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David Lanning

Have you ever gotten “stuck” in an area of ministry? You might get stuck by being too complacent, too comfortable or something else. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to budge from that spot. Recently, I became aware of a place I was stuck. It concerned healing.

I was healed by the Lord from crippling arthritis as a young man, so I strongly believe in the healing power of Jesus. Thirty-five years ago, I became a senior pastor. I church-planted in Richland, Wash., and I wanted our church to believe for and release the healing power of Jesus. I had simplistic ideas about healing, however. We did see healing take place, for which I praise God, but we also saw people die despite our contending prayers. My simplistic concepts about healing were challenged by life’s realities.

I pastor Faith Center (Springfield Foursquare Church) in Springfield, Ore., now, and have been here for 22 years. I pastor people who love Jesus and desire to see Him move in and through their lives. We always focus on honoring Jesus. Through the years, we have seen many come to Christ and many healed.

Yet, although my faith is strong in areas, I was recently confronted by the truth that my faith for healing had been replaced by hope for healing. There is a big difference between the two. To hope for healing is safe. It means I believe that Jesus can heal and that in the future He may heal in any given situation. Faith is risky. It means I believe Jesus can heal and that He wants to heal now. I didn’t realize it, but I had grown comfortable letting others believe while I would just hope. I had become stuck.

About a year and a half ago, I hired a new youth pastor. He is young and needs my mentoring in his life, but I also need him in my life. He is passionate and quick to believe for kingdom life, and for healing and for miracles, and it has been delightfully convicting to me. Through his example of faith, I saw I was stuck. I no longer believed God for healing and miracles—I was satisfied to just hope for them. The problem was I didn’t even want to change. I went before the Lord, asked forgiveness for my stuck condition and begged for grace to change.

All I can describe is that what happened was like a washing that took place in me. I was freed from something. I am no longer stuck. I once again believe Jesus for healing. I am seeing healing take place through my ministry again.

How are you doing? Are you stuck in some way? Maybe you don’t recognize it. Getting stuck happens when you plateau and you stop growing, when you reach a point of comfort or complacency and stay there. If you look, though, you will notice life and growth are slowing down and ceasing in that area of your life or in your church. There may be a number of factors that need to be addressed to get “unstuck,” but just remember that Jesus always has grace for us. I am so glad that Jesus as Healer means that He heals us from the places we can get stuck, as well as from sickness.

Prayer Points

  • Ask the Holy Spirit if you have grown complacent or too comfortable in an area of ministry or in your life. Are you stuck in some way?
  • Ask God to show you areas in the life of your church where it might be stuck.
  • Ask the Lord if you and your church are simply hoping for the miraculous or truly believing for the miraculous.
  • Pray for a hunger for all of the life God has for you and your church to experience.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the senior pastor of Faith Center (Springfield Foursquare Church) in Springfield, Ore.