Paul Left His Friend Sick At Miletus
"Erastus stayed in Corinth,
but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick."
2 Timothy 4:20
What??? The great apostle Paul left his friend and coworker - SICK? Oh my, shouldn't he have proclaimed his healing instead? Shouldn't he have named the Scripture on which to demand that his friend be healed?
He left him – sick.
The "name it and claim it" doctrine, the "Word of faith" doctrine, are false teachings upon which men say we must use Scripture to "name and claim" the solution to whatever we are up against, and most certainly not ever to give up and leave someone sick! Like Paul did.
The "prosperity" doctrine is a false doctrine and can be very dangerous. I knew a young woman who had cancer, and she had three children at home. The prayer group she belonged to named and claimed her healing. Week after week they prayed over her and spoke the "word of faith" over her. Here's what happened. She died. But that's not the worst part of it, especially for her because she was a believer and went to join loved ones in the joys of heaven. No, what was worse is what happened to her children who had been told to the end that she WAS going to be healed! Not wanting to express doubt, they maintained their profession of faith to the end. The effect that had on the children was devastating. This false doctrine can be responsible for turning people away from the Gospel and worse, away from God altogether when the thing expected does not happen.
Katherine Marshall was the wife of the great preacher of the Gospel Peter Marshall. Katherine had tuberculosis and grew sicker and sicker until she was bedridden. Multitudes prayed for her. Her husband was known world-wide, so when people heard Katherine was deathly sick there were many praying for her healing. She had a young son and she begged God to heal her especially for the sake of her child. But she worsened and came near to death. One day Katherine was praying and she told the Lord she just couldn't go on begging and pleading and reasoning about this anymore, and she said, "Father if it is your will not to heal me, I just accept it. I can't fight anymore. I surrender to your will." The next morning she woke up healed. She wrote about it in her book, "Beyond Ourselves." She wrote of "the principle of relinquishment," of surrendering to the will of God should he choose not to heal, should he choose not to fix the problem. That was the first Christian book I read after my born-again experience many years ago, and I've seen the fruit of a surrendered heart, the fruit of relinquishment, over and over again.
God heals. We all know of someone or heard of someone who was healed from incurable disease, and it glorifies God before all when he chooses to do so. But many times, in fact most times, he does not prevent suffering in our lives. People die. People are martyred and he does not intervene. The secret to a vibrant faith is the principle of relinquishment - not relinquishment so that God will change our circumstance, but true heart-felt surrender to the will of God. The apostle Paul did that. He was one of the greatest servants of God on earth yet he "left Trophimus sick at Miletus."
Pray with me:
Father, I believe with all my heart that you have the power to heal me or to change my circumstances. But many times you choose instead to use our circumstances to grow us and mature us, and if that is the case here I totally surrender to your will for my life. I relinquish my will and surrender to yours. I ask you for GRACE TO COOPERATE with you so that you might bring about your will and purposes for me and for my life. I utterly trust you and I know that all you allow in my life is for a specific purpose, a purpose I often will not understand until later. Help me surrender all to you Father, and help me keep my heart right before you as I walk through this life - learning and growing until the day you take me home, for this will bring peace to my heart and I know you will personally walk with me as I struggle, and that I will come to know you in a way that one can only experience through suffering. Father, I surrender all to you in the deepest of trust that you know what you're doing. Amen.