Just miles away from the Pensacola Outpouring, also known as the Brownsville Revival, I have been thinking a lot about the charismatic, Pentecostal movement in America. As we drove into Destin, we passed many, many Pentecostal places of worship (usually called Worship Centers) advertising deliverance, healings, victory, and Holy Ghost power.
My biggest beef with faith healing and the charismatic movement is its dependence on the immediate. I am a continuationalist, which means I believe God can still use healing, miracles, tongues, signs and visions today. I don’t not believe, as the cessationalist believe, that those charismatic gifts ended with the apostolic age. However, spiritual and physical healing takes time.
A broken bone takes 6 to 8 weeks to mend. A person fighting cancer has a lengthy treatment plan. Someone recovering from alcohol addiction may be freed/healed from the desire to drink, but they still need time to repair the damage years of drunkenness may have caused.
I have long been skeptical of instantaneous faith healings, but I am not skeptical of God’s power to do whatever He likes. The reality is true healing takes time, whether that is through the power of the Spirit or by human means. Hearing a faith healer shout “Be healed” may be the start, but it is definitely not the end of God work.
I believe the healing can start in a Bible study class, in a sermon invitation or in the middle of the interstate. When any sinner asks God to begin His miraculous work in their life, the healing process begins.