Doctors diagnosed my friend Mike with hepatitis B and pancreatic cancer last year. As people prayed for his healing, he had pneumonia, several hospital stays, and many setbacks. While going through this experience, Mike learned lessons about faith and healing that I want to pass along. I edited part of a newsletter that Mike sent out, but the general content is his.
We know the Bible is the Word of God. In that context the original word is "Logos," the general revealed will of God. It spells out the parameters of God's plans and purposes for His children. It speaks of His promises, the things that are possible for us: some conditional, some not.
The Bible is the general revealed Word of God because there is no guarantee that every time we have a need, that we will receive exactly what we expect from the way God worked as shown in the Bible. We cannot locate verses in Scripture that promise something, assume that the promise is meant for our circumstances, "stand" on it, and repeatedly, mechanically confess it, and hope that eventually we will get what we want.
The Bible contains a general provision of what is possible. Based on what we read in the Bible, we can go to the Lord and ask Him if it applies to us. However, one more process must take place before we can express true faith and confidence that what God says in general applies to our specific circumstances.
The partner word that goes along with Logos is "Rhema." The original meaning of this word is the specific will, plan and purpose of God. In other words, the Rhema is God's specific purpose and plan for the specific need that you have. It is the personal Word of God about the nature of your needs and His plans to meet them.
We go through a process from understanding the general will of God to the specific plan of God for us. When a need arises, we go to the Bible (Logos) to determine what God says about that need in general. Once we determine it's in God's plan to provide for that need, we then go to the Lord and begin to seek His specific direction (Rhema). We wait on Him to show us His specific plan so that we can walk in faith and confidence because we heard from God specifically. We're not trying to force something to happen just because God did it once that way in the Bible.
Let me illustrate this principle with my circumstances. (A disclaimer here, do not use what I experienced, or anyone else has experienced, as a pattern for yourself. Every situation is different; each person must walk with the Lord, following his own specific, Bible-based, God-given plan.)
When I was diagnosed with hepatitis B and pancreatic cancer, we had no panic or fear even though we knew that both were extremely serious, and that pancreatic cancer is often terminal. God gave my wife and me a certain level of confidence in our spirits that we could trust Him to take care of us. That special gift of grace that God gave us carried us for a period of time. We knew from the Logos that God could heal me, but we did not know that He would because we had not received a Rhema to that effect.
From the beginning, we pursued medical treatment while we waited on the Lord for a specific word as to what He was doing. Over time, the diagnosis changed from pancreatic cancer to lymphoma, which is easier to treat successfully. We knew that God was answering prayers.
Our prayers were not aggressive all the time. We had this Peace of God in our spirits; many times we were in a neutral, waiting mode - just waiting on the Lord. "Terminal" was still on the table, but not a pre-occupation.
After a while, I noticed something had changed in my spirit. I no longer had just a general level of grace and confidence in God. God had imparted into my spirit a "Gift of Faith." Suddenly something would start welling up within me that I knew that I knew that I knew I was going to be totally healed and restored. I didn't know when or how, but "terminal" was now off the table, and my focus was on divine healing. NOW, I could boldly confess and declare that God was healing me, and I would eventually experience the finished product. Since that time, my liver specialist reported that he could find little or no trace of hepatitis in my system. One down and one to go; I am trusting God for the rest of my healing.
Remember, saying you have an illness or need is not wrong. How can you ask God to meet your needs if you don't confess that you have them? The enemy has convinced many believers that they must not make negative confessions. Other believers are confessing the Logos and their desire, but they have not received a Rhema from God, and their confession is based on a general principle and not the specific purpose of God. Many believers are disappointed that their expectations are not met because of this.
If you have a need, spend as much time as possible reading the Bible, waiting on the Lord to show you His will, and obeying what you already know is His will. God has a specific plan and purpose for every circumstance in your life. He wants you to know His will so that you can cooperate with Him by walking in faith. For that to happen, you need to stay close to Him.