My Journey of Faith - Sheila Sekhar
Abraham and Sheila Sekhar
I would like to thank the Holy Spirit, whose presence in my life I have rarely publicly acknowledged; without whose help I would have never made it through life. The pain that I experienced was so solid; I thought if I had a suitable knife, I could cut through the sensation in my heart. How many others, who suffer from depression, have felt the same way, for as long as they can remember and have ended their lives without experiencing any relief from it?
I sometimes think emotional pain is worse than physical pain and I know of no other remedy for emotional pain outside of the healing provided by God. If my speaking out could bring healing to even one person in the next generation, it would be worth it. My grandmother felt it, it's the sort of thing that gets handed down generations. I came from a background that tended to deny rather than acknowledge the present move of God's Spirit. Because we are unable to recognize the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in our spirit, we end up suffering or quenching or losing out on His working together.
This almost came to be my experience, too, but the Holy Spirit took extra care to ensure that I would not miss out on Him. I had never heard the term "Inner Healing" until almost twenty years after my baptism. I knew vaguely that Jesus had come to heal the broken-hearted. (Luke 4:18) The Holy Spirit Himself is the answer to the pain of our hunger and need for love. That is why Jesus said in John 7:37-39, if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He was actually referring to the Holy Spirit.
Having the Holy Spirit within my heart is wonderfully fulfilling. As Paul says in I Corinthians 14:4, "The utterance given by the Holy Spirit builds us up inwardly." Jesus also said in Luke 4:18, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives to set at liberty those who are oppressed." That's why just the mere presence of the Holy Spirit brings healing within.
This was my experience of the baptism in the Spirit. Healing and deliverance are part of the salvation package, the "Full" gospel of Jesus Christ that I proclaim. Just as I was saved at the one specific point, but am now continuing to be saved by the work of the Cross, we have been healed or delivered once, but we need to continue being healed and delivered as we constantly lay hold of the Cross for our lives.
For myself, every once in a while, the Holy Spirit would interrupt me in my thoughts and demand that I hand over to Him a certain negative self-statement that kept playing itself out in my mind at regular intervals. I wished He would just leave me and my thoughts alone. But II Corinthians 10:3-5, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ," would come into my mind, along with a sense of the wonderful care of the Holy Spirit in bothering about what went on in my mind, and I would yield and give up my thought. He would immediately replace it with a positive statement about my worth and value to Him from scripture.
In the beginning this exercise would give me a dreadful retching sensation in my stomach but the more I yielded, the more did this sensation decrease in intensity. To my surprise, praising and worshipping God soon became a delightful exercise and there was nothing I wanted to do more in this world from morning til night. However, this wonderful experience did not last for more than a year and the feelings began to wane, leaving me angry with God. God would sidestep my behavior and reach out to me in His own time and way. Had I realized His way of working, it would have saved me years of heartache, thinking myself out of favor with God and abandoned by Him.
In spite of not being assured of God's presence with me, I learned to trust God and obey Him with all the strength that I possessed. I had charted out my life to serve God as a single, missionary doctor. I did my MBBS and then 6 months of Gynecology and Obstetrics. The Lord graciously steered me into marriage and two children being born in quick succession. I did not pursue an MD for two reasons: I had an 8-month-old baby, and I did not want to do abortions which were mandatory in the Government Hospitals where I did my training. I have never questioned the rightness of God's choice for my life in this matter. I thus learned that "to obey is better than sacrifice, and to pay attention is better than the fat of rams." (1 Sam 15.22)
Although I continued to feel that God was not speaking to me anymore as He had done in the past, He did continue to speak and build into my life with unvarying regularity. I received many wonderful prophetic words, many of which have been fulfilled thus far. He miraculously opened many doors of opportunity and ministry and closed some others. Today I strive to help others and to continue to grow in my faith. I am also considering either writing a book or starting a blog to continue to share the message of faith and healing
About the Author Dr. Sheila Sekhar is a medical doctor based in Mumbai, India and she and her husband, Abraham, are the National Directors of Healing Rooms in India. If there is anyone who needs prayer or would like any teachings through email, they can send her a request at her email firstname.lastname@example.org