Pursuing righteousness or right living is not only good for our spiritual health, but it has a strong connection to our physical health and well-being as well.
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David Sandstrom 0:00
Here's a sample of what you'll hear on this episode of natural health matters. If something is true, it's always true. Contrary to popular belief, if something is true, then it's true for all people, for all places for all times, my feelings or my opinion, have nothing to do with whether or not something is true. Welcome to the Natural Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential, so that you could pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor, and Biblical Health Coach. And this is episode number 64.
David Sandstrom 0:44
This is Part ten in our series on the spiritual component to health. In this episode, we're going to be talking about why we should be obedient to the Word of God. It's my contention, that we maximize our health potential. by aligning our lives more fully with God's natural design for our spirit, mind and body. Then the questions arise, what is God's natural design? And how do we align with it? Also, what happens if we don't align ourselves with that design? Well, that's what this podcast is about. And I want to shed some light on those questions in this episode. If we were to sum up the spiritual component to health, it's this pursue relationships, and righteousness, the spiritual component to Health is all about our loving relationship with God, our loving relationships with one another in how well we love ourselves. In this episode, we're going to focus on obedience to the Word of God. Because doing what God says, is part of our loving relationship with him, not just doing it because the Bible says so. That's for kids in Sunday school, you're adults, you the Natural Nation, are adults, and I want to treat you like adults. Early on in my career as a pilot, I was a flight instructor. Now, a good flight instructor knows that there's more to teaching students than just filling their heads with knowledge and information. I learned that I also needed to provide some motivation as well. adults need to know why they should be doing a certain thing. That way, they're more motivated to study and prepare, and they retain what they've learned much better. adults want to know why, what's the benefit? You might have heard the phrase WIIFM? What's in it for me? That's what adults want to know.
David Sandstrom 2:35
You want to know why we should be obedient to the Word of God? Yes, it's evidence of our spiritual maturity. But that's not why we should obey. We should obey because we're designed to be connected to the source of ultimate truth, and that is God Himself. When we do that, well, it's health promoting. Now, I want to unpack this concept a little bit about what it means to be more fully aligned with God's natural design. aligning our lives with God's design is about embracing truth. In our society today, truth has become something that's relative or situational. But that's not a new concept. It may seem like it, but it's not the truth has been under attack for a very long time. Back in the Garden of Eden, Satan said to Eve, Did God really say? In other words, is that true? Jesus said to the woman at the well, that God the Father is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. When Jesus was going through the mock trial that led to his crucifixion, he told Pontius Pilate, that he came to testify to the truth. And Pilate asked that age old question, what is truth? That's a good question. God's designed for our lives is what's right and true. This begs the question, what makes something true or what makes something right or wrong? For instance, if I would ask you, is stealing wrong? What would you say? Most people would say, yes, stealing is wrong. But what makes it wrong? Some people might say, well, stealing is wrong because it hurts people. That can be the consequence of theft . But that's not what makes it wrong. Someone else might say, well, stealing is wrong because the Bible says so. I used to think that myself, but that's not right either. The fact that the Bible says do not steal, is not what makes it wrong. The Bible declares stealing is wrong because it is wrong. So what makes something right or wrong? What makes something right or wrong, is whether or not it's consistent with the nature character of God. Adultery is wrong because God is faithful. Hatred is wrong because God is love. Murder is wrong because God is the author of life. Lying is wrong because God is true. This is what's referred to as natural law. Now some people get confused on the concept with natural law as well. Natural Law is not man's collective wisdom apart from God. Natural Law is God's created order. It's simply the way things are. If a carpenter would have built a table, when he got done, his fingerprints would be all over it. In the same fashion. When God created the universe as we know it, his fingerprints or, more specifically, his nature and character, were written all over it. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. God's way, His truth and his life are what we're after in our pursuit of natural and holistic health. There's a lot of things that divide our culture today, whether or not to get vaccinated, mask wearing skin color, focusing on what makes us different, brings division and strife. The one thing that should always bring unity is ultimate truth. And I believe that's the answer to what ails our society today is if people would understand and embrace the truth. I believe that there is such a thing as ultimate truth. Since God is unchanging, he's the same yesterday, today and forever, in his created order, reflects his eternal nature. If something is true, it's always true. Contrary to popular belief, if something is true, then it's true for all people, for all places, for all times, my feelings or my opinion, have nothing to do with whether or not something is true.
David Sandstrom 7:07
Now, why am I taking the time to go into this kind of detail? You might be saying, I thought this was a podcast about health. What does this have to do with health? Hang in there with me. Jesus said, I'm the vine, and you are the branches. What's the purpose of a branch to bear fruit? We're told that God the Holy Spirit will convict us of all unrighteousness when we're filled with the Holy Spirit, we exude more fruit of the Spirit. Galatians chapter five. Love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control. All the fruit of the Spirit, our health promoting, when we're filled with the Holy Spirit, we make right choices, then we enjoy more peace and in our pursuit of health. It's peace we're after, not stress. Proverbs 14:30 says a tranquil heart is life to the body. But stress is rottenness to the bones. In this episode, we're going to focus on righteousness or holy living. I contend, then, when it comes to our health, the more areas of our lives, we can surrender to God, the better off we'll be. Doing things God's way reduces stress, and brings a supernatural peace. Now, please understand, no one executes perfectly including myself. But the more things we can surrender to God, the better off we're going to be. John, Chapter 14, verse 23, says this, Jesus speaking, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him. And we will come into him and make our home with him." And then in verse 25, "These things is spoken to you while being present with you, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you, do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." So you see how this works. We love God. As a result, we want to obey Him. And when we act on his clear instructions, God makes his home with us or we draw more near to God and he sends His Holy Spirit to fill us. And that presence of that spiritual presence brings us a supernatural peace, and that peace is beneficial to our health. Furthermore, through the mind body connection, our bodies receive a benefit when we have thoughts and beliefs based on biblical truths. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as a man thinks in his heart. So is he. With that in mind, we tie in Philippians 4:8 that says, "Finally my brother's, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just in pure, whatever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." Who is the true, noble, pure, trustworthy and lovely one, but God Himself, when we draw closer to God, it brings health in spirit, mind and body, because our spirit directs our minds, our minds direct our brains, and our brains run our bodies. Isn't that cool? how that works. So it all starts in the spirit. And that's why we're taking the time to go through the spiritual component to help slowly and deliberately so that we can really bring this point home.
David Sandstrom 11:00
So it's not about earning his benefits or being good enough. Supernatural peace is the natural outcome to doing things God's way. The flip side of this truth is, when we fail to do things God's way, we forfeit his protections. In other words, there's a connection between righteousness and health. This is the answer to the question of what happens if we don't align our lives with God's design. If we don't do this well, and we don't do things God's way. Well, we're on our own. And we may suffer consequences. Not always. We're talking about principles here, there are no guarantees. The point is, sin can and does cause disease. When I say that, I frequently get some strange looks, or sometimes even some real pushback from my Christian friends. Frankly, I don't understand that response because the Bible clearly teaches this concept. "Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear of the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones." That's proverbs 3, seven and eight. "My son, give attention to my words, incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight. Keep them in the midst of your heart, for their life to those who find them, and health to all their body." That's proverbs 4:20-22.
David Sandstrom 12:37
Yes, if Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives, our sins are forgiven, and we have eternal life. We've passed from death to life. However, this doesn't mean that we're immune from the consequences of our sins here on Earth. When I say consequences, I'm talking about the natural default outcome from making poor choices. I'm not talking about God imposing a payback or punishing us for our poor choices. God's not angry when we sin. He's disappointed because he knows it's not what's best for us. It pains his heart to see his children participating in self sabotaging behavior. God wants to see us spared from trouble and would never unilaterally impose suffering. God wants to see us thrive. loving parents would never intentionally inflict pain and suffering on their children. In the same way, God is not some angry tyrant just waiting for us to slip up so that he can inflict punishment and make us pay for what we've done in a form of sickness or disease. He's a loving father that wants what's best for his children. God doesn't send illness our way. On the contrary, God says he's our healer. Exodus 15:26.
David Sandstrom 13:59
Vibrant health and vitality are useful for all endeavors in life. Whatever we choose to do, we're more effective when we're enjoying good health. We know that God is for us and not against us. In fact, God desires that we be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Second Timothy 3:17. If health and wellness help us to accomplish our missions here on Earth, why would God send disease our way? The fact is, he doesn't. God prefers to spare us from illness. Dr. Henry Wright, author of the book a more excellent way puts it this way. It's not God's perfect will to heal you. His perfect will is that you don't get sick in the first place. When we embrace righteousness, it's good for our health in order to effectively pursue a holy life, we've got to settle the issue of God's goodness. Otherwise, we're vulnerable to distortions about God's intentions towards us. If we don't have faith in God's intentions, we'll be tempted to ignore his instructions or his guidelines for living. We need to get this right. Satan has been lying about God's intention since the beginning. He told Adam and Eve that God was a liar and he was holding out on them. Genesis chapter 3. uses the same tactic against us. In the New Testament, Second Corinthians chapter 11, verse 13, another amazing verse. "But I'm afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray." A complimentary verse is in 2 Timothy chapter two verses 25 and 26. "Perhaps God may grant them repentance, leading to the knowledge of the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escaped the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do His will." When God gives us an exhortation, he has our best interests in mind. He's not some cosmic killjoy restricting our freedoms and limiting our joy and fulfillment. On the contrary, God wants us to have life abundant. His instructions revealed in the holy scriptures were given with our well being in mind. God's commands or guidelines act as spiritual guardrails, keeping us from falling off the precipice. Webster's defines precipice as a point where danger, trouble or difficulty begins. We can maintain a safe distance from these hazards by doing things God's way.
David Sandstrom 16:38
You might be saying, Well, what about the wrath of God Bible talks about the wrath of God. Many people get confused with the phrase the wrath of God. God's wrath is explained for us in the first chapter of the book of Romans. Quote, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness. of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness." That's Romans 1, verse 8. We experienced the wrath of God, when we suppress the truth in unrighteousness. When we choose to ignore God's truths, we may suffer as a result that could be in a physical way. Danger, trouble and difficulty are quietly waiting for us at the end of our poor choices. Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Pointe Church in Alpharetta, Georgia calls this the principle of the path even wrote a book by the same title. The principle is this. The choices we make and the paths we've chosen, determine where we are in life. God's preference is that we choose wisely. However he treats us as responsible adults and allows us the freedom to choose. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing therefore, choose life that both you and your descendants we live." That's Deuteronomy chapter 30, verse 19. God doesn't impose suffering when we slip up. He honors our freewill by allowing us to make our own choices. Sometimes our choices bring us harm. That is what the Bible calls the wrath of God. This is seen repeatedly in Romans chapter one, referring to sinful behavior not once, not twice, but three times we see the phrase God gave them over. "Therefore, God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them." Romans 1:24 "God gave them over to degrading passions." Verse 26, "God gave them over to deprived minds to do those things which are not proper." That's verse 28. When God gives us over to our sinful choices, he's honoring our freedom, even when our free will decisions bring us harm. If we ignore God's truth long enough, it's hazardous to our health. consequences are our default setting. Darkness doesn't have to be created. Darkness is there by default, and it's removed by light. Without light, the environment by default returns to darkness. In the same fashion, the consequences of sin or unrighteousness, are naturally there by default. It's the natural order of things which brings us right back to God's natural design. "When sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." That's James 1:15. When we choose unrighteousness, or disobedience, God may simply allow us to feel the consequences of our choices. Not always, but sometimes he spares us the consequences. However, the wrath of God is simply God's seeing us, okay, every your way. I'm telling you, you're not gonna like it. But you're free to choose. When we choose poorly and suffer consequences, God's not laughing at our calamity. It breaks his heart.
David Sandstrom 20:15
Jesus suffered when God the Father for our sakes, motivated by love, in agonizing fashion, temporarily turned his back on him. When Jesus was hanging on the cross bearing the sins of the world, he cried out, oh, my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? That's Matthew 27"46. For the first time in history, God the Father, and Jesus, the son, were not connected. The father didn't have to inflict punishment on Jesus, the devastating consequences of the sins of the world were waiting for him, not because he deserved it, but because he volunteered for the mission. And the natural outcome or consequences of sin is death. God the father wasn't angry or being vengeful with Jesus, obviously. To rescue us. He allowed the consequences of our sin to rest on him so that we could be saved. God never turns his back on us. We're the ones that turn our backs on God through our disobedience. God always desires that for our benefit. We're repent, return to him.
David Sandstrom 21:26
And don't you just thank God for His patience, his unending patience with us when we slip up? He's always there, standing ready to forgive. He's truly our loving father. We see this concept clearly illustrated in the parable of the prodigal son. When the prodigal son came to the end of his rope, and he was feeling the pain of his chosen lifestyle. He was experiencing the natural consequences of his choices. He was under the wrath of God. While this son was off spending his inheritance on loose living, his father wasn't mad or upset. He was heartbroken. The father in this story is a picture of God the Father. We demonstrate our love for God by doing what he says. Jesus said, If you love me, you will keep my commandments as john 14:15. Because love must be freely given. God preserves our liberty and our right to choose. God would not force us to love him, nor would he force us to obey Him. We must exercise our freewill and want to follow him. That's true love. The cool thing is when we do we enjoy his protections, and that is good for our health.
David Sandstrom 22:44
Often when it comes to health, there's a simple cause and effect relationship at work. We really do reap what we sow. If we spend too much time in the sun, the natural outcome could be a sunburn. If we've been chained smoking for 50 years, the predictable outcome could be lung cancer. God admonishes us to love one another. don't worship idols. Don't lie. Don't steal, don't covet. Don't hold on to anger. Embrace humility, be quick to forgive, be generous and kind to others. That natural default outcome to these appeals is relational peace, and improved health. If we want to maximize our health potential, we do well to pay attention to God's clear admonitions. The bottom line is this. We should trust in God's goodness, believe what he says and follow him. When we do, it will be beneficial to our health. Ephesians 5:8 says, "For you were formerly darkness. But now you are light in the Lord walk as children of light." Alright, that was a lot. So let's summarize. Firstly, we need to settle the issue of God's goodness and his intentions toward us. God always wants what's best for his children. We should strive to choose what's good and right. What makes something right or wrong is whether or not it's consistent with the nature and character of God. The Bible teaches that righteousness or right living is connected to physical well being. God doesn't bring calamity. When we sin, painful consequences are waiting for us as the default setting because we have free will. God sometimes lets us feel the pain of our sinful choices. There is a cause and effect relationship to righteousness and health. We honestly do reap what we sow. Through the mind body connection, sinful thoughts and behaviors can become blocking factors to our health. Well, I think that's enough for this episode. If you're enjoying the podcast, I sure would appreciate it if you'd tell your friends This is life giving information you'll be doing your friends a favor. Now bet they'll Thank you. If you tell them about this series on the spiritual component to help 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