“I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”
Greetings from Amsterdam, Netherlands to my readers everywhere!
Is God concerned about our physical well-being? Does God tell us how to live life that can bring on physical health? Let’s answer that question today. This is not another diet program, although one might say it is a spiritual guide which will profoundly affect our physical well-being. General Douglas McArthur famously said, “It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.” (http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/douglasmacarthurradiojapanesesurrenderceremony.htm) The Bible concurs with McArthur’s statement, and puts it across as follows, “If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Rom.8:13). I begin with two passages of Scripture which reveals God’s view on this subject which ought to comfort us from the outset.:
“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2)
“…I am the Lord, your Healer” (Exo.15:26, ESV)
Icon for Internal Medicine and Health (Wiki Commons)
Certainly, we cannot ignore the life of Jesus when He healed the people with all manner of diseases and sicknesses. This informs us about the Love of God for humanity as prophesied, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you. And when He comes, He will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf” (Isa.35:4-5). Two disciples of John the Baptist inquired if Jesus was indeed the Messiah, Jesus answered, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of Me” (Luk.7:20-25). So, God’s concern for human physical health and well-being is abundantly clear as shown through His Son’s miraculous work.
Man is Holistic:
Man is a whole being with essentially three perspectives to life: his relationship to God is the spiritual man; while his relationship with his community is the social man, and lastly man’s relationship with the material world around him is the physical man. These are not three different parts of man, rather all of life is always spiritual, social, and physical at the same time revealing the whole man. While man is mortal, he is driven spiritually, socially, and physically. The human mind, made after God’s triune image, is the center of human existence from which these three relationships are manifested. (Gen.1:26-27)
And most importantly, since Love is basically emotive, thereby all three relationships is governed by emotional response that is divine in nature (see 1 Cor.13; 1 John 4:8, 16). At the fundamental level of existence, human activity can never be unrelated to God, to community, and to the material (physical) world. Having the primary understanding of our spiritual/community/physical being with the underlying emotional response is the first step to the journey of good health. For these three perspectives of man are intertwined and inseparable and makes man a holistic being. Each of the three relationships reveals the well-being of the whole man. Therefore, good health is the sum total of the “health” of these three dynamic relationships that man is constantly living emotionally through Love”s divine emotions/fruits.
These three perspectives/relationships form the foundation for good health. We can say they make up man’s primary pathway to health and it doesn’t involve food, drink, and physical exercise yet. Man’s physical sustenance and health is basically the outgrowth of these three inherent and deeply influential relationships. These three dynamic perspective are always demanding our impulsive and compulsive emotional responses to them that they become the primary focal point of heath, undergirding what a person eats or drinks and how he keeps himself/herself physically fit. The human body will not achieve optimum health by just good dietary practices and physical fitness alone, but holistically through these three formative steps to health. In terms of good health, every aspect of human expression works in tandem so that you cannot have one without the other. When a person is unhealthy, or even sick, the basic cause can be traced back to the emotional breakdown in one of these three holistic relationships which defines man’s makeup.
Jesus’ Healing Ministry (Wiki Commons)
Let us go further. Man was made in the Creator’s likeness. (Gen.1:26-27) The Bible states that God’s likeness is Love: “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Therefore, the basis of man’s three-fold relationship we saw above is Love. In other words, Love is emotive and affectional. Love for God, Love for community, and Love for the physical world. (1 Cor.13) So, every part of man’s existence is related to God through Love. The ten commandments have these three relationships weaved into them: how to relate with God, how to relate with our fellow humans, and how to relate with the material world by rejecting covetousness and greed. (Luk.10:26-28). Its framework has been converted from a legalistic walk to a spiritual one (Love). God demonstrated His Love by sacrificing His Son so we may be saved from death from the legalistic demands of the law, and in place of death be given the gift of immortality through faith in Jesus Christ’s atonement. (John 3:16)
God: How do we relate with God? The primary characteristic of God is life. Life springs from His Being of Love. All of life was created by God because He is life and is the embodiment of it. God declares, “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” (Jer.23:24) True life is found only in Jesus Christ for as God the Son, He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Paul said this of Jesus, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His Being” (Heb.1:3). When he said, “I am the life,” it is a statement which only God can utter. Death is the opposite of life. When a man is ill or in the last stage of illness, he is said to be in the throes of death. So, we turn to God for life which essentially means to be restored to health. God’s purpose for man is eternal life, the opposite of eternal death. The Bible infers that man can be blessed physically to live healthy and die at the natural age of 120. (Gen.6:3)
Community: How do we relate with our community? Jesus gave us the parable of the good Samaritan to explain how to Love our fellow humans. (see Luk.10:29-37) Loving others bring internal healing. James tell us, “Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed” (Jam.5:16, The Message). “Confess your sins” simply means we are to stop treating others selfishly through greed, unkindness, hatred, and in any corrupt fashion, and start Loving others genuinely. It does not necessarily mean that you openly trumpet your past misdeeds to others. Rather, it is about a changed way of life from the moment of self-awareness and penitence. If we turn to God for mercy and forgiveness, then we ought to extend the same to others. (Mar.11:25-26) Compassion is the soil where the fruit of healing is grown and harvested. (Rev.22:2)
Material/Physical: How do we relate with the physical/material world around us? Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luk.12:15). Jesus said man “shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” (Matt.4:4). He goes further by saying, “I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? …But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt.6:25-27, 33). “Seek first His kingdom” is about a way of life of Love. Love for God, for community, and for the physical world around you. God is speaking about a miraculous way of of life which these three drivers will produce. God is the wellspring from which life originates and is openly manifested. Loving God is the key to the miraculous life which undergird our physical well being.
Essentially, the Bible states that if we are good at anything, whatever that may be, and fail at Love, then we are nothing. (1 Cor.13:1-3)
I will continue on this theme in my next installment.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or you may email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for visiting.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* in the person of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity.” Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
(Your Servant In Christ)
Indemnity Clause: The author does not assume any liability for the misuse of information contained in this post. The content of this post is provided for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as, nor should it be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author is not a medical doctor, nor does he claim to be. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. Always consult your medical doctor or your primary health care provider about the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your own symptoms or medical conditions.
*“Triune Life” means to inherit human personhood identifying us as true persons with gifts in Christ and living according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27; Rom.8:29) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional attributing life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means to live in relationship with God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who lives and walks in you (“Immanuel humanity”). Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) This is a life of divine power. You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092, also at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036)
*Read about my true-life miracle I shared in my book and post, titled, “Miracle Living-No Ordinary Life!” I hope you find it inspiring and encourages you to receive Jesus and live the “Triune Life.” Go to: http://bulamanriver.net/2634
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website, www.bulamanriver.com, www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, xulonpress.com, and other book store sites where you can order a copy of my book, “Bulamanriver – The Miracle of Triune Living”
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All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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