Written by Michelle Gill
"God's will is for everyone to be healed." "Healing is not for today." "We have full authority, just walk in it." "God is trying to teach you through this illness." "It depends on your faith." On and on the opinions fly on healing and God.
This is the issue that I have with it all: God is Who He says He is, not our experience or opinions or wishes. He is wild and mysterious. He created the world and became His creation to save His creation. People love to create doctrine so they can have understanding and step by steps to go by, a guarantee of sorts. It makes us feel better.
But the Bible tells us God put sicknesses on specific people; yes, He did. Does that mean that God causes all sickness? No. It is not a doctrine. They are individual cases that you should read about to know Him more. The Bible tells us Satan put sicknesses on specific people. Does that mean all sickness is from Satan? No, it is not a doctrine. Sin brought death and the corruption of His perfect creation. That is fact. The Bible tells us God has healed and we can heal in His name. Does that mean all are healed? No, it is not a doctrine. It is His power. It is more of Who He is.
Some say we have lost our faith. We would see more if we had more faith. Probably so, but again, not a doctrine. There are those healed who had no faith. In the book of Acts, God says He has no need of human hands (Acts 17:25 ESV). Does He work through us? Yes. Does He have to? No.
Jesus says signs and wonders including healing will follow those who believe. He is God Almighty, Jehovah Rapha, the God Who Heals, our Great Physician. So we walk in the belief of Who He is, and we have enough reverence to leave the outcome to Him and His mighty wild untamable Spirit, Who loves us deeply.
How can He love us and let some suffer? Ever heard of Jesus? He suffered, and His word says in this life we will suffer like Him. Why? His view is not ours. This life is a blink, and a nice little life with comfort is not His priority. Knowing Him is; Who He really is, not who you have experienced, or wish He is. Becoming like Him, His redeemed, restored creation is His priority. Why doesn't He change us instantly? We were made in His image and He is not controlled by the perfect faith-filled prayer, is He? He wants our companionship as well as our reverence and we are separate from the rest of creation in that we have the gift of choice.
There is no one size fits all doctrine of healing, a step by step, a guarantee. There is God Himself. I believe in the wild, loving, all-powerful God. I believe in Jesus who says, "Follow me." Who gives me the authority to heal through His Holy Spirit. I believe He is Who He says He is, even when I don't understand and don't like it. I believe He is more than I will have time to learn on this earth. So when I pray for someone or bless them, I pray in full confidence knowing His loving heart and power to heal. If to my surprise it does not happen, He is still Healer, He is still love, He is still good, why? Because He is God and He says He is, and I believe Him above all else.
I've experienced a lot of tragedy for a person my age including the loss of my first husband. No one thought a strong healthy twenty-seven years old would die of the flu but he did. Everyone prayed believing and anointed him with oil to rise. Was death an option? Certainly not. Full faith. He would be healed. He was not. Some say death is healing. True, but that is not the healing anyone was praying for. When my dad died when I was sixteen, we used that one to console ourselves.
King David from the Bible was a man after God's heart. He believed Him, trusted Him, loved Him. When David's son was sick, he fasted and prayed that God would heal. He did not. David got up, washed, worshiped, and ate. Everyone was astonished. But David thought, who knows, while the child was alive that He might have been gracious to him and heal his son, but He did not, so he got up and worshiped. Reverence. Trust without having an understanding. Worship without answers. Choosing Him. Standing in the fact that God is good.
- So here's to the wild and mysterious Healer, amazing Creator, sweet lover of my soul, strongest, most caring Father, to my King. Did you know He has King of Kings and Lord of Lords written on his thigh? (Rev. 19:16) Well, He does. Isn't He fantastic?!
Written by Michelle Gill, May 2016 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter
One day last week I was struggling with letting go of something I have been waiting for from God. He had shown me and confirmed in many ways that I am to have more children. I am forty-four years old and the world's ideas about age began to creep in and I am tired of waiting to be honest. A common battle ensued of letting go and moving on versus believing, waiting, and battling through.
Then I heard this verse: "Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well." I Tim. 1:18 NIV
Paul tells Timothy to recall to mind the prophetic words spoken regarding him. This can mean a promise God has given you or an actual prophetic word spoken over you that He has confirmed in your spirit. First, recall it. Remind yourself of it. Then use it by fighting the good fight with it. Believe. Stand firm. Speak it. Pray it. Battle.
The following verse says that many have shipwrecked their faith by not standing firm, stepping out of the battle. Waiting is a battle. Believing when we can't see it is a fight. It would be much easier to let go. He has spoken to me to believe Him for a larger family. He told me to buy a painting of a little boy and girl playing by the sea when I first lost my husband. To me it made no sense at all but I did it purely out of obedience. It hangs in my bedroom still. He has given me confirmations time and time again. Yet I still wait and it is easy to get used to the life you live and lose the want altogether.
My desire a long, long time ago was that my life would show that He still answers prayer on a regular basis and works in mighty ways in our ordinary everyday life. I first heard of George Mueller, who fed ten thousand orphans through prayer only in his lifetime, as a child. His reason for opening the orphanage was not primarily to feed and shelter orphans but to show the church that God indeed answers prayer, provides, and is the only answer we need. So he never asked for money or provided it himself.
God is faithful. Faithful to the ordinary everyday person. He is faithful in the smallest needs and the largest. He has extraordinary plans for your ordinary life. So instead of letting go of His word to me, I let go of my reasoning, my waning desires and passion, and I recall His words to my mind and fight the good fight of my ordinary day.
I will report His extraordinary fulfillment to you when it comes. So be watching for Him and may my life be an encouragement to you to believe and trust Him for your ordinary life.
Written by Michelle Gill (February 2016 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter)
I was a sixteen year old girl when I asked God what He wanted for my life. I was certain that He told me that He wanted me to be a wife and also a mother. I wrote poems, said prayers, collected recipes, read books, ...waiting for that man. I graduated high school with no other plans than family. I went to work at my first coffee shop and waited. And waited. And waited. I went back to college and graduated at twenty-five and waited. And waited. I moved eighteen times in twelve years thinking surely my life would begin somewhere new. I tried singles groups, internet dating, this pursuit and that.
I met Russell when I was almost thirty-three. I married at thirty-four. Finally. We had our daughter one year later. Four years later he died.
Two years later people began to ask me what I was going to do about being single again. People told me not to wait around that I was getting too old. People told me that I needed to do something. People told me that my daughter needed a father.
I chose to practice what I learned the first time in waiting. I definitely was not perfect in my waiting the first go round, so some of this was learned in trial and error. Some of the things that I knew were true, I had to just hold on to in faith because I had not seen it walked out in front of me. Sometimes when you don't know anyone living by faith or living a life of purity then it is hard to be confident in that lifestyle when you are walking it out alone. That is one of the reasons that I write this article. There are some things that you need to know are true and hold to regardless of what well-meaning people say and regardless of your circumstances so you can - walk it out!
1. God will show you your future. Just ask Him. He will speak to you and direct your paths.
2. Everyone has to wait on something. Waiting is part of life. Life is not fair. Accept it.
3. You don't need to "find" your husband. God will bring him. Many people told me that I needed to do this or that and the first time I tried it all. In the end both my husbands came to me out of absolutely no effort of my own.
4. A husband won't make you happy. Be happy now. It is a choice. Happiness is a daily choice whether you are married or not.
5. Choose wisely because marriage is hard.
6. Live well single and you will live well married.
7. Cook for your health now instead of waiting for that family life. I hear people say all the time that they can't cook for one. I did. I practiced and I shared. If you don't cook now, you will have a hard time changing your habits then.
8. Learn to die to yourself now and be filled with the Holy Spirit. He is your greatest asset in marriage.
9. Have fun now. Enjoy your life. A happy person is much more attractive anyway.
10. Learn to take care of your inner self as well as outer self because being healthy is alot more fun.
11. Learn to pray well.
12. Be thankful. If you desire being married, thank God for the specific things that you desire in a husband before they come to be. Thank Him in advance.
13. Stay pure in every way including your thought life. Guard your thinking!
14. If you date at all, be careful with dating. Yes, I said if you date at all. Dating can increase your taste for change and dissatisfaction. Experiencing relationships with different men can cause you to unconsciously compare and give you a taste for things that aren't in your husbands personality. As with me, it can get you used to moving on instead of investing. Plus you need to ask yourself, if you truly believe God will bring your husband into your life. I chose not to date the second time around and He guided me the whole way.
15. Give. Invest in others. It is hard not to become self-focused unintentionally when you live alone.
16. Keep a watch on your relationship with God. Disappointment can sneak in like a worm and eat away before you know it.
17. Laugh. Laugh alot.
18. Walk it out. Sometimes we have to practice our trust in God before it is deepened to our reality. Walk out your trust and watch Him follow through.
Written by Michelle Gill from the November 2015 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter
Joy is one thing that I do not see much of, even in those who know Jesus. I think about it alot, wondering why joy is missing. I don't know if there is one answer but I know the One Who is Joy. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I am not sure I ever understood the meaning before, as I do now. If I diagram the sentence out...
Joy is what? Strength
Whose joy? The Lord's
Whose strength? Mine
Today I opened the outside door in what used to be my living room, the cool rainy breeze struck my face and I remembered when, in the dead of winter, I had to keep that door cracked because I could not breath. I could physically breath but I felt like I couldn't after a tragedy. I kept a window or door cracked for a year. It was during this period I understood.
"I have heard You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You." Job 42:5
"In His presence is fullness of joy," said David. I was forced into His presence. I'm not sure I would have made the same choices had I not had a daughter. I chose His presence because I felt I had no other choice. First His peace would come and cover me like a fleece blanket. Then He would lay down His joy inside me. It made no natural sense. It's hard to understand or explain. I felt an excitement for my life even though my circumstances told me that my life was over. I felt a strong security even though all that was secure, even what I thought of God, was pulled out from under me. I would sit and wait for His Spirit at times when another day seemed impossible.
He is Spirit and we worship Him in Spirit. You don't know where the wind comes from or which way it blows but You know when it's blowing.
He did not make me strong. He gives me His joy which gives me strength. I can now testify of Him and His joy that is able to hold you through anything. He is able to cause you to laugh when you forgot how. You are His and a testimony of Him. I testify of His desire for rebirth in whatever has been lost in your life. I have not only heard but now my eye has seen.
In everyday life when hormones are unbalanced and you just wake up out of sorts, His presence is still able to take over. When you are discouraged that a promise seems to never come for you, wait, listen to His voice and allow Him to fill you with His hope. Whatever is missing for you, for me it was joy, allow His to rest in you. The living wind is real that flows always, wake or sleep, good times or bad, in peace or turmoil. Feel the breeze? Your face, your life shows others Who He is, "in Him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28, Eph. 1:23)
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16: 7-11
Written by Michelle Gill (June 2015 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter)
"Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things,
which you do not know." Jer. 33:3
God is much more chatty than most people believe. Reread familiar Bible stories and take notice of how many times He says "I tell you this before it happens so when it does, you will know I am the Lord your God and it is I Who have done this." Sometimes we wait on life to happen to us and then call out to Him. God desires much more than a last minute rescue. He has things to tell us about today, tomorrow, yesterday and many days to come. He has things to tell us beyond our thinking in the middle of dinner and diapers or wherever you are in life at this moment.
Take some time and ask Him. Ask Him to show you your future in some area. "Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
Jesus told His disciples repeatedly, "I tell you this, so you will remember I told you before it happened." (Matt. 24:25, John 16:13, John 14:29) He loves intimacy and our dependency on Him. He loves to chat and for us to trust Him enough to obey and rest in Him, and then SEE it happen with Him.
He has always given me a picture of what will be in my life before it seemed possible. Only once could I not see and that was for my protection. He loves saying, "Watch this!" He loves a heart that adores Him. He loves to show us the impossible. He loves to calm us with singing. He loves to do everyday life with us. He loves to laugh. But rarely is He ever silent. I think we assume that He is silent much more than He is. Ask. He will tell you Great & Mighty Things which you do not know. Are you listening?
Written by Michelle Gill from the Heart to Heart Newsletter May 2015 edition
Before my baby goes to sleep at night I cover her with her bed sheet and horse comforter but more importantly I cover her with blessings and prayer. Our blessings and our prayers are like laying the most snuggly supernatural cashmere and cotton blanket over our children. God tells us to pray without ceasing and that our prayers accomplish much.
Here are some reasons that I think supernatural cashmere and cotton are a must in a child's life:
1) We are commanded to pray for one another and there is power in prayer.
2) Praying with and over your child, teaches them how to pray and to go to God first and about everything no matter how small.
3) It shows them Who you believe God is. When you speak to Him as a Father that loves you, as a Warrior, as your Savior, as a Comforter,... they pick up on Who He is.
4) Prayer covers them with His Spirit, His Word, and I pray for my daughter to be filled with His Spirit as well.
5) You get the honor of watching God at work in your child's life as He speaks to you both during prayer and you both watch Him in action as He answers.
6) We may never fully understand but prayer is also spiritual warfare. We are doing battle on behalf of our child and we understand that spiritually as their parent and as a believer we have authority given to us by their Creator not the enemy. Our authority through Jesus supersedes any plan he may have for them.
7) We teach our children how to think from the time they are very little. I want my children to see life and others through Jesus's heart of love not through the world's perspective or their natural tendencies. As a man thinks so is he. Our thought life shapes how we pray and how we see our circumstances. The Word renews our mind and praying with His Word not only produces powerful prayer but shows the true intentions of the heart and helps mold our hearts.
8) Through prayer God promises us His peace which passes all understanding and guards our hearts and minds. Shew! Isn't that alot?! His supernatural peace and protection over our hearts and minds. What a Daddy we have!
9) There will be times that prayer will lead to worship and don't get me started about worship! There is no better way to be covered in His presence than to worship Him.
When these things are a natural part of our lives then they become a natural part of theirs.
Written by Michelle Gill from March 2015 Heart to Heart Newsletter
Our relationship with Jesus seems to have stages and seasons like all relationships. There are rhythms in all of nature, so I assume the seasons are intentional in our growth as well. When my dad was sick and dying, my twelfth through sixteenth years, God's presence was evident and was about fact. Even in an insecure environment as a child, I knew Jesus was with me. I knew the truth. But when my first husband got the simple flu at the healthy age of twenty-seven and died, Jesus burned in me, like my heart was made of wood and he used a burner, that I am His and He is mine.
When I would wake in the night and realize again that I was now alone, I could hear Him. The Word says in Zephaniah that He sings over us and for that season He allowed me to hear Him. I did not audibly hear Him but I would wake and a song would be rolling through my mind. I cannot carry a tune and sometimes I would not even be familiar with the song but I would hear the words and the music. I would wake in the morning unable to think of being alive yet another day and He would fill me with Himself, so I could literally get off of the floor and amazingly at times in joy and always in peace. My daughter was only four so she would talk to me daily of daddy. I would look up and ask Him to help me, and He gave me words and kept me together. He would send people at just the right time. He placed me in a church six months prior to the Christmas flu tragedy that knew how to take care of me. For two months they fed me and my family, sent me encouraging messages, helped me move, fix my house, and provided for me. He kept whispering to me over and over again that "I am yours and you are Mine!"
Now I am remarried and Casi is eight years old. I was reading The Circle Maker the other day and was touched by the quote of the author regarding his father-in-law. He wrote, "He had a familiarity with God that was disarming." I just sat there and cried. Oh to know Him like that.
Then a short while later I went to let the dog out and opened my front door and there sat a box. In the box was homemade applesauce, a dozen fresh eggs, frozen ground beef, butter, home canned green beans and pickles, organic ketchup, a roll of paper towels, a gift card to the grocery store, and a little art sign that read "SHE KNEW THAT THE LORD WAS WILD ABOUT HER." I can't tell you in words what that meant to me. I have no idea who it was from. Maybe someone left it at the wrong house, I don't know but I know God meant it for me. The thoughtfulness of the homemade items to care for me and the statement on the art piece allowed me to hear it from His mouth. It made me feel again that He sees me, really sees me and knows me.
So if someone who reads this newsletter gave me that box, Thank you! You have no idea how nurturing it was for me. He says to each one of you "I AM YOURS AND YOU ARE MINE." Let Him care for you and show you His sweetness. He is able to heal all. His tenderness knows no limits.
Written by Michelle Gill (December 2014 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter)
Luke 1:38,39 "And Mary said, 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her. Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharius and greeted Elizabeth."
While I have had some trouble with my Achilles tendon, I was now having issues with my back muscles. I went to an experienced massage therapist who to me that to avoid pain in my Achilles tendon, I had stopped taking full strides. This practice had affected my entire muscular structure including my back. He told me to start fully committing to my steps and following each stride all the way through.
Immediately, I thought how my life is reflected in my physical body. When I thought of all the things I was certain God had called me to do, I realized I stepped into them without fully committing. For example, when He told me to run, I jogged for a while. When He told me to write, I took another class. When He told me to give, I did only to the extent it was comfortable for me. When He told me to go to a certain church, I quickly left after the last “Amen.” When He told me to pray for someone, I did until the passion waned.
I have been thinking about the power of belief. Luke 1 presents the difference between Zacharius choosing not to believe Gabriel right away and Mary fully committing the moment he spoke to her. Zacharius lost his physical ability to speak due to his lack of belief. In contrast, Mary was called “blessed” by Elizabeth because of her belief.
God is speaking all the time, but do I believe what He is saying? And if I did, what difference would that make? So as I practice stepping fully through my stride, I also practice believing Him and giving more focus and intention to his guidance. For example, do I need to help my daughter read an extra ten minutes instead of letting her read to me as I do the dishes? Do I need to make an appointment to write each week instead of waiting for the urge to strike?
What are some of the simple and not so simple things that He is speaking to you about that you could give more intention to, and fully believe Him in? What difference would it make if you did so? Whose life would it change? How much more of His power would we see, if we just believed Him?
God not only honors our belief, He delights in it. I had no idea how stopping short in my stride affected my entire body, not just the tendon I was trying to protect. I daresay that taking a full stride versus stopping short will make more difference than we could possibly imagine. But we won’t find out until we actually follow through.
Written by Michelle West (October 2014 edition of the Heart to Heart Newsletter)
II Chronicles 20:17 – You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.
In things small and great, II Chronicles 20 is rich with practical instructions. I have used these lessons many times in my life, especially during spiritual warfare. In my most traumatic events and even in day to day living, I have found I can try to control the situation in whatever way I come up with but the circumstances don't budge. When I give up and plant myself in Him, I get the most fun opportunity of watching Him do His mighty thing. Isn't it truly exciting in the end to watch Him pull out victory in a hopeless or frustrating situation?
In verse 3, after Jehosophat received the news of many coming against him, his immediate response was to be afraid. Emotions are natural signals for us to choose our actions, not a dictator of what will be. Then, he chooses to turn to the Lord and tell others to do the same.
The Lord's response is, "Do not fear or be dismayed. This is not your battle, but Mine. You won't need to fight. Station yourself. Dig deep in Me. Stand. See the salvation of the Lord on your behalf." Jehosophat responded by bowing down and worshipping. He chose his perspective.
Before the battle, Jehosophat appointed some to walk before the army singing and praising. Do you get that? The soldiers, skilled in combat, walking into battle, are following those who are praising, not leading them. Praise enters the fire first. Things happen beyond our understanding when we choose praise (Phil. 4:6-8).
Verse 22 says that, when they began singing and praising, God set ambushes for their enemies. They moved first in their faith in Him. As a result, when they walked into battle, all they saw were corpses. The Lord had indeed fought the battle for them. They blessed the Lord and all around them, and people saw and feared God (Rev. 12:11). Then God gave them rest (verse 30).
Our response is so important, isn't it? I have to choose my thoughts constantly in every situation. Our main responsibility is to truly believe Him. Focus, praise, believe Who He is, dig into Him, do what He tells you, and then stand and see Him do His thing!
Written by Michelle West
Lately I have been thinking about the flow of life. Can you think of times that you pushed and strained to make things happen? A relationship, a job, a house... Then there are the times without any effort on your part, the ideas, His voice just flows. You walk to the sound, the doors open and close, and you end up in the wide open place and you know in your deepest, this is where you are meant to be.
Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit." What if we truly waited on His Spirit and committed to only walk in the flow of it? I think it would make life alot more simple, and there would be an ease to it, not easy but an ease.
When I was giving birth to my daughter, I pushed in the contractions. I wanted her out already, so I pushed when there was no contraction. The doctor stopped me and told me not to push except in the rhythm of contractions because I would end up injuring myself. Isn't that the truth in life? I am realizing now I have pushed most of my life in and out of contractions. The results weren't always bad either but they trained me to not wait on God. That life will happen regardless and sometimes something is better than nothing. What a lie and what a disadvantage to the Spirit adventure.
Yesterday in the sermon at church, Matt asked, "Do you have a backup plan for Jesus?" Selah. Pause and think about that one! Why yes, I do, many. That one question will not leave my head. In my redesign I am learning to wait on His Spirit; but are you truly waiting if you have a backup plan? If your faith has a backup plan, is it truly faith?
In the reconstruction of my life, I have been considering what direction to take my life. Maybe it is not about the "shoulds" and more about the "gentle blowing" (I Kings 19). Jesus said that even He does nothing on His own but as the Father instructs Him (Jn. 8:28). Wow, waiting, stepping in the Flow with no backup plan... Most of the needs I have right now seem so important, so impossible, some even painful, and there is a fear in me that if I wait, He won't show up. That is what I have to settle in my heart and my mind, He won't "show up" because He is already here. He will never leave me or forsake me and if He is here, so is all His power and His person. What more could I need? So I listen to His gentle blowing, waiting, and waiting... and walking as It flows.
UPDATE: May 16, 2016
At the time I wrote this, my husband had died two years prior and my daughter was six years old. I was making decisions on where to live, what to do, money, a daddy for my daughter, a husband or not, so many decisions. I had always made things happen but this time I actually did what I wrote above. I waited and His Wind came to me and I walked in the Flow. My Father did provide and I can state beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is faithful and He takes better care of my life than I ever could.
Can you feel it? That's the Wind of His Spirit. "You will hear a Voice behind you saying, 'this is the way, walk in it'" (Is. 30:21).
Heart to Heart
These articles were written when I was the Editor for the Heart to Heart Newsletter which was an international ministry, created by Lois Breneman in 1999. The purpose at Heart to Heart was to encourage women and create biblical values in their day to day living.