Recently I watched the movie Flight, with Denzel Washington. There is a scene in a stairwell of a hospital where a drug addict, Denzel and a dying cancer patient have a conversation about God. The overall point of the conversation was from the dying cancer patient’s point of view. Because he didn’t see God answer his prayers the conclusion for the scene was that God didn’t exist. According to this Hollywood movie, God can only exist if we can control His actions. He only exists if we can move Him to action. Unfortunately, the masses who watch movies like this are being trained to think this way too. They think that if God doesn’t heal them in their sickness, He is not good nor does He exist.
I think we all need to take a step back and get a little perspective.
If you haven’t noticed, life on earth is not perfect. Sickness and disease are present. Chemical imbalances and mental illness is prevalent. People we love die. Everything rots and breaks down over time. We really are in a state of constant decay.
Some say that God cannot be good if He created a world like this. How can God be real in a broken world? If He is God (which means He should be perfect), how can his “creation” be so imperfect?
This is the question whispered into the minds of men by the enemy of God and the forces of evil that dwell on the earth. Evil spirits that do not die and who have been in existence for thousands upon thousands of years have had time to figure out how to twist the truth, lie, steal, kill and destroy the lives of men whom they hate. This is the question whispered to all men who look to the sky and wonder if God is real or not.
This is a question that must be answered with perspective.
Here’s several points that I believe answer the question of why we have sickness and disease.
1. Back in the garden of Eden, we basically told God to go to hell. That may sound harsh but it is essentially what we did. Here is how we did that:
We chose to get knowledge on our own without God. God set up a father/son & daughter relationship where we would have deep fellowship and learn from Him. The tree of knowledge of good and evil to me represents another way to learn – without Him. Knowledge can be good, or it can be bad. It’s bad if you don’t have any insight from the One who actually made the world because it is incomplete. Two plus two is four unless it is five. Two flat worms plus two flatworms equals four flatworms until you cut one in half. Normally you think you then have three flatworms and one dead flatworm. But if you know the intricacies of flatworms, you’d know that they regenerate from both ends….so now you have five flatworms.
I believe God made His creation so complex that there are intricacies woven into nature that we were supposed to learn from our deep relationship with Him. But to choose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil means to choose to learn on our own, without God. That is why it is evil…it’s pure logic, devoid of insight which has the potential to be wrong.
2. Humans chose to leave God. When we chose the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, something very bad happened. Curses came upon man and all creation and we were kicked out of the garden. What is the garden? It’s the place where we walked with God. It’s the place we got insight from God. It’s the place where He had hoped we would choose to live so that we could experience creation and life together. And now, scripture (Romans 8:22-23) says that all of creation groans in anticipation for the time that Christ redeems our bodies. His redemption of our bodies is what I believe will be restoring us to what we were supposed to be in the garden. This redemption apparently will restore creation as well…which means that the curse affected everything, not just us. And when you think about it, to “curse” all of creation, all God had to do is withdraw from it a bit. It is His life that keeps out decay. It is His life that keeps out disease. It’s His life that makes all things good.
So while the minions of hell whisper to you that God cannot exist because our world has decay, they are hoping you won’t see or know the big picture…. that it is the absence of His presence that we long for. It is the absence of His life that we notice. It is the absence of His power that makes everything wrong in the world today… and He withdrew because of our choice, not His. While He had offered mankind relationship and love and joy and peace and wholeness in that relationship, He also gave a choice that we could do it all on our own without Him (He doesn’t make us as robots without choices).
We foolishly took that choice and told God, “thanks for making this world for us, but um…we can take it from here.” And so we left the garden, and He withdrew an element of His life from all of creation. Now, working the land for Adam would be laborious. After all, he had no more insight from the One who made the land on how to work it. Now, having children was going to be very painful for Eve and all women…not because I think God wished it to hurt, but because the LIFE of God in the natural world that before made it easy would be gone.
Genesis tells us that when God completed His creation, including us, that everything was good. Things that don’t rot are good. Things that don’t die are good. Things that aren’t sick are good. We were all good… perfected as we were created to be. We don’t know exactly what that looks like but His life was infused into creation. His life was infused into our bodies. He walked with us in the garden and THIS is the life that the cancer patient in the movie Flight is recognizing that he should have. This missing “life” is what causes him to question God’s existence. He (and all of us) recognize something is not right here. Life is not all good.
God created our world and us with the intent of having a relationship with us and growing together in love and fellowship. He wanted to be a Father. He wanted children. He wanted someone like Himself that He could teach about the world and share in the joys of their discoveries. I see Him in my mind’s eye thinking, “I can’t wait until they discover atoms and how I put their cells together! And when they ask me about it, I will share deep mysteries and insight that will blow their minds!”
3. You have to step back and look at the grand time line and grand scheme of things to understand why there is sickness and disease today. You were born onto the earth but you were born in the middle of something. The “end” of the plan has not yet come and we are in the middle of a time where a promise has been made but not yet fulfilled. When we left the garden and decay entered the world, God had a plan to restore everything again. This plan would encompass all of humanity and would play out over a timeline of thousands of years.
When we are born onto this earth, I think we are so self-centered…it’s all about us. The spirits that come against us play on that and whisper thoughts that make us think that this life is it. They try to get us to see only what is in front of us, not what lies ahead. They get us to judge and blame God. We shake our fist and cry out at how unfair He is for allowing a loved one of ours to die. We think He is not good for allowing us to decay and get sick. Yet decay is a natural by product of creation that is missing the life of God infused into it. We are the ones who chose this way. We chose to learn without God. He is still good. He is still life. And one day ALL OF CREATION will be restored to that place where His life is infused back into our cells and we again walk in the garden in that place of intimacy.
Everything you are missing on this earth, everything you recognize is not right is actually an indication that man was made to live with God. Decay is what happens when His life does not sustain our cells. Sickness is the natural order of things without the life of God to keep it away. Disease is an indication that we need Him, not just in our hearts but in our bodies as well.
And God does heal people today. And this is another blog post for another time as to when and why healings happen. I’ve had it happened to me several times and I’ve seen it happen to others, but it is usually a temporary fix because we are still in a state of decay. As an example, I was diagnosed with a terrible skin condition at one point in my life. I had hot and itchy red patches all over and there was nothing that the doctors could offer me. I was supposed to just stick it out for 6-8 weeks. I had had it for a week and couldn’t bear the itching. I prayed and asked God to heal me. I laid hands on myself and commanded the sickness to go and for the life of God to fill me. Instantly the heat was gone from the rashes and within a day my skin had cleared up. God’s life and light blasted through my cells and killed the disease… but I’m still getting older. I’m still aging. I have other health issues that come from natural decay. So God did heal me that day, but it was for that day. I still live in the middle of the time period where things have not been restored. So the true and ultimate healing that we all long for, is actually what all of creation groans for… the redemption of our bodies. It hasn’t happened yet.
Instead of blaming God, we should blame ourselves…and thank God that there is a plan in place to restore everything. Perspective I think, makes all the difference.
To end this post, I’d like to mention that God’s plan to restore us involves restoring our relationship with Him first. We have to restore that relationship through HIS PLAN. We have to be done doing it “our way,” and trust Him that He knows us and that He knows how to restore us. HIS PLAN was to send His son Jesus. Jesus came into the world and was sacrificed as the perfect sacrifice to pay for our sin. To pay for us walking away. If you come to God through HIS PLAN, through Jesus, He looks at you and sees His Son. Your sins and selfishness do not separate you from God as long as you are in HIS PLAN – In Jesus.
I belong to an awesome group of worship leaders and musicians from over 40 denominations of churches. These people have that restored relationship and to know the people in this group is to see the peace restored in the heart of man. You can sense the restoration. Together we’ve seen His power manifested. We’ve sensed His incredible love and we’ve gotten glimpses of restoration even to come. I’ll leave you with a recent recording we did…just released on Youtube today: CLICK HERE FOR WORSHIPMOB’S SINKING DEEP