Now, the word about the conditions necessary for healing. Of course, there are always conditions. That's a bit of the common sense of life. Whether it's having a check honoured at the teller's window, or having the right to run an automobile,
Or, motoring through thick traffic in the city, or cooking a good meal, or playing golf, or keeping in good bodily shape, or polite social intercourse, or what not in the common run of life, there are always conditions.
And here the conditions are so simple as to be almost laughable. And yet they are so in flexibly rigid as to be absolutely indispensable, like almost all conditions of life.
Listen: come to Christ the Saviour, who died for our sins, as none other did, nor could, nor can. Ask for, and accept, forgiveness of your sins, and the cleansing from sin through His blood. Thank Him for dying for you and taking your sin away.
Then, when the need comes, go at once to Him. Whatever the need may be, cleansing from some sin you've let in, power to break that evil habit, guidance in some difficult situation, or bodily healing of whatever sort, to whatever extent, go to Him. Go first to Him. Go to Him at once.
He will forgive all our iniquities. He will heal all our diseases. He will prolong our days till the full span of life is run out. He will put His direct helpful touch on the outer circumstances, for our sake. He will renew the vigour of body and mind and spirit clear up to the measure it should be. This is His will for you and me.(Psa_103:1-5)
Now, it would be quite enough to stop right there. That tells the whole story of the conditions to be met.
But, because things are quite a bit foggy, it will be good to talk a bit about just what this means in actual habit, in the common run of things, in daily life.
We haven't been taught about healing. Indeed we haven't been taught much at all about the Christian life. There are always fine exceptions.
We need to be taught. Then there will be an intelligent understanding. There will come to be a matured mellowed mental judgment. There will be a seasoned wisdom to know how to act in emergencies. There will be a habit of action formed.
We will know how to meet opposition. We'll understand about "the fiery darts." For our enemy is cunning and practised. He's an old hand in the fine art of befooling, and filling the air with foggy questions and doubts.
An old seasoned soldier holds steady under fire when the new recruit takes to his heels. The experienced banker or broker keeps his head when panic threatens where the less-seasoned takes fright and maybe loses out.
So there's a bit more to say. It's detail. It's included in what has been said. It will really grow up out of that if one follows fully and truly and simply. It can be put into four words, an act, a purpose, a habit, an attitude.
The act is the surrender to Christ as a master, not a Saviour simply but a master. In a thoughtful intelligent seasoned way Christ is to be allowed to sway all the habits, as the flame sways the dry kindling in the grate with a good draft.
The personal habits, the home relationships and contacts, the daily work, or business or profession, the income and out-go, the recreations and social contacts,—all these, in a wholesome sane habitual way, are to be as you believe He would prefer.
For He always has a preference, very decided. And when in doubt hold the thing in question open till the doubt quite clears.
The surrender is an act, a glad act. Then it becomes a practice, a constant unwavering practice. And then it becomes a habit, a fixed unconscious habit of action.
It simply means fullest touch of habit and motive and life with Him who died for us, out of the love of His heart, when He didn't have to. This is the meaning of being in touch with Christ.
The purpose is this: in everything to please Him. The purpose really becomes a passion, a tender, strong, tense passion, a passion of love, a passion for Him.
It does not simply ask "is this wrong?" and leave it out. "Is this right?" and put it in. But this: "What would He prefer? What would please Him?"
There are many things that aren't wrong. You can prove that so far as logic goes. Though, of course, logic can be used to prove anything. And of course again, logic itself proves nothing.
A thing may be proven not wrong. But if that quiet inner Voice tells you it is not best, not what He would prefer, then that is quite conclusive here for the man really in touch.
Christ's preference, Christ Himself, the Man who loved so, and loves, and cares what we do, this quite settles things for the man in touch.
The habit is this: a bit of daily time off alone with the Book every day. The day may be crowded, but the man in touch finds that bit of time planned for, and growing longer of itself rather than shorter. What one really wants is always included, however crowded the day and the way.
It'll be time when the mind is fresh, or the nearest it comes to being fresh, whatever time that may be. It will be unhurried time, the spirit unhurried, even though the watch lies open before you.
It will be time with the Book itself. And if one has a paragraphed Bible (such as the revisions), with good clear type, a copy pleasant to handle, and if he isn't afraid to make notes on the margin so things will stand out, so much the better.
In that bit of time each day, multiplied by as many days as the calendar provides, the vision clears, the understanding is taught, the purpose stiffens, the judgment seasons and acquires poise (that rarest thing!), the spirit gentles, the heart becomes purer and hotter (the normal heart condition), the brain cooler, the feet steadier, the up-reaching hand bolder, and the out-reaching hand warmer. This is what keeping in touch means.
The continual attitude of mind and spirit comes instinctively under the sway of all this. One goes the simple daily round with an unspoken prayer and an inner song.
There's the doing of the endless commonplace things with a new spirit. They're done for Him, as He did them in that Nazareth home and carpenter shop. The commonest things are done well because done under His eye.
There may be monotony in act, but never in spirit. What would be drudgery becomes rhythm, because of the inner spirit. The ever-present One within, the song in your heart even when clouds gather, these sweeten the humdrum task.
And when the unexpected comes, when the emergency suddenly looms, this quiet, steady attitude of spirit finds you ready. You are prepared. You hear the clear, quiet inner voice. You know instinctively what to do. And you hold still and steady till you do know. This is what keeping in touch means.
The whole thing is just that, being in touch with Christ, and keeping in touch. This is the simple underlying condition for healing. This being in touch is the natural human thing. Anything else is not human. It's an intrusion. Things are out of plumb.
This simple natural touch with Christ means health, a normal bodily functioning all the time. It means protection from that which threatens your health. It means the direct healing touch, if and when, disease actually gets in.
This is the first "how" of Christ's healing, the how of conditions, getting and keeping in touch. Sin broke and breaks the touch with Christ. We were started in touch back in Eden. We are born into this world in touch, at least, creatively. And that's no small thing.
The whole fabric of modern life, as it actually is, tends to the breaking of that touch. The wilful doing what we want to when we instinctively know we should do something else, this starts or strengthens the break.
Loss of touch means loss of strength, yes, bodily strength. And disease and sickness and weakness in general, in some way, come through that break.
Coming to Christ, coming all the way, and staying, this mends up the break. He mends it up. Then the way is open for all one needs of whatever sort.
And, when, some day He comes back again, there will be the fulness of touch in His immediate presence. Then the last lingering vestige of sin's break in our bodies will be gone.
The body laid away in the dust, in a believing hope, will know the fulness of life again, as will ours who are still living in that day.