me to thinking. Isaiah 53:5 tells us, He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. When Jesus died on that cross over 2000 years ago, He took care of all our sins and stubbornness, all our rebellion against God. All that is forgiven if we simply confess it to our loving heavenly Father and change our ways of doing things. We must always remember that repentance isn’t only asking for forgiveness; it’s also changing our actions so that we no longer do the former things. Not only forgiveness, but Jesus also brought us healing because of all his physical body suffered – by his wounds we are healed.

In the past I hadn’t followed God like I had formerly and knew I should. Once I repented and started following Him closely again, that fact still haunted me. I knew I’d received God’s forgiveness because 1 John 1:9 assures us, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I had God’s word that I was forgiven, but I simply couldn’t forgive myself. Finally the thought came to me that I certainly wasn’t better than God and if He could forgive me, then I’d better forgive myself. Yes, the death of Jesus on that cross covered my sin once and for all, but Satan kept making me feel guilty and condemning me for it. When I realized this, I told him to leave me alone and that was the end of my unforgiveness of myself.

What I’m learning now is the last part of that verse, by his wounds we are healed. Jesus not only paid the price of my sin, He also suffered for all that happens to and in my physical body. Our salvation is not only to save us from hell and to bring us into fellowship with Father God, though that’s the main part of it, our salvation can also bring us physical healing. I think of the numerous people in the Bible that Jesus healed; that was a vital part of His ministry. Why do we not think today that He is still in the healing business? Yes, I pray for those who are sick, as most Christians do, but how often do I expect God to heal them? Does an anticipation accompany those prayers?

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is substance, in other words, it’s real; think of it like you would a brick or a kitchen sink. There’s more to it than we imagine. Faith brings assurance: that knowing something is true even if you don’t have any outward sign that it is. When I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, I had an assurance in my heart that I would go to heaven. I was 6 years old but that same assurance is still there, as strong as ever. Faith for anything must be the same way – a reality to us that brings us that total confidence that what we have prayed for will come to pass.

As if all that Isaiah said isn’t enough for us, it’s almost echoed in the New Testament. 1 Peter 2:24 states plainly, He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. So often I read a verse and the real meaning of it slips by me, as in this one. I read that verse many times and simply didn’t see the last part of it. The verse clearly says that because of Jesus’ wounds, I was healed back at Calvary! Just as all my sins were forgiven 2000 years ago, so my diseases were healed then. Christ doesn’t need to die again for every person who turns to Him for forgiveness or healing, that was all accomplished once and for all.

I’m not saying that because I ask Father God once to heal me of whatever is oppressing me that He always instantly does it. He certainly can work that way just as Jesus did on earth, but He doesn’t have to. Once Jesus even touched a man’s eyes twice before they were totally clear; He sometimes told people to do things and their obedience seemed to be the path of their healing, like when the 10 lepers had to go show themselves to the priest. Our faith definitely has to be activated for this to happen, just as it did then. How often Jesus told the person being healed, your faith has made you whole.

Often today God uses doctors and medicine to bring that healing. Perhaps other times, something else needs to happen first. I certainly don’t have many answers about this topic; I simply know when our faith in God’s ability to do something is strong, we are in a place where He can work in our situation. So, my faith in Him as my Healer is as great as my faith for Him to be my Savior. This door is open and I will walk through it. I don’t have to undo locks or chains and all that Harry Houdini did. They are already undone! Isaiah and Peter, as well as many other Scriptures, confirm that. I will believe God’s word to be true no matter what situation I confront that tries to deny it. God is greater than any earthly situation; therefore, I continue to walk in faith for my healing.