Too be honest, this blog came from a thought about what, if any, difference is there between the two and how does it practically work in our spiritual walk. Below is the best I can come up with (honestly I feel like I do pull things out of nowhere) and it is my pondering on the matter.
Protocol – the official procedure or system of rules governing affairs of state or diplomatic occasions. In computer science, a set of rules or procedures for transmitting data…there must be a preexisting agreement as to how the information will be structured and how each side will send and receive it
Formula – a plan or method for doing, making, or achieving something
If we look at the life of Jesus we can see, based on what was written, that He never healed the same way twice. Though all the things He did couldn’t be contained in all the libraries in the world so it is possible that He healed the same way twice or more. I don’t believe He walked and did something and was like, “I’ve done this before so it must work again.” That would be formula.
In my experience, I’ve found that many Christians who pray for healing pray out of formula like A² + B² = C² instead of protocol – what is needed at the moment and what the Father telling you to do. I am a minister in the local Healing Rooms and as soon as someone has in issue with their back or something people immediately want to do the thing where a person sits and they see if the legs are the same length and, if not, pray for one of them to get extended. Why? Because they’ve seen it done and suppose that is what needs to be done when there could be something totally different. Or because it’s cool… The thing about formula is that for it to work in our eyes we need to see the solution according to what we said or did and without that, we think we failed or God failed. 1+1 ≠ 2 all the time. The way God works doesn’t always add up in our brain so it can set us up for disappointment. We live in an expectation that if we do this, this, and that, then that, that, and this will happen. Since it worked in the past it must work now being as there is nothing new under the sun. Formula binds the outcome based on the facets and variables within itself (if that makes sense). So if you can just one point wrong in that formula there is no possible way of a positive and accurate outcome or solution. Formula has an expectation involved with it. Formula is strict and offers no grace for a wrong move or calculation.
I believe protocol to be different from formula, although you could look at both terms and ascertain that they are one in the same. Protocol is the vehicle in which information can pass to something else. I believe Jesus walked in protocol. Protocol lives in the expectancy which Seeing what our Father was doing and then doing it. What I believe to be the protocol when it comes to healing is, in no particular order:
The Blood of Jesus
The Cross of Jesus
The Resurrection of Jesus
The Ascension of Jesus
The Name of Jesus
The Authority of Jesus
The Sayings of Jesus
The Lordship of Jesus
The Direction of Jesus
Being as I work in the IT profession I see protocols as, not hard and fast rules, but ways in which data is transferred. One protocol will not help or doing anything if the situation doesn’t call for it. What is also interesting is that certain protocols allow for errors and some have error-correcting built-in. When I say errors I don’t mean a spirit of error or sin or anything like that when it comes to spiritual things. Formulas don’t allow for mistakes. Protocol does. But protocol works best with no errors. Now how to put this practically?
Say someone comes up to you and says, “I have this problem and I can’t seem to get free.” Formula will say, “Read the Bible, pray, and go to Church” None of these are wrong, mind you, but each of these can’t possibly be the answers to end all issues. If that were so the Church would be full of 100% healed, set free believers living in God’s glory and their own glory…but that’s not the case. Formula will say, “Well, you’ve answered all the questions correctly so there really shouldn’t be anything wrong with you.” Again I hope I am making sense here. Protocol looks at it from a different perspective. Where has the Blood, Cross, Resurrection, Ascension, Authority, Lordship and/or Name of Jesus not had its perfect work in this situation. All of these are resolved an issue without the full knowledge of details, though details can help. I believe that when encountering such things the first thing we should do is ask, “Father, what is going on and where are You in this? What should and shouldn’t I do? What are You working on in this person?” I think we use formulas because we want to be right and effective, which again isn’t wrong, but there is no formula in relationship. Formulas are unchanging(that which was, will be). Protocols change, bend, and move within a relationship with other protocols(behold I do a new thing). I feel like I am not making sense, which is OK, so I’ll end with this.
We must walk with ourselves and with others out of our relationship with our Heavenly Father and not strict guidelines which we need to follow. The OT consisted of laws and rules to govern people’s relationship with God. And that was labeled the “Ministry of Condemnation.” The NT offers it all in two commandments: love God and love others as you love yourself, which leaves some wide open areas of growth, expansion, and learning. There is a formula we can trust in for our answers, or we can walk with God in the protocols listed above and come to Him as the Answer. Protocol allows for different answers in the same situations. What is God saying about it instead of what He did say about it? There were times where people asked Jesus if He would or was going to do something. In these instances He said “no” and then did it. Why? He followed the protocol of not doing anything except He saw the Father doing it.
If the same ole same ole answers to your questions aren’t helping then maybe look at the protocols listed above and see where they need to be applied to your life, land, generational line, body, etc.
PS: I’ll be adding a nice addition to some of the blogs. I may need to add somethings to older blogs to enhance the prayer portions. Stay tuned!