Dear Refiner's Fire...

Does one have to rely only on God our healer when sick, or can one use doctors also? I know it is a touchy subject, but it actually really tortures me. I was using minerals and vitamins and alternative treatments to help me with my fatigue and other ailments. I have stopped all, because I fear God and do not want to transgress His will for us.

Our Response...

Yes, of course, we are to trust Him for our healing. YHWH/Y'shua is our EVERYTHING. But we also must use some common sense in this, our "fallen world" (see Genesis 3.) He has given us brains that we have been allowed to use - either for "good" or for "bad." (We have the choice to do things HIS way … or not.) We've seen ample evidence of what He allows (or not) in this world. Case in point, the "tower of Babel in Genesis 11, where mankind was rapidly advancing in knowledge and attempting to build a tower that reached up to heaven - all for self-centered goal of worldwide "fame". This story shows us that the bottom line is, it is all about YHWH, not "us."

As we then see throughout the rest of the Torah, He took His people out of captivity and led them into the "wilderness" where they could do nothing but rely on Him for EVERYTHING - food, clothing, shelter, medical conditions. That is His ultimate goal for His creation: To know Him, to obey Him, and to rely on Him for everything. But note also that, while He performed many miracles and supernaturally provided the things needed to sustain life on earth, He did not build their tents for them, and He made them build the Tabernacle and everything in it. They had to carry the building materials for the Tabernacle and all their belongings everywhere they went. That could not have been an easy feat, especially in those days where electricity and motors had not yet been invented! Could He have simply "transported" the people and their material? Certainly! But man's learning and growing includes physical labor and actually "doing" things for himself.

Once Y'shua died, "we" became the temple/tabernacle. 1 Corinthians 6 tells us: "19. Or don't you know, that your body is the temple of the Ruach haKodesh who abides in you, whom you have received from Elohim? And you are not your own. 20. For you are bought with a price. Therefore you glorify Elohim with your body, and with your spirit, which are Elohim's." He ALLOWS us the chance to take care of our bodies … or not. The choice is strictly ours. If we choose to ruin our bodies by abusing ourselves in some way through sex, drugs, alcohol, smoking and all the things we KNOW can and will harm us, then why should we expect miraculous healing? Can He and will He heal some who have abused their bodies? Sure! But the bottom line is, it is for HIS glory; not for ours! A cured drug addict or alcoholic will KNOW for sure that GOD healed Him!

In this fallen world He allows us to give our mind/body/soul to Him which ensures that we will receive eternal life (Psalm 16:11, Matthew 18:9; 19:16-29; 25:46, etc.) … but it does NOT ensure that we will have perfect, stress-less, healthy lives. Innocent babies are born with deformities, and they get cancer and die. We are in a "fallen world" and "stuff happens." How we react to the trials and tribulations of life depends on our relationship with our Creator! Do we lose faith in God, just because our babies die? Why should we? That would be the proverbial "cutting off our own nose to spite our face." Stuff happens....

The bottom line is: Since we are no longer in the "Garden of Eden", we are expected to DO whatever it takes to lead "godly" lives while taking care of our "temples" - which, in a world that has rejected His commands, including the command to eat only "clean" foods - is not easy to do. Because of our rebellion and the way we treat animals and grow vegetables en masse, and have abused our environment, most foods today lack the essential vitamins needed to sustain healthy bodies. That is why YHWH allowed man to serve as physicians and "invent" vitamin supplements. We NEED physicians because in our fallen world we don't supernaturally get our broken bones healed. YHWH has ALLOWED us to figure out how to heal and men our broken bodies, so why shouldn't we seek physicians? It doesn't mean we don't trust Him to "supernaturally heal us"; it is simply means we are simply using some common sense because we know He heals when He chooses to heal. When we realize, for instance, that our teenaged daughter is bleeding to death from her menses, by all means, don't just sit there and let her die; seek medical help! And yes, PRAY at the same time - because it is YHWH who decides whether she lives or dies!

There are some who feel that seeking medical attention demonstrates a lack of faith in God. Well, if your car is broken, do you take it to a mechanic, or do you wait for YHWH to perform a miracle on your car? If the plumbing in your house bursts, do you wait for Him to plug the leak, or do you call a plumber? Of course, He COULD fix these things, but as we know from experience, He doesn't do anything "on command" nor does He waste His time on "fixing" our every earthly problem. Sometimes He supernaturally heals; sometimes He does not. We cannot possibly know His reasoning! We cannot and should not constantly expect a miracle from God instead of seeking the help of individuals who possess the knowledge and skill to assist us. He expects us to use some common sense. And who knows but that, perhaps, while seeking medical help, He may be able to use us to "witness" for Him?

Physicians are referred to many times in the Bible. The only verse that could be taken out of context to teach that one should not go to physicians would be 2 Chronicles 16:11-13: "11 The activities of Asa from beginning to end are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y'hudah and Isra'el. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa suffered from a disease in his legs. It was a very serious disease, yet even with this disease he did not seek out ADONAI but turned to the physicians. 13 Asa slept with his ancestors, dying in the forty-first year of his reign." Even when visiting a doctor, our ultimate faith is to be in God, not the doctor.

There are myriad verses that refer to "medical treatments" such as applying bandages (Isaiah 1:6), oil (James 5:14), oil and wine (Luke 10:34), leaves (Ezekiel 47:12), wine (1 Timothy 5:23), and salves, particularly the "balm of Gilead" (Jeremiah 8:22). Also, Luke, the author of Acts and the Gospel of Luke, is referred to by Paul as "the beloved physician" (Colossians 4:14).

And then, of course, in Mark 5:25-30 we see the story of a woman who had trouble with continual bleeding that was never solved by "mere man." She was instantly healed when she touched Y'shua's tzit-tzit. Her FAITH healed her, but the bottom line is: God heals when He chooses to heal. We cannot always know the reasons why, or why not.

What we need to remember is this: MAN is not God; our job is to RELY on Him - but it is ultimately up to Him as to whether or not He chooses to heal. And He certainly does NOT do things "on command" such as the antics we see from "televangelists" who "perform miracles in the Name of Jesus" on TV....

Physicians are mere men; they are not God. They can only do what they can do. The ultimate decision about our health is always up to YHWH. Scripture does not condemn the use of physicians or employing "earthly" remedies. In fact, we see favorable references to medical treatments in Scripture. YHWH's intervention should ALWAYS be sought when it comes to any physical difficulty (James 4:2; 5:13). He does not promise that He will answer the way we will always want (Isaiah 55:8-9), but we DO have the assurance that He has compassion for all His creation (Psalm 145:8-9).

So, should Believers go to doctors? God created us as intelligent beings and gave us the ability to create medicines and learn how to repair our bodies. There is nothing wrong with applying this knowledge and ability towards physical healing! Doctors can be viewed as God's gift to us, a means through which God brings healing and recovery. At the same time, our ultimate faith and trust is to be in YHWH, not in doctors or medicine. As with all difficult decisions, we should seek HIM who promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it (James 1:5).