Written by Bishop Josh Sparks.
Praise the Name of Jesus Christ.
Today I want to write about something heavy the Lord has placed on my heart. The past few weeks the Lord has been speaking to me about the many who are sick in body in the church. When I was a young preacher you hardly ever seen sick folk in the church. The people who were sick were healed because the preachers preached about faith and Jesus and His power was more than just a story it was a reality. You cannot and will not move God until you have a revelation of Him and until He has become a reality to you. Jesus is more than just a story and God’s ability to Heal is more than just a good message. That’s why so many are sick in the church today. The preachers are preaching the word but it is void of faith and if the preacher dont really believe and understand what he is preaching how can be a witness to the saints of God.
Let me sat without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. I have laid hands on people who come through the prayer line that had no business being up there.They dont have any faith in what was preached because they dont believe that He (God) is (present) or living. They have never had a revelation of the reality of God and the reality of His word they have not known because the one’s teaching them dont know either. You will always have the one who presses through he crowd and is healed in the service. There will always be a Zaccheus who just wants to see Jesus. Some are not at church to be entertained. Some are there to really touch Jesus.
I know God is a healer. I was born crippled. Evangelist R.A West was preaching at the paramount arts center November 1979 and Dad and Mom took me there. Hands were laid on me and by faith they took the pillow I had to wear off from around my little twisted right leg and God healed me. Mt Grandfather was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer 15 years ago and 15 years later he is 79 years old and still alive and well and God is still real and He is still healing those who believe He is because He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Prayer lines and prayer clothes and prayer boxes have replaced the power of God. We have to have gimmicks and programs to take place of the power we have somehow lost. I believe in prayer lines and prayer clothes but these are mere points of contact and cannot replace the presence of Jesus nor the reality of Jesus. We spend more time boxing God in and not allowing Him to move in our services, we have become experts on telling God what to do and the people who need the revelation of His reality brought to light miss out with God because they cannot find him in our way of worship and orders of service. Zaccheus couldnt see Jesus because of the crowd or the church so he had to take drastic measures. Desperate people will do desperate things in order to catch a glimpse of Jesus. The crowd tried to hush blind Bartimaeus but it made him cry out louder Jesus Son of David have mercy on me and Jesus healed Him. He got a revelation of Jesus and His power was a reality to Bartimaeus and his eyes were made whole.
This brings me to our text tonight. (Luke 13:10-17) 10And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Notice Jesus was keeping the Sabbath and as was custom he was teaching in the synagogue. And it says he beheld a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. For 18 years this woman spent her life bent over and was no doubt tormented by this spirit of infirmity and she couldnt stand upright and had to walk stooped or bent over. Jesus loosed this woman from this spirit and she stood up and was made whole. And the church folk got mad because Jesus interrupted their church meeting and some of us are like that today. We have a little church bulletin we print up with every song we are going to sing, and every special song and oft-times we have the sermon title also placed in the bulletin. Sometimes God shows up and we neglect what He desires to do and continue right on with the order of service grieving the Holy Ghost.
The religious were mad at Jesus for messing up their church meeting and reminded Jesus of what the law said, 6 days shall you work and on the 7th you should rest. Let those who are sick be healed during the 6 days but not on the sabbath. Jesus said ok you hypocrites you unleash your donkey and lead him to drink water on the sabbath and your ox and you are upset because the moving of my Spirit doesnt cooperate with your order of service cannot stop me from blessing and moving in the realms of faith. Church our religious raunchy judgemental attitudes will not and cannot stop God from moving in peoples lives where faith is present.
Jesus then said ought not this woman who is a daughter of Abraham who has been bound by satan for 18 years be loosed from this band or bondage on the sabbath day and the religious folks shut up but the praise people glorified God and rejoiced and the religious were ashamed. I am telling you church it will take more than a prayer line and a cut up handkerchief to bind and loose those bound by the spirit of infirmity. It will take a people who know God is able and a people of discernment. Yes I said it right a people of discernment. So many people think that because a woman comes to church without her hair piled on her head and her skirt dragging the ground that when we look down our religious noses at her and say she wont get nothing tonight we thank that is discernment and thats not.
Discernment is what Jesus had when he beheld the woman bound with the spirit of infirmity. If it had been some of us preachers she would have went home bound because we are more worried about our 30 minutes of fame thinking we are why people shout and dance and receive from God when we are nothing more than a vessel or conduit God chooses to work through. Without Him your nothing but measured dirt. That is the problem we have so many great preachers with great abilities and these great men fail us because they cannot produce the goods that Jesus can. A preacher can scream and shout and spit and dance but he cannot give you what you need only Jesus can.
Many of the sicknesses in the church are caused by a spirit of infirmity but Jesus has power of the spirit of infirmity and wants it rebuked and removed from His people. Preachers let’s get some discernment and take authority over the devil and allow God to loose his people even though it may go against our programs let God be God and let Him move and be lifted up. Jesus will free us from sickness and disease and will come and sup with us and be to us a very present help in times of trouble. My prayer is for God to give the church discernment of a godly sort and not a carnal sort. Man looks on the outward appearance but God sees the heart. I am sure glad though sometimes He dont judge me when he sees my heart. I hope this little study has blessed you in Jesus name.
Bishop Joshua Sparks.