How far may we expect Christ 's healing? The answer is this: we may have all we can take. And then all we do take.
But please notice a few simple yet radical things about the taking. They've been spoken of partly before in another connection.
The taking must be in Christ's Name, pleading His blood. The Devil yields only to whom he must. And he must to Christ.
The taking must be by one in actual touch of heart with Christ. The Devil laughs at any one else.
The taking must be in the utmost humility. Our sins cost Christ so much suffering, and this that we take has been bought for us with His blood.
The taking must be definite. The Devil yields only what he must. The taking must be persistent. The Devil yields only when he must. And he's a sly, deceitful, toughened fighter by strategy as well as by ugly force.
The taking must be as the Holy Spirit guides. The touchstone of all prayer is the Holy Spirit's guidance. He puts the prayer to be prayed into one's heart.
No mere asking for something because of someone else 's experience will do. That experience may be blessed. But there must be one's own direct leading, over the open Book, on the bent knee.
The taking must be with the life. No mere church membership, and activity and giving, and the like, will do.
No simple taking of the sacred bread and the holy cup will answer here. These may all be very blessed.
But the taking must be with the very life. And it is so. One finds that it is only the life actually lived for Christ, by His grace, that can reach up and take to the full what His blood has redeemed.
And, then, will you keenly mark, that you take only as much as you can take. The power to take varies with various persons, and even at various times with the same person. It all depends on one 's personal touch with Christ.
And you take only as much as you actually do take. As a rule, the conception of how much you may take varies. It varies with circumstances and with one's mood. The Spirit's leading is the decisive thing.
But, but, it is Christ's first will that we shall be made strong and well in our bodies up to the limit of our need.
And He is by your side now eagerly waiting to give. Giving won't make Him any poorer, only gladder.
I have the privilege, which I prize highly, of the friendship of Mr. James Moore Hickson, the consecrated, talented, Church of England layman of London.
Christ has been using him in a remarkable healing ministry of recent years throughout the six continents. Our friendship runs back over many on both side of the Atlantic.
One day I asked him to tell me the most notable instances of healing of which he knew personally. And he told me of two that I want to relate here.
Mr. Hickson had gone to visit a woman in her home in the Midlands in England. She had been bedridden for years with rheumatoid arthritis.
That disease, it will be remembered, affects the joints of the body. In this case the joints were locked up or rigid. The woman had not been able to move herself for several years.
Mr. Hickson prayed for her healing. That evening she moved herself, the first time in years.
Her husband wrote that the next morning she rose from the bed, dressed herself, and went about the house, as in the earlier years.
That was the first of these two experiences. That disease is classed as incurable.
The second incident was of a young boy of twelve years or so, with a club-foot, from his birth.
He was brought to the church where a healing mission was being conducted. He came up to the front of the church with his attendant, wearing an iron brace to help in walking.
As Mr. Hickson saw the boy in front of him, and with one quick glance took in the situation, he said to himself involuntarily, "Oh! this is a deformity!"
His thought was that this was not a disease, but presented as much different, and much more difficult, ease to handle.
In telling me the story Mr. Hickson said that instantly that quiet inner voice said, "Who is doing this? You or I?"
And he said in his heart, "Forgive me Lord," and aloud he said to the attendant, "Take off the irons."
He took the boy's foot in his hands and made a simple bit of prayer, as in his custom.
The next day the boy was brought again. These was some improvement marked in the foot. Again, he prayed, and the boy's foot gradually became quite normal, and he wore an ordinary shoe.
How far may Christ's healing be expected? We may have all we can take, as His Spirit guides our taking.
Thou blessed Christ, thou solitary God-Man, who didst live a full life of human experience, and then didst die as none other did nor could nor can.
And then didst live again, and still livest, and some day wilt finish up the racial end of Thine earth task,
Help me now to reach out and up and take out of Thy Pierced Hand all Thou hast for me, to Thy glory among my fellows.
I ask it on the ground of Thy blood shed for me, and Thy Word pledged to me. Amen.