For a couple of days, George had been feeling a mild pain along the region of his chest cavity. He however didn’t pay much attention to it because he was sure perfect healing was his. You see, George is a young blooming web developer who is never slothful in business but fervent in spirit and serving the Lord.
As the days went by, so did the intensity of the pain grow. Even though his elder brother was a medical doctor, he wouldn’t discuss the matter with him – “I’m free from sicknesses and diseases”, he kept confessing. Truth is he had been on a three-month-long fasting and prayer at the time as he needed to nourish his spirit-man the more. In fact, the plan was to lengthen it by a month – no time for spiritual slackness. Things however got out of hand on a Sunday evening, on his way home from house fellowship. The pain was more than he could bear. He called for help and was rushed to the hospital. Upon conducting a series of test on him, it was discovered that he had chronic ulcer. It had grown worse due to neglect.
When God saved you, He didn’t relieve you of your sense. Use it!
Many believers are like George. They are ‘too spiritual’ to pay attention to their bodies. They forget that there is a place for both the supernatural/spiritual and the natural/commonsensical when it comes to living a healthy life. Many folks have gone to be with the Lord (untimely) because they refused to take matters concerning their health seriously. Yes, they lived a prayerful life, fasted often and even kept making faith confessions. However, little things like resting as at when due was rocket science for them.
The fact that God wants the believer to live well is indubitable – 3John2 clearly affirms that. Perfect health is God’s desire for the man in Christ. God has nothing to gain when he sees his children suffer from sicknesses and diseases. As a matter of fact, scripture tells us that He delights in the prosperity of his servants. Inherent in the term ‘prosperity’ is ‘health’, ‘peace’ and ‘happiness’.
There are folks who believe that God sometimes try the faith (tempt) of his children with sicknesses and calamities. Nothing can be more erroneous than that. God never tempts anyone with evil. Rather, all that comes from him is ‘good’ and ‘perfect’. A believer’s experience of illness can be as a result of different factors. However, it will and can never have nothing to do with God.
Hence, God’s desire for all believers is to be in (perfect) health. Does God’s desire however automatically make the believer immune to sicknesses and diseases? Absolutely not! Although He wants us all to live fine, if we won’t do the needful in the natural, we are bound to battle avoidable health issues all our lives.
The believer (and indeed all men) consists of spirit, soul (mind) and body. While his spirit is regenerated (by virtue of salvation) and his mind subject to renewal (with God’s word), his flesh is subject to mortality. The body we have, even as believers, is mortal/imperfect and not a glorified one. Just like every other man, the believer feels beat after working a couple of miles under the scorching tropical sun; he perspires when he sits in a room with poor ventilation; and even breaks down after putting so much stress on his body without taking a break.
You can’t cheat nature you know?
Take the man Epaphroditus as case study (Phil 2: 25-30). He was such a diligent minister of the gospel…labouring ceaselessly in ministry…ever willing and ready to meet the spiritual needs of the sheep under his ministry… He eventually had a nearly fatal sickness. But for the mercies of God, he would have died untimely. The man was so consumed with ministry to the neglect of his body. Nature eventually made its call.
Trophimus is another case in point. The Apostle Paul left him at Miletum sick. I’m sure it wasn’t because God’s power was not available to heal him. The blessed man just needed some well-deserved rest. For him to recuperate he needed to relax and God’s power can’t make that happen.
There you are: You claim God’s promises of/for health and maintain your faith confessions. Yet you live in a mosquito-infested room; you huzzle day and night and barely sleep four hours a day; you shy away from check-up even when you discover medical symptoms in your body; you are generally untidy and filthy; you work in an environment where toxic substances are emitted yet don’t care for a nose guard… You are likely to be hurriedly transited into glory, having died a needless death.
God won’t take responsibility for your inactions
Although God’s power is able to keep our body intact, it’s foolhardiness to presume that, in keeping whole, God will take over our responsibilities. It’s not unbelief to visit the hospital and take medications when the need calls. Doing so does not downplay the influence of the supernatural in the areas of our health neither does it stop us from trusting God for sound health.
Paul counsels Timothy to mix a little wine with the water he drinks because of his frequent sickness. The wine intake was medicinal and not for revelling. There is no doubt Timothy was a man full of power and faith and believed in divine healing. However, as he believed God for and enjoyed divine healing, there were things he needed to do in the natural to keep his (natural) body healthy.
All that God created – including herbs (medicinal plants) – are for the good of men
What’s more, James instructs a sick believer to call for the elders of the church (James 5:14). These men are to pray for him and rob olive oil on him. In the Jewish culture, the (olive) oil and wine are regarded as highly medicinal substances – (see the story of the Good Samaritan). According to James, what will heal the sick man is the prayer of faith. However, the olive oil will also serve its purpose.
When it comes to healing or/and staying healthy, the supernatural and natural are coexistent and not mutually exclusive. While the believer can/should believe God for healing, natural cum commonsensical approaches can serve complementary purposes. All that God created – including herbs (medicinal plants) – are for the good of men who can take advantage of them.
Your body is not supernatural!
Your body is not supernatural but essentially mortal; subject to wear and tear. If you use it well, it will serve you well. While you should not be dependent on natural means for healing as a believer, do the things you ought to do in the natural to stay hale and hearty. Rest as at when due, be mindful of the changes in your body, live a clean lifestyle, eat adequately and healthily, consult the doctor when you should, take medications when prescribed, wear a deodorant if there is need for it, don’t overwork yourself… These things don’t make you less spiritual but make you more relevant, even for spiritual purposes. These things are not rocket science but basic commonsensical issues.
God is concerned about your physical well-being. You however also need to take responsibility for it. While you depend on the supernatural, make common sense your friend.
Jesus Cares Ministries