Having worked in the medical field, I know a surgeon needs to use many and varied instruments in order to successfully operate on patients. Each instrument must be perfectly clean otherwise the risk of infection or death is present. The surgeon likes his instruments set out ready for use, knowing that each time an incision is made to start the surgery; he has a sharp scalpel or knife that will perform a clean cut under the bright lights, a steady hand and his ability. Each instrument must be reliable, functional, in good repair and do the task it was designed to do without fail.
According to Wikipedia, medical and surgical instruments are “specially designed tools or devices for performing specific actions of carrying out desired effects during a surgery or operation”. You may have heard of clamps, forceps, suction tips, scissors, injection needles, retractors and so forth, especially if you have been present during the birth of a baby in the hospital. The list of instruments is so vast and varied it is a topic that would probably astound most.
We can be human instruments
As a young girl I remember specifically looking at my mother while sitting next to her, having thoughts of healing towards her, but not knowing what to do during the time she was dying of cancer. As a medical professional I have always been very interested in all the accounts of healing contained within the Bible. I can think of nothing more satisfying and incredibly humbling than to have access to the healing power available through Christ and the Father, to be able to look at or touch someone and tell them to arise and walk like the account given in Acts 3:1-10 Acts 3:1-10 1 Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.
2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Peter, fastening his eyes on him with John, said, Look on us.
5 And he gave heed to them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.
American King James Version×of the lame man healed when Peter and John spoke to him.
Indeed I have prayed many times for the healing of others like this, but have come to realize that the healing we are involved with as God’s people has a great deal to do with prayers, fasting, kind thoughts and words and physical acts of agape love (a Greek word that denotes unselfish or Christ-like love) towards brethren and neighbors. God the Father and His son Jesus Christ are the Master Healers and we are His instruments to do with as He so pleases (Philippians 2:13 Philippians 2:13For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
American King James Version×). It takes great faith on our part to believe in Them as our healers and that They are capable of using us as Their instruments to heal.
We know that God is doing a mighty work (Ephesians 3:20 Ephesians 3:20Now to him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
American King James Version×) within each and every one of us and it is extremely exciting, humbling and beautiful to know that we are having our hearts and minds shaped by God, to the exactness and completeness of our Father and Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48 Matthew 5:48Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
American King James Version×). We look to our Father and older Brother as perfect examples of how we desire and need to be, hopefully on a daily basis. If we are truly repentant and remain close to God through ongoing, effective communication, we can be assured that God will continue to work with us until we are His perfect instruments (Philippians 1:6 Philippians 1:6Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×) and then we will be able to be His instruments for healing (Romans 6:13 Romans 6:13Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin: but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
American King James Version×).
Perfect human instruments must have a malleable heart – one which is capable of being shaped, changed and transformed. We can read about this in Psalm 51 where King David is offering up a prayer of repentance to God after recognizing his sins.; David beseeches God to “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (verse 10) and acknowledges that “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart” (verse 17).
In contrast, a hardened heart is one which is stone-like and not ready to change (think Pharaoh in Exodus 7-11 and the nine plagues before the final and tenth plague). It can be difficult to know sometimes that one’s heart is becoming hardened unless we endeavor to stay close to our Father through daily prayer and ongoing communication, seeking His will for us and to do His will (Proverbs 3:5-8 Proverbs 3:5-8 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.
7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.
American King James Version×), reading His word to exercise our senses to His way and then following through by demonstrating one of the attributes of a merciful God, by the healing of others through prayers, fasting and physical acts of service to those who are Sick.
We can provide a source for healing by sincere, kind words (Proverbs 16:24 Proverbs 16:24Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.
American King James Version×), visiting loved ones, visiting others we know in jail, sending thoughts and feelings in a card or letter to those far away or isolated, and providing basic needs of water, food, shelter, clothing and other physical necessities of life (Matthew 25:34-36 Matthew 25:34-36 34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: 36 Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.
American King James Version×). For those not aware of spiritual resources that are offered by the church, we can also provide much needed spiritual nourishment in the form of a Bible, information on Beyond Today programs on TV, the Internet, or in a discussion about spiritual matters when asked. Informing others, when asked, about the hope we have within us is incredibly inspiring and healing to both individuals (1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×).
Relaxing in God’s hands to provide the healing that is needed
As one of God’s instruments, we need to be able to allow God to work with us. He has a firm grip. He is perfection. He will not drop us or break us (Psalms 78:72 Psalms 78:72So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
American King James Version×). He knows exactly how much pressure we can take (1 Corinthians 10:13 1 Corinthians 10:13There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
American King James Version×). He will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:6 Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.
American King James Version×) and He tells His children that He can use us if we humbly submit to His power and authority working in us.
The world is full of hate, envy, greed, malice, and every foul thing that can have a negative effect on our health. We know this world is passing away and it is under the sway of the wicked one known as Satan (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×). And so we continue to live in the world but not be entangled it, so that we might become those effective instruments of healing as our Father and His son decide. They are the healers, we are just their instruments, to be used to help others come to be healed spiritually and physically as determined by the will of God.
As human instruments under the expert guidance of our loving Father, let’s all choose to increase our ability and desire to help heal others in whatever forms our God may decide to direct us and use us as we submit to His work in us.
To learn more about how to have the wisdom and strength to be healing instruments of God, sharpen your character by reading the Bible study aid Tools for Spiritual Growth .