Damon Davis believes there is a way to connect all the dots for a life of wholeness and balance that reaps the benefits of God’s natural path of the interplay of spirit, soul, and body. Davis offers an in-depth profile of his life and health history and explains how sickness is often an accumulation of emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual wounds that take their toll over months and years. Readers take hold of the knowledge, tools, and motivation to leverage God’s curing design.
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LOOKING FOR ANSWERS
If only when we were born they could have embedded an information chip in our brains so all the answers to living the good life could have been accessible in milliseconds. Instead, we often have to wait. Such is the case with those of us working our way out and through to becoming healthy. My grandmother talked about having to cook on a wood-burning stove when she was a child. It took an hour to make a meal. With a microwave you can make a meal in a matter of minutes, but the meal certainly will not be as tasty. When I was six, I had to get off the couch and walk across the room to change the channel on Saturday morning during the cartoon stretch. Today we stay on the couch and push a button on a remote. And we can even eliminate the commercials if we watch on the Internet.
But getting answers on how to live and navigate life's tough spots, such as getting into college, financing a car, buying a house, doing your taxes, or making marriage work, usually means taking the long way around to get the answers you need. And in many cases, it's only experience that gives you the answers you need. It's hindsight. And hindsight is always twenty-twenty; your vision is not impaired. Imagine for a second how many things you would do differently, the decisions you would have made differently, if only you had that chip in your brain with all the answers. If I ever invent one, I will call it the twenty-twenty chip.
It will be the chip that has the culmination of one hundred people's life experiences, each of whom have lived to tell the story of how to navigate the troubled waters of life. No more going into uncharted terrain. All you need is that twenty-twenty chip to live the victorious life!
But then again, thanks to technology, when you need something such as a phone number or even an answer to a tough question, you can just open up a search browser on your phone or laptop and get an answer. Whatever it is, just go to a search engine and type in the question, or whatever you need, and in seconds you've got an answer. Of course, you usually get more than you need. There might be hundreds of different options, answers, comments, or votes on a topic, and suddenly the options and answers are more confusing than your original question.
I saw a commercial about a talking box (that is what my grandfather would call it if he saw it). It basically has voice-detecting technology that allows you to ask whatever question you have, and it will answer the question for you audibly in seconds. This two-way intelligent speaker, when connected to the Internet, will do many things, but two specifically: First, it will play your music on command. Just tell it what song you want, and it will play it. Second, you can ask it do something, and it will perform the command, such as setting an alarm for a certain time or ordering household supplies. I am going to buy one. But what's my point?
Isn't God's Word supposed to be like the twenty-twenty chip? Isn't the Bible a compilation of a bunch of folks' lives and journeys and how God directed their lives and ordered their steps? And as such, is it not a roadmap for us? Doesn't the Bible give us perfect vision? Doesn't it give us the answers when we need them? Doesn't it tell us how to make it through the troubled waters of life and how to live victoriously?
When You Want Answers
Sometimes there's a problem. It seems that accessing the information is not always easy, and for some reason when I need an answer to a problem right now, the processing speed seems to be really slow. I wish we had get-it-quick results when we need an answer from God. I wish that when we read the Word or prayed, the answer would come quickly and be extremely clear. "Do this. Don't do that."
I have a feeling you want that too. You may be expecting a sermon about waiting on God — He's always on time, and He's never late — but that is not where I'm headed. Because sometimes you want something different than a "just in time" God. If only on that dark morning when I woke to the symptoms of sickness raging in my body I could have talked to God like that talking box. I would have said, "Hey, God?" He would have replied, "Yes, my son?" It would have been audible; I could have heard Him with my ears. I would have asked, "So what's going on in my body? Tell me what to do so that it will go away." And God could have answered, "Sure, you are sick. It's in this place or that, and this is why. Here's what you need to do, and you will be better in two hours." If only that could have happened. Or even if I could have responded, "Hey, God? That's too much work. Just heal me now," and God could have said, "OK. You are healed."
But God is not a talking box. So instead, I anguished. I cried hard. All I could think was, "Will I ever catch a break? Will there always be suffering for me? What did I do to deserve this? Haven't I already gone through enough?"
Let's see ... I survived a serious illness when I was four years old. I survived my parents' divorce, which was violent and devastating. I survived child abuse by a drunken stepfather who beat me daily with a belt buckle in the boiler room of our house. I survived moving two times every year while I was school-age. I survived heart disease in my early adulthood that led to my heart stopping twelve times before the age of twenty-seven. I could go on.
So I cried out to God for minutes that turned to hours that turned to days that turned weeks, months, and years. If only God would have answered like voice-detecting technology. But life, it seems, is never that easy. God is there. We know this with the certainty found in Matthew 28:20, where it tells us that He is with us always. But in truth, when we are sick and need answers, it does not always feel as though God is an ever-present help in times of trouble, as the Word promises in Psalm 46:1.
None of us want to be limited and in pain, and I don't want to wait until the end of days to be free from the chains of sickness or disease. Revelation 21:4 says that God will personally "wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away" (esv).
And the truth is that God is there. He is sitting at your bedside. He is fully and completely aware that you are struggling, and although He might not respond like the talking box, God always responds to you. Be encouraged that God is there with you now. He has your back. He loves you with an unconditional love, and no matter how bleak things might seem, believe me when I tell you that your best days are ahead of you. But why the wait? Perhaps He wants to teach us something. Perhaps He wants to cure us, not just heal us. Heal. Cure. What's the difference?
I believe the answers for my situation were there with God all along, and He was waiting on me to really press in. God had the answers, and He was waiting on me to access them. To teach me what I needed to know, He needed me to go deeper. I believe God wanted to show me something. God needed to teach me something. But technology like the talking box has removed the need to make a real effort to get the answers to life's questions. Instead, with minimal effort we get what we need. Yet so often we get what we need for the moment, but we miss getting what we need for a lifetime.
Did you get that? God does not want to give us just a simple solution for right now. He wants to teach us how to see differently and how to process differently, and through those means to create with Him and through Him a life that is abundant, that is lived fully and lived until eternity. If God were only working with us to focus on what we need now, and if He were only to rescue us in the midst of the trial, we would learn nothing. It is kind of like the stories of people who win the lottery. They were broke, but then they scratch and win millions of dollars. After a year or two, they are broke again. What happened? Well, sometimes in order to learn, we have to earn it. If we learn it because we earned it, we appreciate it. If we appreciate it, we respect it. If we respect it, we protect it. If we protect it, it has a tendency to last. And if it lasts, we are able to pass it along.
But since technology has made it so that we do not have to wait anymore, we have forgotten that sometimes God wants to stop us, slow us down, and get us to think more deeply about what is really going on in our lives because He wants to give us the answer that gets to the root of our problems and fixes them once and for all.
When we do not look deeper beneath the surface, when we do not rethink things and consider that things are wrong because what we have been taught is wrong, we keep making the same mistakes and passing the same issues from one generation to the next. I like how Oswald Chambers said it: "It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something." Wow. That's a better answer than the talking box could ever give us! When we give God our all, when we press in to Him, when we surrender, He gives us something that changes us.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
— Romans 8:29, esv
I love the story about Peter stepping out of the boat when Jesus called to him. I have heard it preached so many times and in so many ways. Many point out that Peter needed to keep his eyes on Jesus. And then there is the point that Peter had to get out of the boat to walk on water; that one also gets a lot of notice. And both points are solid and true.
My view is certainly not new, but it is how I see Peter's story in context of what I am trying to show you. Peter learned that it was imperative to keep his eyes on Jesus. This one is straightforward, and we all get it. But why was it imperative? Beyond the obvious reason, why was it important to keep his eyes on Jesus? I believe Jesus wanted Peter to understand that his answers could only come from the Master.
This one is spot on. While sometimes our answers may come indirectly from Him, nonetheless all good things that are for our benefit come from Jesus. If man is empowered or receives a revelation, it is still from God.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
— James 1:17, NIV
So if we know where our answer is coming from, then why do we try to rush God? I believe there are generally two reasons. First, we are in a lot of pain and do not want to wait on Jesus. Second, we think we already have the answer and therefore don't need Him. That last one really gets us messed up. We often take the route that most people are talking about, the one that gets us to the answer the quickest, with less struggle, less pain, and less cost.
But that is nothing short of second-guessing God. And many people who are sick end up playing this second-guessing game or else playing the waiting game with the medical establishment long before they ever get to the real answer of what is wrong. We are going to get to the root of that in this book.
The Cycle of Illness
I am not suggesting that we avoid the route of conventional medicine. In fact, I often think we need to move faster to engage our doctor or an expert before things get worse. The issue we are going to deal with in this book, however, is that we typically find ourselves treating the symptoms of illness without ever really getting to the root of what caused our sickness to begin with. Getting a quick answer rather than the right answer and the complete answer leads to a cycle of illness. We treat the symptoms and medicate the pain, often creating new problems while failing to address the root issue. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle. And because billions of dollars are at stake, the medical and pharmaceutical industries would nearly be out of business if we actually got well and stayed well.
Meanwhile, we are caught in a cycle that goes something like this:
1. Experience symptoms.
2. Make an appointment with the doctor.
3. Go to the doctor's office, fill out paperwork, pay co-pay, get vitals checked and blood drawn, wait for results, and receive no diagnosis.
4. Get referred to a specialist, fill out more paperwork, pay another co-pay, get more blood drawn, and perhaps have some tests run. Wait for results.
5. Return to the doctor, pay another co-pay, receive no real diagnosis, get a prescription for some medicine to try, and schedule next appointment.
6. Go to the pharmacy, pay co-pay, and get medicine.
7. Repeat step 5.
8. Repeat step 6.
Is anyone tired of this cycle? Does anyone find the whole thing confusing and frustrating?
I believe God was teaching me to understand what sickness and disease are at a cellular level. I am fully convinced that my thorn in the flesh was necessary. The answers were found with God. Yes, I was speaking to Him, but I was expecting Him to talk to me the way I wanted Him to talk to me. I was expecting Him to take my problem away. God wanted me to unlearn some things, and He wanted to reveal something new to me. God wanted to show me something that would shift everything in my life, and He did.
God wanted me to discover what sickness really was, what healing was, and how He wanted to cure.
On the Road to Damascus
I woke one morning after returning from another international trip. I was very swollen, and my joints, especially in my hips and my legs, were so tight I could barely move. I managed to put my feet on the floor after a while, but it felt like I was stepping on razor blades. I maneuvered back into a lying position with my head on my pillow and waited awhile, moving slowly but more and more over the course of an hour, allowing the inflammation in my body to subside. This whole episode scared me nearly to death. I still wonder to this day why I didn't call 911. It was probably for the same reason we procrastinate when symptoms arise, telling us that something is wrong in the body: we hope that whatever it is will just go away. Fear and stubbornness are not a good combination.
So there I was, temporarily disabled. Over the next few days it happened again. I went to see a rheumatologist, who took blood-work and after a few weeks gave me a diagnosis that really did not make me happy: "I have no idea what's wrong with you."
The closest I got to an actual diagnosis was that I had an autoimmune disease. One doctor was fully convinced by all my symptoms that I had rheumatoid arthritis. He put me on highly toxic immunosuppressant medication, basically to turn off my immune system because it was attacking my body. I found it strange that my father had been on similar medication following his heart transplant.
I spent years on a road to Damascus, waiting on God, pleading with Him, but my approach was all wrong. I wanted God to answer me like the talking box. I wanted Him just to fix me — but I was not interested in getting to the root and dealing with the core issues that set everything in motion.
So what were my core issues? Essentially I was a broken-down mess.
I was a workaholic and made very little room for God. I did not pray regularly. I was not reading my Bible. I had little time for church. I was hot-tempered and intolerant, and I had an insatiable need for everything to be perfect — even though I wasn't. I was never satisfied; nothing was ever good enough.
I ate too much, and I ate the wrong stuff. (It does not take a degree in nutrition to know some of the really bad stuff for our bodies. Everyone knows that a triple cheeseburger with large fries and a Coke is bad for you.) I never worked out; I absolutely despised it. My exercise consisted of walking in the airport between flights. I never got any sun. I'm a cave dweller. If there isn't air conditioning, I'll pass.
I was not a good husband, although I told myself I was. I took care of my family's financial needs, which seemed to be my only job, but in chasing that, I lost sight of everything else. If I am completely honest with myself, which is an important part of getting cured, I have to admit that I was a lame father.
There is more, but you get the picture. So, there I was, writhing in pain. My body was inflamed. My body temperature was often as high as one hundred and one degrees. My back hurt always. My knees hurt. My feet hurt. My hands hurt. Even my tailbone hurt. I woke every day to the same pain, immobility, limitation, and frustration.
Excerpted from "God Cures"
Copyright © 2018 Damon Davis.
Excerpted by permission of Charisma House Book Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Dr. Joe Christiano xiii
Chapter 1 Looking for Answers 1
Chapter 2 Healed or Cured? 15
Chapter 3 The Grand Delusion 29
Chapter 4 The Total Composition of You 45
Chapter 5 Taming the Soul 59
Chapter 6 Who Is Driving? 77
Chapter 7 The Body 95
Chapter 8 Healing From the Inside 115
Chapter 9 Dreaming Real Dreams 135
Chapter 10 The Journey 145
Chapter 11 Twenty-One Days to Discover That God Cures 155
Appendix: Twenty-One-Day Plan 175