Q. I have two questions that have been troubling me for quite some time. The first concerns healing. Throughout the New Testament it appears that more often than not when Jesus heals or directs the Apostles or the 70 to heal it is accompanied by casting out devils. My question is this. I would like to know if you believe any, most or all sickness, disease and infirmities are the result of demonic activity and if you believe casting out devils should be used along with prayer for the sick. We seem to be such failures in praying for the sick.
The second question is this. I believe Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. Our relationship with Him is based on faith and not works. I would like to know if you believe it is possible for Christians to be cursed or live under a curse – generational, etc. Do you believe curses can be a reality that must be dealt with or do you believe it is a tactic of the enemy whose goal is to cause us to doubt our freedom from the curse?
A. Sickness came into the world through sin and sin came through Satan, so I think it’s a fair assumption that some of the illness we suffer is at least indirectly caused by demonic activity. However, while I believe we can all suffer from demonic oppression I don’t think a believer can be demon possessed, if that’s what you’re referring to. Now that doesn’t mean we can blame the devil every time we get sick. I think the primary cause of illness today stems from our dietary and lifestyle habits.
As for curses, I believe that because He became a curse for us (Gal. 3:13), curses against us can be broken through prayer. I think that many generational curses go by the name of environmental conditioning these days as children emulate the behavioral characteristics of their parents. Others are labeled as “genetic disposition” or inherited tendencies. But the Lord didn’t create mankind with these flaws. They’ve come into the world through sin.
Since you asked for my thoughts, I’m convinced that our failure in healing the sick stems primarily from our general lack of faith in that area, and I’m talking about both those who offer prayers and those for whom prayer is offered. Because so many have never seen a legitimate miraculous healing, it’s difficult to believe they happen, and because we don’t believe they happen we don’t see any.
The combination of our reliance on the medical and pharmaceutical professions and the effect of liberal theology on our beliefs (the great majority of our generation was raised on denominational Christianity) has had a devastating effect on our faith in the Lord’s ability and willingness to heal us. As a result, most people never think to pray for healing. And even when they do it’s often halfhearted and full of conditional clauses that make excuses in advance for failure. James 1:6-7 said that a person like that shouldn’t expect anything from the Lord.
But I’ve never found any Biblical reason to abandon my conviction that healing is available to anyone with the faith to believe and not doubt. If we can find even one person who has been healed through prayer that means the problem is with man and not God.