Grace For Healing
God wants you well
the faith of the centurion

The faith of the Centurion stood out to Jesus, above everyone else in Israel. In fact, He was amazed!

“Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” Matt 8:10

Wouldn’t you just love it if Jesus was amazed at your faith?

So today, we look at the story of the Centurion, and in particular, whether or not we too can have ‘great faith’, or the type of faith that impresses Jesus.

You see other people wanted Jesus to visit their loved one (like Jairus), or they met with Jesus and had that close proximity. 

This was healing at a distance. Whilst this proved great faith, I think it’s important to remember that this took place before Jesus died. 

We have a greater covenant, one where healing is no longer distant.

The deeper our revelation of who the Holy Spirit is inside us, the more we realise that healing is never distant in the New Covenant. 

This puts you and I at a massive advantage compared to those in Scripture. They had to physically travel to where Jesus was. 

The Holy Spirit has made it possible for us to have Jesus with us 24/7 by His Spirit. 

 

THE FAITH OF THE CENTURIAN

 

The other person in Scripture that Jesus said had great faith, was the Syrophoenician woman who wanted healing for her child. 

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Matt 15:28

The common denominator between these 2 people, was that they were Gentiles.

What was a massive difference between Gentiles and Jews, was that Jews were legalistic and law-conscious. 

The Bible says in Galatians 3:12 ‘the law is not of faith’. In other words, the more religious and legalistic we are, the more it squashes faith – and we need faith for healing.

According to Barry Bennet, from Charis Bible College, 4 things happen when we’re legalistic. 

 

1. WE ARE NATURALLY MINDED

 

We feel the pain in the body above the verses that tell us we are already healed. Or, we listen to what the doctors are saying, even though God is the great Physician who created our bodies. He has the final say. 

As children of God, He wants us to believe what He says, even if the world around us says the opposite. 

I confess, this is so hard because of our natural wiring from childhood, and especially for those who have been unwell for years. 

Being aware of the spiritual more than the physical is something we can only do in God’s strength and with a renewed mind.

When we become Christians, it doesn’t wipe out our wiring. We have the same patterns of thinking we’ve always had. If we’re prone to being negative before becoming a Christian, this will continue after, unless we renew our minds. 

It’s only natural for us to focus on the pain in our body, the doctor’s words, the way we feel. 

When we are naturally minded, we can pick up on the religious spirit without even realising:

‘I’m not healed because….If I really had the Holy Spirit, then I wouldn’t have depression…..God must be teaching me something….’

Does this sound familiar to you?

 

2. WE BECOME AWARE OF SHORTCOMINGS

 

When I think of my own life, I know there has been a lot of disqualifying myself (unconsciously) going on. 

I listen to the inner critic who I like to call the internal pharisee, who doesn’t just remind me of things I’ve done wrong, but even accuses me of things I probably haven’t done wrong. 

Let me give some examples:

‘Maybe I need to apologise to that person, just in case they misunderstood me and I don’t want them to be hurt’

‘I know I’m forgiven, but I still need to be punished’

‘Other people are way more deserving of healing’

I think if we have a deep-rooted belief of self-loathing we will naturally walk down the path of ‘I don’t deserve good things’ which of course will crush our faith completely.

This is self-persecution and completely the opposite of the freedom Jesus died to give us. 

Jesus has died and we deserve good things, not because of our goodness, but because of Jesus, and His goodness. 

For his faith to work, the Centurion had a heart of surrender. There was no sign of self-judgment or awareness of his weaknesses. 

His eyes were on Jesus alone. 

 

3. WE BECOME SELF-RIGHTEOUS

 

Recently I wrote on the danger of our filthy rags, as the Bible refers to self-righteousness. 

See WHY OUR FILTHY RAGS MAY HINDER HEALING

It’s the part of us that thinks we’re right and superior above others. 

We all have this part and it’s so sneaky because we don’t recognise it in ourselves, because we’re too busy thinking we’re right!

We can never receive from God based on our own goodness. Unconsciously we may think we need to serve more in Church, be more generous, read more of the Bible, pray more etc etc, 

Non of these things causes God to heal us. We can be very image conscious, but we know that God looks at the heart. 

God heals us because of Jesus alone. 

Perfectionism is a behaviour trait, we can pick up in childhood. We perceive we need to be better, or more perfect, in order for the love and attention from our caregivers. 

This pattern of behaviour is continued into adulthood unless we consciously change it. God doesn’t want us perfect, He wants us to know in our hearts how desperately He loves us and from this revelation, we are transformed. 

When we’re self-righteous, we place ourselves on the platform and we become superior. We judge others and critique them. 

Our eyes are on what isn’t good enough, who is contributing to this and we can operate from a place of ‘I am better than..’

The Faith of the Centurion seemed so pure to me. His eyes were off Himself and onto the power and the love of Jesus. 

He didn’t think his soldier ‘should’ be healed because of his or his soldiers’ goodness.

There were no signs of self-justification or thinking because he was a man of authority himself, it somehow qualified him, but purely because of Jesus and His willingness and love to use His power for others. 

 

4. YOU FEAR GOD (NOT IN A GOOD WAY)

 

He revered Him and honoured Him, yet knew He was approachable. 

There was no fear of judgement or condemnation. He knew that God was a God of love. He trusted Him. 

Joseph Prince teaches that faith is having a good opinion of God. The faith of the centurion was evident because he had the right view of Jesus.

In my own faith journey, I know that it took many years before the understanding of ‘God is love’ reached my heart. 

We can easily know this in our heads, but for the understanding and personal experience to reach our hearts, can take longer for some of us. 

Those who are legalistic lead morally good lives and outwardly tick all the right boxes. They are in church, serving and even reading their Bible. They  may even be fasting and tithing. 

None of this means they know the love of God intimately. 

I think in order for us to have the same faith of the centurion, we need a massive revelation of God’s love for us personally. 

Maybe ask yourself these questions: 

Do you feel God is going to bless or heal others but not you?

When life gets difficult and you experience hardships and trouble, do you blame God?

If this is the case, reading verses on how much God loves you (personally) and meditating on these will over time help you.

Recording evidence of His daily blessings helps rewire this into your brain. 

For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void . . .
— Romans 4:14 NKJV

Being legalistic will always dilute faith, but often I find that we don’t often recognise when we’re operating from that place so growing in self-awareness is key. 

 

THE CURE TO LEGALISM

 

So how do we get rid of legalism?

I love the phrase ‘when you’re in a dark room, you don’t get rid of the darkness, you turn on the light’ I’m sorry to say I’m unsure who said this, I think it was Andrew Wommack, but please don’t quote me.

To develop the faith of the Centurion that having a greater revelation of God’s love is the answer in my opinion. 

It’s the love that empowers us on our journey and gives us the ability to have an active faith.

This is the ‘faith without works is dead’ type of faith, the faith that means we don’t wait until someone lays hands on us to receive a healing.

See 5 EASY WAYS TO BUILD STRONGER FAITH FOR HEALING

‘Right believing, causes right living’. Joseph Prince. 

Here are some pointers in the direction of growing in our revelation of God’s love. I would call this developing intimacy with Him. 

 

1. MEDITATE ON GOD’S LOVE

 

The Bible is full of verses that speak of God’s love. But reading them once every now again won’t be enough to renew our minds in this area. 

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

 1 john 4:16

I admire how John called himself ‘the disciple Jesus loved’, showing his special relationship with Jesus.

John was rooted in the love of God

The term ‘loved’ in Greek refers to a love that is constant and never-ending. This is the love we have daily access to. 

When it comes to meditating on God’s love, I’m not just talking about individual verses, but also stories and passages that prove God’s love. 

The way Jesus died for us, the healings and deliverances, the way He was with Jonah in the whale and how He closed the mouths of the lions in the story of Daniel. 

When we put ourselves in the story, we begin to have that revelation of God’s love for us. 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Heb 13:8

2. KEEP A DIARY OF DAILY BLESSINGS

 

I guess this is a little like a gratitude diary. God does bless us with glimmers every day but we need to look for them.

Our brains need evidence. You can’t just tell your brain something is true, we need to show ourselves that something is true. 

A stranger’s smile, the person who opened a door for you, the pretty butterfly or the chirping of the birds….

We can see God’s goodness in people, nature, in blessings – no matter how small.

If someone has experienced an accumulation of stress or trauma in their life, it can distort their view of the world around them. 

Our brains are hardwired to tune into the negative. We need to develop new neural-pathways to convince our brains that God’s love is evident. 

 

3. SEE JESUS IN THE SCRIPTURES

 

 In the Old Testament, we see legalism in action. Unfortunately, this doesn’t show who God really is – His heart. 

When Jesus arrived on the scene, this all changed. He came to show us who God really is. 

“ He who has seen Me has seen the Father” John 14:9

When we see Jesus through the Gospels we see him loving people back to wholeness. He healed everywhere He went. 

Jesus opened the eyes of the blind, raised the dead and embraced the leper. He sat with sinners and forgave his enemies.

I suspect the faith we see in the centurion developed over time – perhaps he witnessed Jesus healing others, or hearing stories of his miraculous power. 

Jesus’ actions are all acts of love. This builds up our evidence bank that God is a good God. 

 

4. ENCOUNTER GOD IN SMALL THINGS

 

God wants us to encounter and know Him intimately. Knowing anyone often takes time and deliberate intention. 

We can think that encountering God is about the miraculous, but really we have the opportunity to experience Him throughout the day. 

And behold, the Lord passed by,… but the Lord was not in the wind; ….and the Lord was not in the earthquake; …but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

1 Kings 19: 11-13

Being aware of God’s presence takes practice. We can be busy, neglect him and before we know it, we’ve reached the end of the day. 

We can invite Him into our thoughts, conversations, experiences and our everyday routines and situations. 

When I work with clients, we may look at who they have as a Compassionate Image. Or, in polyvagal terms, a ventral anchor. 

This is a person (or thing), who helps us feel a little safer. As Christians we have access to the most compassionate person who ever walked the face of the earth, so why not take advantage of this.

 

5. BE GRACE MINDED

 

The Bible seems to suggest that the ‘worst sin of all’, if I can say that, is the sin of self-righteousness. 

The faith that the centurion had would be made void, if he was self-righteous. Allowing people the freedom to be themselves, even if we disagree is an act of kindness. 

Growing in our ability to listen without jumping in with our opinions and developing empathy for others, is an attitude of the heart we can all grow in. 

How self-compassionate are you? Being our own worst enemy is common in my experience.

We can judge ourselves too harshly, ruminate on mistakes, tell ourselves our best isn’t good enough. 

Often we don’t even know we’re doing it because it’s the norm for us. Learning to adopt an ‘it’s ok, Jesus loves me’ type attitude is a journey in itself. 

It’s ok to say no to people and to disappoint them, to honour ourselves, to accept compliments and to let ourselves off the hook. 

Knowing how to distinguish between our internal authentic voice, and the external ‘shoulds’ takes practice and Holy Spirit help for sure. 

Can you imagine what your world would look like if you could emulate the faith of the centurion?

The child-like faith we seem to lose as adults would shine ever so brightly despite our circumstances. 

Our relationship with ourselves increases as we learn to love and accept ourselves more. 

We’d begin to walk in true intimacy with the Father and faith is the default. 

This all takes practice, practice and more practice, just one small step at at a time. I hope this supports you on your journey. 

Love Lorna

In categories: Uncategorised