faith comes by hearing – II

HEALTH AND WEALTH

PART 29

 

I was browsing some websites and reading some commentaries the other day from Christian leaders and that were being critical of the teachings about health and wealth. I understand that we have a right to be upset when false doctrine is being taught, but there is Godly truth about the way God wants us to live and we should not be afraid or avoid sound doctrine. There may be certain individuals that are focusing on the flesh and have misunderstood God’s intentions but that does not mean that all covenant teaching is wrong. I believe in free-will and that God has given us a choice with many things in this life, including how much of Him we want in our life. Our finances and health are subjects we talk about constantly yet for some reason many believe He should not be brought into the situation or that we should not approach Him boldly because we are an heir and seed of Abraham according to the promise. Do we not believe that He is interested in supplying our needs or that He has called us to function with an abundance of resources in order to do what He has called us to do? Why would we approach the situation with a “que sera, sera” attitude and not speak God’s Word over our lives with the comprehension and faith that He will respond to our prayers and confessions according to His will? When we agree with His Word and reach out by faith to embrace His promises – why do people feel this is not in line with the way God wants us to live? I believe that God’s covenant contains “all things” for those who seek first His Kingdom and righteousness.

When anyone becomes serious about allowing God to “take the wheel” of their life, it is crucial to take a step back and see just exactly what this includes. Many believe the old Christian phrases of “taking up our cross and following Jesus” and songs like, “I surrender all” are just talking about going to church and being a better person. These may be great reminders and steps in the right direction, but the entire strategy must become a faithful process of learning and understanding or the desire to PROGRESS with Him will be short lived. We have spoken in the past about the differences between a whim and a passion and we have agreed that we will NEVER become the person Jesus wants us to be unless we allow Him to light us on fire with HIS excitement and enthusiasm. The reason why the religious world drags itself around in a less than desirable representation of Christianity is because they are going at it not only half-heartily but half-interested. Becoming a true disciple of Christ is realizing that Jesus wants to be LORD in every area of our life, not just becoming a member of a local church. God’s idea is spiritual transformation – not just wearing a coat and tie or having a Jesus bumper sticker.

Most of us realize that a human is made up of three distinct areas. There is a spirit within each person and this spirit has either still it its original state or has been changed by Jesus. If it is still in its original condition then it is lost and in need of redemption. If a person has been born-again, their spirit has been transformed then they are now a Christian and been given a promised eternal future with Jesus. Technically, this is not to be confused with the soul as the soul is the second area which includes the mind, conscience, the emotions and where many call the heart. Sometimes we refer to the soul as the Spirit but just for the sake of identity purposes, we will refer to the soul as the emotions and area of mentality. Actually, the soul is the second part of this trio and includes the mind where all the decisions are made as to, what, who, where, how, when and so on. It stands in the middle between the spirit and body as the mediator, judge and decider for all the person will say, think and do. The spirit and the soul bring their request before the “heart” and according to how SERIOUS a person has become about their destiny, decisions are made each moment as to which side it will obey. When the mind decides the direction the other side is “overruled” and thus the person is committed to following that particular direction. This system of “free-will” living is a standard form of operation that has been given by God for every human and is what the final judgment from God will be based on. The third part of the triune human is the body. It is called the slave because it is the physical “housing” that is responsible for carrying out all deeds, actions and request from the other two. When the mind decides the direction the spirit is “overruled” and thus the body is committed to following. If the spirit is given priority, the mind is overruled and the body will follow the decision. This system of government is a standard form of internal operation that has been given by God for every human and is what the final judgment from God will be based on. There will only be 2 choices in every decision you will ever make. God’s will – or your will.

I have made a brief reminder of how decisions are made to follow into this line of thinking about how important it is for us to focus on all THREE parts of our being. We talk all the time about prayer and Bible study and developing an intimate relationship with God within our spirit. And we talk about guarding the windows of our soul and exercising self-discipline within our mind because it is the battlefield of spiritual warfare and the place where crucial decisions are made. But now it is time to observe the body and see it not just as a servant but how we have been given the responsibility for its condition and maintenance. The Lord has said in first Corinthians 3:16-17, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.”  We notice here that God is very proud of the body He has given to us and knows better than anyone what an awesome and beautiful “machine” He has created. Every machine in order to keep it running right needs certain fluids and regular adjustments or it begin to show signs and lessen its potential for running at maximum capability. We only have one body and when we abuse it by not taking care of it. Yes, we can pray and ask God to fix it when it breaks down but it would be God’s perfect way according to His divine blueprint (His specific will) if we would listen to His voice and practice preventative maintenance. There is no way to spend a year teaching and discussing about health and blessings without taking a serious look AT OUR health! It seems we would rather discuss the theology and doctrines about Jesus healing the sick while ignoring self-discipline and our responsibility to live healthy. Churches should include teaching more about our temple being holy and living healthier instead of spending all their energy begging for money! Sometimes it makes one wonder if the churches really love and want to help the people or are they just interested in financing the organization! Amen!

Some people are obsessed with diet and working out and neglect their spirit while others may spend their time reading about the Lord while eating unhealthy and never paying any attention to their declining body. Some even go to the extreme of “worshipping their body” and become so filled with pride that they pay more attention to the creation than the creator. Others deny themselves the pleasures of delicious foods because they are afraid it may do this or that, when the Lord encourages us to enjoy His blessings with moderation. I believe God is saying there needs to be a balance within our thinking and for us to pay equal attention our spirit, body and mind so that we can enjoy the complete blessings of God and walk in abundant covenant life of TOTAL salvation. When we can learn to see all three areas of our being from God’s perspective we are developing into a higher level of spiritual maturity and wisdom. I believe our gift of salvation from God not only has rescued our spirit but also can transform our mind and optimize our body so that we can become a highly effective representative of His Kingdom.

This brings us to focus on our topic – taking control of our health. This is where some will roll their eyes and silently say, “Who cares.” I realize the body is a powerful influence and has a strong case to present to our mind about how much it loves pleasure, contentment and satisfaction BUT it is time to see the true reality of what is happening. I believe there are many people lying in hospital beds, nursing homes and yes even in the graveyard because they have not taken care of their bodies. Yes, of course the body deteriorates and becomes more fragile with age and there are sicknesses and diseases that are a curse from the fall of the human race BUT that does not mean that we give up fighting! It seems the flesh naturally accepts the humanistic approach that is observed in Isaiah chapter 22, when the people were being attacked by the enemy and instead of praying to God and fighting in faith, gave up and decided to throw a party. This is where the notorious saying, “Let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die” came from and gives us a serious indication of just how lazy and immature the flesh is. Our body is not the one with the conscience or any type of level headed discernment – it just wants to be satisfied like a little baby and is basically controlled by simple desires. If we allow our mind to side with our flesh, we become not much more than a civilized beast that cares about nothing except itself. This type of life is EXACTLY what Jesus came to deliver us from! I am not saying that we are not to eat and enjoy life, but we are to place our spiritual responsibilities higher than our fleshly cravings.

So, how do get started in this process of changing our body? The first step is the same as it is with anything we do; we have a strong desire and a solid vision! If we are not sold on this idea with every fiber of our being we will fail. Yes, it will be difficult because it is hard to “make” a body get up and do anything unless it is something we really want to do. If we could use the same energy to get in good physical shape that we use to enjoy what we love – we could do it in no time. Dragging and forcing our body around screaming and kicking is NOT a pleasurable task and let me warn you there will be lots of “standoffs” and confrontations but remember the body is the servant and will always do what it is told to do if the mind and will is serious about yielding control! The next step is another key approach that we use to advance in our spiritual life; awareness! I have just written a new book called, “A lifestyle of worship – living in the awareness of God’s presence” and it is basically encouraging us to train our mind to become aware of the Lord in all things at all times. This is how we will begin to notice for example, what we are eating and why. We can study and do research pertaining to herbs and supplements and holistic health alternative approaches to natural healing. There are many natural benefits and enhancements that can do far more than pharmaceuticals and have been given to man from the Lord for the purpose of maintaining and maximizing the human body. Let us remember that taking care of our temple will give us more years that we can travel, walk and do the work of the ministry. If we become sick and out of shape and need a wheelchair before our time, then it will LIMIT how much we can go and do for the Lord. Speak LIFE and HEALING over your body with positive confessions and help your body be strong and healthy by taking care of it. Amen. Here is the second list of positive confessions. May you be edified and encouraged as you speak these confessions “out loud” in confidence and FAITH that God is creating strength, wisdom and maturity in you so that you can become what Jesus died for you to be. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

 I AM THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF JESUS CHRIST

 

I AM FORGIVEN AND WASHED CLEAN BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS

 

I AM SKILLED AND DILIGENT IN MY WORK AND HAVE FAVOR

 

I AM FILLED AND SATURATED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

I AM AWARE OF GOD’S PRESENCE AT ALL TIMES

 

EVERYTHING I AM INVOLVED WITH PROSPERS AND IS BLESSED

 

MY SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT AND SENSITIVITY IS GROWING STRONGER

 

YOU ARE GIVING ME REVELATIONS OF YOUR WORD

 

I AM “ALLOWING” YOU TO DO A DEEP WORK IN MY HEART

 

I AM DETERMINED TO SURRENDER MY WILL TO YOU

 

I AM LETTING GO OF MY PLANS BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

 

MY OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN MY SACRIFICE

 

MY WEAKNESSES WILL NO LONGER REIGN OVER ME

 

I WILL RESIST THE ENEMY AND HIS TEMPTATIONS

 

YOU ARE GIVING ME STRENGTH TO LIVE AS A REMNANT DISCIPLE

 

I WILL NOT WORRY ABOUT LACK BUT WILL BE ABLE TO HELP OTHERS

 

I AM FILLED WITH YOUR LOVE, JOY, TRUTH, AND HOPE

 

I AM FOCUSED AND DETERMINED TO STAND FAITHFUL TO YOU

 

I AM LED BY YOUR SPIRIT – NOT MY CARNAL EMOTIONS

 

I WILL SOW YOUR SEED WITH PASSION AND GENEROSITY

 

I AM ALWAYS AWARE OF A DIVINE APPOINTMENT

 

YOU ARE MY WHOLE ARMOR, MY SHIELD AND MY SWORD

 

YOU SAID THAT YOU WILL CREATE THE FRUIT OF MY LIPS

 

WORDS OF LIFE WILL FLOW OUT OF MY MOUTH LIKE A RIVER

 

I WILL LEAD OTHERS INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD

 

I WALK IN PERFECT PEACE AND I TRUST YOU COMPLETELY

 

NOTHING CAN STOP ME FROM KNOWING AND LOVING YOU

 

JESUS CHRIST RULES AS LORD ON THE THRONE OF MY HEART

 

I COMPLETELY SURRENDER MY WILL TO YOU OH LORD

 

I CONSTANTLY THINK AND SPEAK POSITIVE THOUGHTS

 

I AM A SEED OF ABRAHAM – AN HEIR ACCORDING TO THE PROMISE

 

I AM IN BLOOD COVENANT WITH THE GREAT I AM

 

GOD IS MY FATHER AND I AM HIS CHILD

 

AMEN.