[Excerpt from new Bill Johnson's soon to be released book, "Physician, Heal Thyself"]
Neil was the pastor of a small church back in the mountains east of San Diego. Recently divorced, Neil had a long series of physical, emotional, and spiritual problems for several years. He was seeing professionals for his condition, but Rita and I had been providing prayer, counsel, and emotional support through much of this time. With all this, Neil was not getting any better and in fact it appeared he was falling deeper into depression and failing physically.
On a Friday evening in late fall we were joined by another couple as we drove up to Neil’s for another ministry session. His house was in a densely wooded area behind his church. Our meeting went like all other meetings with Neil; a few small breakthroughs, prayers for forgiveness, healing, and deliverance prayer. We sensed no real change until I stopped and asked Neil a question we had never before considered. “Neil, do you want to be healed?” The question was not asked in desperation or anger, but it was simply put,
“Do you really want to be healed?”
The question caught us all, including me, by surprise. We could tell that Neil was giving it serious thought. After what seemed like ten minutes, but was probably only one or two, Neil gave us his answer.
“I am not sure that I do want to be well. If I was well, then people would expect more out of me. If I was not sick I would have nothing to hide behind. If I was well, there would be more that I would be required to do.”
As a result, Neil decided that it would be better for him to be healed of all his infirmities and return to an effective life and ministry than to continue on the downward spiral. We all agreed that we would help him follow up on his decision. Neil is now remarried, living a healthy life, with a flourishing ministry. He has been healed of all those infirmities.
As we walked out Neil's front door that evening many years ago, we walked down the three wooden steps to the pathway, I heard something crunch under my foot. The single light bulb above the door gave me enough light to see what I had stepped on. A now dead scorpion had been lying in wait for us as we left the house.
Luke 10:19 (NKJV) 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.