One major purpose of the church is for the healing of nations. After all the Great Commission includes the phrase discipling nations, in other words encouraging whole groups of people to live their entire lives the way God would like them to do.
Where do you start with a huge task like that?
Remember that the disciples were told to start in Jerusalem i.e. where they were. Once they had worked out how to do that effectively it would be easier for them to move outwards. The final stage was to go out into all the world.
What do you do with these people?
You help them with the process of healing and restoration. You get them saved and then keep on getting saved. You help them become more Christlike. In other words you encourage them to do things God’s way.
Here is a strange idea how do you know if they need healing and restoration? The answer is they don’t have what is God’s best for them. There is even a chapter of the bible that lists what are the good things God wants people to have and then goes on to list the negative things that they may have in their lives.
Deuteronomy Chapter 28 lists a surprising number of good things that come from doing things God’s way and bad things that come from not doing things God’s way.
1 Now if you give ear to the voice of the Lord your God, and keep with care all these orders which I have given you today, then the Lord your God will put you high over all the nations of the earth:2 And all these blessings will come on you and overtake you, if your ears are open to the voice of the Lord your God.3 A blessing will be on you in the town, and a blessing in the field.4 A blessing will be on the fruit of your body, and on the fruit of your land, on the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herd, and the young of your flock.5 A blessing will be on your basket and on your bread-basin.6 A blessing will be on your coming in and on your going out.7 By the power of the Lord, those who take arms against you will be overcome before you: they will come out against you one way, and will go in flight from you seven ways.8 The Lord will send his blessing on your store-houses and on everything to which you put your hand: his blessing will be on you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.9 The Lord will keep you as a people holy to himself, as he has said to you in his oath, if you keep the orders of the Lord your God and go on walking in his ways.10 And all the peoples of the earth will see that the name of the Lord is on you, and they will go in fear of you.11 And the Lord will make you fertile in every good thing, in the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your cattle, and the fruit of your fields, in the land which the Lord, by his oath to your fathers, said he would give you.12 Opening his store-house in heaven, the Lord will send rain on your land at the right time, blessing all the work of your hands: other nations will make use of your wealth, and you will have no need of theirs.13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail; and you will ever have the highest place, if you give ear to the orders of the Lord your God which I give you today, to keep and to do them;14 Not turning away from any of the orders which I give you today, to the right hand or to the left, or going after any other gods to give them worship.15 But if you do not give ear to the voice of the Lord your God, and take care to do all his orders and his laws which I give you today, then all these curses will come on you and overtake you:16 You will be cursed in the town and cursed in the field.17 A curse will be on your basket and on your bread-basin.18 A curse will be on the fruit of your body, and on the fruit of your land, on the increase of your cattle, and the young of your flock.19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.20 The Lord will send on you cursing and trouble and punishment in everything to which you put your hand, till sudden destruction overtakes you; because of your evil ways in which you have been false to me.21 The Lord will send disease after disease on you, till you have been cut off by death from the land to which you are going.22The Lord will send wasting disease, and burning pain, and flaming heat against you, keeping back the rain till your land is waste and dead; so will it be till your destruction is complete.23 And the heaven over your heads will be brass, and the earth under you hard as iron.24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust, sending it down on you from heaven till your destruction is complete.25 The Lord will let you be overcome by your haters: you will go out against them one way, and you will go in flight before them seven ways: you will be the cause of fear among all the kingdoms of the earth.26 Your bodies will be meat for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth; there will be no one to send them away.27 The Lord will send on you the disease of Egypt, and other sorts of skin diseases which nothing will make well.28 He will make your minds diseased, and your eyes blind, and your hearts wasted with fear:29 You will go feeling your way when the sun is high, like a blind man for whom all is dark, and nothing will go well for you: you will be crushed and made poor for ever, and you will have no saviour.30You will take a wife, but another man will have the use of her: the house which your hands have made will never be your resting-place: you will make a vine-garden, and never take the fruit of it.31 Your ox will be put to death before your eyes, but its flesh will not be your food: your ass will be violently taken away before your face, and will not be given back to you: your sheep will be given to your haters, and there will be no saviour for you.32 Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people, and your eyes will be wasted away with looking and weeping for them all the day: and you will have no power to do anything.33 The fruit of your land and all the work of your hands will be food for a nation which is strange to you and to your fathers; you will only be crushed down and kept under for ever:34 So that the things which your eyes have to see will send you out of your minds.35 The Lord will send a skin disease, attacking your knees and your legs, bursting out from your feet to the top of your head, so that nothing will make you well.36 And you, and the king whom you have put over you, will the Lord take away to a nation strange to you and to your fathers; there you will be servants to other gods of wood and stone.37 And you will become a wonder and a name of shame among all the nations where the Lord will take you.38 You will take much seed out into the field, and get little in; for the locust will get it.39 You will put in vines and take care of them, but you will get no wine or grapes from them; for they will be food for worms.40 Your land will be full of olive-trees, but there will be no oil for the comfort of your body; for your olive-tree will give no fruit.41 You will have sons and daughters, but they will not be yours; for they will go away prisoners into a strange land.42 All your trees and the fruit of your land will be the locust’s.43 The man from a strange land who is living among you will be lifted up higher and higher over you, while you go down lower and lower.44 He will let you have his wealth at interest, and will have no need of yours: he will be the head and you the tail.45 And all these curses will come after you and overtake you, till your destruction is complete; because you did not give ear to the voice of the Lord your God, or keep his laws and his orders which he gave you:46 These things will come on you and on your seed, to be a sign and a wonder for ever;47 Because you did not give honour to the Lord your God, worshipping him gladly, with joy in your hearts on account of all your wealth of good things;48 For this cause you will become servants to those whom the Lord your God will send against you, without food and drink and clothing, and in need of all things: and he will put a yoke of iron on your neck till he has put an end to you.49 The Lord will send a nation against you from the farthest ends of the earth, coming with the flight of an eagle; a nation whose language is strange to you;50 A hard-faced nation, who will have no respect for the old or mercy for the young:51 He will take the fruit of your cattle and of your land till death puts an end to you: he will let you have nothing of your grain or wine or oil or any of the increase of your cattle or the young of your flock, till he has made your destruction complete.52 Your towns will be shut in by his armies, till your high walls, in which you put your faith, have come down: his armies will be round your towns, through all your land which the Lord your God has given you.53 And your food will be the fruit of your body, the flesh of the sons and daughters which the Lord your God has given you; because of your bitter need and the cruel grip of your haters.54 That man among you who is soft and used to comfort will be hard and cruel to his brother, and to his dear wife, and to of those his children who are still living;55 And will not give to any of them the flesh of his children which will be his food because he has no other; in the cruel grip of your haters on all your towns.56 The most soft and delicate of your women, who would not so much as put her foot on the earth, so delicate is she, will be hard-hearted to her husband and to her son and to her daughter;57 And to her baby newly come to birth, and to the children of her body; for having no other food, she will make a meal of them secretly, because of her bitter need and the cruel grip of your haters on all your towns.58 If you will not take care to do all the words of this law, recorded in this book, honouring that name of glory and of fear, THE LORD YOUR GOD;59Then the Lord your God will make your punishment, and the punishment of your seed, a thing to be wondered at; great punishments and cruel diseases stretching on through long years.60 He will send on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which were a cause of fear to you, and they will take you in their grip.61 And all the diseases and the pains not recorded in the book of this law will the Lord send on you till your destruction is complete.62 And you will become a very small band, though your numbers were like the stars of heaven; because you did not give ear to the voice of the Lord your God.63 And as the Lord took delight in doing you good and increasing you, so the Lord will take pleasure in cutting you off and causing your destruction, and you will be uprooted from the land which you are about to take as your heritage.64 And the Lord will send you wandering among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other: there you will be servants to other gods, of wood and stone, gods of which you and your fathers had no knowledge.65And even among these nations there will be no peace for you, and no rest for your feet: but the Lord will give you there a shaking heart and wasting eyes and weariness of soul:66 Your very life will be hanging in doubt before you, and day and night will be dark with fears, and nothing in life will be certain:67In the morning you will say, If only it was evening! And at evening you will say, If only morning would come! Because of the fear in your hearts and the things which your eyes will see.68 And the Lord will take you back to Egypt again in ships, by the way of which I said to you, You will never see it again: there you will be offering yourselves as men-servants and women-servants to your haters for a price, and no man will take you.(Bible in Basic English)
Yes it is Old Testament. Yes it was a warning for the people who started a new life in the Promised Land. Yes it does describe what happened to these people later in their history.
Yet nothing has changed. People still experience these things. There are still people who have disturbed or diseased minds (verse 28) There are still people who lose their wives (or husbands) before their time, who lose their homes and do things but never get the benefit of what they have done (verse 30). There are still people who don’t have the things that others take for granted like children or a home or the assets needed to earn money (verses 31-32).
People in those kinds of situations need healing and restoration. Communities experiencing these kind of issues need healing and restoration. Nations experiencing such things need healing and restoration.
How does the healing and restoration process work?
Over the years I have looked at a variety of healing modalities. I have done over 20 weekend courses with Ellel Ministries. It can be a struggle now to find a short course at one of their English centres that I have not already done. I was introduced to the Restoring the Foundations approach by pastors who had trained under them. When I had the chance to do the Sozo course in Scotland I jumped at that. More recently I have been looking at videos of Robert Henderson on You Tube about the Courts of Heaven.
Start with repentance
All these approaches to changing and improving lives have one thing in common. It is the need to start with accepting you have done something wrong, deciding you are not going to do that again and then asking God for forgiveness.
Seriously that is the starting point. How they help people work out what they need to repent of varies slightly. How they complete the process can vary. However, the core message does not change i.e. turn from your own wicked way and start doing things the way God wants you to do.
It is not a once and for all message either. It is an ongoing process. It is a message that applies to everyone, no one is exempt. What needs to be dealt with varies but there is always something. It is not oneupmanship i.e. I am better than you because no one is perfect.
Deal with influence of past generations
The other thing that they all have in common is the idea that what your ancestors have done has an influence on you. It could be called generational curses, the sins of the fathers and resulting curses or having a bloodline that needs cleansing.
They also have a system or methodology of discovering these issues and then neutralising them. The finer points may differ but the intention and the outcome is the same, i.e. dealing with iniquities or weaknesses bequeathed to us from past generations. When we do this it is easier for us to follow God and do things His way.
The medical profession recognises that there are families with weaknesses. It could be addiction or depression. It could be diabetes or heart disease. They also say some conditions are genetic so if one parent has a particular gene then you are more likely to have a certain condition. Strange how they have come to the same conclusion from their own observations as God has been trying to tell people for generations.
It is really nothing new
It is the old old message tweaked and adapted a little. The details are slightly different. The approach is slightly different. The basic message just does not change and has not changed for thousands of years. It might be a bit more polished and presented slightly differently but it is the same message. Problem is that we have not been listening as well as we might or responding in the way that we could have done. IT is time to listen and to respond or we too will end up missing out. Maybe not to the extent that some will do but still not do as well as we might have done in the end.