The meaning of Bethesda is House of Mercy. I believe the Holy Spirt is telling us though the story of the lame man healed at the pool of Bethesda, that if we want a healing, we find it in the house of God, the Church.
The environment you’re in could determine whether or not you receive your miracle. I ended a friendship once, because whenever I was with this person, I felt terrible about myself, as though my best wasn’t good enough.
This was not a healthy environment for me to thrive in.
It seemed to take me weeks to recover from her words. We have neuroceptors in our nervous system which constantly scan our environments for safety or danger. If we’re in a situation where we’re sensing danger, we will not heal.
Being in the right Church and surrounding yourself with non-judgemental believers will give you a sense of safety. Those who will stand and pray with you, believing God for your miracle.
Just as a flower needs the right conditions in order to grow, we too need the right environment in order to heal.
It’s God’s design.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.”
The church loves to pray and anoint with oil so the best place to be if you’re unwell. But it’s more that this. The church provides for an environment conducive for healing that you won’t get elsewhere in the world.
Why the meaning of Bethesda proves that healing is found in church:
1. HOLY SPIRIT
It’s the Holy Spirit in you that heals you. Surely it’s better to be somewhere where the Holy Spirit and the sense of God’s presence is stronger?
On our own, God of course is still with us. But when the Holy Spirit in us joins with the Holy Spirit in others, it’s all the more powerful.
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
It’s easy when living with illness to stay at home on a Sunday morning, especially now we can watch God TV or watch online messages.
I can relate to this. When I first became unwell, I didn’t feel well enough to go to church. It hurt to walk, to stand and most of all to sit, plus it was such a massive effort to get myself up and out with all the physical limitations.
Thankfully, my beautiful friend challenged me on this. Sometimes we need to make a choice between what hurts and what hurts more.
It may be difficult getting yourself to church when you’re in so much pain, but it will hurt more in the long run if you miss out on your miracle.
Staying at home and watching online is not a strategy that will get results
Corporate worship is powerful. The flame within us is rekindled as we worship together. Martin Luther said:
“at home, in my own house, there is no warmth or vigor in me, but in the church when the multitude is gathered together, a fire is kindled in my heart and it breaks its way through.”
We are more likely to experience our miracle when we’re together. There is Holy Spirit power in unity.
2. WE FIND FAITH FILLED FRIENDS
The lame man lowered through the roof understood the meaning of Bethesda. He found faith-filled friends who took him to Jesus. Where were the friends of the man at the pool of Bethesda?
This man was isolated, with no friends to take him to the pool.
Are your friends or those you’re connecting with taking you to or away from Jesus?
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
I encourage you to find friends who will commit themselves to praying for your healing and recovery, no matter how long it takes?
I have a group of Christian friends who have been praying and standing with me now for many many years. Had this not been the case, I would have given up. I could not do this journey alone.
3. FAITH GROWS IN CHURCH
Reading the Word privately is essential, but so is listening to anointed preachers of the Word. Without this, we’ll only grow so far. (Rom 10:14-15)
It often amazes me how some preachers can take a verse and get so much from it!
When we read privately, to a certain extent we are in control of what we read which can be limiting. When we’re in church, the leader or preacher will sow the seed and the Holy Spirit may cause you to hear a specific word for your situation.
Our preachers truly are gifts from heaven.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
The type of church you’re in is also crucial for healing.
Are you in a church that believes for the impossible? Is your church a Bible believing, grace filled and Holy Spirit led church? Does your church elevate the Word of God above natural circumstances?
This is so important. I have been in churches that don’t believe in healings. I have also been in churches where their doctrine of healing is questionable. Churches that believe that it’s not always God’s will to heal or that healing is dependent upon obedience.
4. IT PROMOTES WELLBEING
If the meaning of Bethesda is House of Mercy, then that feeling of compassion and forgiveness needs to be tangible.
How do you feel when we leave a Church service? Do you feel condemned or not quite good enough? Or do you feel encouraged and motivated to keep on believing for that miracle?
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.” Is 55: 12-13
The church environment uplifts and creates a sense of peace and joy in our hearts irrespective of our circumstances. This regulates our nervous system which experts say is essential for healing. We don’t fabricate this. It happens in our hearts when we partake in church life.
Nervous System expert, Deb Dana says that we cannot think our way to safety’ It’s an embodied experience and can’t be healed cognitively.
Imagine the difference it would make if every person who needed healing prioritised church as essential.
Church is home for the believer. A place to be fed and nourished, feel loved and accepted and have that sense of belonging. This truly is the meaning of Bethesda and where healing is for each of us.
Friends that support and pray in an environment of growth, faith and expectancy. Think of the amazing healings that will take place once we all have this revelation.
I hope this helps you today.
If this has helped you, then why not visit the next post in the series: