This episode is part 4 of a multi-part series on the spiritual component of health. I cover why believers in Jesus Christ still get sick and I also answer the question "Why do our prayers for healing sometimes seem to go unanswered?"
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David Sandstrom 0:00
Here's a sample of what you'll hear on this episode of natural health matters. God has made his blessings available, blessing to be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. Ephesians one, three and four. Here again, we have blessings connected to an admonition toward holiness. If we're going to enjoy a comfortable, warm shower, we've got to step inside. If we stand outside, we don't experience the comfort the shower provides. In the same way, when we're outside of God's instructions, or his guidelines, we prevent the blessings he's ready to lavish us with. Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, naturopathic doctor, and biblical health coach. And this is episode number 56.
David Sandstrom 1:12
This episode is part four in my series on the spiritual component to health. So far in this series, in part one we talked about the mechanism by which peace with God brings more peace to our minds and bodies, in that peace brings more physical vitality. In part two, we talked about the fact that God's desire for us his health and well being, so much so that he's built health and vitality into our systems. Health is our default setting. In part three, we talked about the fact that the Holy Scriptures or the Bible is an excellent resource for health device. Once again, I want to share that a lot of the material I'm going to be covering this episode is in my book, the Christians guide to holistic health. So if you've read my book, some of this material is going to sound familiar. But don't let that deter you from listening, because this would serve as a really good review in a different format. And there's going to be some material here that's not in the book. Now, if you haven't read my book, yet, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy. It's called the Christians guide to holistic health. And there's a whole lot more in the book than we can share on this single episode, even in this whole series for that matter. If you'd like to pick up a copy, go to my website, DavidSandstrom.com, forward slash book, and you can order a copy today. In this episode, I want to address the notion that if God designed and built us for health, and he desires, we walk in vibrant health and vitality, and he's given us a prescription to get there in His Word, then why are we still sick? In addition to that, I want to answer the question, why does God sometimes seem distant and silent? When we or someone we love is suffering with an illness, and our prayers seem to go unanswered? If we placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, it would seem that good health should follow. However, we all know that for many of us, that's not the case.
David Sandstrom 3:07
You know, natural health enthusiasts complain that medical doctors tend to use drugs for symptom relief only. This is generally accurate. If we've got a headache, they've got a painkiller for us. If we've got a runny nose, they've got an antihistamine. natural health practitioners prefer to go a little further down the causal chain and treat things such as liver detoxification and supporting the adrenal glands. Although this is a big step in the right direction, often we still haven't arrived at the heart of the matter. rebellion against God's guidelines for living or sin is what ultimately causes all disease. The short answer for why do believers get sick is that this is not Eden. And we live in a sinful fallen world. scholars agree that Adam and Eve were created to live forever in the Garden of Eden. Death was not part of God's original design. When Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God's instructions, that were designed to protect them by the way, their bodies started aging and death became inevitable. But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat in the day that you eat from it, you will surely die. Genesis 2:17. Therefore, the ultimate route for all sickness and disease is sin. The word sin is taken from the sport of archery. It literally means to miss the bull's eye, picture and arrow on its way to the target in hitting the ground 10 feet short. When we sin, we come up short of God's ideal design for our lives. Now, please don't misunderstand me. Let me be clear on this. I'm not saying that when we're sick, God is punishing us by sending disease our way. We may have done so. Right, but because we're living in a fallen state in this imperfect world, we may get sick. Sometimes, sickness and illness just happens. We're all getting older and our systems and our resistance to illness will degrade and deteriorate. Not only that, we're exposed to 10s of 1000s of toxins on a daily basis, we have to deal with things like electromagnetic frequencies emfs from cell phones and Wi Fi routers and buildings and homes and all kinds of unhealthy things we're exposed to sometimes will overwhelm our systems and bring on illness. We've got to deal with that.
David Sandstrom 5:40
My approach to health is based in nature, apathy, Dawn's natural design, is that we try to minimize the harmful health blocking factors, and maximize the beneficial health enhancing factors, we should be striving to not let anything that is within our control, bring us harm that God would prefer to spare us from. We can't guarantee health, but we should strive to maximize our health potential. That's why I say at the beginning of each episode, that this podcast is all about maximizing our health potential in spirit, mind and body so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. And of course, in this series, I'm trying to drill down and clarify what it means to maximize our spiritual health potential. You may be wondering when I'm going to get to the specifics of what exactly that looks like, we're getting there. But I've got to set the stage properly. In this episode, as well as the next we're going to be continuing to lay the groundwork so that you can appreciate the specific recommendations that I'm gonna make in a future episode. So don't worry, we'll get there. It's also important to understand that I'm not saying that we work our way into right standing with God, and he's somehow obligated to grant us health and well being. That's not the case. Neither am I saying that Satan inflicts disease on us at will. God has put limits on Satan's abilities, but he's not happy about our move toward wellness. And we're going to have more on the spiritual warfare aspect to health and wellness in the next episode.
David Sandstrom 7:19
What I am saying is that more righteousness produces more fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Galatians 5:23. The fruit of the Spirit, especially love, joy and peace, are all health promoting. It's a simple cause and effect relationship. When our spirit is in alignment and connected to the Spirit of God, we experience more peace. And remember, when we're in a peaceful state, the rest and digest side of our autonomic nervous systems is dominant. And it's that parasympathetic dominance, that we should be spending more time and because in that state, our bodies are much more efficient at housekeeping activities like immune function, detoxification, cellular repair and recycling old cells, creating new ones. This is what keeps us healthy, youthful and strong. And this is why the spiritual component to health is so important. Because God is omniscient, all knowing, and his love for us is relentless. His instructions or guidelines are designed with our well being in mind. This is why God desires righteousness or holiness in our lives. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean. Remove the evil of your deeds from my sight, cease to do evil. Isaiah 1:16. be wholly yourselves also in all your behavior. First Peter, 1:15 and 16. Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Second Corinthians seven one, but prove yourselves doers of the word and not merely hearers who delude themselves. James 1:22. When we fail to follow God's guidelines for living, we're in sin. We're all in the same boat. As long as we're walking on this earth, we cannot completely eliminate or eradicate our participation with sin. Jesus is the only person in history to live a sinless life. I'm not advocating perfection or sinless living which is impossible. What I am promoting is we trust in God's goodness, and surrender all that we can to him. We should seek to remove anything within our control that may be inhibiting our health and well being. Remember the concept of total body load we talked about in Episode 53. If you haven't listened to that episode, just let me give you a quick review. We can think of health as a two by four straddled across As a couple of sawhorses, if I stack bricks on top of my two by four can handle a few bricks, no problem. But if I keep stacking bricks, we're going to reach a point where one more brick in a two by four will snap. Well, that can be thought of as when we experienced some kind of disease, some kind of a health crisis. Now, here's the big point when it comes to the spiritual components of health. The sins we're holding on to end up being blocking factors to our health and well being or bricks on our two by four. Sins such as persistent anger or resentment, or envy and jealousy, are stress producing, and serve as bricks on our two by four contributing to our total body load. The more areas of our lives, we can surrender to God, the better off we'll be, we'll have more on surrendering to God's goodness later in the series.
David Sandstrom 10:54
Our obedience to His Word is not for God's sake, but for our own benefit. This is a principle we can derive from Scripture. When we heed God's instructions or recommendations, we enjoy his protections, Deuteronomy 28 two. Alternatively, when we fail to follow his teachings, we forfeit those protections, Deuteronomy 28:15 No, we don't live by the law anymore. However, we can extract principles from it. We need to recognize that we have limits. God is sovereign and in control. However, when it comes to our health, we cannot afford to be passive. Now I'm sure that someone in the natural nation is saving themselves right now. But wait a minute, Dave, my sins have been forgiven? Haven't you ever read the book of Psalm? As far as the east is from the west? so far? Has he removed our transgressions from us? Psalm 103:12? Yes, if we've acknowledged Christ as Savior, and Lord, our sins have been forgiven, and we're on our way to heaven. But that doesn't mean we're exempt from sins consequences here on Earth. Or you might be saying, well, Dave, I believe in prayer. Doesn't the Bible tell us that if we're sick, we can go to the elders of our church, and they'll pray over us and we can be healed? Yes, it does. Is anyone among us sick, then he must call for the elders of the church. And they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who was sick. James 5:14. That's the first half of verse 15. On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward. But we got to be careful with our interpretation of Scripture and consider the context.
David Sandstrom 12:42
God is not a genie in a bottle, just waiting to grant our every desire. If that were the case, all Christians would be in perfect health, millionaires. Living in big houses with all the toys and luxuries this world can offer. People will be coming to Christ for the perks. The Bible teaches that we should embrace faith in Christ because he's the only one worthy of our worship. And the passage I just read from James, we've got to continue reading is what the rest of that passage says. And the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. So that kind of sheds a new light on this whole James chapter five passage. According to this passage, healing from sickness is conditional. confession, repentance, and forgiveness must precede healing. We cannot expect to rely on greasy grace and just live our lives any way we see fit and expect God's blessings. Another point we've got to understand about James five is it's descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, we can't use this verse to manipulate God into granting us healing. We're talking about a principle here. Because of God's great love. He cares about our suffering, but he cannot condone sinful rebellion to his word.
David Sandstrom 14:20
God has made his blessings available. blessing to be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. Ephesians one, three and four. Here again, we have blessings connected to an admonition toward holiness. If we're gonna enjoy a comfortable, warm shower, we've got to step inside. If we stand outside, we don't experience the comfort the shower provides. In the same way, when we're out of God's instructions, or his guidelines, we prevent the blessings he's ready to lavish us with. Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save, nor his ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he does not hear Isaiah 59, one and two. Again, enjoying God's blessings is often conditional. No one executes perfectly. However, the principle is this, to enjoy the health protective blessings from knowing Christ that we talked about in the last episode. Remember the study I referenced where people of faith experienced a 33% reduction in the risk for heart disease and cancer. To maximize that health building effect, we must be obedient to his clear teachings. For your namesake, oh Lord, pardon my iniquity for it is great. Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose? His soul will abide and prosperity and his descendants will inherit the land? Psalm 25, verses 11 through 13. There it is, again, did you hear the condition that precedes prosperity? Pay careful attention to the progression of this passage. First, there's repentance and forgiveness, pardon my iniquity for it is great. So it comes into agreement with God about his sin, and he asked for forgiveness. Then we see holy fear with the Lord, leading to obedience. Who is the man who fears the Lord, He will instruct him in the way he should choose? right choices or right living righteousness. Finally, we see well being his soul will abide in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. If we're an open rebellion to God's word, praying for healing is putting the cart before the horse. Before we can expect answered prayer for healing. We must be doers of his word James 1:22. God desires righteousness for all of us.
David Sandstrom 17:18
The key to getting our prayers answered, is being in alignment with God's will. If we pray according to His will, we should expect to see those prayers answered and answered quickly because that's exactly what God wants for our lives. God's will for all of us is that we embrace righteous living. being aligned with God's will is what it means to pray in Jesus name. When we end our prayers with In Jesus name, amen. What we're in effect saying is, I welcome the will of God in my life. May it be so if we want our prayers to be in Jesus name, we must embrace righteousness. We have more clear teaching on this principle. If we desire, prosperity and success, we must first be obedient to the Word of God. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night. So they may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua one eight, we've got to pay attention to the IF THENs in the Bible. Here we see familiarity with the Word of God leading to obedience, which paves the way for prosperity and success. I would suggest that prosperity and success include health and wellness. In the book of Proverbs, we see a similar teaching even more clearly connecting obedience to the Word of God with bodily health, my son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your site, keep them in the midst of your heart, for they are life to those who find them in health to all their body. Proverbs 4:23-22. In the Old Testament, this principle is referred to as blessing and cursing. In the New Testament, it's called sowing and reaping. The late Dr. Henry Wright, senior pastor of hope of the generations church in Thomaston, Georgia, and author of the book a more excellent way, put it this way. Sometimes we Christians are so busy putting Jesus paint on that we forget to remove the rust first. We can't simply pray for healing and expect God to remove all the consequences of our poor choices. If we pursue righteousness and are willing to surrender all aspects of our lives to God, that we can expect blessings to follow.
David Sandstrom 17:29
Now this is not name it and claim it theology. This is merely a principle. Name it and claim it puts us in charge in attempts to make God perform for us like a circus animal. What I'm advocating is the antithesis or the direct opposite to name it and claim it. We can't paint God into a corner. He's in control. And there are no guarantees, but God wants us to walk and vibrant health. As a result, his commands are packed with protections for our health and well being. If we fail to trust God in everything, and we hold out on surrendering certain aspects of our lives, then we forfeit God's protections and we assume the consequences of our choices. Now, I'm aware that this all may seem a bit esoteric or limited to a select few. This is really apply to to the average Joe. When we consider the spirit Mind Body connection, it all makes perfect sense.
David Sandstrom 20:52
We must consider the hierarchy to our trichotomy nature. Our spirits are to submit to God, our minds submit to our spirits. Our minds direct our brains and our brains direct our bodies. obedience to God born out of grateful hearts, leads to more peace in the spirit and spiritual peace leads to more health promoting thoughts, right thoughts produce better instructions for our brains, in our brains direct our bodily functions. So do you see how that works? Isn't it really cool the way God made us?
David Sandstrom 21:30
So why is God sometimes not so quick to answer our prayers for healing, because he's more interested in our holiness than our comfort. Let me give you an extreme example. for illustration purposes, sometimes it helps to go to the extremes just for illustration. Let's say there's a married man who sees women as objects to gratify his sensuual desires. He's addicted to porn. He regularly visit strip clubs and sometimes spends nights with prostitutes. He has no intention of changing any of this behavior because he believes God wants him to be happy. With this warped view of the opposite sex, it's no wonder his marriage is on the brink of divorce. This man goes to the elders of his church and claims James chapter five, and ask them to pray that God would bless and save his marriage. Do you think God would rush to perform a miracle and grant him a great marriage? Why not? Because there is no willingness on his part to repent and change his behavior. Now, what if this same guy gave up on the idea of asking for the elders to pray for him. Instead, he came to his senses, and confessed his wrongdoing. He showed genuine contrition and told his wife that, based on his behavior, he completely understood if she wanted to leave him. Nevertheless, if she could find it in her heart to forgive, he's willing to do whatever it takes to show her that he's indeed a new man committed to fidelity and putting her needs, wants and desires above his own. Do you think this guy would stand a better chance of saving his marriage? Of course he would. This doesn't remove God from the outcome. In fact, God gets the credit because he's the one that provided the solution in His Word. The truth will set us free john 8:32, but only if it's applied. The same is true with us when it comes to our health. If we're living in open rebellion to God's word, then we forfeit his protections. And we open ourselves up to the consequences of our choices.
David Sandstrom 23:43
We can trust the goodness of God, again, because of his great love. He never asked us to do something that's not for our benefit. And he never tells us to avoid something that's not for our protection. You can take those two thruths to the bank. as followers of Christ, our sins have been forgiven, past, present and future. Our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and we're on our way to heaven. But that doesn't mean we're exempt from the consequences of our poor choices here on earth. Sometimes those consequences include compromised health. Now, I know some people have trouble with this concept. So here's a couple more scriptures connecting righteousness to physical health. There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation. There is no health in my bones because of my sin. Psalm 38:3, do not be wise in your own eyes. fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones. Proverbs three, seven and eight. I didn't make this stuff up, folks. I just read it. I just discovered it and that's that that's the nature of all truth. His truth exists beyond David's opinions. It was here before I got here before I showed up in the scene and it's got to be here after I'm gone. The nature of truth is that the source of it comes from something outside of ourselves. And it applies for all times, for all people, in all places. That's what we're reading here in the scriptures. Here's another verse. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of a life that now is, and of that which is to come. First Timothy four, eight, my son, do not forget my law. But let your heart keep my commandments. For length of days, and long life and peace they will add to you. Proverbs three, one and two. bless the Lord, oh, my soul, and forget none of his benefits, who pardons all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeemed your life from the pit, who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion, who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle, Psalm 103-2, through five. Again, I've got to point out that in this passage I just read from Psalm 103. We must have our iniquities pardoned, before our diseases are healed. Pay attention to the order. Jesus Himself attach sinfulness to sickness. After Jesus healed the man in the Bethesda pool, he said to him, behold, you have become well, do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you. John chapter five, verse 14.
David Sandstrom 26:49
Now we're all imperfect. If we want to maximize our health potential by addressing the spiritual aspect of our health, then pursuing righteousness or right living becomes paramount. Notice I said pursuing, not attaining. We're all imperfect. But perfection is not necessary to nurture our spirit. All that required to address a spiritual component to health is a heart desires to follow after God. The Jewish patriarch King David was far from perfect. his sins included adultery and murder. However, God called him quote, a man after my heart, who will do all my will. Act 13:22. David desired to do the will of God. He believed in God's goodness, and wanted to surrender to that goodness, we should model that surrender, it will be good for our health. sinless perfection is not attainable. Neither is perfection of physical health. We're all headed to the same place. King David died. I've stood before his tomb in Jerusalem. Our lives here on Earth are finite. God has appointed each of us a day to die, Hebrews 9:27 Our bodies are wearing out, and one day they will fail. I contend that we should do everything in our power to maximize our health potential before that day comes. Embracing righteousness is a choice we can all make.
David Sandstrom 28:18
We all have areas of our lives we haven't completely surrendered to God. Put me first in line here. If we really care about our health and well being we'll humble ourselves before our Almighty God and surrender to His goodness. Again, holiness produces more fruit of the Spirit. spiritual fruit like love, joy, peace, are all health promoting. This may seem difficult, but I can assure you, going through life with compromised health is far more difficult than making the necessary changes to embrace a holistic lifestyle. When we commit to following after God and doing things his way, Satan is not happy, and he doesn't go down without a fight. The next episode, I'm going to explain spiritual warfare as it pertains to righteousness, right living and our health and well being.
David Sandstrom 29:13
Now, that was a lot. Again, it was a mouthful. So let me summarize. The ultimate root of all sickness and disease is sin. We're falling short of God's ideal design. The Bible does promote health, but many of the principles are conditional. Our sins may be forgiven, but we're not exempt from the consequences of our choices. God is sovereign, and we need to acknowledge our limits. However, we should strive to remove all blocking factors to our health and well being an effective way to address the spiritual aspect of health is through the pursuit of righteousness. Okay, again, I'm going to remind you, you're not likely to hear this message preached from the pulpit on Sunday morning at your local church. And you're not very likely to read in a book anywhere either accepted to pick up my book the Christians guide holistic health. So if you know someone that you think may benefit from this information, would you tell them about the podcast? I would appreciate you helping me spread the word. Share this episode on social media. You can do that by going to my website, DavidSandstrom.com. This is episode number 56. On the show notes page, there's some social media share buttons at the bottom of the page, share it with your friends, I believe they'll thank you for it. I think that's about enough. For now, more, go to DavidSandstrom.com. in the show notes for each episode, you'll find links to all the resources that were mentioned, as well as a full transcript with timestamps that you can download for free. In addition, I always include a content upgrade with each show, which is a free download that is designed to help you go deeper with that subject. Once again, thank you for listening, and I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed