Wednesday, 4 September 2013

God's Medicine Bottle...Take as Directed

"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers". -3 John 2 NKJV

  1. Take as Directed
  2. Pay Close Attention
  3. Bend Your Ear
  4. Don't Let Them Out of Your Sight
  5. Keep Them in Your Heart
  6. Closing Prayer

Take as Directed
From my own experience, I will share with you how I discovered this wonderful medicine bottle of God. I learned about this great blessing during the early years of World War II.
Because I am British, I served in the British Army as a medical orderly (what the Americans call a hospital attendant) with the British Medical Services for five-and-a-half years during World War II. For the first three years of duty, I was stationed in the deserts of North Africa: first in Egypt, then in Libya, and finally in the Sudan.
In the desert the two things that we were exposed to more than anything else were sand and sun. I spent nearly one entire year in the desert without ever seeing a paved road. We traveled in sand, we slept in sand, and very often we had the impression that we were eating sand. We were exposed to it day and night. Combined with the sun, it had a very harmful effect on certain people whose skin could not protect them adequately from that kind of exposure. I was one of them. It manifested itself primarily in the condition of my feet and my hands, where the skin broke down. I became incapacitated in many ways.

The officer in command of my particular unit struggled to keep me from being admitted to the hospital because he knew if I were admitted, he would lose me in the unit. Consequently, I spent several months hobbling around trying to do my military duties. However, in the end he had to let me go into the hospital. I went to three or four different military medical facilities, and I was in the hospital for a year. During that time, I met soldiers there who'd been two years in the Middle East and spent eighteen months in the hospital with similar conditions.
The doctors gave many elaborate diagnoses of my problem. Each name tended to be a little longer than the previous one. Eventually, my condition was diagnosed simply as chronic eczema. I received the best medical treatment available, but it really didn't help me.

I saw many other soldiers with similar conditions who also were not helped. Those with really serious problems, burns and so on, were usually shipped to South Africa. However, my condition wasn't considered to be that serious, and my services to the British Army were not so valuable that they were going to waste a passage on a ship to South Africa for me. So I just lay there in bed, day after day wondering what my future would be. I'll tell you, when you spend an entire year in the hospital, it seems to be an eternity!
Shortly before this time, I had come into a real personal relationship with the Lord, had been born again and received the filling of the Holy Spirit. But I was very ignorant about God's Word then, not having any background in biblical instruction. I had a Bible and really had nowhere else to turn for help but to God and His Word.

In desperation I began to search the Scriptures to see what they could tell me about my physical condition. I didn't have any theories about healing; I just knew I needed it. I had the Bible and plenty of time to read, since there was very little else to do. So I searched through the Bible for something that would show me if I could really trust God for the healing of my body.

One day I came across some verses in the book of Proverbs which I learned to call "God's Medicine Bottle." I'm quoting from the King James Version which was the version that I was reading in those days and which is extremely vivid and forceful:
20. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
(Proverbs 4:20-22 KJV)

It was that last phrase, "health to all their flesh," that caught my attention. I understood that "all their flesh" meant the total physical body, which is the way more modern versions translate it. I reasoned with myself, "Health! If I have health in my whole body, then I have no room anywhere for sickness. That is what God is promising me."
Then I happened to look in the margin of my Bible and saw that the alternative translation for the word health was the word medicine. That seemed to be even more appropriate for my condition. God was promising me something that would be medicine which would bring health to all my flesh. I thought to myself, "That's precisely what I need." So I went back and read those words over and over again. I saw that, in essence, God's offer was being made to me through His Word.
Verse 20 says, "Attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings." Then verse 22 says, "For they [that's God's words and God's sayings] are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh." So, somehow life and health are in the words and the sayings of God. I didn't know how that could be, but I knew God was promising it.
When I saw the phrase, "those that find them," I realized this process was more than just reading the Bible. It was reading the Bible in such a way as to find out how to receive what God was offering.
All the medical attention that was available in those conditions had not helped me. So I made a decision, a very naive decision in a way. I decided I was going to take God's Word as my medicine.
That was a very crucial point in my life in many ways. When I made that decision, the Lord Himself spoke to me. Not audibly, but nevertheless very clearly, I heard Him say, "When the doctor gives a person medicine, the directions for taking it are on the bottle." Then He instructed, "This is My medicine I'm giving you. The directions are on the bottle. You better study them."
God reminded me that a doctor doesn't promise any benefit from the medicine he recommends unless it is taken according to the directions. Being a medical orderly, I was very aware of that.
I then decided to study the directions on the bottle. Very quickly I saw that there were four specific instructions for taking God's Word as medicine for the physical body. 
These are His directions:

1. Attend to My words.
2. Incline thine ear unto My sayings.
3. Let them not depart from thine eyes.
4. Keep them in the midst of thine heart.

I realized that if I were going to receive the benefits I needed from the medicine, I had to comply with these four guidelines.
I cannot go in detail into all that followed, but I began to bow my head over the Bible three times every day after meals, because that is how people normally take medicine. I said, "God, You have said that these words of Yours will be medicine to all my flesh, and I'm taking them as my medicine now, in the name of Jesus." Within a few months, God's medicine, taken that way, achieved the result God promised. I was totally healthy in every area of my body.
A good many years ago, I recorded this experience on a tape. Just recently in London, England, I met a young man from Pakistan who told me that he'd become a Christian and that he had suffered for more than twenty years from eczema. One day he heard my tape and decided to do what I had done. In his case, he was completely healed within two or three days. So that is an up-to-date testimony that the medicine still does what it claims to do.