Greetings once more Friends everywhere!
Does God care about your 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 physical diet dialogue. You can say it is a spiritual diet which profoundly affects our physical well-being. I begin with two passages of Scripture which should comfort us from the outset, and a third passage at the end of this article:-
“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)
Man is essentially a dualistic being. He lives in a parallel universe of existence – he is mortal, but is driven spiritually. Mortal man is driven spiritually in his mind. The human mind, made after God’s image, is what defines true life, not his mortal body. The physical body is the temple for the mind’s spiritual bidding. The physical existence of man is driven by three areas of life – three drivers, you can say. How we preside and manage these three drivers determines how the body responds to its environment, resulting in good or bad physical well-being. The three drivers are health, happiness, and wealth. (Matt.4) Health relates to physical sustenance of the body that’s energized by food and drink. Happiness relates to the safety and security a person enjoys from uncertainties and worries. And, wealth relates to the material things in his life which gives comfort and convenience. The secret, (everyone loves a secret), is to harmonize the two universes of the physical and spiritual into one life and one expression. Sickness and disease enter when these two universes are set on divergent paths, as they relate to these three drivers of life.
3 Drivers: Sustenance/Health Happiness/Security Wealth/Comfort
These three areas of life are what man give his full and undivided attention. There’s nothing wrong with them essentially, for they are what drives man to fulfill his “dominion mandate” given him by his Creator in the beginning. (Gen.1:26-28) Man has always been given two ways as to how to give these three drivers attention. In the beginning, God showed man how. He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion…” (Gen.1:26) From the outset of man’s existence on this earth, the Creator revealed to man he is to dominate the earth in a certain way – in the “Triune” fashion. This is what I have called the “Triune likeness” mandate in my book. God said “Let US…” revealing His Triunity, which Jesus later made known is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19; John 14:26; 1 Pet.1:2) The Hebrew word “Elohim” for God is in the plural. God is Trinitarian in His nature. (You can read about the three Genesis mandates in my Book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living.”)
Conversely, man may choose to manage these three drivers in a “solitary” manner in himself, without recourse to the “Triune mandate” he was given. When that happens, he has deviated from the very Triune energy which fittingly connects him to his Creator and his God-given dominion over this earth in these three areas. What’s the end-result of the “solitary life?” He suffers bodily in his physical well-being. Jesus said, “It is not on bread alone that man is to live; (physical universe) there is life for him in all the words which proceed from the mouth of God” (spiritual universe) (Matt. 4:4, TCNT/Knox emphasis added). The inward spiritual life influences the quality of life that exists outwardly.
God told Adam, “You shall surely die,” if he ate of the fruit of good and evil which leads to the “solitary life.” Adam became the ‘living dead’ so to speak. But worst still, man suffers spiritually, for his physical condition is a reflection of his spiritual death. He inhabits a parallel universe. Man was made an inter-connected being to have a Triune existence with his Maker. It’s in his DNA. When he lives the “solitary life” he disconnects himself from the “Triune Life” of God. He lives in conflict to the Triune energy (Love) which envelopes and energizes the whole universe, and this earth which he inhabits, and he suffers spiritually and physically. (Read my Blog titled “Can Man Live Without God? – God’s Spiritual Gravity of Love” posted 8/14/2013)
Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. Man Made After God’s own Likeness (Wiki Commons)
Man is physical, and his natural and primary motivation will always be his physical survival. So, he applies the three drivers which come naturally to him without any need for stimuli. He has to eat and drink to survive bodily (health); he seeks security for shelter (happiness); and he has materialistic desires for comfort and convenience (wealth). When he seeks them in a “solitary” mindset, he disengages himself from the very “Triune” energy of the Spirit. The Triune energy from the Spirit is what endows him to properly administer his dominion of this earth and all the resources in it. He leads man and brings him the very things he pursue in life which will support his spiritual and physical well-being.
What does the “solitary life” do to a person? He becomes self-centered, then, covetousness and greed takes over. And before long, the most potent of all causes of sickness and disease sets in – care! The “solitary life” is always dominated by undue, hurtful, care. Damaging care is the harbinger of all sickness and disease in the world today. It breeds anxiety and fear, which in turn negatively affects the body’s cells which brings on harm and disease. Yet, we are told of a life that’s free from care, “be careful about nothing.” Instead, we are told make our hearts known to God, believe and be thankful, and His peace will reign in our lives. In place of care, peace and joy. (Phil. 4:6-7, emphasis added). Through care a person’s focus on life is centered inwardly on himself, and the outward, collaborative, Triune Life which brings Love and peace is totally non-existent. Everything is seen through the lens of the ‘self’ – his family, his career, his home, his community, his country. The Triune Life is about achieving everything we desire in life with Love as the driver, not fear and care. Love, (God is Love) is the foundation upon which our physical and spiritual well-being is built.
Man The Temple
Man naturally and automatically fall back to seek these three areas of life because our human nature have these human survival inclinations. So the application of the “Triune” principles of living as it relates to these three drivers is a discipline that requires more than human effort. The devil realizes this and deceives man to apply a “solitary” focus in these areas of life. So man has to constantly exercise his mind to the Triune principles. Man’s mortal body becomes the temple of the Spirit, and in His Loving condition, the three drivers are brought under the aegis of the Triune Life.
As believing Christians, we all look to Christ for examples for living. (Rom.8:29; 1 Cor.11:1) Jesus’ example for us in these three areas of life was made plain after Jesus was baptized in the Jordan. Now filled with the Spirit, He was led into the empty wilderness to face the archenemy of man, the devil. Jesus was representing all mankind in this epic duel, in Triune collaboration with the Father. Take a guess what weapons the enemy used to try to defeat Jesus and man? Yes, these very three areas of life which drives man – health, happiness, and wealth. The account is found in Matthew 4:1-11. (You can read about the significance of this duel where Jesus defeated the devil in my Book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living,” Pg.148-152) Jesus defeated the devil at his game. It’s a game he played on Adam, and continues to employ on man today, as he did with Jesus. He plays to destroy man physically and spiritually. The enemy destroys man’s physical well-being by promoting and causing the vicious cycle of corroding care and its destructive aftermath to dominate a person’s life.
Man, Given the Human Mind to Communicate With His Creator (Pic: Wiki Commons)
1> When it came to our physical sustenance (health), Jesus brushed off the enemy’s ploy, saying, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt.4:3-4). 2> When it came to happiness, the enemy deviously tried to get Jesus to use the promises of security as a bargaining chip with God. We tempt God, when we think His grace (as expressed in His promises) as commodity to be traded. (V.5-7) 3> Today, as it was in Jesus’ day, wealth is defined mainly by money. The enemy offered Jesus all the worldly wealth if He would bow to him, but Jesus rebuked the devil saying no one can worship both God and wealth (Matt.8-10; 6:24). We prostrate before and serve God alone.The devil failed on all three counts. The devil tempts us at the point of our material ambitions. Wrapped in this momentous duel is the answer to man’s well-being physically and spiritually, and man’s freedom from the stress and care that kills daily.
Choosing Love Over Fear
Though we triumph over the enemy vicariously through Jesus’ victory in these three areas of life, the devil does not leave us alone, for he knows we are individuals with free minds. It was through free will that he deceived Adam, and it will be through our free will that he tries to do the same to us. But we need not fear, for with free will we can choose and make Jesus’ victory our own which the Spirit brings to us, as he did with the fully human Jesus in the wilderness. The Spirit comes to us as a full-flowing river whose power never subsides to conquer and vanquish the enemy at his own game. (John 7:38-39) This is God’s work in us, not ours – and yet is now ours by and in the Faith of Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Our “solitary life” is given up for dead for a life of faith. The faith of Jesus is what constitutes life now. And if it is Jesus who lives in us, then the life we live is most assuredly the “Triune Life” of God, for Jesus is Triune God with the Father and the Spirit.
We ought to remember that these three drivers were given to man for his good in his dominion upon this earth carried out in the Triune expression. But the devil now deviously utilizes these drivers to deceive man with a “solitary” focus, beginning with Adam. If in the Spirit, we are vigilant to live the “Triune Life” in place of the “solitary life” in the application of these three drivers, we will have come a long way to getting back to physical well-being, that’s undergirded by a spiritual wellness in Jesus.
Our Thoughts Define The Life We Live
Paul said, “The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, we have divine power to cast down imaginations [demolish evil thoughts and arguments] and every pretension [posturing thought] that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we bring captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-6 emphasis added). Our free will is exercised in our minds through our thoughts about how we want to live – whether the “solitary life” in the self that’s influenced by the devil, or the “Triune Life” in Christ that’s led in the power of the Spirit. The choice is for each of us to make.
The devil is the instigator of all physical sickness and diseases through spiritual means and methods of deception by means of a “solitary” focus in man. (2 Cor.11:14) Jesus said it must be of the Spirit if we are to save the flesh. (John 6:63) We come back to this dual life I spoke of earlier – the physical life that’s driven by the spiritual life. The spiritual life is either the “solitary life” driven by fear, or the “Triune Life” driven by Love. Many speak of coming out of a life of fear, but fail to offer the fitting answer to overcoming it through the “Triune Life” in Jesus. Jesus’ fast in the wilderness tells us that the true Gospel of Jesus demands an inverted priority where the “Triune Life” outweighs and regulates the “natural” appetite in these three areas of life. It begs the question as to the authenticity of television evangelism of promoting the ‘prosperity gospel.’ It stands in antithesis to the Gospel. The Gospel requires us to be disrobed of our “solitary life” costume and be robed in the “unnatural” (spiritual) garb of Jesus Himself. (Gal.3:27) Jesus taught us this principle when He took on His human body and was subject to every human weakness as we are and overcame in the power of the Spirit to live the “Triune Life” as a human. (Heb. 4:15).
Purpose & Dream-Life
I said in my Book that when we live the Triune Life, the Spirit will lead us to God’s purpose for us upon this earth. We will live our dream-life. I come back to what I said earlier that the two universes of physical and spiritual life in man has to proceed in harmony, and the way this is done is through our purpose, calling, and life-gift. I quote from a relevant portion of my Book: “A person can have authentic joy if he is living the dream life of a Bula man-river* purposed by God. Only God can give us the dream-life we all desire to live. He is the One who created us for it and affirms this: “Then joy will accompany them in their toil [dream-life] God has given all the days of their life…” (Eccl. 8:15). Yes, though we toil, it is the Lord who is orchestrating our purpose, and that’s why we do it with joy (Prov. 10:22). Our toil becomes something joyful because we are toiling in our field of dreams, and it reverberates positively with the identity in our very DNA. Indeed, how can we know joy without the ‘pain’ of toiling in our dreams? Before we find freedom in our dreams, we toil in freeing them from bondage. For no freedom is appreciated without bondage. Living with purpose and faith brings joy to the heart, and our toil comes easy, without damaging stress. There is a sense of purpose, and that brings calmness and peace and joy. That translates to healthy cells in your body and good health. People who hurry, worry! Those who worry live in a competitive and controlling mode always trying to get ahead of others. We live in the creative and loving mode. We are to live healthy, vibrant, and purposeful lives, not unhealthy, sickly, and aimless lives.” (“Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living,” Pg.200)
Living Life with A Purpose (Pic: Wiki Commons)
I go on to say, “We don’t have to be medical experts to agree with what the Bible states clearly and precisely. I believe the most potent cause for good health and powerful prevention of sickness and disease is to have a merry heart – the joy that sings in our hearts even when things “go wrong” or when our plans don’t work out as we “expect” (James 1:2). I’m not saying we don’t have disappointments in life. However, at some point, preferably sooner rather than later, we have to gather ourselves together and follow the best course of action for our wellbeing. The Psalmist declares the underpinning joy of the “Bula” man-river,* “You make known to me the path of life, You fill me with the joy of your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand” (Ps. 16:11, NKJV). The moment we forget our place of abundance as Bula man-rivers,* our minds play tricks on us and we focus our attention on fear and pessimism rather than joy and optimism. Joy leaves our hearts and anxiety takes over. Instead, what may seem like going wrong is in reality working together for our good in our Maker’s mind (Rom. 8:28-29; 2 Tim. 1:9).”
“Life That’s Truly Life”
In other words, true health, happiness, and riches – “the life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:19), does not come because we seek them absolutely, but it is given as an outgrowth from, an implied consequence of, God’s purpose and calling for your life on this earth. So, health, happiness, and wealth are ‘incidents’ of your gift and dream-life – they are not end in themselves. How do you find this gift? It’s in the Spirit, who is the first gift from Jesus and the Father, from which we discover our dream-life. (John 16:13-15) It’s a life of joy, not care and worry. This life brings you unbound joy that’s out of this world, for now your life is lived in harmony with the Triune God. When this happens, I call this living the “Triune Life.” This is the life of the Bula man-river.*
Physical Wellness Through Diet & Exercise
The spiritual diet and exercise we covered in this post has its physical counterpart. What I have said in no way precludes physical diet and exercise necessary for bodily health. There are numerous books covering this physical aspect of wellness. As I quoted from sources in my Book, 87% of our physical well-being comes from our spiritual diet and exercise, and 13% has to do with physical diet and exercise. If 100% of our physical efforts will produce only 13% of our total bodily well-being, it begs the question, what are we doing about the remaining 87% which requires spiritual input? I said life is expressed in two universes of the spiritual and the physical. In order for a total holistic wellness to breakthrough, the two has to exist in harmony. (You may get more information from my Book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living.”)
Eating Healthy and Exercising Regularly (Pics: Wiki Commons)
A word about healing. We all carry baggage, both physical and spiritual. This arises mainly because the spiritual and the physical have existed in contradiction and disharmony. Others may be genetic. The physical baggage of sickness and ailments Jesus will miraculously take away as God’s way of remaking us into His people. Jesus performed miracles and healed the people of all kinds of diseases and sicknesses, and the people saw how Jesus recreated their lives. (Acts 10:38) Jesus mission is to recreate lives, both spiritual and physical, so we can live the purpose He has for us on this earth.
So yes, more than we will ever realize, God takes interest in our physical well-being. Like a shepherd of His people, Jesus leaves the ninety nine, and seeks out the one who is left behind. His compassion and mercy is seen plainly when He came and healed all manner of diseases and sicknesses we see in the Gospels. It is said that the Gospels does not fully disclose all His miraculous healing acts in recreating people’s lives from various physical conditions. What we read in the Gospels are at best highlights. (John 21:25) “When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed ALL the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matt.8:16-17)
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you healing and strength in your body for authentic Triune living as a Bula man-river.*
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
* The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Thank you for your support.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise