I now believed that Jesus had provided my healing, that it was there for me but I wasn’t apprehending it. I wasn’t appropriating it. And then the blessed Holy Spirit gave me the verses that got me out of the hospital. They can do no less for each one of you. If you need them they’re found in a book that you might not expect to find them in, the book of Proverbs. Chapter 4.
It’s interesting as a matter of just objective fact that when I had my Bible outlined in blue there were two books that had more blue than any other. One was the book of Proverbs and the other was the gospel of Matthew. If you really want a treatise on healing you can find it in the book of Proverbs.
So, it was in Proverbs 4:20–22. Now I’ll quote them, I’m reading the New King James, I’ll quote them in the Old King James because they’re so deeply imbedded in my mind I can never say them any other way.
"My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those who find them, and health to all their flesh. "
When I got to that final sentence I said to myself, “That settles it. If God has provided something for me that can give me health in all my flesh, I’m enough of a logician to know that health and sickness are opposites. Where you have health there is no room for sickness. If I can have health in all my flesh then there will be no room for sickness.”
Then I looked in the margin of the particular Bible I had and I saw that the alternative translation for health was medicine. Well, I said, “That’s even better. If I’m healthy they’ll keep me healthy but if I’m sick they’ll be my medicine.” I saw that they was God’s word and got saved.
So once again I chose to be simple. How I bless the times in my Christian life when I’ve chosen to be simple. And what problems I’ve gotten into when I decided to be complicated. I said to myself, “I happen to be what the British Army calls a medical orderly.” That’s one person who helps the doctor. I said, “I’m going to take God’s word as my medicine.” I said, “I’m going to do it literally.” Well, when I did that the Lord communicated to my mind this. He said, “When the doctor gives the person medicine, the instructions for taking it are on the bottle. And unless the person takes it according to the instructions no cure is guaranteed.” God said, “This is my medicine bottle and the instructions are on it, you better read them.”
So I went back again and I read them and saw there were four instructions.
- Number one: attend to my word. Give careful undivided total attention to what God is saying. He’s worth listening to.
- Number two: Incline thine ear. That means bow your head down and be teachable. Don’t try to tell God what he ought to have said because he’s said a lot of things you’d never think he would have said.
- Let them not depart from thine eyes. Focus your whole attention on what God is saying in his word. Don’t have a spiritual squint.
- And, keep them in the midst of thine heart. When you receive God’s word by attention through your ears and through your eyes, they meet in your heart. And the heart is the center of all human life and experience.
The very next verse of Proverbs says:
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”
Everything in your life is settled by what you have in your heart. I want to leave that thought with every one of you. The course that your life will take depends on what you have in your heart.
So I said, “Well, that’s it. I’m going to take God’s word as my medicine according to the directions.”
So I renounced all further medication. I want to say very emphatically I’m not against doctors or medicine. But they had done everything they could do and I was no better. So I said, “From now on I’m going to take God’s word as my medicine.” I can’t go into all the details because it’s a long story but for about three months in one of the worst climates in the world which was the Sudan, I took God’s word three times daily as my medicine. That’s how people take it, three times daily after meals. After each main meal I went away, bowed my head, opened my Bible and said, “God, you said that these words will be medicine to all my flesh, I’m taking them as my medicine now in the name of Jesus.” I didn’t experience any miracle, there was no particular moment of a dramatic change but within three months I was totally well. There wasn’t any sickness anywhere in my body. Other soldiers who were healthy were getting sick in the same climate.
Furthermore, when I look back now over the years that have passed it seems to me that somehow I got an injection of divine life and strength which is still with me today. I am well over 70 today and I am more active, I preach more, travel more, work more than at any previous time in my life. To God be all the glory but let me say it pays to take the medicine.
That’s just an introduction to my own experience.
I will mention one other thing that happened that was significant. About 1947, for the first time I went to the country of Norway and I was in a Pentecostal conference there and I stayed in the home of some people. They talked to me about a certain preacher whom I had never met but what they said about this preacher was when he teaches about the atonement two hours pass like ten minutes. That staggered me. I thought to myself, “Two hours! How could anybody spend two hours talking about the atonement? I would find it hard to spend ten minutes.” But it stirred something in me. I saw here is a mind. If only I can get into that mind, its treasures are limitless.
And so that experience in the hospital and then the testimony of that Norwegian preacher placed in me a determination to find out for myself about the atonement. That’s what I’m going to be sharing with you in these ensuing lessons.