Yesterday we went to a Benny Hinn “Miracle Crusade.” It wasn’t at all what I’d expected! Pastor Benny was soft-spoken and extremely down to earth, and there was nothing “showy” about any of it. In fact, I was surprised by how little action there was. It was all very much like a typical church service until the end when Pastor Benny began to receive words of knowledge regarding healings and started to call them out. “There is someone here with arthritis, God wants to heal that right now,” and “there is someone here who has diabetes and the Lord is healing it,” etc. I looked around and from where I sat, it seemed as if nothing at all was happening. This went on for a little while until Pastor Benny asked for everyone who had received a healing to come forward and I was shocked to see how many people there were! On both sides of the auditorium, the line extended almost to the back of the conference center.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that. I came into the service, fully expecting Pastor Hinn to be all over the building, laying hands on people for healing, snatching old men out of wheelchairs, swiping crutches, crying “Hallelujah!” and “Praise JE-sus!” I expected shouting and weeping and people being “slain in the spirit” as he walked by. To be honest, I expected to be a little uncomfortable. I even expected to doubt what I was seeing. But Pastor Benny never even left the platform. Everyone who claimed a healing had been healed from their seats. He never shouted or grabbed anyone. He never even prayed for anyone’s healing! He simply stood at the podium and asked the Holy Spirit to show up. There was nothing sensational about that service and I was actually somewhat disappointed.
But the more I think of it, the more impressed I am. It’s obvious that Benny Hinn never “faked” anything. If a skeptic wanted to discredit him in that particular service, they would have to say that the hundreds of people who were healed last night experienced an incredible case of “mind over matter” and received a healing simply because they believed they were healed. I don’t have a problem with that. The Bible says: “All things whatsoever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them” (Mark 11:24). But what is obvious to me is that healing doesn’t have to be sensational. It can be as simple as asking the Holy Spirit to show up, and creating an environment where He is welcomed.
It really makes me wonder… how many of us could do that, if we had the faith of little children? How many of us could have healing services of our own if we simply believed that God could and WOULD heal those around us, and created a worshipful environment where the Holy Spirit was welcomed? After having been to see both Benny Hinn and Todd Bentley, who was a part of the Lakeland revival (1), I’m convinced that this is not something that only a select few people are invited to partake of. The Bible tells us that those who believe will lay hands on the sick and the sick will recover (Mark 16:18). This is just as much a part of the great commission as preaching the gospel (2). It doesn’t take a special anointing, it simply takes the faith to act on a biblical promise (3). And, as Bill Johnson points out “Faith is not the absence of doubt, it is the presence of belief.”
We worship a God who heals people (Ex 15:26). We worship a God who wants to fellowship with us (1 Cor 1:9). We worship a God who answers prayers (John 16:23). And we worship a God who says that ALL things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23) (4).
I truly believe that revival can begin in our own back yards if we’ll only begin to step out in faith for it.