“Scars: The Art of Healing”
We’ve been talking about how God can take our wounds and turn them into scars. The question we asked last week in part one of this sermon is “Do you want to be healed?” In John 5:6 Jesus asked that very question, “When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
To help us answer the question we started to look at the journey of God’s people from captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land. The Israelites cried out to God for deliverance, so God sent Moses to free His people from slavery. Through God’s miracles Pharaoh releases the Israelites and Moses leads them through the desert, where they find themselves on the border of the Promised Land. So, we pick up the story in Numbers 13. Moses has just sent out the 12 leaders to explore the Promised Land and now they are back with a report.
Numbers 13:26-14:10, “They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.” 30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. 2 All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, “If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this wilderness! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell face down in front of the whole Israelite assembly gathered there. 6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” 10 But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the Lord appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites.”
Verses 20-23 continue, “The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.”
Then we jump to verses 28-29, “So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: In this wilderness your bodies will fall—every one of you twenty years old or more who was counted in the census and who has grumbled against me.”
From these events we learn some very important principles we can use on our journey to healing. From last week the FIRST principle we learned is…If we’re going to turn our wounds into scars, we need to follow God’s call. The SECOND principal we learned is…The journey to healing will not be easy. I ended last week saying that to overcome the enemy we need two things… faith and the strength to follow through.
This brings us to our THIRD principal…If we are going to turn our wounds into scars, we need to understand our ABCs. We need to live our lives consumed with the presence of God regardless of the obstacles. We need five things, first:
A – Attitude (of Christ)
You need to have a positive outlook. Not wishful thinking, faithful thinking!
You need to believe it’s possible. That God WILL turn your wounds into scars!
You need to be optimistic, not pessimistic – Like Caleb “We can certainly do it!”
You need to have the courage not to give up at the first sign of trouble.
Think about Caleb and Joshua. They saw the same thing as the other 10 leaders, but they had a different Attitude. Caleb’s attitude was, “We can take these giants!” They focused on the promise not on the problems. If God is calling you to turn your wounds into scars your journey will be cluttered with obstacles. But we turn our wounds into scars as we overcome those obstacles. We gain confidence because – through the challenge – our faith is strengthened, and God is glorified.
B – Belief
We need to have belief or trust in the power of God. Turning our wounds into scars takes more than believing in yourself, reading motivational books, or listening to inspiring speakers. It takes more than clearing your mind with a worldly type of meditation. When faced with something as big as changing your brain chemistry or your thought process you need more than positive thinking.
You need belief in the power of God.
You need belief in who you are in Christ, and who Christ is in you.
You need knowledge of, and belief in the Word of God.
You need to believe in who God has called you to be, and what God has called you to do.
Verse 9 says, “Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”
Some of us are not being healed because we’re afraid…afraid of the cost, afraid of the unknown, afraid we might fail if we try, afraid that total restoration is not possible. You’re right…He can’t restore you to where you were before that event…HE CAN MAKE YOU EVWN STRONGER!
C – Capacity
Capacity means the maximum amount that something can contain. We need to allow Christ to stretch our capacity. We need to let Jesus mold us into the people we were created to be. We need to see impossibilities as opportunities for our capacities to be stretched. And we need to realize when our capacity is reached, His is just getting started. The only thing I’m not capable of doing is that which God does not allow me to do. Are you asking God to turn your wounds into scars?
Do you have the right Attitude? I can certainly do it!
Do you have the right Beliefs that you can become even stronger through Him?
Do you realize that your Capacity is not limited by your abilities or imagination?
Eph. 3:20 reminds us, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
According to whose power? HIS! I’m not just asking for healing but enhancement!
D – Determination
We need to be consistent. Never give up on your desire to be healed. Stay strong when things get difficult. Always have your destination clearly in mind. You may find yourself in the desert or staring at a river that seems impossible to cross, but it’s at times like this that we need to recall God’s faithfulness in the past. Think of the Israelites – An entire generation failed to enter the Promised Land because they kept forgetting what God had done. They complained at every turn. Remembering will keep you determined and will keep you driving toward your goal.
Napoleon Hill who researched both Edison and Ford wrote, “I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year after year, over a long period of years, and therefore the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.”
We need Determination! What made Caleb and Joshua different? Why didn’t the other ten leaders have the same attitude, the same desire as these two men?
I believe it’s because Caleb and Joshua had determination and they had faith.
Ten saw a problem; two saw a solution
Ten had questions; two had answers
Ten saw obstacles; two saw opportunities
Ten saw giant men; two saw a giant God
Ten focused on the can’t; two focused on the promise
Ten looked at their strength; two looked at God’s strength
Two had a different spirit. Those giants are in our way!
E – Enthusiasm
The Greek origin of enthusiasm is entheos, which means “God in”. It is the ability to see God in a situation, which makes it exciting. God is present with us at all times. He helps us, He guides us, He is actively involved in our healing. He’s doesn’t just promise to heal us and then leave us to figure it out on our own. But that doesn’t mean this journey will be a cake walk. Far from it. That’s why we need entheos, we need to see God in every situation of our lives.
That leads us to our fourth principle. This one will truly impact our lives, and I’ll share it with you…next week.