We live in a culture and a society that encourages legalistic thinking.
We feel bad about ourselves when we don’t tick the right boxes. I know myself I can feel like a failure for not having a husband or children.
I know with many people with long term illness, there’s a condemnation if you’re unable to work or do the things that other people can do.
When illness seems unending it’s common to loose friends who are busy moving on with their own lives; again causing us to feel unloved, left out and not quite good enough.
Whilst non of this is our fault, if we’re not careful, these experiences can cause us to develop legalistic thinking. We’re listening to the ‘inner-critic’, our internal personal pharisee!
Let me introduce you to an incredible woman who overcame legalism and positioned herself for her miracle by operating in the realm of grace.
GRACE ABOVE LAW
In order to receive healing your heart needs to be in alignment with grace and not law.
This woman was Jewish so obedience was all she knew; it was probably quite hard for her to ‘break’ these rules but she knew she had to in order to receive.
The woman broke out of the religious programming and elevated grace the day she pushed past the crowds to reach Jesus. We can never receive when we have legalistic thinking. I’m talking about self-righteousness
Firstly, If you find, like me, that you go from faith filled days to days of unbelief and doubt, know that’s ok. We’re in grace, so we don’t need to be faith filled permanently, I don’t think this is realistic when your challenging circumstance is unending.
Secondly, there is no evidence in the Bible that God heals the ‘super spiritual’ more than anyone else.
We cannot earn God’s favour or his healing through more praying, fasting or tithing; this is self-righteousness or legalistic thinking which only leads to striving, comparison and frustration.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Healing is all about what Jesus has done for us, not what we need to do for Him. Stop and take a stock check; Is there any part of your belief system that is relying on self? Where are you not receiving God’s grace?
FAITH WORKS BY LOVE
In order to activate faith we need to ‘know and believe’ the love God has for us, 1 John 4:16. In fact faith is null and void if we don’t know the love of God. Gal 5:6
The woman with the issue of blood believed in the goodness of God; that He loved her and wanted her well. In all honestly, I believe this was hard for a religious Jew if legalistic thinking was all she knew.
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.
Healing is part of grace; and knowing God’s love gives us access to His grace; it’s our empowerment.
Not all Christians have received the love of God. I know that’s true, because I was one of them! Even Joyce Meyer says that she had to meditate of Scripture every day before it finally sunk in.
Perhaps you feel God doesn’t love you because you’ve been ill for many years or that God just isn’t answering your prayers. If this is you, then see BE ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN CHRIST (BEFORE HEALING)
Everything in this woman’s world tells her that God is distant, unloving and angry. She had to break these legalistic strongholds and change her thinking.
I believe the incredible woman had a massive revelation of God’s love. She knew that God was the solution to her situation, the gateway to her dreams, the freedom to her bondage.
I wonder if the woman with the issue heard about how he pronounced ‘no condemnation’ to the woman caught in adultery? Maybe she took those words for herself.
Her illness was one that evoked shame and disgust. The most personal part of her body classed as diseased.
This is what the legalistic thinking does; feeds inferiority and lack of worth. Whenever you’re in the minority, it’s easy to feel different, a lack of belonging and a sense of being on the periphery.
I can feel the shame sometimes when I think about how this illness has forced me to live; the loss of so many years and the restrictions and limitations on life.
I can even fall down the rabbit hole of thinking ‘if only life would end so the suffering would be over” I feel ‘less than’ or ‘not good enough’. How about you?
Do you have a good opinion of yourself?
This woman’s life had been ripped apart, not just because of an illness, but because of the legalistic thinking of her community.
Legalistic thinking is rife even in the Church world so be careful who you listen to. There are plenty of well-meaning Christians who tell you all the things you need to fix, change or repent of in order to be healed.
In my experience God leads you one step at a time. He doesn’t give you list of things you need to deal with first.
The antidote to shame and condemnation is self-compassion. God’s love was her empowerment to love herself. Jesus sacrifice means you are valuable.
In order to receive healing, you must believe that you are worthy, lovable, accepted and deserving.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them
1 John 4:16
Otherwise we devalue Jesus and His sacrifice and misappropriate His salvation and healing in our lives.
How different would your healing journey be, if you chose to disallow the law to steal any more of your life?
To receive the love of God to such an extent that His love overpowers any sense of judgment either from yourself or others and really walk in the freedom of who you are in Christ.
God loves you and wants you well but it comes with surrendering any external or legalistic thinking telling you you’re not worthy.
I hope this helps you today.
There are other posts in the series. Have you read