Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out of the Health Maze, Into God's Peace - Part 3


So what does God's Word say on the topic of health and nutrition? 

While it doesn't give many specifics on diet or health, it does give principles to guide us in our decision making. Let's look at it together.

  • Physical death is not an option. “It is appointed unto man once to die.” (Hebrew 9:27) The typical life span is given as “threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years” (Psalm 90:10), but whatever the length of our days, we will all come to the end of our earthly life.
  • We are not to follow the example of Asa who “in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.” (2 Chronicles 16:12) God's command to Christians is to “call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” (James 5:14) Of course, most Christians would consider it wise to seek the counsel of a health practitioner at appropriate times, but prayer and trust in God should always be our first reaction to illness. Not doctors, not books, not a new diet, not a health supplement, but our Maker Himself.
  • We can take a hint from Luke, a physician, who recorded no health advice. Instead, his two books of the Bible (Luke and Acts) focus on Jesus Christ as the answer to man's soul needs.
  • We are to eat in moderation, not as one “whose God is their belly” (Philippians 3:19) Many doctors agree that Americans would be healthier if they simply ate less, following the advice of Solomon: “And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” (Proverbs 23:2) I have known those who have lost weight and improved their health simply by decreasing the amount they ate. In a wealthy society such as we live in where abundant food is readily available, choosing to eat less will take much self-discipline, but moderation is a Biblical command.
  • The Old Testament records God's specific guidelines on diet for His people, the Israelites. In the New Testament, conflict arose in the early church over whether or not to follow the Old Testament laws. After deliberation, it was decided that the Gentile believers did not need to keep the law. “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” (Acts 21:25) God created food and it should not “be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.” (1 Titus 4:3-4)
  • As servants of God, our bodies are not our own and should not be abused. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (I Corinthians 6:19) To be a good steward of my body I will choose not to abuse it. I often think of smoking or alcohol in the context of abusing my physical body, but I need to also remember the affect of my diet on my health. There is medical evidence that heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other diseases are influenced by the food I eat. Wise choices in what I eat today could possibly minimize my chance of disease in the future and allow me to more effectively serve the Lord and my family.
  • The Scripture speaks about judging others because of what they eat or do not eat. “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth...He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” (Romans 14:2-4, 6)
  • If God allows healing through prayer, diet, doctors, or supplements, I need to be quick to give God the glory. “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8) My children have been blessed with generally good health, but usually once or twice a winter we catch a cold or illness. After hearing friends talk about the value in various supplements such as elderberry, I decided one winter to give my children something to help avoid sickness. Somehow, I never got around to ordering anything, possibly because of the overwhelming number of choices. But that winter we never got sick. At the end of the season, a friend asked what we did to stay so healthy. If we had been taking a nutritional supplement, I would have given it the credit. Since we had made no dietary changes, I could credit nothing but the blessing of the Lord. I am not against taking vitamins, but I hope I remember the lesson: All the glory for my health goes to the Lord.
  • Nothing I do will thwart the hold of sin's curse on my physical body here on earth. In times of pain and trial, a believer's trust in God will bring Him glory. “Whoso putteth His trust in the Lord shall be safe.” (Proverbs 29:25). Not safe from all illness, cavities, or disease, but safe from the wages of sin which bring spiritual death. While I don't like to think of losing my health some day, in Jesus Christ I can find joy that defeats fear.

    We will look at another aspect of the health topic in the next post.

    How have you applied God's Word to the topic of health?
Read the whole series - Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5

16 comments :

  1. Thank you Gina. I needed to be reminded of this!!

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  2. NICE, and very well written.. To the point.. Great article my friend, great article..

    Jeannie

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  3. What a great post! I love the scriptures you shared with each thought.

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  4. Your journey is similar to my line of thinking. When it comes to God's word I decided to only believe the Bible. Therefore, I hold everything I hear against the bible to decide if it's God's truth or not.

    I thought long and hard about food (as you know from my son) and decided that to eat food which has been altered chemically is not ok, because it is not the way God created it. I eat food in the way God created it - naturally. I found that the Weston A. Price foundation went along with this line of thinking well, and had the evidence to back it up. For example, I do not drink pasteurized milk, because it is missing helpful enzymes from Raw Milk that actually help your body to break down the calcium. Without these enzymes your body cannot process calcium very well. I don't eat meat from animals that was fed an unnatural diet of foods they would not normally eat. Same with plants.

    There was a time in the bible when King Hezekiah was sick, and Isiah made him medicine to heal him, so I believe God does give us the knowledge of healing through those means. But I also believe when he gave us the diet outline in Leviticus he told us how to best keep our bodies healthy. So that is what I do. :). God encourages a break from eating yeast, he encourages eating a ton of meat, veggies, and fruits. That is what I do. He does say we can eat grain, but he is very picky about how we process it, and how often. From my research, his diet guidelines are exactly how our bodies need to eat. Imagine that! :)

    I do not know why God says no to pork. My husband says it is because Pigs eat food that humans would not eat, so their meat is not as healthy. I do understand that God told Peter to eat Pork, and not to let it stop him from sharing the gospel. I don't think God meant that pork was now good for us, but rather, the gospel is so important that sometimes you have to go to extremes.(?)

    I also believe that the enemy has a hand in how altered our food is, and how chemically laden it is. It is hard to think and focus when you are sick. It is hard to do anything (including reading your bible) when you feel awful. I also believe if we do not get the right vitamins it messes with our brains and causes problems (like autism) and the enemy is going to do that to keep us from knowing God.

    I believe that God keeps us healthy, and the glory goes to him, but there is also cause and effect. I know that I cannot die without God's permission but I also know that chances are if I jump off a cliff I will be injured, or dead. God would not keep me from feeling the effect of my sin. If I eat non food/ poisoned food I'm going to be sick and eventually die from it.

    Any way, that is what I think, because you asked. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts Sarah!
      Gina

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    2. I would like to weigh in on the pork subject, if I may. Acts 10 isnt talking about food, but about "unclean" people (gentiles). Peter, being a good Jew, would never have had met with Cornelius to share the gospel, had God not told him to. He spoke to Peter in a vision about food, which all Jewish ppl knew as clean or unclean from the time they could talk. The message of the vision was about Peter accepting the call to meet with Cornelius. Verses 17-23 tell the story. (esp. vss 19 & 20). The clean and unclean food laws still stand; your husband is correct. (I think it also has to do with the fact that pigs dont have as many veins in their bodies, and so cant get the impurities out as well as cows.)

      Thank you for pointing that out. :-)
      Alicia

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  5. I would like to gently point out that loosing weight is, for many people, not just a matter of eating less. I'd like to remind everyone that there are genuine metabolic disorders that require medical intervention, and to remind people not to judge, for you have never walked in that persons shoes. (You as in the collective population, not you specifically Gina)

    Not that God should be excluded from the care and treatment of such disorders, I just have seen first hand how much it can hurt someone when people assume "If you just push away from the table, you'd loose weight"

    I have really enjoyed what you have had to say so far though Gina, and look forward to your further thoughts on the subject. <3

    Blessings,
    Jessica

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    1. Jessica-
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I never meant to say that eating less is a cure all, just one aspect of health.
      Gina

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  6. Hi Gina, I went back and read the complete series on this post and the health maze.
    Very wise in how you approached it. Very gentle! Because as most of us want to say (our way of eating ot not!) is the only way to be healthy.
    I like to always ask the Lord when I might have a weakness (infirmuty) what do YOU want me to eat or take for this Jesus? And He always helps me.
    I say well done ! We must not give mans idea of what is right over, the Masters plan for good health.
    I always say real food! Freh eggs, butter ,whole grains and a cookie. LOL
    Blessings, Roxy

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  7. Thank you Ms. Gina..enjoying this discussion.
    I come from a line of women that are prone to being overweight. My brothers teased me about being chubby when we were children. Around 17 I was in earnest about losing weight. Nothing noble about it! I wanted to look and feel more attractive period! I have had to work at maintaining a reasonable weight my whole life. Up and down, up and down over the years. During that time, God has been healing me from the inside out! As my friend commented this morning...He redeemed my sin! As a result of my struggles with food and all that it entails, at 60 I have a closer relationship with God, and have by Gods grace good health, especially compared to many women my age. I still struggle with food at times, and my body image, but my goal is to honor this temple and not to sin. Quite a change from that 17 year old! My point is that, I think God takes our questions and concerns about food, health, and all that entails, to teach us more about Himself.
    Blessings all!

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  8. thank you, gina, for providing balance to the food maze by sharing Scripture! this is a very timely subject for me, so i'm looking forward to continuing to read your series!

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  9. Gina, I always enjoy reading your views on the subjects you write about. Thank you for being so open in sharing your thoughts and feelings! And thank you for letting us feel free to weigh in and disagree with you if we feel differently. I believe that God is using your blog to reach many people who wouldnt have given a relationship with Christ a second thought. Your practical advice and tips for everyday life are always appreciated. :-)

    Alicia

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  10. Gina, you have very good points here. I think so often in our worry over how and what we are to eat and drink we make idols out of food. But the answer is not to react against that idolatry but to honestly treat our bodies as the temple of the Holy Ghost, changing in this area as He shows us just as we change in any other area as we grow in our walk with Him. I appreciate Sarah's comments very much (as well as others). Some very good points there, which I have been learning and implementing, giving God all the glory for showing me and leading me to almost (to date still getting better) complete healing from many ills (American diseases that we could pretty much alleviate were we to be focused on eating for health and honor of GOd instead of greed and selfishness).
    To God be the glory,
    Marcia

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  11. What a wonderful post. And great comments also! I wanted to copy portion of a book I've been reading. It goes along somewhat with what someone commented about eating things that grow the way God created them to grow. Naturally. Not chemically altered. I totally agree with this. I also feel this way about man-made medicines. Chemical/synthetic medicines can not really treat sickness or disorders. They only put a band-aid over the symptoms while creating other problems/issues in our bodies. So, here's the quote...

    "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Thus begins the Gospel of Saint John. The creation story of Genesis begins with the statement: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Following that we find God speaking his creation into exhistence by Hs very Word. "And God said, Let there be light...And God said, Let there be a firmament...And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its own kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so." We find the phrase, "And God said..." nine times in the first chapter of Genesis.

    Word is a vibration, a frequency, a consciousness, an expression of energy. When God created the plants by His speaking voice, he imbued them with his Word and his intellegence. This includes the oils of the plants which he intended, from their very creation, to become medicines when we need healing.

    That is what is so special about essential oils. They contain the power from God's Word. Artificial medicines, made by humans, contain no such power. That's why they cannot truly heal and never will. But, again, we shall discuss this in more detail in another chapter.

    The point here is that essential oils are divinely ordained as medicines for God's children and are meant to be used with God's guidance, accompanied with prayer.
    -Healing Oils of the Bible By David Stewart Ph.D.



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  12. Very well written! The Word of God is our truth and we can depend on it. Keep up the great posts. Karen

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  13. Thank you for this much-needed refreshing approach, Gina. I'm looking forward to more specifics on eating according to Scriptures.
    Anne

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