Who Do We Worship - P3

Jehovah Rapha

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the LORD made a decree and a law for them, and there he tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water. Exodus 15:25-27

God told Moses, “I am the Lord, who heals you.” This Hebrew word, rapha, is a powerful word. Not only does it mean “to heal” in the sense of a disease, but it also means “to completely repair or restore”. When an antique car fanatic sets out to restore an old car he doesn’t just repaint it, throw some fuzzy dice on the mirror, and let it go. He restores it to its full capacity. This is what God means when he says “I am the Lord, who heals you.” He will restore you and your life to the condition that it should be, free of pain, disease, and want.

I firmly believe in the healing power of God Almighty. I honestly don’t think that God would fill His Word with the countless stories of His healing power if He did not intend for that power to continue on today. But there is something in this passage that I find very interesting. God says in verse 26 that He will even keep the diseases of Egypt from touching Israel. Did you get that? God told the Israelites that if they were sick, broken, or full of disease He would heal them, but His original intent is that they would not even be plagued by disease and brokenness. He basically was saying, “My will for Israel is that they walk in complete health and wholeness all of their days.”

There was a catch, however, and it comes at the beginning of verse 26. The Lord said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes.” God is clear that if we are to live the ‘life more abundantly’ that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10), it also requires complete obedience on our part. This is a key characteristic in the life of a worshipper. True worshippers, those that worship in spirit and truth, have learned to be ever-mindful of the voice of the Lord. They always have their “spiritual antennae” up to receive from the Lord, and they are always ready and waiting to obey whenever and wherever God leads.

God spoke almost this same word again at the dedication of Solomon’s temple. 2 Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people….would humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” The difference between this word and the word given in Exodus 15 was that by this time in the days of David and Solomon, Israel had fallen into sin numerous times. By this time leprosy and various disease had already come on those who had sinned – even Moses’ own sister. Many Israelites were struck dead because of their sin, and the Ark of God had even been stolen from the Israelites—all because of sin. But God wants His people to know that no matter what state you find yourself in, no matter how low you may have fallen into sin, you can call on the name of Jesus, and He is waiting to restore you to your rightful place.

What does that mean? If you are sick, He desires to heal you. If you are suffering in your finances, marriage, job, or any other area—He desires to restore you. That’s not to say that your sickness or brokenness is a result of your own personal sin, but it is a direct result of sin in the world. If it weren’t for the sin of Adam and Eve, there would be no sickness. God’s will is that you would be whole, but there are some ingredients that you must follow, and they are found in the above passage.

Humility. If my people….would humble themselves…The first step to Godly wholeness is humility. You cannot even approach God until you first recognize that you are in need of wholeness and humble yourself before God who is the only answer to your need. Pride cannot
exist in the presence of God, and the proud person cannot come before God. Psalm 10:4 states, “In his pride, the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-2 says, “Knowledge puffs up….The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” In other words when a person is possessed by pride and prideful knowledge, there is no room for God to have a place, and hence there is no room for healing or any type of restoration. In order to approach God we must come to him in brokenness and humility and recognize that He is all. King David knew this fact when he sang, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.”(Psalm 34:18). The same concept applies in our worship. We cannot truly worship until we recognize our position in contrast to His position. We must decrease so He can increase. We must become less so that He can be exalted. When we humble ourselves, we are in essence stepping out of the way so that God can have His way in our lives. Only then is He able to heal, restore, save, and set free.

Turn from their wicked ways. The second ingredient in receiving healing from God is repentance. When we talk about repentance, you must
understand this one thing: repentance is not only asking for forgiveness. Forgiveness is definitely the first step of repentance, but
then it is up to us to turn and move in the opposite direction away from that sin. The definition of this use of “turn” in the above
passage could more accurately mean to retreat. In our western culture we tend to view the word “retreat” as wimping out or running away. We think of it as a sign of weakness. While that can be true, that is not how this use of the word is intended. The word “retreat” simply means to move the completely opposite way. If you find yourself in the midst of the wrong crowd, maybe allowing the wrong things into your mind, or maybe in outright sin, God is saying that you need to make a complete u-turn and retreat from those things.

Turn from your sin, turn from your wicked ways. Cut off those bad relationships. If you find yourself watching too much HBO or worse—GET
RID OF IT. Retreat from any and every sin that surrounds you. You might have noticed that I changed the order of this step with step number 3, and I did that for a reason. It is my personal believe, that before we can come into the presence of God in worship (step #3 below) we must first deal with the sin in our lives. The third step is to seek the face of God, but sin cannot exist in His presence. The Old Testament high priest always had to deal with sin before he could enter the tabernacle or the temple of God. Sin is not allowed in His presence, but if you are faithful to recognize and turn from your sin, you now have the open invitation to come face to face with God Almighty.

Pray and seek my face,. The final step in receiving healing is to seek the face of God and pray. This is worship and the vocalization of our need. Our first need is the need for his face—his favor, grace, and presence. Simply put, seeking the face of God is our act of worship. When we come to worship we are focused on the face and the presence of God and not His hands. In other words, worship is not the time to ask for things; it is simply our time of exchanging love and adoration with the Creator of all things. It is our time of expressing thanksgiving for all of the wonderful things He has done, and it is our time of communication. There is an amazing thing that happens when we seek the face of God. Many times, as we seek His face, the natural response from the Father is the extension of His hands—the answer to our physical need.

It is during the extension of His hands that we find our healing and restoration. Many times we find God’s healing in the midst of worship,
but there are times when we need to specifically pray and make those needs known to God. You’ll notice that this step involves two parts: seeking
His face and praying. The Hebrew word for prayer is supplication which is a humble, earnest request. Philippians 4:6 says, “…let your requests
be made known to God.”
James 1:5-6 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God…..in faith, with no doubting.” Finally, in
Mark 11:24 Jesus says, “…whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you have received them, and you will have them.”
When we pray
and seek the face of God, we are fostering communication and relationship with Him, and that has been His plan since the creation of Adam and Eve. We were created for relationship with God. God wants to meet our needs. His will is that no one should suffer pain, brokenness, or emptiness.

When we can successfully meet these three requirements, God has promised that He would be faithful to heal. You can take Him at His
word. He wants to heal you today, at this very moment. What is it that you need from the hand of the Lord? Humble yourself, repent of any sin in your life, worship Him and bring your request to Him. He is waiting with open arms. Remember these words from Malachi 4:2, “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings…”

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