Decisions are often cast in light of either/or. It is either this OR it is that. Many times this is a clear set of lens through which to view the options. Sometimes, however, it isn’t an either/or scenario but both/and.
Beginning theologians struggle from time to time with God’s delight with both/and situations. “It is one or the other. It can’t be both.” I hear folks say. Yet many times it really is both.
Many of life experiences are dealt with, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as both/and. For example, instant physical healing must often be accompanied by consistent recovery steps such as physical therapy.
Healed and being healed. Saved and being saved. Anointed and being anointed. Guided and being guided.
Recently, I was asked about the recovery model of dealing with hurts, hangups, and habits. “Does the Bible teach recovery or deliverance?” Is the essence of the question.
Both/And is my reply.
Israel was delivered from Egypt in a matter of twenty-four hours but it was over forty years before they were delivered into the Promised Land. This demonstrates God’s willingness to deliver instantly and progressively.
Jesus instantly heals a man’s eyesight. “What do you see?” “I see men as trees walking.” Our Lord then progresses to the next step by praying again and the man’s sight is fully recovered. Does anyone think Jesus’ first prayer wasn’t good enough to get the job done? Of course not. Jesus was flowing in the instantaneous and progressive.
The Apostle Paul would say, in my opinion, “I am saved AND being saved at the same time.” Thus he tells you and me to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Additionally he states that he “disciplines his own body so that after preaching to others he wouldn’t become disqualified.”
Some folks believe that recovery is non-biblical. “It’s all deliverance!” They proclaim. Which sounds nice and godly, however, I have never met a person who was free from some area in which they need to recover.
One lady told me, “I am saved, sanctified, and full of the Holy Spirit. I am without sin!” “That’s wonderful, except for the sin of pride! And pride is what makes devils.” I replied. Factually, was she sinless? Yes AND no.
Was Judas a disciple of our Lord? Yes AND no.
Through the ministries of MCA Church we pray that those who are in recovery are delivered AND those who are delivered continue in recovery.
Is Jesus dead or alive?
Both/AND. He was, and is, and will be the One “Slain from the foundations of the world.” AND He was, and is, and will be the One risen in victory over death.