by Greg Dawson
In November of 1994 I was diagnosed with severe, uncontrollable high blood pressure.
In the next four months that followed, I went to the emergency room three times with my blood pressure in the stroke zone. I could barely see and I was really dizzy. I went from 185 pounds to 145 and my face, especially my lips, were pasty white. I was so skinny and weak that we thought I would be dying soon. The doctors could not control my blood pressure! I'd have good days and really bad days. It was like a crazy rollercoaster ride, up and down, not knowing what to expect. God really had my attention!
Finally, a doctor discovered that I had an abnormally rapid heart rate and said that it had to be slowed down, so he put me on 1.5 milligrams of Xanax, along with my blood pressure medicine, which was 50 milligrams of Coozar and 50 milligrams of Tenorman (one is a beta blocker and the other an ac inhibitor). If I felt myself getting dizzy or my scalp "crawling", I would double up on my medicine. Finally my blood pressure was somewhat controllable.
After I told my mother that I had a serious blood pressure problem, she told me that my father had died of a massive coronary, which they suspected was caused by alcoholism and high blood pressure! She was surprised to hear that I had just gotten it because my brother had it when he was around 27 years old and he is only a year and a half older than me. He was also an alcoholic. She said that those two things ran in our family.
I had dedicated my life to the Lord when I was 24 and that explains why I was spared from the family curse. I had met and married my wife and we were both devoted to raising our family and serving the Lord. Later, I began to drink when I convinced myself that no matter what, I was saved and going to heaven. (The "once saved, always saved" doctrine, which I now know to be complete heresy! An enormous lie of the devil, which brought my family and me a lot of sorrow.) I was indeed painfully mistaken in my understanding and God, in his infinite love and mercy, was chastising me. I knew that I was an alcoholic and I always told everyone that God was judging me for my drinking.
For 10 years I had quit drinking and was living with my curse. I was grateful that God had stopped me from drinking and I wanted to get back on track. Through all my travels in and out of groups, listening to different brethren, searching for fellowship and truth, the Lord led me to a most amazing website that would change my life! It had a different name back then, but it is now www.unleavenedbreadministries.org. I read the book Sovereign God online with my wife. Wow! We listened to tapes and Bible Studies from the '80s and '90s from sunup until sundown, daily. We believed it to be the unsealing of the scriptures for us! The scales were falling off of our eyes and we were seeing things for the first time! Everything was making sense now!
The Bible study called really hit home. I realized that I could lose my salvation, that I'd had the wrong idea about it altogether and I was possibly in deeper trouble with the Lord than I had thought. For the first time I knew about willful sin and I was guilty! I had known in my heart, even though I didn't have the complete understanding before, because God had been telling my conscience that my level of drinking was wrong and had become a problem before he had to chastise me with the high blood pressure.
I fell under condemnation. The thought of being lost to God forever was frightening. I prayed and couldn't talk to anyone. I called David Eells. I confessed my alcoholism of the past and asked him if he thought that I was reprobated. He told me that God grants repentance and that it was God Who was calling me to repentance, so he didn't think so. If I was reprobated, I would have no interest in repentance. He also told me that he was willing to pray with me for my healing, if I wanted to, but I felt I needed to study more about that, so I told him that I wasn't ready yet. God really did use David to encourage me a lot then, though.
I continued to search the scriptures and study the Word. The Bible study called was really helpful in putting things in perspective. I was sure the curse came on me because I caused it by willful sin. I was also sure that God was telling me that He was going to heal me, especially since I was finding out that He had already done that back at the cross! I kept hearing in my spirit, "without faith it is impossible to please God", and my wife was hearing the same verse! I knew that God wanted my faith in Him and not in my medicine, which I had become dependant on. If I forgot to take my medicine with me, I would turn around and go back to get it. It didn't matter how far away I'd already traveled.
I had been stock-piling my medicine because I knew when the time came and we couldn't buy or sell and we were forced into the wilderness I would need it. The doctor had just doubled the dosage of my medicine from 50 milligrams of Coozar and Tenorman to 100 milligrams of each. He was not happy with how high it had been for the last few visits. Now, I needed to save up even more! I was seeing how ridiculous that was. I couldn't possibly stock up on enough medicine, food, supplies or anything for those days. I needed to have faith now! God wanted me in my wilderness now! Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever! No need to wait for tomorrow.
So, I prayed for God to heal me. In my room, by myself, I prayed. I asked God for healing and forgiveness and told Him I believed every Word of His promises. I stopped taking my medicine. (Note from David: We cannot put ourselves or another under a law to not go to doctors or use medicine, for we will be cursed without grace. (Gal.3:10) For as many as are of the works of [the] law are under a curse. (Gal.5:4) Ye are severed from Christ, ye who would be justified by [the] law; ye are fallen away from grace. Notice that I have bracketed "the" in front of "law" in these two texts because there is no numeric pattern in "the". "The" is used when speaking of the law of the Old Testament. You see here that any law, whether by man or religion, separates a person from Christ and grace, which is needed to receive from God because grace comes from faith. We are not "justified" or "accounted righteous" by a law but by faith. Law would deceptively and dangerously say in our heart, "I cannot or will not go to medicine so I can be healed by God". However, faith would confidently say and believe in our heart, "I am already healed, according to the scriptures, and I don't need medicine". Faith cannot be legislated; it is a gift of God. After Greg expressed his faith, he had a trial, as usual.) I had numbness here and there at first, but I was not accepting it. Then, on the third day, I was at Walmart and the left side of my face went numb, then my body started to go numb and so did my hands, and I panicked, I gave into a spirit of fear and started taking my medicine again. I knew that God had not failed me, but that I'd let fear make me fail. I also knew that I'd be going for it again. I had too much Word on it. The promises were everywhere -- in every study we'd be listening to, every Word we'd be reading. Salvation for body and soul; it was already done at the cross; we could hold fast to our confession of hope that it waiver not, for he is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23). That by his stripes we were healed (1 Peter 2:24). He forgave all our iniquities and healed all of our diseases (Psalm 103). That we were not under the curse any more (Galatians 3:13). That God is Sovereign over the curse, over life, over the earth and everything!
So after about a month or so, together with my wife, we prayed for God to heal me. We agreed that God's Word says that by His stripes we were healed. We confessed our belief in His Sovereignty. I thanked Him for His love and mercy toward me and for granting me repentance and forgiveness, and we thanked Him and praised Him for healing me over and over again.
It was my life or death stand. Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. I was in my room later the next day and the Lord told me if I believed He had healed me, then why was my medicine still in my pocket and my stockpile still in my drawer? I was surprised and told the Lord that He was right! So I flushed all my pills down the toilet. He made it clear to me: ALL my pills!
I had some dizziness and tingling here and there. I'd reject them and hold fast to the confession that I was healed and rebuke the devil for attempting to make me fear. My wife would also pray. When I was in Walmart, on the third day, it happened again! The left side of my face and my arm and then my body started to go numb and a spirit of fear tried to come over me, but I rebuked it and said, "I'm not going for this again devil; I'm healed!" On my way home from the store, I pulled over at the local convenience store near my house and got out of the car. I was in tears and prayed, rebuking a spirit of unbelief and a spirit of infirmity! Just then a black mist flew off the back of my neck, up over my head. I looked all around to see if any one else had seen it. I know I did, but I doubted if anyone would believe me. I came home and told my wife, wondering if she'd think I was crazy, but she believed me. Earlier we had heard in a Bible study about a spirit of unbelief actually being an evil spirit and about an evil spirit of infirmity that had bound someone. So the Lord had quickened that to me to cast them out and we believed He did!
The next morning I joined my wife in our living room and declared that it was done! I was healed, end of the matter and we started praising God on our hands and faces. Then I got up and the look on my face startled my wife. She asked me what was up and I told her that the Lord had just spoken to me, loud and clear, to go and sin no more, lest a worse fate befall me. We both agreed. AMEN!
That was nearly five years ago, in November of 2004! I have been healed and delivered ever since. We serve an awesome God! Read and believe His Word! For no Word from God shall be void of power (Luke 1:37). All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them (Mark 11:24). Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:19,20). Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians1:6).