God wants us to understand the life and power that’s in His Word. When God made the world, He created the earth, the sky, and the great expanse of this universe with words.
But God’s words are a never-failing remedy for any situation or circumstance that might come your way in life, including sickness and disease. Proverbs 4:22 says God’s words “. . . are LIFE unto those that find them, and HEALTH to all their flesh.”
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. JOHN 6:63
63 . . . the words that I [Jesus] speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
God’s words are full of life, health, and healing, and they act like medicine. In fact, the margin of my Bible reads, “My words are medicine.” Medicine for what? For all your flesh!
Proverbs 4:20 says, “…attend to my WORDS. . . .” That means give God’s Word your undivided attention. In other words, put God’s Word into your heart, and put out of your heart everything that exalts itself against the Word.
The rest of verse 20 says, “. . . incline thine ear unto my sayings.” That means take in God’s Word through your ear gates, or open your ears to God’s sayings. If you’re attending to God’s Word and opening your ears to His sayings, you’re closing your ears to other sayings, such as fear, doubt, and unbelief.
We are to look at God’s Word as well as listen to God’s Word. Proverbs 4:21 says, “Let them not depart from thine eyes. . . .” This scripture doesn’t mean we are to be continuously looking at the Word so that we never do anything else. It means we are to always look to the Word of God instead of at the circumstances. In the good times and in the bad, we are to just keep looking at God’s words—at His sayings.
There’s power in God’s Word! There’s healing in His Word too. Notice Proverbs 4:22 again: “For they [God’s words] are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” God’s words are full of life, health, and healing!
The Children’s Bread
The Word has a lot to say about divine healing. For instance, in Matthew
15:21-28 we read that healing is the children’s bread.
21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Healing is the children’s bread! These are Jesus’ own words! You can incline your ear to the fact that healing is your bread, because Jesus said it. That means if you’re born again, then you’re God’s child, and healing belongs to you! It would help you to say it out loud: “Healing belongs to me. It’s my bread!”
Some of you need to incline your ear unto that and say it long enough for it to register on the inside of you, in your spirit. The Word won’t work for you if it’s just in your head. But when the Word gets on the inside of you—in your spirit— then results are forthcoming!
Proverbs says, “. . . incline thine ear unto my sayings. . . . For they are life unto those that find them, and health [medicine] to all their flesh” (vv. 20,22). Since God’s Word is medicine to all our flesh, we need to know how to take God’s medicine, His Word, and appropriate it for the healing of our bodies.
We take God’s medicine by doing what Proverbs 4:20 and 21 says to do: (1) Attend to God’s Word; (2) incline our ears unto it; (3) let it not depart from our eyes; (4) keep it in the midst of our heart. All these instructions imply a continual, ongoing action, not something we do one time or every once in a while.
In the natural, suppose you had an illness last year, and your doctor prescribed a certain kind of medicine for you to take. Then suppose you got sick again this year with the same illness, and the doctor prescribed the same kind of medicine
for you. You wouldn’t tell him, “Oh, no, Doctor! I can’t take that medicine. I
took some of that last year!”
The dose you took last year isn’t going to do you a bit of good if you need medicine again this year. It’s the same way with God’s Word. For example, God’s Word won’t benefit you if you have the attitude, I’ve heard all that before. No, in order for God’s Word to do you any good, you have to stay with it. You have to keep taking God’s medicine.
You see, the Bible says faith is the victory (1 John 5:4). And faith comes by hearing the Word of God, not by having heard it (Rom. 10:17)!
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I
have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. . . .
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Jesus called the centurion’s faith great faith! What is great faith? The answer is found in verse 8. The centurion said to Jesus, “Speak the word only, and my servant will be healed.” Great faith is simply faith in God’s Word. It’s taking God at His Word.
God wants us to have the same great faith that the centurion had. He wants us to have confidence in the authority of His Word. Because of the centurion’s great faith, Jesus said unto him, “. . . Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee . . . ” (v. 13). I believe Jesus is saying to each of us today: “Go your way, and as you have believed, so be it done unto you.”
The Bible says God never changes (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). What He has done for anyone else, He will do for you, if you will believe Him and take Him at His Word. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He doesn’t favor one person more than another. He favors anyone who is committed to believing His Word.
God’s Willingness To Heal
1 When he [Jesus] was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
15 And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
16 When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
There are a lot of truths we could expound on in these verses. But I think one great truth that outshines the rest is God’s willingness to heal everyone. Notice in the first passage that the leper believed Jesus could heal him, but he questioned whether or not Jesus would heal him. The leper said, “. . . Lord, IF THOU WILT, thou canst make me clean” (v. 2). Jesus settled the issue once and for all when He plainly answered the man, “I will” (v. 3). Yet many folks today follow the leper’s unbelief about healing rather than Jesus’ willingness to heal.
Now take a look at the second passage of Scripture from Matthew 8. In verses
14 and 15 we read that Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law.
Many believe it is God’s will to heal some people or a selected few, such as the mother-in-law of one of Jesus’ disciples. But they don’t believe it’s God’s will to heal everyone.
But notice that the same day Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, He also healed all those in need: “When the even was come, they brought unto him MANY that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed ALL that were sick” (v. 16).
Why did Jesus heal the multitudes? The very next verse says He healed them “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (v. 17). Jesus was moved by compassion to heal the sick (Matt. 9:36).
So we know from the Word that healing does not belong to just a selected few. God doesn’t favor some but not others. For example, the Bible doesn’t say, “Himself took Peter’s mother-in-law’s infirmities and bore her sicknesses”! And it doesn’t say, “Himself took the centurion’s servant’s infirmities and bore his sicknesses”!
No, the Bible says, “. . . Himself took OUR infirmities, and bare OUR sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17)! And it was on the basis of this truth that Jesus healed the multitudes. Jesus healed “all that were sick” who came to Him (v. 16).
I’ve been in the healing ministry for quite some time now, and I have found that the biggest difficulty to getting people healed is to convince them that it is God’s will to heal. Many Christians make some effort to approach God and receive healing, yet many times the thought lurks in the back of their minds, I know God does heal people, but it might not be His will to heal me.
But, you see, these folks aren’t inclining their ears unto God’s sayings. When you incline your ear to what God says, you know the will of God concerning healing. And over and over again, God’s willingness to heal is expressed in the pages of His Word.
Let’s listen to God’s Word continually and incline our ears unto His sayings. I’ve said many times that just because I ate one T-bone steak doesn’t mean I’m never going to eat another one. In a similar sense, just as continually feeding your body with good food keeps it strong, continually feeding your spirit with God’s Word keeps your spirit strong and your faith alive.
When you feed your spirit on God’s Word along the lines of healing, you are building health and healing into your body, because God’s Word is health to all your flesh!
God’s Word Is His Will
We can know the will of God in the situations and circumstances of life by inclining our ears to God’s sayings (Prov. 4:20)! God’s Word is God’s will.
There is peace and comfort in knowing the will of God. As the psalmist of old said, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” (Ps. 139:17).
In a few earlier chapters, we learned that Jesus’ earthly ministry was the will of God in action on the behalf of mankind. Jesus said in John 6:38, “. . . I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
Was Jesus doing God’s will when He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil? Certainly, He was!
God Never Changes!
Has God’s will changed about healing all those who are oppressed by the devil? Of course not, because the Bible says God never changes (Mal. 3:6; Heb.
13:8). So we can know for certain that it is God’s will to heal everyone.
Acts 10:38 should be enough to convince us that it is God’s will to heal today, but there are many other verses that also reveal to us God’s will concerning healing. That’s why we should incline our ears to God’s Word—to His sayings— because His words are life to those who find them and health to all their flesh (Prov. 4:22). God’s Word is medicine!
I’ve said before that the Bible is God speaking to each one of us personally, and that Jesus’ earthly ministry was the express will of God in action. Since Jesus was God who came in the flesh (John 1:1,14), we could also say that Jesus is God speaking to us personally.
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
If Jesus is God speaking to us, what is God saying? Is God saying it is not His will to heal or that it is His will to heal only a few? Certainly not. God reveals in His Word that He never changes. In other words, whatever He has done for anyone else, He will do for each of us, if we will take Him at His Word and trust Him.
Are You Limiting God?
In His Word, God also reveals to us that He is a kind, loving Heavenly Father.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
How much more will God give good things to us! This passage of Scripture is saying that as a natural father loves his children and desires the best for them, our Heavenly Father loves His children much more and desires to give us good things in life.
For instance, if your child was burning up with fever, how many of you parents would heal him if you could? Certainly you would make your child well
if it were in your power to do so. Well, thank God, God wants to do the same for
His children, and God is able!
Someone asked, “If God is able, then why doesn’t He just heal every sick person?”
God is omnipotent or all-powerful. But He can only do in a person’s life what that person allows Him to do.
Some will argue that since God is omnipotent, He can make people do anything He wants them to do. But if that were true, He’d make all sinners get saved, and He’d make all Christians pay their tithes!
No, God can’t do any more in your life than you permit Him to do. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man [will] hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20).
Man is a free moral agent—he has the ability and the right to make his own choices. He can choose to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and be born again, or he can reject Jesus.
Even after you are born again, you don’t lose your will or right to choose. You have a choice as to what you will do with God’s Word. Will you attend to it? Will you incline your ear to it? Will you keep it before your eyes and in the midst of your heart?
If you do, God’s Word will become life and health to you. God’s Word is a never-failing remedy for all your flesh and for all the problems of life that may try to come your way!
People bring a lot of trouble on themselves. And, of course, the devil accommodates them in wrongdoing too. People get into trouble when they don’t do what the Bible says to do.
You can spare yourself a lot of misery in life by just doing what the Bible says
—by inclining your ear to God’s sayings!
Inclining Our Ears
You need to incline your ear to what God’s Word says about every area of your life. When you obey one part of the Bible, it makes it a whole lot easier to obey other parts of the Bible.
On the other hand, if you disobey God’s Word along one particular line, it makes it easier to disobey God’s Word in other areas. And when you’re in disobedience, it opens the door for the devil to try to work in your life. It’s just
better to listen and pay attention to what the Bible says.
We need to incline our ears to all of God’s Word and let it be the final authority in our lives. God’s Word is God Himself speaking to us. And the Word plainly reveals God’s will, including His will to heal sickness and disease.
Some people read God’s Word and still miss the fact that Jesus is the Healer. They ask, “If Jesus is the Healer and the Word is life and health to all our flesh, where do sickness and disease come from?” They think that if they’re sick, God must have put sickness on them because He’s trying to teach them something.
But if you’ll get into the Word, the Holy Ghost will illuminate your mind and your spirit, and you will see that God is the Healer. Satan is the defiler—the one who tries to hurt people with sickness and disease. Satan is the author of sickness and disease, not God.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Remember, the Bible says that Satan is the thief that steals, kills, and destroys. And when Satan is finally eliminated from the earth—from all human contact— there will be nothing that will hurt or destroy (Isa. 65:25). So we know that anything that hurts or destroys is of Satan, not God. Sickness hurts and destroys, but God heals sickness. He doesn’t put sickness on people.
I’ve seen people get attacked by sickness and disease and say, “Well, God must have put this on me for some purpose. He probably has some great, mystical purpose in mind.” Bless their darling hearts. But folks who believe this way are playing right into the devil’s hands. They are being robbed of the blessings of healing and health that God wants them to enjoy.
It stands to reason that healing must be God’s will or He wouldn’t have given us instructions in Proverbs 4:20-22 to tell us how to experience life and health in our bodies.
People who don’t believe it is God’s will to heal have a distorted mental picture of the character of God. And the only way they can remedy that is to incline their ears to God’s Word. If they would listen to what the Word says, they’d get the right picture of God in their hearts and minds, and their spiritual viewpoint wouldn’t be distorted.
Light and Life
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
I get more thrilled teaching healing from Proverbs 4:20-22 than I do from any other standpoint, because this is the way I was healed and raised up from a deathbed as a teenager. I had a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease from birth. I never ran and played as a child like the other little children did. I used to just sit inside and watch from the window in awe as other children ran and laughed and played outside. I didn’t have a normal childhood.
I know what it’s like to have no hope for a better tomorrow. Five medical doctors told me I had to die because medical science couldn’t do a thing for me. And I know what people who are dealing with sickness and disease in their bodies are going through, because I’ve experienced that too.
While sickness and disease ravaged my body, I would just stare at the ceiling hour after hour, day after day, wishing more than anything else just to be able to live. I agonized as I searched my mind for answers. I knew there had to be an answer somewhere.
I remember those days when the sun was shining brightly outside, but the room where I was imprisoned by sickness and disease seemed to be filled with darkness and death. Gloom hung like a shadow over me as I lay there on my sickbed and planned my own funeral. I was only a teenager. I hadn’t even begun to live, yet medical science said I had to die.
But, glory to God, I also remember when the light of God’s Word came shining in! The psalmist said, “The entrance of thy words giveth LIGHT; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Ps. 119:130). I couldn’t even understand the Bible, but I kept reading it because I knew my answer was somewhere in God’s Word.
24 Therefore I [Jesus] say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
I had read Mark 11:24 before, but I didn’t know what it meant or how to act on it. In the nighttime as I lay dying, I would repeat that verse over and over again all night long. I did that thousands of times.
At first Mark 11:24 was just words to me, but some way or another I knew there was healing for me in that verse. Finally, the light shone through, and the truth of God’s Word dawned on my heart. I received healing from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I got up off that bed of sickness completely well— and I’ve been well ever since!
“Yes, Brother Hagin,” someone said, “that happened because God called you to preach.”
But Mark 11:24 didn’t work for me because God called me to preach. It worked for me because I inclined my ear to God’s sayings. And it will work for you, too, if you will put God’s Word first above every situation and circumstance that comes your way.
If you’re struggling today with the tests and trials of life, stop your struggling and start inclining! Put God’s Word first, and you will live the abundant life!