This episode is part 17 in our series on the spiritual component of health. Turning away from secret sins that are blocking factors to our health is easier said than done. I share a few tips that I've found helpful over the years.
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David Sandstrom 0:00
Here's a sample of what you'll hear on this episode of Natural Health Matters. I hope that by now I've convinced you that embracing righteousness to improve our health and well being is a topic worth exploring. I'm guessing that that may even be some areas of your life that you're trying to work on already. But if your journey is anything like mine, sometimes that's easier said than done. We've all got areas in our lives that we haven't fully surrendered to God yet, we know we should let go of some of those things. But the process of letting go and making real lasting change is difficult. 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 71.
David Sandstrom 0:59
This episode is part 17. In our series on the spiritual component of health, we're getting close to wrapping up on the series. Next week, we'll be talking about purpose and calling. But for today, our topic is walking in freedom. We've been going through some of the secret sins that can become blocking factors to our health and well being. Now we should pursue righteousness out of grateful hearts because of what Jesus Christ has done for us, and the mercy and forgiveness that's been offered to us. Nevertheless, we're talking about the side effects or the byproducts of pursuing righteousness, and how that impacts our health and well being. The secondary benefits to pursuing righteousness or right living is what makes us more whole. You know, in many ways, pursuing natural and holistic health is less about health and more about pursuing personal development in all areas of our lives. The Bible teaches in First Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 23, that there's three parts to a human being, we are spirit, we have a mind, and we live in a body. And God wants to help us in all three areas. Many people in the natural nation are familiar with the verse from Third John chapter one where it says, Above all else, I pray that you be in good health. Well, that passage is not only referring to physical health, but health in spirit and mind as well. The apostle John is writing to his good friend Gaius, and this is what he says, "Beloved, I pray that in all respects, you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and testify to your truth. That is how you are walking it truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." That's 3 John, chapter 1, verses 2 through 4. Notice the progression of this passage. First, he says, Be in good health or health and body, then, just as your soul prospers, health in mind, and then you are walking in truth, or righteousness, which is health and spirit. So the point is this. More wholeness, brings more health, in more health, brings more wholeness. I hope that by now I've convinced you that embracing righteousness to improve our health and well being is a topic worth exploring. I'm guessing that that may even be some areas of your life that you're trying to work on already. But if your journey is anything like mine, sometimes that's easier said than done. We've all got areas in our lives that we haven't fully surrendered to God yet, we know we should let go of some of those things. But the process of letting go and making real lasting change is difficult. I'd like to shed some light on some of the things I've found useful over the years. The first thing is, make sure the target is in focus. If we want to reach an important goal, it's important to define specifically what that goal is, so that we know what success looks like, in the same fashion. If we're going to surrender our lives more fully to God. We've got to define what righteousness or right living is. How do we know what's right and what's wrong? What is right living? The answer to those questions lies in understanding the real nature of truth.
David Sandstrom 4:38
Moral relativism is a very popular belief these days. Proponents of moral relativism say that what's right or wrong actually depends on the circumstances. What's right for someone might not be right for someone else and what's wrong in some circumstances, might not be wrong in others. The trouble with that belief is it's like building your house. sinking sand. Matthew 7 verses 24 through 27 says this. "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them, maybe compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house, and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew in slammed against that house. And it fell. And great was its fall." As an airline pilot for the last 35 years, I can tell you, even with GPS navigation, if we don't have true north as a reference, it will be mighty, difficult to fly from one city to the next. When we're making our judgments as to moral or virtuous behavior or what's right and what's wrong. We all need a benchmark, we need a reference point. Otherwise, we could get horribly off course. Here's an important point. If the atheist is right, and there is no God, moral relativism is the best we've got. The fact is, God does exist. He has spoken. He spoken to us through His creation or nature. He spoken to us through His written Word, the Bible. And more importantly, he's spoken through the life and work of his one and only Son Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus Christ, we don't have to guess about right and wrong.
David Sandstrom 6:42
The way we know if something is right or wrong, is whether or not it's consistent with the nature and character of God. murder is wrong because God is the author of life. Hatred is wrong, because God is love. Adultery is wrong because God is faithful. stealing is wrong because God is just. Practicing confession and forgiveness when we've hurt someone is right, because God is relational. Extending a helping hand to those in need is right, because God is generous. You see how this works? Something is not right or wrong because the Bible says so. The Bible says so because it is right or wrong. Now, I need to confess with you. I only got clarity on this in the last year or so when I read the book, free to choose right by Josh McDowell. When I first learned this, I felt robbed. I said, How is it that I've lived on this planet for nearly 60 years, and no one ever told me this? I'll be sure to put a link in the show notes to that book. If you want to pick it up and read is worth it's worth your time. We don't invent truth, we discover it. We mustn't try to turn or twist the truth to make ourselves feel better about our sinful choices. We don't have to like the truth. We do need to acknowledge it and respond accordingly.
David Sandstrom 8:15
Righteous living is our response to God's truth and aligning our lives accordingly. That's why I often say we maximize our health potential when we align our lives more fully with God's natural design for spirit, mind and body, because his design and therefore His admonitions are designed with our health and well being in mind. When we cooperate with our design rather than resist it, we enjoy better health and vitality. If our thoughts, feelings, speech, and actions don't conform to reality, we're the ones that need to change.
David Sandstrom 8:53
Which leads us to the second step in this process. After we've clearly defined what right and wrong are. We need to acknowledge that there's a spiritual battle going on. We've already discussed in a previous episode of how the spiritual kingdom works. That's episode number 57. If you haven't listened to that one, I recommend going back and giving that one a listen. It's very important. Just as a quick refresher, Satan and his demons are fallen angels with every bit of their evil nature intact. They offer up suggestions to our minds. They train us to think, feel, speak and act according to their fallen nature and evil character. It's up to us to take every thought captive 2 Corinthians 10:5. These thoughts may seem like our own but they often do not originate with us. We must compare God's true nature and character to our thought lives. If we can't reconcile a thought or belief with what God would do if he were in our shoes, then it should be rejected. thoughts and ideas lead to actions and those actions have consequences. Of course, knowledge of the Word of God, the Bible is constructive. We should read the word pray, and ask God to illuminate understanding in our hearts and minds. Furthermore, because the Spirit of God will convict us of sin and lead us into all truth, I suggest that we can trust our intuition most of the time. Another way of looking at this is to imagine were walking around with a cartoon thought bubble over our heads that everyone can see. If we wouldn't want our friends, family or co-workers to know the thought we're having, then there's an excellent chance it needs to be rejected. At first, this is going to be difficult. However, understanding that it's for our own good helps with the process.
David Sandstrom 10:52
God loves us too much to tell us to do something that is not for our benefit. He'll never tell us to avoid something that's not for our protection. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. Matthew 11:30. You can take those truths to the back. Remember, God is trustworthy. Just as any loving earthly father wants what's best for his children. Our heavenly Father wants what's best for us to. His knowledge is limitless. He knows us intimately. And he knows the future. He's not trying to kill our fun or be a cosmic killjoy. God's desire is to maximize our joy, contentment, happiness and well being. When we make the choice to surrender to God's goodness, peace will follow. Maybe not immediately, but eventually, the peace of God will track us down and overwhelm us. I promise you, if you take him at his word, and do things his way, you won't regret it.
David Sandstrom 11:56
Lastly, I'd like to share a very useful tool with you. Dr. Henry Wright, Senior Pastor of the Hope of the Generations Church in Thomaston, Georgia, has come up with a super helpful tool to help us with this process of walking in freedom. He calls it the eight R's. Whenever we find ourselves stuck in old, unproductive unrighteousness, commonly referred to as sin, we can use the eight ours to help navigate our way to freedom and wholeness. Here they are. One, recognize, before we can seek to remove an issue, we must recognize that it's a problem. This step is where we see the issue, and it's bad fruit Two, take responsibility. This is where we admit that we've sinned, we're willing to be honest that we did it or it was our choice without blaming others or circumstances. Three, repent. This is where we have a change of heart about the sin and decide to turn away from it. We decide we don't want to live that way anymore. And our thinking is changed to agree with the way God thinks in his word. Four is renounce. In renouncing, we choose to come out of agreement with the sin, we draw a line in the sand and resolve not to do it anymore. Number five is remove. This is where we remove the sin, which frequently is actually a being, a demon, or an evil spirit. We remove it from our lives, we command it to go in Jesus name. Six is resist. Now we resist the temptation to that sin, would take thoughts captive, renew our minds with the word and choose to walk in his ways. Number seven is rejoice. We rejoice in our new freedom and are grateful to God for His goodness, we walk in an attitude of thankfulness and joy continually for what he's done. Lastly, number eight is restore. As we grow in our journey, we have the heart to help others. This is where we make ourselves available to help others see the way out of their issues as we were helped. This is the fruit of the gospel and establishing God's word on this earth. The good news is, we don't have to be perfect. It's a journey in which we grow. And when we make mistakes, we continue to improve. So be gentle with yourself in time of need. Use the eight hours to come back to God for help without guilt or shame.
David Sandstrom 14:34
All right, I know that was a mouthful. So let's summarize. We should pursue righteousness out of grateful hearts. Health in spirit will boost our mental and physical well being. The only way to establish true morality or virtuous behavior is to ask ourselves, Is it consistent with the nature and character of God? We don't invent truth. We discover it. Righteousness is our response to God's truth. Our pursuit of righteousness will always be opposed by the enemy. A useful tool for walking your freedom is the eight R's. The eight hours again are recognize, take responsibility, repent, renounce, remove, resist, rejoice, restore. And I'll be sure to make a downloadable cheat sheet in the show notes of this episode on DavidSandstrom.com/71. So I think that's enough for now. Thanks for listening. I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed