Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating neurological disease affecting the auto immune system. The myelin sheath that covers the nerve fibers are destroyed by inflammation causing scarring that inhibits muscle coordination and vision, as well as impedes the normal processing of nerve signals throughout the body.
There is no known medical cure for multiple sclerosis.
I was diagnosed with MS in September, 1973. Four days later I attended an evangelistic luncheon sponsored by Seaview Baptist Church in Linwood, NJ. The evangelist spoke on Luke 13:11 about the woman bent over with a crippling disease that Jesus healed. A thought went into my heart that would not leave:
“If Jesus healed that woman, maybe He could heal me.”
I went home from that luncheon determined to get to know Jesus the way that woman in the Bible did, so He could heal me, like He healed her. This began a mighty powerful spiritual journey by me devouring the Word of God seeking to get to know Jesus and to find out what I had to do to be healed.
One of the first verses that jumped out at me off of the pages of the Bible was “I am the Lord that healeth thee.” Exodus 15:26
That verse kept me going for a whole year, as I kept reading the Bible and doing everything I could to help Jesus heal me.
In September, 1974 I was still living a “roller coaster” existence with good days that encouraged me, followed by bad days that left me in despair. Still I had the assurance from God that things were going to get better.
One day while reading Catherine Marshall’s book, Beyond Ourselves, I was touched by her “prayer of relinquishment.” I decided to pray the same kind of prayer that Catherine Marshall prayed regarding her own illness. I prayed,
“Dear God, if this illness is your will for my life, I will accept it, but just allow your Spirit to shine through me in spite of it.”
I truly expected that after that prayer I would be a sweet, kind, lovable Christian praising God from a wheelchair. But to my surprise, I immediately started to gradually get better.
My total surrender to God was the beginning of a whole new life for me. Within days of this prayer, significant events took place in my life. My eyes and heart and mind and spirit were opened to the reality of spiritual warfare, and the Word of God became alive to me as if the Lord was shining a giant spotlight on the pages as I read them, illuminating them in a way that made what God was showing me very clear.
The Lord began to personally guide me into an awareness of what life as a Christian was really supposed to be. I professed to be a Christian all along, because I did believe in Jesus as the Son of God. But then God let me know that if I truly desired to be His servant, and receive the blessings He had in store for me, such as healing, then more was required of me.
First he showed me that it was not enough to believe in Jesus and go to church to grow as a Christian, I had to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I always assumed that since I had Jesus in my heart, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. But then I discovered that before Jesus ascended into heaven He breathed on His disciples and said to them in John 20:22,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.”
So the disciples had the Holy Spirit in them even before Jesus ascended into heaven. But then in Acts 1:4 Jesus tells His disciples not to leave Jerusalem after He leaves them, but to wait there for the promise of the Father and they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 Jesus says,
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.”
Other verses were brought to my attention such as,
“I baptize you in water for repentance, but He who is coming after me…will baptize you with the Holy Spirit…”Matthew. 3:11
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit, to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:13
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name…will teach you all
“Repent…be baptized in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
“We are His witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.” Acts 5:32
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” Acts 19:2
I kept coming across these, and similar verses, over and over again, until I realized that it was the Holy Spirit who would impart spiritual wisdom to me and teach me God’s ways. Each time I read one of these verses I would pray earnestly for God to fill me with His Holy Spirit.
Something inside of me let me know that the Holy Spirit would be the one who would heal me, and that apart from the Holy Spirit’s power working through me, I could not be healed.
I became aware that true life begins when an individual realizes that it is not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of God that we have any kind of life. I learned that genuine Christian living is yielding my will to the will of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Learning to live my life, led by the Holy Spirit, was the key to my recovery.
Then God began to let me know that it was not enough to read the Bible simply to gain Biblical knowledge, but that, in order for what I was reading to have any life-changing power, I had to OBEY what God was telling me in His word. The meaning of the following verses began to take hold in my spirit,
“When you are in distress, and all these things have come upon you, in the later days, you will return to the Lord your God and shall obey His voice.” Deuteronomy. 4:30
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” I Samuel 15:22
“He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures.” Job 36:10-11
“…it will take place if you completely obey the Lord your God.” Zechariah 6:15
“Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. Walk in all the ways that I command you, that it may be well for you.”
“Who has bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth?” Galatians 3:1
I began to pray that God would enable me to WANT to be obedient and to show me through His Word the areas of my life that needed to be changed. Being obedient to God, at first, seemed so unreasonable, sometimes ridiculous, and other times completely impossible.
My doctor made it VERY CLEAR that there was no hope for me and to not waste my time trying to find help through the medical world. He told me MS was a progressive disease. In my own research I learned that I had a life expectancy of twenty years. Every so often when I would wonder if I should be learning more about the illness, I would hear the Lord whisper in my spirit, “Keep your mind off of the problem, and get your mind into My Word.”
Soon I realized that, if I really wanted to be healed, I had to pay attention to what God was telling me through His Word and obey Him. In reality I had to stop rebelling against His Word, and stop thinking there was a solution out there “in the world” somewhere.
My desire to be healed finally became stronger than my reluctance to be obedient, and I just started taking God at His Word and obeying as He led me. This was perhaps the most difficult time of my spiritual life, but also the best time. The more I obeyed God, the more He opened His word to me and illuminated the scriptures so that I saw them from God’s perspective rather than from my own viewpoint.
The Lord took me out of the natural, intellectual understanding of God’s Word into the supernatural spiritual understanding of His Word. A beautiful cycle began of reading God’s Word, praying for the ability to be obedient, yielding my will to God’s will, receiving the blessings that come through obedience, and most especially being filled with the Holy Spirit as God promised would happen in Acts 5:32,
“And we are His witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him.”
The reality of trusting God through believing and obeying His Word came into even greater focus as I read,
“If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
I wanted to be healed, and God was telling me here that, if I had His words abiding in me by obeying what His Word said, then I would be healed.
In the past I had simply prayed and asked God to take care of whatever difficulty I was encountering, never realizing that God expected anything from me in order for my prayer to be answered. Now I was learning that His words had to abide in me so that He could do what I was asking Him to do. When His words abided in me, then His Will would also be my will, and my will would be His Will. I would not be asking for anything that was contrary to His Will, because by having His Word abiding in me, my will would be under subjection to His Will.
I learned that the only way God’s Word could abide in me was by doing what He commanded me to do in His Word. When I read,
“Forgive so God will forgive you,” Matthew 6:14
That Word of God did not abide in me until I was able through the power of the Holy Spirit to forgive whoever it was that God brought to my attention. The act of obedience caused that portion of His word to abide in me. When I read,
“This is My Commandment that you love one another,” John 15:12
That Word did not abide in me until I asked God who it was that He was commanding me to love. When I made the decision to love those people, regardless of how unlovable I thought they were, that is when that portion of scripture abided in me.
James 2:1 was an especially difficult scripture for me. God says in this verse,
“…do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a person comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in…”
I was guilty of showing favoritism, esteeming those with wealth and knowledge over the poor and uneducated.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (John 15:7)
I wanted to be healed, and God was telling me that if I let His words abide in me, I would be healed!
Then I began to realize that these verses on healing were meant for me:
“Beloved I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in
health…” (3 John 2), and,
“For I will restore you to health, and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah. 30:17)
Soon I realized that I could be healed if I would just take God at His Word and believe His promises and obey His commandments.
I began taking positive action. I got out of bed and started taking care of my house, one chore at a time, by repeating over and over and over,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
Sometimes, I rolled out of bed, pulled myself up, repeating, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” and gathered together a load of clothes and put it in the washer. Then I would go back to bed and read more scripture. Then I repeated that process and put the clothes in the dryer. That is how I got through my day, one tiny chore at a time, using one scripture verse at a time to energize and empower me.
Soon that promise that I could do all things through Christ who strengthened me, energized me and miraculously strengthened me. The more I believed and obeyed, the stronger I got. I eventually realized that there is actual physical power in the Word of God, but that power was not apparent until I believed God’s Word and acted on it!
As I read the Bible it became apparent that healing was a major part of the ministry of Jesus while He was here on this earth. Mark 5:25-34 tells about the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered. I suffered many things of many physicians and spent all that I had, and that my husband had as well, and was nothing bettered!
When the woman heard of Jesus, she had an inner knowing that if she could just touch the hem of His garment, she would be whole. I got to that same point. If I could just make contact with God through Jesus, I would be healed.
The Bible says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” It is the Lord who woos us to Him, who lets us know of His existence. It is us who have to respond to Him and take the first step to draw closer to Him. In the time since my healing, I have observed that anyone who comes to know the Lord, came as a result of the prayer, and the witness of people. Someone prayed for me to give my life over to Jesus. Someone probably prayed for God to do whatever it took to bring me to my knees so that I would give my life to Jesus. I was on the outskirts of Christianity for all those years before my life was stopped enough so that I could not go on, even one more step, unless and until I reached out to God to get to know Him in the way that He wants all of us to know Him.
Someone has probably prayed for you to come to know Jesus and to give your heart to Him, so that you not only have the assurance of eternal life, but the promise that He gave that He came so that you may have life and life more abundantly while you are here on this earth. John 10:10
I found for myself that I had to take hold of each promise, individually, and ask God to allow it to be real in my life. So each promise that I read, I asked God what I had to do so that that promise could be activated in my life. What did I have to do so that I could have life, and have it more abundantly? I had to look for the conditional commandment that would activate the Lord’s promise in my life. John 10:9 gave me the answer, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
I could only get to God, and His promises, through Jesus. The beginning of John 10:10 tells me that, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…” Satan had been trying to take my life all of my life! The only way that I could break out of satan’s plan for my life, which is to steal, kill and destroy me, is to get my life solidly into the hands of God through Jesus. That is what the Bible says.
Romans 1:19-20 tells me that, “that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
I have the assurance of eternal life if I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who shed His blood and died on the cross for the remission of my sins. If I confess my sins, God is faithful to forgive me for my sins and to cleanse me of all unrighteousness. If I acknowledge Jesus as my Saviour and Lord of my life, that I have the promise of life everlasting. I have taken that step of faith.
But there is more. John 14:15 says, “If you love me, keep my commandments, And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever: Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
I discovered that in my own strength I could not obey God. My heart and mind and spirit were too ensnared with the things of this world, too enamored by what this world has to offer, to intimidated by what other people thought or said or did, and what they thought I should do or say or think and believe, and how I should act, and what I should want or not want. My life was run by the world, not led by the Holy Spirit.
Only the power of the Holy Spirit would set me free from the world’s hold on me. I had no idea how to get empowered by the Holy Spirit, so I said to God, “I don’t know how to get myself empowered by the Holy Spirit, please empower me with your precious Holy Spirit.”
I eventually learned in my spiritual quest not to try to do anything in my own strength. I did not have any strength of my own; otherwise I would have been able to heal myself when I first got sick. When I acknowledged my weakness before God, then He was able to show me His strength.
As I continued to read God’s Word, and continued to gain more physical strength as well as spiritual insight, I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit welling inside of me. I was taking God at His Word, doing what I could do based on the faith that was increasing in me, and asking God for the faith to believe that which still seemed impossible.
My spiritual journey took place in the privacy of my own bedroom. I did not have the influence of a church that was teaching me about the healing message, or about the significance of yielding my will to the Holy Spirit, and being empowered by the Holy Spirit. I was asking the Lord to teach me, because there simply was no one in my life to teach me the healing message.
Then I read that is exactly what the Lord wants for us. He wants us to be taught by the Holy Spirit. I John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him.”
Every so often I had to review what I was learning, so that I would not miss anything that was crucial for me to receive the promise of my healing.
First I had to acknowledge Jesus as the Son of God, born of a virgin birth, who shed His blood and died for my sins, was resurrected and ascended into heaven where He sits at the right hand of God making intercession for me.
I had to acknowledge that I was a sinner in need of a Savior.
I had to confess my sins to God who tells me in I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I asked God to reveal my sins to me, because in Psalms I read that if I regard iniquity in my heart that God will not hear my prayers.
I had to obey God’s commandments as they were revealed to me. I learned in James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” I was not accountable for what had not yet been revealed to me, but once a commandment was revealed to me, then if I did not obey it, then to me it was sin. I also learned that I had to stay in God’s Word, asking Him to reveal His commandments to me, so that I would know any changes that needed to be made in my life.
Isaiah 53:5 says, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Jesus already did what He is going to do for me. I had to believe what He says.
There is no “formula” for obtaining healing. Everything that the Lord does for me, or allows to happen to me, is planned to keep me close to Him. When I am close to the Lord, I hear His voice, even when it is a tiny whisper. If there was a formula for healing, then I would not need Jesus, I would just need to follow the formula.
I came to realize that there is the supernatural Kingdom of God on this earth, and there is the natural world that we live in. God makes use of doctors and the remedies of this world I can put my faith in the doctors and the medicines that have been discovered on this earth, or I can put my faith in God and His supernatural healing power. With God all things are possible. Since God is the one who gives the doctors the knowledge, why not go directly to God for my healing? If He chooses to heal me through doctors, that is fine, as long as my faith is in the Lord for the healing. When I receive my healing from the Lord, I receive a blessing in my soul as well.
The more I focused on the reality that God created the universe and all that is in it, and that He created me, the more I was able to believe in His ability to heal me. He certainly knows more about my body, that He created, than any doctor on this earth knows.
Salvation, healing, deliverance, money, love, witnessing, go hand in hand in the gospel message. It is no longer right for me to take one part of the message out of the hands of God, and relegate it to the world’s system, and still claim to be a follower of Jesus.
I trust God for salvation through Jesus. There is no other way to heaven but through acknowledging Jesus as my Savior and Lord of my life. I trust God for deliverance. I trust God for money to meet all my needs. I trust God for the ability to love unconditionally. So it is only logical for me to trust God for healing as well.
Through faith in Jesus I am saved. Through faith in Jesus I have all my needs met. Through faith in Jesus I am delivered. Through faith in Jesus I love unconditionally. Through faith in Jesus I am healed.
It is for lack of knowledge that people perish. That is why it is important to learn everything that the Lord says about sickness, health and healing in His Word. Healing comes from Jesus. Mark 16:18 says, one of the signs of a believer is they lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. It is not the believer who does the healing, the believer believes, and obeys the commandment, and Jesus does the healing.
The prayer of a righteous man availeth much. The act of praying a believing prayer by a righteous man is an act of obedience. The righteous man is not the healer, Jesus is the healer, the righteous man believes and obeys.
In this journey of healing I came to realize that everyone I encountered who had MS, including myself, was controlled, dominated, or hindered in the normal flow of their own thoughts and/or personal expression of their life by someone in the past, or in the present. Learning how to get set free from that domination is part of the process that everyone endeavoring to overcome MS has to face. When our thoughts and actions are manipulated by others, leaving us powerless over our own lives, that hindrance impedes the normal flow of neurotransmitters in our brains thus leading to the devastating inflammation that destroys normal brain function.
If the illness is allowed to progress too far a secondary dilemma can develop. People with MS can rapidly develop an “invalid syndrome.” They can be consciously or subconsciously aware that someone has thwarted their life through over-powering control. Being sick and dependent can be an unconscious way of “getting back” at that person, and/ or to hold the perpetrator into the bondage they experienced by insisting in their minds that their victimizer, or others, HAVE to take care of them thus preventing their healing, and perhaps not even wanting to be healed.
Trusting God for healing is a paradox. I was trusting God for healing, but I was simultaneously allowing God to be God, so that He was able, to heal me in His chosen way, or to not heal me if He so chooses. However, as I brought my life into line with God’s Word, by trusting and obeying, and yielding my will to His Will, my mind became uncrippled, and soon my body became uncrippled as well, and I was totally and completely healed!
Now, whenever I am sick, I ask God why I am sick, and what I need to do to get better. The answer could be to go dip in the Jordan River seven times, other times it may be to go tell the priest that I am healed, other times Jesus just heals me, other times I am to confess and repent of my sin, or to ask others to pray for me. I have learned to press into God and into His Word when I am sick until… Until I get better, or until I have peace in my heart that it is my final illness, and that I am to die from the sickness. So far I have never had that kind of peace with any illness.