Is God the Healer or the Afflicter?
What if the God that you think you know isn’t the God of the Bible?
Most people spend a considerable portion of their Christian walk wondering about the true nature of God. I’ve been a Christian for 40 years and allowed myself to be dragged through a roller coaster ride of doctrines and ministries. Each one has attempted to reveal to me the persona and nature of God. But these “revelations” were all over the map—some telling me that God tests us, others telling me that He doesn’t; some telling me that God heals people today, others telling me He doesn’t; some telling me that signs and wonders and miracles ceased after the New Testament was written, others telling me about the powerful operation of God’s power in our world today. These different doctrines preached to me over the years kept me mostly in limbo about the truth. But in spite of living a life of worldly worship, pride, willful sin, and belief in my own power, I managed to spend enough time reading and studying the Bible to see, at least partly, who He is. In fact, Jesus told us who God is when He answered one of His disciples who wanted Jesus to show God the Father to them:
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. (John 14:8-11 NKJV)
Jesus told Philip that if you see and know Him, you know God the Father–you will know what the Father is like; you will know His nature, His ways, His Will, and how His Kingdom works.
So, who is God to you? Who is Jesus to you? Who is the Holy Spirit to you? Is it crystal clear in your mind that you are a child of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit? Is it clear that healing, wholeness, and abundance are among the perfect gifts that the Father wants to give His children? Or are you mixed in your understanding?
What do I mean by “mixed?” I mean that some people believe contradictory things about God. They believe that God sends sickness, disease, trials, and tribulations to teach us things while at the same time believing that He heals, delivers, and blesses. Does He do both? Will He sometimes bless you with good things then send destruction your way to teach you the hard lessons?
These kinds of issues cause many good Christian men and women to succumb to living a life of confusion, which ultimately leads to despair and hardness of heart towards God. And this can only graduate into suffering the same problems as the world—sickness, disease, poverty, lack, oppression, trials, and tribulation. It’s also why so many critics are able to argue forcefully against Christianity—they see Christians living defeated lives and figure that God is not so good after all or that there simply is no God. Many people reason that they could achieve such poor conditions on their own—without God!
In the Christian community, confusion is common. For a Christian to think that God will sometimes bless them and other times hurt them is to think with partial insanity; it’s mixed-up thinking – it’s sowing mingled seed.
The Mingled Seed: Sowing seeds of illusion with seeds of reality.
19 ‘. . . You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your field with mixed (mingled) seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you. (Leviticus 19:19 NKJV)
The King James Version of this verse uses the term “mingled” instead of “mixed” and says: “You shall not sow your field with mingled seed.”
Mingled seed can’t produce after its own kind. God instructed Israel not to sow mingled seed.
One primary principle of how the Kingdom of God works is known as the principle of sowing and reaping. Whatever you sow, you will reap. If you sow wheat, you reap wheat. If you sow love, you reap love. If you sow faith, you reap faith. If you sow hatred, you reap hatred. And associated with this principle is the principle of multiplying. When you sow the good things that God instructs you to sow, you can anticipate that they will reproduce and multiply—more and more will be available in the future.
Receiving abundance and blessing in the Kingdom can only come from sowing pure, faith-filled seed. If you sow mingled seed, you will reap mingled blessings. In other words, your blessings will continually be overtaken by weeds, rot, and destruction. Sowing mingled seed is exemplified by contrasts such as being confused as to whether God will bless you or make you sick; whether He will send abundance your way or curse you with lack and poverty. Mingled seed is letting the thoughts of your limitations, the thoughts of past troubles and trials, and the thoughts of lack and oppression become mingled and sown with seeds of faith, peace, joy, health, wholeness, and abundance.
The religious systems of the world have done this for years: they’ve mingled man’s ideas with God’s truth to the point that it won’t produce anything. A hybrid won’t produce after its kind.
A mule is a hybrid – it is a cross between a donkey and a horse – but it can’t reproduce. Mingled seed cannot reproduce the Word of God. God tells us about His nature, over and over again, so that we can sow the Word of God into our lives and ONLY the Word—without seeds of doubt and man’s religious garbage. And God gives us numerous Scriptures that clearly describe His nature.
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Such a glaring contrast could not be clearer. The devil came to ruin your life—to give you sickness, poverty, lack, oppression, addictions, destruction, and death. Jesus Christ came to give life—the abundant life! So when you get sick, who is making you sick? Is it God or the devil? If you’re not sure, read the verse above again. And if you’re still not sure, read this verse:
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:16-17 NKJV)
Is sickness a good and perfect gift? Is having cancer? Is living in lack and poverty? Is being addicted to drugs, porn, or alcohol? No, these are not good and perfect gifts. When someone is lying in a hospital bed wondering what lesson God wants them to learn, they are attributing to God something that is caused by the devil. They are blaming God for their affliction instead of the father of afflictions. Christians have been so confused by mingled teaching that they cannot know for certain whether they need healing or a spanking from God! It’s no wonder why so few churches will lay hands on the sick so that they will recover as God instructs us in Mark 16:18. Books, such as “The Purpose Driven Life” teach Christians to accept their defeated, sick, poverty-stricken lives as being a “lesson from God.” Such mingled thinking is the delight of the devil.
God’s reality cannot be achieved by mingled seeds which do not produce after its kind. When you plant mingled seed in your life, it will always revert back to the lower form—the curses—poverty, sickness, and at the very least, constant striving with mixed or poor results. Sowing mingled seeds may produce a single crop, but that crop cannot reproduce and multiply. In my own business dealings, I have attempted to do many things under my own striving while at the same time trying to sow God’s blessings. And, amazingly, these often produced single, short term gains. But they never lasted. In fact, the ultimate result has typically been that my end state was worse than before. Instead of continuing on into the realm of abundant blessings available from God, I kept one foot in the earthly realm and one in the Kingdom of God. I wanted a donkey, so to speak, that would reproduce into a vast abundance of donkeys. But I instead sowed a mule. Now I often had a good mule for a while. But then it would die without producing offspring. So I was forced to strive to do these things all over again. The reality is that I would receive limited blessings that had no way of multiplying. The more I did this, the more the destruction would creep back into my life and the more I would become despondent about having to put out the effort to produce results all over again. Similar things were happening in my personal life – relationships, finances, joy, peace, wholeness, health—all were sown with mingled seeds and all were gradually becoming a total mess.
So, to be clear, God is a God of blessings, abundance, joy, peace, wholeness, deliverance, and salvation (among thousands of other wonderful things). If you consider yourself a child of God, you should expect to receive the blessings of your Father. He is not a child abuser and will not give you sickness and destruction to teach you a lesson. Would you do that to your own children?
All evil and destruction belong to the realm of the devil. He is the afflicter—NOT GOD. He is the one who sends you sickness, disease, lack, poverty, bondage, tribulation, disaster, and tragedy. Blame the devil for these things, and never God. When these things come upon you, take immediate action by planting seeds of faith by the Word of God to heal, to deliver, and to make whole. Stand on Scripture. If you need healing, find someone to lay hands on you so that you will be healed (Mark 16:18). Or have the elders of your church anoint you with oil so that you will be healed, as we are instructed in James.
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14-15 NKJV)
If there is no one in your church who will do these things, find a different church—your church is sowing mingled seed.
In order to have success with God, you must have clear thinking about who He is. You must be able to determine whether or not He is going to make you sick or make you whole. Jesus said that if you want to understand God, look at the way that Jesus lived His earthly life. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. In the accounts of His life in the Bible, we never see Jesus making people sick.
So let’s keep it real—be careful that you don’t tamper with the pure seed of faith. See God the way Jesus told us to see Him. When you say what God says and at other times you say what the devil says, you’re mingling the seed. You’ll confuse your heart. Instead say and do what Jesus said and did, and your seed shall be blessed!