A year and some months ago I injured my back. I’d previously taken a sedentary yet very time and energy consuming job. Six days a week, 12-14hrs a day of sitting is a great way to de-condition your lower back and improve the likelihood of injuring it.
Then I tried to go straight into doing the same kinds of intense exercises I’d done before, such as 300lb tire flips followed by power clean and presses (an Olympic style lift) at the same weight I’d used when I’d been doing that regularly a couple years earlier, before the sedentary job.
Bad idea. I quickly tore muscles in both sides of my lower back.
When I was younger, if I’d gotten out of shape, I could just get right back into doing what I’d done before, go hard, and pretty soon I’d be right where I’d left off. No problem. It seems things don’t quite work that way in my 30’s.
I partially recovered and did some traveling. Not having learned my lesson previously, I decided that even though my back was still a mess, it would be a better idea to walk a good number of miles while carrying heavy luggage in each hand, rather than taking a bus to the airport. That injury was worse than the first.
I couldn’t get out of bed for the next several days without excruciating pain, and dealt with a lot of limitation after the fact. Quite a few people prayed for me, many of which commonly see healing, but I noticed little to no benefit at all.
I did recover to a large degree over time through careful exercise and stretching.
I’d been interested in Chiropractic and had read some older journals called “Validating Chiropractic,” which referred to a lot of clinical studies to back their assertions.
The basic point I got out of them was that the only earthly treatment for common back injuries which had been proven (at that time at least) to do any good was… exercise, and if you combine exercise with chiropractic, the exercise becomes even more effective because you are training yourself to function in proper alignment.
Large studies were done examining the effectiveness of back surgery for herniated discs and such things, and standard surgeries were found to show no significant evidence of benefit to patients long term.
(It may sound shocking, but knowing a few people with seniority in the medical industry, I understood this phenomenon of invasive, expensive, and harmful treatments being commonly sold which have no proof of effectiveness to be fairly common, so learning this about back surgeries wasn’t any surprise.)
However, people would improve if they rested for a few days to a week after their injury, then went straight into some light exercise involving their back and core, then slowly progressed into more strenuous exercise. Their herniated discs or other injuries didn’t necessarily change, but the musculature of their back developed and did the job of supporting their posture, taking the stress off of their injury.
In many cases, simply through regular exercise, people could get back to feeling and functioning just as if they hadn’t been injured, even though x-rays would continue to show a herniated disk. If they didn’t exercise, no treatment would tend to do any good.
So this sort of worked for me. It worked fully for the left side of my back but only partially for the right side. Here’s what I did:
I didn’t go to any doctors, but I started out with walking and stretching. I would walk maybe a block and then stretch out when my back started seizing up.
Pretty soon I could walk a few blocks before needing to stretch out. I got to where I could walk longer distances, stretch, then continue walking, rinse, repeat, etc. Walking is a good start, so are planks.
The lower back (Quadratus Lumborum) is an endurance muscle meant for maintaining posture while other muscles do the harder work. So, something light and long distance such as walking or planking, is helpful if you want to start.
Then, when I was ready for something more intense, I began using a kettlebell to strengthen my lower back. What I was doing looked something like this, a more advanced kettlebell movement, but also included a push pull motion at the top of the swing:
I’d gotten the idea for that by experimenting based on this guy’s videos, modifying things and finding what worked best for me.
If people want somewhere to start in improving their injured backs or preventing such, I’ll include a suggested, more simple, short, two exercise regimen as an appendix at the end of this post for back and core training . We’ll get on to the spiritual stuff here soon.
After maybe six months I was feeling great: no pain and only a little tightness on the one side. I thought that maybe if I really pushed it with more intense lifts before stretching, I could finally get that right side to fully loosen up.
So I loaded up the barbell for deadlifts, and found that I could now lift significantly more than I’d ever been able to before. I felt like I could have even pushed it farther if I had wanted to.
Thank you alternating staggered stance one armed kettlebell swings with a pull-push at the top.
I was feeling pretty confident. Next time I loaded up the weight for heavy Olympic style lifts, did many of those and the back didn’t feel challenged too much. I followed with some low weight deadlifts, and soon felt the right side of my back tear apart.
Immobilized again for days, then having to sit against an icepack all day at my job for months, I learned a lesson: going quickly into all those heavy lifts isn’t the best idea for a recovering back injury. (That won’t be my suggestion in the appendix.)
Fast forward six months. My back felt a lot better again, no ice packs needed to sit down, but it was still even tighter on the right side than it had been before that third injury. I still could only walk so far before needing to stretch out. Sitting was still very uncomfortable and would tighten things up quickly.
So, why had the left side recovered but not the right? Why did it not seem to respond to healing prayer either?
In the few weeks before I finally found healing, I’d seen several people healed on the streets through a simple command of faith. One was a homeless guy who I had walked up to, tuned into the Lord about by faith, and heard the thought, “broken back.”
Since he was standing in front of me I figured that “broken back” was a previous event, not a current one. When he confirmed that he’d had back injuries, I prayed a simple prayer from a distance, commanding healing. He was able to immediately notice relief from his remaining back symptoms and was very impressed.
So why wasn’t this working for my own back?
I heard a testimony from Diane Moyer about how she used to remit certain sins from people depending on which side of their body their injury was on. The right side tended to relate to hatred of men or of God, while the left side tended to relate to hatred of women or of mankind in general.
She shared about a woman who came to her with a messed up and painful left foot due to a botched surgery. It had happened just after this woman had been on a mission trip with a group of other women who couldn’t get along, stirring up the issues she already had towards females.
Diane had her remit (send away to the cross) the sin of hatred towards women from her body. Her left foot, which had stubbornly refused any kind of healing up to that point, suddenly recovered completely in a day or two.
I decided to give this a shot. I tuned in and prayed a Spirit-led prayer of “remitting,” or sending away to the cross, various subtle issues I’ve had with men. These were things which hadn’t been “major” enough for me to really notice before. This only took a few seconds. Then, I prayed a quick prayer for healing for the right side of my back.
I immediately noticed that all the tightness was gone. The right side was now just the same as the left, no issues. Where the prayer of faith for healing had done nothing before, no matter who said it, it was now immediately successful.
Then, I got on a plane and flew across the country, sitting for a good six hours straight. My back felt perfect. I got off the plane and then carried my (light) luggage as I walked beside the road for miles into town. My back still felt perfect. I didn’t even need to squat down and stretch out as I would have had to before after very much walking.
As I sat for extended times while in Florida, I did notice my right hip tightening up, but not my back. I guess the hip had picked up some issues from the back being tight for so long, and I’m still kinda working on getting that healing finished.
Coming back from my trip though, I’ve noticed that the hip is looser. Either way, the back itself is good, which is a big change.
So, what is this remission of sins thing and how does it relate to physical healing? I mean, why would you need to remit sins or deal with any sort of inner issue before you can get healed? Doesn’t the Bible just show examples of the command of faith, “Be healed in the name of Jesus,” and that’s all people need?
Firstly, no, it doesn’t.Secondly, it isn’t meant to give examples of everything.
To start with the first point, Luke 5 gives an example where Jesus remitted the sins of a paralyzed man when he was lowered through a roof to him for healing, and then he healed the man physically after his sins were remitted/removed.
A look into the original languages reveals that the gospel was about remitting, or sending away our sins from us, not about changing God’s attitude about them so that he could “forgive” us.
The issue here is of poor translation (besides missing God’s heart to begin with). Jesus has been made out to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” when the word translated “forgiven” there (root word in the Greek is “aphiemi”) is often used elsewhere in scripture to speak of sending something or someone away, the removing of something, or delivering someone from bondage.
The pharisees were offended because they understood Jesus to be removing the man’s sins, not just declaring an encouraging message that God had forgiven him. The passage says that they thought, “Who can aphiemi/remove sins but God alone?”
Another example is James chapter 5, where believers are exhorted to confess their sins one to another, and then to pray for one another that they may be healed. The passage goes on to say that “and the prayer of faith will heal (sozo) the sick, and if he has committed sins, they will be removed from (aphiemi) him.”
Obviously, this passage cannot be saying that confessing our sins to one another and praying for one another is a condition which needs to be met before God forgives us, as it is usually translated. Nobody would ever make it if we needed to confess every sin and have them all prayed over by another believer just to get forgiveness.
I can’t even remember all the sins I’ve ever committed, let alone find someone willing to listen to me tell all of them for a year straight.
Scripture actually declares elsewhere that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.” So the fact is, God has never been counting the world’s trespasses against them, period.
He has always forgiven us regardless of anything we did or ever will do. This is simply who he revealed himself to be when he went to the cross for us. This was before we repented, or confessed, or believed anything. This was even while we were in the act of murdering him.
Before we were born, God was revealed in Christ, not counting our trespasses against us, even before we did them. He wasn’t caught by surprise by anything, and he never will be.
The issue has never been one of forgiveness, but has always been that we needed to be released from the bondage of our sins. This is what Jesus died for, and this is what we are exhorted to pray for one another to accomplish regarding specific faults brought to attention. This is clearly brought up in context of seeking physical healing in James 5.
John 20:23 tells us, “If you remit/send away (aphiemi) the sins of any, their sins have been remitted/sent away (aphiemi), if you seize/take hold of (krateo) the sins of any, they have been seized/taken hold of (krateo).”
Obviously, we don’t have the power to determine whether God will forgive someone or not based upon whether we choose to forgive them.
Instead, what we have the power to do is to seize/take hold of people’s sins from their being, and to remit or send away the power and effect of those sins from them (such as hatred towards men, or women, or God, or mankind, etc.).
We don’t have the power to violate someone’s will if they don’t want their stuff removed, but if they want it gone, we can remit it/send it away. I’ve found more effective and less effective ways to do this.
This is what Jesus practiced and commissioned his disciples to do, and this is what James exhorts us to do as well in the context of believers being sick.
My second point is that the Bible was never intended to contain examples or teachings about everything.
The accounts of Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry were only general representations. They don’t reveal everything he did, even though there are still a few examples of him remitting sins.
John 21:25 tells us “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written.”
Jesus commissioned the disciples to teach others to do all that he himself had done and taught, and he told them that there were many other things beyond what he had taught them, which they weren’t yet ready for, but which the Holy Spirit would teach in the future.
Holy Spirit would be the one sent to lead us into ALL truth, not just an abbreviated written record of a few healing stories in the gospel accounts.
I have some friends who’ve spent time with some of the big name teachers in healing, the folks who record their healing miracles on video and put them on YouTube and all that. One of these guys took a group out on the streets and pulled someone out of a wheelchair in front of them. The formerly wheelchair bound person was proclaiming themselves healed and able to walk after a quick prayer.
That’s great, but my friends ran into the man later in their community; he was back in his wheelchair again as if nothing had happened. They started building relationship with him and encouraging him in his walk with God, walking him through healing of some inner issues as well.
Even though they see physical healing regularly, they weren’t led to pursue it with this man, but to focus on other areas. They felt that working on the physical just wasn’t what God was focusing on. He was focusing on the man’s heart. A mere physical healing wasn’t going to stick until some heart issues were resolved.
The best healers I know of today seem to see maybe a 70-80 percent success rate in physical healing through the command of faith, but this is only if you define success as a person having some perception of some degree of symptom relief for the moment.
I’ve walked out enough (and seen enough) to know however, that this is often not the end of the story. A good percentage of these people only receive partial relief and continue living with their issue, just to a lesser degree, or even find all their symptoms returning within minutes, days, or weeks.
Truthfully, that probably cuts the success ratio down by half or even more than half, if we are going to consider the “purpose of God” kind of success to be complete, long term resolution of the issue prayed about.
We can come up with our own explanations for this:
We can say that the pray-er or the pray-ee didn’t have enough faith, even though the same amount of faith has often just produced full healing for someone else who had the same issue.
We can say that God is only willing to heal some but not others, or that he must be sending some diseases to teach people lessons, but this contradicts the example of Jesus and makes the Father out to be a child abuser.
We can say that there wasn’t enough power or anointing available at the time, or that Jesus just wasn’t there or else everything would have been instantly, perfectly fixed. However, this line of reasoning contradicts Jesus’ words when he said, “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” God isn’t holding back his anointing unless you believe he is.
I find that a much better route is to look at what the Lord is doing today in our experience. He is leading us into healing the whole person, not just focusing on the surface issue, and oftentimes this results in a greater amount of physical healing than if we were only ministering to the body.
More importantly than the fact that it leads to greater physical healing, is that it brings inner transformation.
Jesus said that believers would do greater works than him. Usually we’ve thought of that as maybe walking on air when he walked on water, or multiplying gold bars and sirloin steaks instead of just loaves and fishes. What if it also means doing more complete healing than he did?
Jesus spoke of the generation of people he had healed and delivered in large numbers, saying that when an unclean spirit departs it searches through dry places seeking rest, and finding none, returns to the person it came out of with seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and the last state of the man is worse than at first. He literally said, “so shall it be with this generation.” His prediction came true about many of those he had healed and delivered.
The same multitudes who Jesus had healed and delivered on a surface level were in large part the same multitudes who soon turned on him and participated in the murderous work of the principalities and powers of darkness, shouting as one, “Crucify him!”
What if one of the greater works is leading people into deeper healing, not just temporary relief of an issue on the surface, such as a demon or a disease? What if literally removing the sins and driving woundedness from the hearts of the masses was one of the things he had in mind for us but which he didn’t have time to thoroughly accomplish in his own mission?
He was just getting the ball rolling in the right direction, showing a taste of what was possible, but not showing everything. It would be our job to search out the wisdom of God and move into progressive revelation over the ages.
Today, as Holy Spirit is leading his people into many deeper areas of healing for the whole person, some of the areas which have been proven effective for own my life and in the lives of others I’ve observed or participated in praying with are:
-Sending sins such as hatred or anger away to the cross, leading to spiritual freedom, emotional healing, and physical healing,
-Sending emotional pains away to the cross based upon “he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows,” leading to the same kinds of freedom and healing,
-Healing fractured parts of people from many different issues and integrating them, leading to, again, the same kinds of freedom and healing,
-Repenting for generational sins and trusting the Lord to remove generational iniquity based upon “he was bruised/crushed for our iniquities.” Again, this leads to the same kinds of freedom and healing,
-Speaking healing to the human spirit, which I’ve seen do a more deep internal work rather than so much related to the physical body,
I can find scriptural examples and references for these things I’ve listed, but they are scarce and don’t encompass nearly everything I or others have been led to do in these areas. The point is that we have a living and growing relationship with God, not just a closed book.
Many times, when walking someone through remitting/sending away a sin or issue, I will have them go back to a root memory that it came from. This is to help them really get in touch with the area of their heart which holds the issue, so they can authentically bring it to the Lord rather than just staying stuck in their head and disconnected from it.
However, in the example of healing my back, I didn’t go back to any memory, I just prayed a quick prayer of declaration for issues to be removed.
Diane has shared with me how she will often lead someone in seeing their issue in the spirit and handing it over to the Lord in whatever form he shows it to them in, and then she will have them watch to see what he does with it. I’ve tried this and found it to be effective also.
Another friend has people visualize the sea of glass before the throne, and trade their issue in there for something better from the Lord.
My point is that there isn’t only one right way, but there is a basic truth and various ways to apply it which we know so far, some of which will be better than others in different situations.
I’ve found that going back to memories is good if you want to really be sure to do the most thorough job for people who aren’t totally in touch with their hearts, but that it isn’t the best way or even necessary at all when dealing with issues among people’s fractured parts, such as fragments or alters for instance.
So, another hot button subject: Am I saying that we need to do “works” to receive what Jesus died to give us? No… and yes.
I’m not saying that we need to earn our healing, it was earned for us already, but like Paul wrote, we do need to “work out our own sozo (healing/salvation/deliverance).”
Isn’t it horrible that all our issues don’t just go away in two seconds when we pray the sinners prayer? Isn’t God so mean to put us in charge of taking territory and co-laboring with him in the purposes of redemption?
You might think it would be enough for us that we have someone who miraculously takes our issues away as we bring them to him one by one, or even several at a time, or a bunch of them at a time even when we may not fully comprehend what he’s doing in a moment of encounter. I guess that isn’t enough for us though, we demand that he do it all in a two second prayer at once or it just isn’t fair.
The Isrealites were given the land in a promise, but they still had to co labor with the Lord to take it step by step, city by city, as he led them to do so practically. They are the prophetic type, the foreshadow of ourselves in Christ.
I guess it just isn’t good enough for us though. It’s such a burden to have to kill giants and take land with Divine empowerment, it’s such a horrible chore that no spoiled child should ever be subjected to. We should throw a tantrum and complain about it, and refuse to participate like they did in the wilderness, that’s probably the right answer to our plight.
After all, if it was really God, everything would happen instantly, or it would be a two second prayer on a prayer line at the most. I guess this must all be from a religious spirit since I’m saying we are supposed to participate in something to find more full healing and freedom.
Appendix: Suggested Simple Back and Core Training Regimen: (two exercises which can be done in five minutes a day, for those looking to improve their back’s function, feel, and resistance to injury, )
Once you’re used to being mildly active through something like walking, a good back strengthening exercise would be the basic kettlebell swing. It strengthens the muscles of the “posterior chain,” all the way from hamstrings and glutes, to lumbar and traps. It’s more simple to do than the one I was using which helped me a lot, but basically works the same areas.
You can usually get a kettlebell cheap off Craigslist, but you probably want to go down to your local sporting goods store or gym first to experiment with different weights to see which one is best for you before you buy.
Here is an instructional if you want:
You’ve got to work the abs also somehow, if only for balance. Having a super strong back and no abs is said to lead to injury or at least pain and discomfort.
I like high knees for abs. They feel a lot more functional than laying on my back doing crunches or other such tedious things, plus they work most of the lower body as well as cardio. You can look that one up if you want, it isn’t very technical.
I’m just saying, we all get older, we all have the opportunity to get out of shape, become injured and injury prone, but we can also do a lot to prevent it or to recover from it.
We may not all be trying to train like athletes, doing risky Olympic style lifts to build explosive power such as deadlifts and power cleans, but there are easier and safer things to do just for health benefits.