Hosea 4:6 declares that “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.”
Each year, statistics show that disease and illness are at record numbers. Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes ranked as the top killers of the world. Millions of dollars are spent to treat these illnesses and to eradicate their roots. When disease strikes Christians, we look for tools to strengthen our faith and claim healing. Numerous scriptures attest to God’s desire and power to heal us and we know from the Bible that healing was a huge part of His ministry. However, with all the knowledge that we have today regarding health, nutrition, and spirituality, shouldn’t our focus be more on prevention? Besides it is cheaper and more practical than spending many days in the bed, not to forget the huge hospital bill.
Although God offers healing, we can prevent many illnesses with some simple lifestyle changes.
Watch What You Eat
Last week I spent the night at a friend’s home who lives out of town. When I arrived, my friend had made me dinner. I took one bite to show my appreciation for her generosity but I couldn’t eat anymore. My friend had made spaghetti with white noodles, canned spaghetti sauce, and hotdogs. Oh, and there was some French bread too. Although I do use canned spaghetti sauce on occasion, I only eat whole grain noodles and haven’t eaten hotdogs in years. As I browsed through my friend’s refrigerator and cabinets, she had absolutely nothing I would want to put in my body even through her pantry was full of food, or stuff that looked like food. Almost everything I laid eyes on was processed from fruit drinks and boxed scalloped potatoes to hamburger helper. This isn’t real food and it doesn’t provide our body with the nourishment it needs. In fact, this kind of diet can only make us ill. As much as possible, eliminate all processed foods from your diet- that means almost anything that doesn’t require refrigeration, comes in a box, or has ingredients on the labels that we’ve never heard of before. Next, buy organic fruits and vegetables that are in season by shopping at your local health food store or farmer’s market. You can even buy organic meats that are not full of hormones. There is nothing better you can do to stay healthy than to eat fresh, organic, and whole foods. Consider becoming a nutritarian, 90% of your diet consist of plant based foods, nuts, and beans.
Movement creates momentum. Movement stirs up what is stagnate. Movement releases those hormones in your body that promote well-being. Movement reduces depression. In fact, in a study of 156 clinically depressed people, they found that 30 minutes of exercise three times per week was more effective at lifting depression than the antidepressant Zoloft. (Source: Walking by Faith by Christian Fitness Guru Leslie Sansone). It’s important to include some form of exercise in your day. It can be as simple as a 30-minute walk to a vigorous workout.
Even God Rested
One day out of the week must be devoted to rest, fellowship, and time with God. Your Sabbath can be any day of the week you designate. For many Christians it will be Sunday or if you happen to be a 7th Day Adventist, Saturday. This is your day of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. In Genesis, God worked six days to create the earth and on the seventh day he rested. If our midnight oils never stop burning, we will experience burn out. Your Sabbath should include some time of silence and reflection of the previous past week. This is an excellent time to journal. Try to spend time with family or friends. Break bread together. Take your family to the park for a picnic. If you are single, find four or more friends and several Sunday per month (if that is your Sabbath day), rotate to each other’s home for dinner, a great movie, or to play board games. Lastly, enjoy yourself, and just have fun. You may attend church service to worship God collectively, but if you have to spend your entire day at church, designate a different day for your Sabbath. Spending all day in church services is more like going to work than rest.
Watch Your Thoughts
In Hosea, God said that my people are destroyed by lack of knowledge. When we abuse our body and mind, it’s going to take a toll on our health. If we harbor negativity, unforgiveness, anger, fear or hatred, it will affect our body chemistry. Destructive thoughts and emotions can release unhealthy substances in our body that will lower our immune system and make us vulnerable to illnesses over time. Possessing a positive mental attitude is one of our responsibilities to maintaining good health. Through daily Christian meditation, believers can learn to quiet their mind and take authority over negative and fear-based thinking. Christ-centered meditation also purifies our heart and mind so that we can embrace God’s word in a greater way.
God told us not to be ignorant but to live as children of the light. It means that God wants us to use His word and knowledge not only for healing but to prevent disease in the first place by maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes eating nutritious foods, doing regular exercise, maintaining a healthy mind, and a purified spirit.