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Raising the Dead: Healing is within Your Reach

The Crossroad Decision

Twenty-two years separated from the hatred of his brothers and absent of his father's adoration, Joseph came toe to toe with his perpetrators. The pain associated with the memory never escaped his mind. At the tender age of seventeen, tears and fear possibly ruled his life. The teen struggled to survive in a strange land with unfamiliar people and culture.

During a famine, he faced the preparators needing his help; the perfect time for revenge. Indeed, he remembered trying to scale the well for freedom. Lifted out of the well just to be sold as a slave. He suffered from lies by his employer's wife, falsely imprisoned, promoted, and then demoted because of his brother's decision derived from envy. Joseph's life took many twists and turns. But none compared to his decision when life came full circle.

Relationships spiritually and often physically die when repentance is absent. The relationship had no lifeline until Joseph" 's brothers looked within their hearts. Sick with betrayal. Sick with dishonesty. Sick with deceit. Sick with heartache. Sick from estrangement.

Joseph carried out his plan. Like many of us, Joseph played games initially with the brothers. Taunting them, he did not reveal his identity. Joseph spoke roughly and accused the brothers of being spies. He held them in custody for three days. Joseph lived in fulfillment of God's destiny for

him. He remembered the dreams God gave him during his youth (Genesis 37).

Separating the brothers, Joseph demanded they bring the youngest brother, Benjamin. This request caused conflict through remembrance of their sin against Joseph. Overcome with emotion while hearing them argue, Joseph turns his back to them. Their conversation is one of healing. "We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore, this distress has come upon us" (Genesis 42:21). Reuben responded in an I told you so conversation. "Didn't I tell you not to sin against the boy?" Accountability is the foundation of healing relationships, especially if reconciliation is to occur.

The brothers held themselves accountable. They accepted the consequences.

Denying the truth of actions leads to sickness within the self, such as fear, guilt, regret, or pride, all of which destroy the health of relationships and environments.

Healing the Sick with True Repentance

God expects repentance, change behaviors produced from godly sorrow, within relationships. 1 Peter 3:7 warns husbands, "If you dishonor her and fail to treat her with great worth as an heir (partner) in this life, your prayers will be hindered." As both husband and wife submit to God's authority, the marriage flourishes for the kingdom. Each one's life purpose will reach its divine potential. How we live with each other matters to the health of relationships. More importantly, our actions with others matter to God. We sin first against Him when we sin against one another.

The most overlooked remedy of healing is sincere repentance. Without behavioral change, apologies are words without value. Repentance starts when one understands sinful actions offend God our Father before they offend the targeted victim of our actions.

One can think that the brothers needed Joseph, so that's why the discussion occurred. However, they do not know Joseph until he reveals himself. 'Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph; does my father still live?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. And Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come near to me." So they came near. Then he said: "I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt (Genesis 45: 3-4).

The Healing Ointment: Seeing God's Providence

Imagine looking into the eyes of the one you sold into slavery. Your blood relative. Your brother. Imagine the fear of knowing this now adult man holds your life in his hands. The fear more than likely equated to Joseph's release of emotions. After hearing the brothers acknowledge the sin and accept accountability, Joseph raised the dead relationships by offering healing. "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For these two years, the famine has been in the land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt (Genesis 45:5-8).

Joseph's spiritual ability to see God's providence led to the family's deliverance and a reconnection between Joseph and his father and brothers. Joseph's brother's accountability promoted an environment for healing.

God's encouragement in James 5:16 is not to embarrass or dismiss our feelings but to bring healing. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." With confession, prayer is more powerful. Hidden sin kills. "For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer (Psalm 35:3-4). However, confession in its proper place delivers. 'I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord," and you forgave the iniquity of my sin (Psalm 32: 5).

Giving Life to Dead Situations

Healing is within your power. Acceptance, acknowledgment, and true repentance can raise the dead, heal the sick, and cast out the demonic activity of betrayal and deceit. 2 Peter 1:3-4 affirms the power God has given us. "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires..." How will you use your healing power? Look for the healiing opportunities and participate in raising the dead.


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