When we see the sick healed and demons cast out, these are outward demonstrations of the kingdom of God being manifested in our presence. The Bible says, the Kingdom is upon or near us.
“If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28). "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matt. 9:35). "You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).
Jesus granted the power to heal and cast out demons to His disciples
"He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness" (Matt. 10:1). “'Heal the sick … and say to them, "The kingdom of God has come near to you"'” (Lk. 10:9). "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons" (Matt. 10:7,8). "So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere" (Lk. 9:6).
Satan falls when we heal the sick and cast out demons
"Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.' And He said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you'" (Lk. 10:17-19). ”The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does” (1 John 3:8 GWT). “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). "He sent His Word and healed them” (Ps. 107:20 NASB). “All the promises of God are Yes, and in Him, Amen to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20 NKJ). “…by His wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
I need to be operating out of some sort of perspective as I heal the sick and cast out demons. So what I do is I see myself participating in the continuous expansion of the Kingdom of God. Wow! Just saying that His Kingdom is continuously expanding already has me so excited, I can barely stand it (Isa.9:7). I see the King of Glory on His throne with lightning flashing all around, and power galore exuding forth from the throne (Hab. 3:4). I command that the Kingdom of God be manifest (Matt. 6:10) in the situation before me and that the body be healed, and come into full alignment with the glory, power and compassion of God’s kingdom. I command all demons connected to this disorder to flee in Jesus' name.
My salvation experience made me a son of this King (Jn. 3:5) and I was endowed with the Holy Spirit's power when I chose to yield myself as a vessel to Him (Acts 1:8). I touch the sick and see Kingdom power released. I command and see satan's work demolished. I see God’s lightning flowing out through my hands and His anointing flowing out through my words. I see myself as Jesus in action (Gal. 2:20), destroying the works of the evil one.
Well, I want you to know, this is an empowering picture. It sure is much better than seeing myself as self trying to cast out demons or heal the sick. So I invite you to enter into true reality when you are confronted by the kingdom of darkness. Tune to the Holy Spirit's flow. See the King's movements, believe what you are seeing. Speak it, and act upon what you are seeing as you minister His grace to a hurting world. Then watch as God performs His miracles of healing and deliverance and sets the prisoners free! You are being used to free captives, remove darkness, bring in Kingdom light. See it. Speak it. Watch it happen.
Of course the miracle is His doing. People are healed and set free by the power of His Spirit. That’s why I keep a smile on my face and stay relaxed as I pray for healing. I am the vessel yielded to His Spirit’s flow. I sure don’t have the power to do a miracle, but He abides in me and upon me and He has enough power available to get the job done. So stay relaxed, smile and command, "Thy Kingdom come!" and then watch the Lord work.
Some Notes from Steve Stewart's Book, When Everything Changes
Steve Stewart has written about the Kingdom of God as it relates to healing. I read this book on a plane ride from Buffalo to Texas, and it so inspired my faith, that the following day, during a seminar break, I laid hands on an older gentleman (I would guess around 75) who had arthritis in both legs, and told him to get up and do some walking and see how he felt. He came back about 5 minutes later to inform me that all the arthritic pain in his legs was gone!
(Click here to download a file of some verses on the “Kingdom” from the New Testament. Meditate on them, as you pray this prayer: “God, reveal to me Your kingdom, and how I am to be a compassionate, healing minister of Your grace and transform lives.” Then step out!)
The Kingdom of God is defined as: “[T]he redemptive reign of God dynamically active to establish his rule among men, and that this Kingdom, which will appear as an apocalyptic act at the end of the age, has already come into human history in the person and mission of Jesus to overcome evil, to deliver men from its power, and to bring them into the blessings of God’s reign.” (George E. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974), 91)
The Kingdom of God comes with the power and reality of heaven, everything begins to change. The possibilities change, the scope of our dreams and hopes changes, and lives are profoundly transformed. The Kingdom of God is bigger, more immediate, more powerful, more inclusive than most of us have ever imagined. The gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus preached and demonstrated, this gospel that He entrusted to His disciples and to the church, is meant to touch everything. The gospel of the Kingdom is unshakable and irresistible. Jesus declared that it is forcefully advancing and He challenged us to take hold of its forcefulness. The gospel of the Kingdom is why we as Jesus’ disciples are here. It is the great adventure. It is the ultimate purpose of life. The Kingdom has a King and He is moving; He says, “Follow Me. Look where I’m going. Join in what I am doing.”
We are created for significance. Even more, we are created for adventure. This is because God has made us to participate in His Greater Story – His eternal and ever-unfolding plan for His creation. We are created to be part of that plan and in this we find our deepest satisfaction. This is why from the youngest age we are drawn to stories of heroism, of great causes. By the time my grandson was three years old he was enthralled with heroes. (When I open the front door I never know which superhero will be greeting me!) And we never really outgrow this. The heroes that we follow in books and on the movie screen - all touch something very deep within us. These are merely a shadow, an expression of the desire that is in every person to participate in something that has significance beyond one’s self. I believe that when beckoned, the disciples followed Jesus not only because He looked into their hearts with compassion and understanding, but also they recognized an invitation to a greater cause.
One of the early church fathers, Iranaeus, said, “The Glory of God is man fully alive.” Life is a great gift and a great adventure which, when fully embraced, not only brings us a tremendous sense of fulfillment, but also advances the purposes of God and His Kingdom upon the earth. It is our adversary who continually tries to restrain us through fear and intimidation. Our enemy wants us to think small thoughts, to dream small dreams. We are surrounded by a culture that continually sends out the message to “settle down” and settle for less.
Knowing the challenges that Solomon would be facing, David said this to his son: “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished” (1 Chr. 28:20).
This is a time of unprecedented opportunity. I am watching God raise up people who are completely committed to bringing His Kingdom to the poor and the hurting of the world. And wherever these passionate disciples go, they release the tangible signs of God’s Kingdom, bringing healing, hope, justice and rescue. Everywhere I go within the church or outside of it, I encounter people who are longing for more significance, more purpose. They are beginning to gather. The inclusive Jesus continues to say, “You come too. Of course this is for you!” I see young men and women not content with simply wishing that there were more to their lives, but stepping out and following Jesus into the harvest field, becoming actively engaged in His Greater Story.
“If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt. 16:24–25).
In this passage we see that God is a realist: If we step out, we step into a battle. In John 10:10 Jesus told us that there is a thief who constantly lies and tries to steal from us. The primary way he does this is through fear. Fear can be such a pervasive force that when we give in to it long enough it becomes complacency. The enemy tells us that if we step out we will suffer shame, disgrace and humiliation. These reflect a deep-seated fear of abandonment that is primal for most people. But he is the father of lies. Our true Father tells us that He will never leave us or abandon us, that He will be with us. More than that, He will empower and enable us to complete the assignment that He sets before us.
Although we in the church should be the most vocal in calling people up to a great purpose, the great adventure of living in the Kingdom Of God, we settle for small things in this present age. We put our desires and hopes off into the Age to Come.
People who begin to activate their faith and desires can always make a greater difference, and more quickly, than they ever thought possible. This discovery awakens something deep within us when we find out that the desires of our heart are not fantasies, but a reflection of our Father’s desire and intent for us.
When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples and later the seventy-two, they returned with great joy. Why? Because they were doing what God had created them to do. They were moving in the rhythm of His Kingdom. Disciples of Jesus have discovered a great cause and they are unafraid to give themselves fully to it. In many ways disciples live bigger lives, not because of who they are but because of who Jesus is. Disciples walk in spiritual authority, which has been described as confidence without arrogance; humility without apology. John Wesley once said that people will come for miles around to watch a man burn. He meant burn with passion and purpose.
Sociologists, psychologists, and theologians have all come to the same conclusion. Every man, woman and child, regardless of background, culture, or race, has been created with two great needs: security and significance.
In Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22 we are told that the river of God flows out from the temple. Two things stand out here: wherever the river flows it brings life, change and vitality. Secondly, the further the river goes away from the temple, the deeper it is. This vision reflects the mission of the church and provides a deep sense of significance for all of its members.
This gospel of the Kingdom, when faithfully proclaimed and demonstrated, releases the power of God and His ultimate reality in such a way that it must always bring about deep, meaningful, significant change. The gospel of the Kingdom is God’s great cosmic purpose released upon the earth. The Kingdom of God touches every part of life – nothing is excluded. It redefines reality. In fact, it releases and activates the very reality that it proclaims.
Go Deeper - Get Healthy!
Check out this entire blog series on Vibrant Health! - Miracles PLUS Gifts of Healings. Working through this series on health is ideal for both individuals and groups. The more we take responsibility for ourselves - spirit, soul and body - the healthier we become! Won't you join me in living to at least 100 in vibrant health?