Archives For Health

Possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus is a sobering reality for which we all must prepare ourselves. Careful attention to a striking truth in Ezekiel 14 reveals a vital aspect of how we should prepare to face the possibility of contracting this potentially life-threatening disease.

Divine Revelation concerning Surviving Pestilence Sent by God

In Ezekiel’s day, many of the house of Israel were profoundly unrighteous people (Ezek. 14:1-11). God sent a stern message to Ezekiel that made known profound truth about who would be able to survive His fierce judgments that He would send on an evil land that had sinned against Him “by trespassing grievously” (Ezek. 14:12-20).

God declared that He would judge the sinful land through “four sore judgments” (Ezek. 14:21), including pestilence (Ezek. 14:19-20) that would “cut off from it man and beast” (Ezek. 14:19). In the midst of this grim message, God specified a remarkable truth about what would be the case if three stellar biblical personages (Noah, Daniel, and Job) dwelled in that land in the midst of such a pestilence:

Eze 14:19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast:

20 Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.

Although these godly men would not be able to deliver anyone else, even their own children, by their righteousness, we should not overlook that this statement directly affirms that they would be able to deliver themselves individually from this pestilence “by their righteousness”! In Ezekiel’s day, therefore, God affirmed that some people, if those people were exceptionally righteous people, would be delivered from a pestilence that He would send upon a wicked land.

Moreover, Scripture explicitly reveals that neither Noah (cf. Gen. 9:21) nor Job (Job 42:1-6) was a sinless person and yet they would have survived this pestilence “by their righteousness” had they been in a land that God would judge in that manner. Being a perfect sinless person, therefore, was not a requirement for surviving such a pestilence through one’s own righteousness.

Applying Ezekiel 14:20 to the Present Ebola Threat

Although Ezekiel 14:20 does affirm that Noah, Daniel, and Job would have survived a pestilence that God would send to judge a sinful land, it does not thereby affirm that people who were less righteous than they were would also survive under such circumstances. This observation suggests that a vital aspect of our properly facing the present Ebola threat is that we should strive by God’s grace to be as righteous as possible in each of our own lives individually.1

For those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ as Lord, let us all immediately turn from all unrighteousness in our lives and seek with all our might to please God in all things at all times. Striving wholeheartedly to obey and please God out of love for Him is not “legalism” (cf. Col. 1:10; Heb. 13:21), and doing so will put us in the best position humanly possible in the will of God to survive exposure to Ebola. (Of course, doing so does not negate the importance of our also making every effort possible to prepare for this threat by following proper guidelines for healthy living, etc.)

If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord, I urge you to repent toward God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). To learn more about how you as a sinner (like all the rest of us) can yet be declared righteous by God (after which you would then seek to live righteously before God, even as Noah, Daniel, and Job did), please see my post The Gospel of God and His Christ.


1Although there is no way for any of us to know whether God is using (or will use) Ebola to judge our countries for their evil, as He spoke of doing in Ezekiel 14:19-21, our inability to know this information does not seem to change the applicability of this passage to our circumstances. Even if this passage understood correctly should turn out not to be applicable directly to our situation, seeking to be as righteous as possible before God in our lives would still be a valid and vital way to prepare for this threat, as the account of Hezekiah’s pleading his righteousness before God (Isa. 38:3) shows when he was faced with terminal illness and then received healing in answer to his prayer (Isa. 38; cf. 2 Kings 20:1-11).

After long, tiring days of many hours of standing and working under considerable pressure, I often find myself wanting and needing to take a nap right after I get off work. Recently, I have been surprised at discovering another way that has been working very well for me to lessen work-induced fatigue when I cannot take a nap soon after getting off work.

With my current schedule, I am often not able to take a nap after work on two days of the week. Because of teaching and other commitments that I have relatively soon after work on those days, I also need on these days to clean up shortly after a long day of strenuous physical work.

Because of a problem that we have been having with the showerhead in our bathroom, I was forced to take a rather cold shower one day about three weeks ago so that I would not be smelly when I went to teach. Although the process was initially quite unpleasant, I discovered that I experienced an almost immediate and dramatic lessening of my fatigue after taking that cold shower.

I was very surprised that I was able to teach effectively and function quite well that evening without taking much time at all to rest or nap after work. In fact, the cold shower reenergized me in a way that taking a nap usually does not.

Every time that I have tried this approach so far after a hard day of heavy physical work, I have experienced the same dramatic relief afterwards. Although this way may not work for other people and may not work for me as well in the future, I have found it so far to be a great help to me in handling the much heavier workload that I now have!

If only there were a less unpleasant way  . . .

Let us examine ourselves to see whether we are faithfully living for Jesus in the lives we are now to be living in our bodies by faith in Christ (Gal. 2:20):

1. When was the last time that I glorified God by praising Him for fearfully, wonderfully, and marvelously making my body?

Ps. 139:14 – “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Ps. 50:23 – “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.”

2. When did I last pray to the One whose “hands have made me and fashioned me” for understanding to learn His commandments concerning the members of my body, which He has commanded me to present to Him as “servants . . . of obedience unto righteousness”?

Ps. 119:73 – “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.”

Rom. 6:16, 19 – “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? . . .I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”

3. How long has it been since I fervently wished for myself and for others physical well-being matching the prosperity of my/their soul(s)?

3 John 2 – “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

4. How faithfully have I ministered to Christ by ministering to sick brethren?

Matt. 25:36, 40 – “Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. . . . And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” cf. Ps. 41:1-3; Acts 9:5; 1 Cor. 12:22-27; Gal. 4:13-15, 6:2; Col. 1:24; 1 Tim. 5:10; Heb 13:3; James 1:27

5. On how many days have I exhorted others so that they would not be hardened by the deceitfulness of some sin pertaining to bodily appetites?

Heb. 3:13 – “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Prov. 22:3 – “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”

1 Cor. 10:12 – “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Prov. 25:16 – “Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.”

6. When was the last time that I delighted in God’s word and meditated on it throughout the day concerning what He has commanded concerning glorifying Him in my body?

Ps. 1:2 – “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”

1 Cor. 6:20 – “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

7. How submissive have I been to exhortation from God-appointed ministers concerning needed changes in my lifestyle for my health sake?

1 Tim. 5:23 – “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.”

Prov. 3:7, 8 – “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

Prov. 14:30 – “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.”

8. How diligent have I been to worthily take the Lord’s Supper by judging myself concerning failure to love others properly with respect to my eating and drinking?

1 Cor. 11:21, 28, 31 – “For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. . . . But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. . . . For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”

Prov. 15:17 – “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.”

9. What Scripture have I recently treasured in my heart so that I would not sin against God concerning my body?

Ps. 119:11 – “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

Prov. 30:7-9 – “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” cf. 1 Cor. 8:11-13

10. How careful have I been to not openly judge or despise brethren who are seeking to honor God in living their lives in the body in ways that I have a differing opinion of what is right to do?

Rom. 14:3 – “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.”

11. When did I last search diligently as I would for hidden treasure the Word of God concerning glorifying God in my eating and drinking and thereby come to understand His fear and find the knowledge of Him?

Prov. 2:4, 5 – “If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”

1 Cor. 9:25 – “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

12. When have I recently been a Christ-like friend to another believer by sharing something special that I have heard from God in His word concerning glorifying Him in my body?

John 15:15 – “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

Ps. 29:9 – “In his temple doth every one speak of his glory.”

1 Cor. 6:19, 20 – “What? 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? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

 13. How willing am I to glorify God through faithful stewardship of the abundant physical strength that He would give me through Christ to sacrificially meet the health needs of others whom I providentially encounter?

1 Pet. 4:10, 11 – “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Luke 10:33-35 – “But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.”

14. From the Scriptural records of people who failed concerning glorifying God in their bodies, have I learned not to fail to glorify God in my body like they did?

1 Cor. 10:6, 9 – “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. . . . Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.”

15. How faithful have I been to confront young people I interact with about remembering their Creator now and removing everything in their lives that is unjustifiably harming their physical bodies?

Eccl. 11:10, 12:1 – “Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;”

16. How mindful have I been of my need to be a good steward of my body for His glory while I expectantly await the imminent return of Christ?

Matt. 24:48, 49 – “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;”

Luke 12:45 – “But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin  . . . to eat and drink, and to be drunken;”

Dedication of oneself to the Lord Jesus Christ for sacred service to Him is an essential decision that every believer must make. Many times believers make that decision following preaching on Romans 12:1, 2:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Often, invitations that are given at the end of messages on these two verses call for a decision to “give your life to the Lord,” or “surrender all to the Lord,” etc. Many times, hymns such as “Is Your All on the Altar” are used in the invitation after these messages.

Careful examination of Romans 12:1 reveals that many such decisions made by believers have likely been made with an inaccurate understanding of that verse. This is true because many times the word “body” is hardly dealt with, and the message thus ends up calling for a total surrender of one’s life that does not bring out the real force of the verse:

One cannot consign dedication to God to the spirit and neglect the body. Genuine commitment to God embraces every area of life, and includes the body in all its particularity and concreteness. (ECNT, Romans, p. 644)

A proper call to give one’s life totally to the Lord based on the teaching of Romans 12:1 demands careful handling of the word “body” in that verse.

Some understand “body” in that verse to be primarily a figurative expression for the whole person; the actual physical body would still then be in view as part of the whole person. Others view the word “body” in that verse as primarily referring to the actual physical body.

Regardless of which interpretation is espoused, the physical body still is in view and must be yielded to God. Thus, the common failure to declare that the physical body is definitely in view in verse 1 is to mishandle the verse:

A great many of our bodily functions do not enlist volition on our part. . . . The lesson to be derived from the term ‘rational’ [‘reasonable’ KJV] is that we are not ‘Spiritual’ in the biblical sense except as the use of our bodies is characterized by conscious, intelligent, consecrated devotion to the service of God. (NICNT, Romans, p. 112)

That this is the case is clearly established by Romans 6:13: “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Significantly, the command “yield” in this verse is the aorist active imperative of the same verb whose aorist active infinitive is rendered “present” in 12:1. Notice that Romans 6:13 states that not only must we yield/present ourselves, but we must also yield/present our members (the parts of our bodies) to God as instruments (weapons) of righteousness.

To make a decision to give one’s life to God is insufficient if the decision does not involve the understanding that doing so must include presenting the parts of one’s body to Him:

Turning from the body as a whole to its separate members, Paul admonishes his readers [in 6:13] not to hand these over to sin (the old master). . . . On the positive side, he is to offer himself (his personality and life-potential) to God with, as a corollary, the separate bodily capacities ‘as instruments of righteousness. (EBC, Romans, p. 72)

Very likely, apart from those in certain settings where these truths have been very carefully dealt with, not many believers have been having in their minds that God has commanded them to present the members of their bodies to Him. Thus, many who have made decisions to give themselves totally to the Lord may very well have done so without really understanding then, and even to this day, that truly giving oneself totally to the Lord requires the presentation of oneself and the presentation of the members of one’s body to God.

The implications of this inaccurate understanding/handling/presentation of the Word of God are immense. While believers have given much attention to issues of immorality, smoking, and drunkenness, other expressions of the failure to yield the parts of one’s body have received insufficient attention.

That this is so is attested to by findings from recent research in the U.S. that certain religious people do have problems in this area.1 These findings show that more attention in this area is needed by the probably many believers who very likely have not properly yielded to God their eyes, noses, hands, mouths, tongues (taste buds), and whatever other members of their bodies are involved in the bodily appetite for food and drink.

Such failure to yield the members of one’s body manifests itself in many different ways. A believer who will not eat certain healthy foods merely because he does not like the taste of them is a believer who needs to examine soberly whether he has yielded the members of his body in obedience to the command of God.

For example, many, even though they may know the great value to one’s health of eating more fruits and vegetables, especially vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc., do not do so because they do not care for the taste of those foods. A lifestyle characterized by such disregard for the good health of the body that is the marvelous creation of God and the blood-bought possession of our Lord does not manifest the necessary full surrender that God demands of the members of one’s body for His service.

Also, any believer who, because he likes the taste of certain foods, will not control properly before the Lord his consumption of those foods, especially those that are not conducive to his good health, needs to similarly examine his surrender to God. Many believers consume too many unnecessary calories from biscuits, doughnuts, cookies, cakes, pizza, pop, high-fat meats, etc., because they like how these foods taste.

In the process, they often also consume too much in the way of proteins, simple carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. Such unhealthy living belies one’s claim of total consecration to the Lord.

We must be ruthless with ourselves in this respect; in line with the figurative emphasis of biblical teaching such as Prov. 23:2, “Put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite,” halfhearted measures will not suffice. Poor stewardship of one’s body because of the failure to present one’s taste buds to the Lord is no minor matter; let us all soberly examine our own eating and drinking.

In addition, Scripture condemns slothful living—more than once, it does so in combination with the condemnation of ungodly eating. Let us take heed to ourselves that we not allow technological advances and societal changes to put us unwittingly in a position of leading a lifestyle of physical idleness.

Although many lead very busy lives, those lives often involve little in the way of any sustained physical exertion. Believers who are inactive because they find physical activity to be boring, inconvenient, unpleasant, etc., must examine themselves solemnly in that regard to see if their sedentary lifestyles are consistent with the lifestyle of a believer who has yielded his muscles, bones, cardiovascular system, etc., to the Lord for sacred service to Him.

The poor physical condition of many of the people of God in our generation is not commending their testimony of Christ to others; unbelievers denigrate the gospel because of our failures to keep under our bodies and bring them into subjection. The bottom line is that barring extreme extenuating circumstances that likely legitimately apply only to a small percentage of people, any believer who gives his body sufficient regular physical activity and is temperate in his eating will likely not have a major problem with his weight. By so doing, he will not be among those who from failure to do so are not glorifying the Name of the Lord in that aspect of their lives.

Let us take heed to ourselves that we make no provision for the flesh in any way. We must present to God all the members of our bodies for sacred service to Him; this especially must include our taste buds and all other parts of our bodies that may have been heretofore servants of sin through intemperance in the area of food and drink.

Let us enjoy the goodness of God in providing good foods to us, but let us always do so with the total consecration and self-control that He demands!

Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid? Your heart does the Spirit control? You can only be blest and have peace and sweet rest as you yield Him your body and soul!

Let us each present our entire being, including all the members of our physical bodies, to the Lord now!


Here is some information from a recent study examining religion and obesity that points to a problem:

The present research has established that religion is related both to the prevalence and incidence of obesity. In supplementary analyses, we were unable to find any evidence that obesity heightened religiosity. By contrast, we observed that religious media practice and some denominations, especially more fundamentalist groups, were at a higher risk of obesity. The results also show that those who turned to religion for consolation were at a lower risk of obesity. At a minimum, one can conclude that obesity is becoming more prevalent in the United States and that many religious affiliations are being swept along with this “megatrend.” Some religious activities and affiliations may reduce the risk of obesity, but Baptist and fundamentalist Protestant leaders may want to consider interventions for the “overgrazing of the flock.” There is clearly a role for religious media, whether electronic or print, in the spiritual development of the religiously inclined. Unfortunately, religious media practice is also associated with a higher risk of obesity for women who consume it.

—http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358928/; accessed 5/3/14; 12:48 pm.

See also http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/06/03/obesity-epidemic-in-america-churches/

With so many friends of mine going through very serious health troubles right now, my mind went tonight to the wonderful promise of God concerning healthcare that is given in this passage:

Psa 41:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

 2 The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.

 3 The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

Charles Spurgeon provides these glorious comments on the marvelous promise made here for those who habitually care for others in need:

Verse 3. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing. The everlasting arms shall stay up his soul as friendly hands and downy pillows stay up the body of the sick. How tender and sympathising is this image; how near it brings our God to our infirmities and sicknesses! Whoever heard this of the old heathen Jove, or of the gods of India or China? This is language peculiar to the God of Israel; he it is who deigns to become nurse and attendant upon good men. If he smites with one hand he sustains with the other. Oh, it is blessed fainting when one falls upon the Lord’s own bosom, and is borne up thereby! Grace is the best of restoratives; divine love is the noblest stimulant for a languishing patient; it makes the soul strong as a giant, even when the aching bones are breaking through the skin. No physician like the Lord, no tonic like his promise, no wine like his love. Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. What, doth the Lord turn bed maker to his sick children? Herein is love indeed. Who would not consider the poor if such be the promised reward? A bed soon grows hard when the body is weary with tossing to and fro upon it, but grace gives patience, and God’s smile gives peace, and the bed is made soft because the man’s heart is content; the pillows are downy because the head is peaceful. Note that the Lord will make all his bed, from head to foot. What considerate and indefatigable kindness! Our dear and ever blessed Lord Jesus, though in all respects an inheritor of this promise, for our sakes condescended to forego the blessing, and died on a cross and not upon a bed; yet, even there, he was after awhile upheld and cheered by the Lord his God, so that he died in triumph.

Treasury of David, http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps041.htm

Matthew Henry also brings out the tremendous promise that God gives here:

The good-will of a God that loves us is sufficient to secure us from the ill-will of all that hate us, men and devils; and that good-will we may promise ourselves an interest in if we have considered the poor and helped to relieve and rescue them. {2.} Particularly in sickness (v. 3): The Lord will strengthen him, both in body and mind, upon the bed of languishing, on which he had long lain sick, and he will make all his bed-a very condescending expression, alluding to the care of those that nurse and tend sick people, especially of mothers for their children when they are sick, which is to make their beds easy for them; and that bed must needs be well made which God himself has the making of. He will make all his bed from head to foot, so that no part shall be uneasy; he will turn his bed (so the word is), to shake it up and make it very easy; or he will turn it into a bed of health. Note, God has promised his people that he will strengthen them, and make them easy, under their bodily pains and sicknesses. He has not promised that they shall never be sick, nor that they shall not lie long languishing, nor that their sickness shall not be unto death; but he has promised to enable them to bear their affliction with patience, and cheerfully to wait the issue. The soul shall by his grace be made to dwell at ease when the body lies in pain.

—Comments on Ps. 41 in Matthew Henry Notes

Both of these illustrious men of God bring out the blessed healthcare promise in Psalm 41:3 that God will be the Divine Nurse in times of debilitating illness for those who have themselves graciously and sacrificially considered others in their times of deep need (including physical sickness) and helped care for them. Although God does not promise here that He will heal such people when they become seriously ill, He does promise to care for them at such times in a marvelous way that no other nurse or healthcare provider ever could or would!

Brethren, let us make much of this glorious healthcare promise!

Victory in Jesus

April 1, 2014

Whereas Adam, Eve, and the children of Israel in the wilderness failed when they were tempted in the dietary realm of their lives, praise God our Lord was victorious when He was similarly tempted. Though He “had fasted forty days and forty nights,” still He did not give in to the devil’s temptation of Him to meet His legitimate physical need for food in an ungodly manner (Matt. 4:2-4). Our Lord won His victory through His use of quoting Scripture to the wicked one to overcome him.

We, too, must depend upon the Word of God to give us victory in the dietary realm, as well as in all other realms. We must stop looking to the world and its wisdom for answers to problems in the health/fitness realm, as well as in all other realms of our lives.

We especially should not look to secular dietary authorities for help in being godly in our eating and activity practices. In spite of all the knowledge and multitudes of plans the world has, the incidence of obesity is increasing in the US. Though multitudes know they should be physically active, how many are as faithful as they could be?

Praise God that we have what the world does not have to be successful—we have been given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).

If you’re having struggles in the dietary realm, you should consider memorizing Proverbs 30:7-9 and praying through that passage each day, asking the Lord to give you victory by His Spirit:

“Two things have I required [asked] of thee; deny me them not before I die:  Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient [Heb. of my allowance] for me:  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”

In brief, when we pray this prayer, it will be an acknowledgment by us that the Lord must provide for us the proper amount of food each day. Too much or too little food will lead us into wickedness. (Secular experts say that eating smaller portions is a key to effective weight management, but they are unable to give any lasting help in how to deny self to do so).

Only His strength is sufficient to give us victory over the flesh—no amount of self-discipline will be sufficient. As He gave the children of Israel just enough manna in the wilderness for their daily needs (Exod. 16:18), so will He “give us day by day our daily bread” (Luke 11:3), when we ask Him.

It is only as we depend on Jesus that we will be triumphant through our Lord who “gave [H]imself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4)!

This post attempts to provide a biblical understanding of what it means for a believer to maintain his body wisely. I commend it to you with the desire “that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2).

What does it mean to maintain my body wisely?

To maintain my body wisely is “to keep [it] in a condition of good repair or efficiency” (definition of “maintain” – The American Heritage College dictionary, 1997, p. 817), “having understanding or discernment of what is true, right, or lasting” (definition of “wise” – Ibid., p. 1548). Keeping my body in an efficient condition is to keep it “acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort” (definition of “efficient,” Ibid., p. 437).

“Effectively” means, “in an effective way” (Ibid., p. 437), and “effective” means, “having an intended or expected effect” (Ibid.). Thus, putting all these definitions together, to maintain my body wisely is to keep it acting with or producing the intended or expected effects that it should with a minimum of waste, expense, or unnecessary effort, having understanding or discernment of what is true, right, or lasting.

What source of information is most important for me to maintain my body wisely?

I must have the right sources of information concerning my body to maintain it wisely. Scripture contains all the essential information needed for me to maintain my body wisely.

Information obtained from a proper study of “the firmament” that shows His handiwork is valuable and must also be heeded. It is, however, clearly of secondary importance in comparison to the information provided by Scripture.

What does Scripture teach about maintaining my body wisely?

Scripture reveals the universal reality that of God, through God, and to God are all things, to whom be/is the glory forever. Thus, wise maintenance of my body is one of the all things that are to His eternal glory.

The following points present many key truths from Scripture about how I maintain my body wisely.

  1. To maintain my body wisely, I must respond properly to the universal reality of all things being to the eternal glory of God. Apart from such a response, I cannot maintain my body wisely.
  2. The glory of God consists of His unique identity, character, and works. The glory of God is the absolute perfection of His unique identity, character, and works. I maintain my body wisely only as I show forth the praises of His glory in my body.
  3. Scripture repeatedly emphasizes the mercy of God in connection with Him being glorified. To respond properly to the universal reality of all things, especially His mercies, being to the eternal glory of God, I must properly present my body to God. Only as I properly yield myself and all of the members of my body to God will I maintain my body wisely.
  4. Then, I must not allow myself to be conformed to the world in any respect. I must not in any way fashion myself “according to the former lusts in [my] ignorance.” I must “abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” To maintain my body wisely is that I “no longer should live the rest of [my] time in my [body] to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.”
  5. I must also be being transformed “day by day” by the renewing of my mind. Such renewing requires that I give the Word of God its proper place in me. Whatever God has said concerning my body must be delighted in and meditated upon for me to prosper in all things concerning my body, that is, to maintain my body wisely.
  6. Having properly presented my body to God, putting an end to all worldly conformity in my life, and continually being changed into the image of Christ, I must fully participate in the will of God for my life. Maintaining my body wisely is an essential facet of full participation in His will for my life.
  7. Full participation in the will of God for my life is to eat, drink, and do all else in my life to the glory of God. I must maintain my body wisely in order to be able to eat, drink, and do all else in my life to the glory of God.
  8. Maintaining my body wisely is an essential part of my having my identity, character, and works in proper correspondence to the glorious identity, character, and works of God. Having that proper correspondence is how I glorify God in my life in all that I do. To do so is to have the abundant life that Christ has come to give us.
  9. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I understand properly what my body is and what I therefore must do with it. My body is the greatest divine masterpiece in the material universe. I must glorify God by praising Him for my body and by maintaining it wisely.
  10. To maintain my body wisely, I must understand that God has made me an inhabitant of both the material realm and the immaterial realm. All the “laws of nature” that have been properly understood are in reality God’s laws of nature, and they are expressions of His will for my life. I must be in proper submission to God in the material realm by heeding properly His laws that govern the material universe.
  11. My body is a member of Christ. My body is the inner sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. My body is the blood-bought possession of God. Therefore, I must “glorify God in [my] body,” which is His, by maintaining it wisely.
  12. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I understand that because I belong to God, both by creation and by redemption, I am not my own. I am only a steward of my body. I must be a good steward of my body for the glory of God.
  13. Christ must have the preeminence in all things in my life. I maintain my body wisely only as He has the preeminence in all things concerning my body.
  14. Scripture reveals that God desires continual proclamation that He be magnified as the God who delights in the comprehensive prosperity of His servants. God delights in the prosperity of my body; therefore, I am to maintain it wisely in accord with that truth.
  15. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I present all the members of my body to God. Every part of my body and all of its capabilities must ever be “on the altar” as my “reasonable service” to Christ.
  16. My “reasonable service” to Christ requires that I maintain my body wisely so that I fulfill the role that the Lord has for me in my lifetime in His Great Commission. I must be taught to obey carefully all that Christ has commanded me, including what He has commanded me about all things concerning my body. Moreover, when I am ready to do so, I must teach others to do the same.
  17. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I understand and respond properly to the truth of the statement, “The kingdom of God is not meat and drink.” Rather than being “meat and drink,” the kingdom of God is that I serve Christ acceptably to God in fulfilling the Great Commission by eating, drinking, and doing all else in life “in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
  18. Full participation in the will of God for my life requires that I manifest proper love for God and others in all that I do, including in maintaining my body wisely. To maintain my body wisely, I must lay down my life for the brethren. I must not seek my own nor give anyone offense in anything that I do, including in maintaining my body wisely.
  19. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I pray properly concerning my body. I am to pray for my total sanctification and that God would preserve my spirit, soul, and body blameless until Christ returns. I am to pray that I would have physical health that matches the prosperity of my soul. I am to pray that God would keep me from all that would unnecessarily bring pain, etc., to my life.
  20. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I “remember now [my] Creator in the days of [my] youth.” I must put away in youth all things that unnecessarily are presently bringing or at some future point will bring harm, calamity, or ruin to my body. I must put away in youth unhealthy eating habits and slothful living. I will only do so as I put on “the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” I must flee “youthful lusts,” including gluttony and sloth!
  21. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I eat my food “in the sweat of [my] face.” To maintain my body wisely, I must properly labor in every realm of my life. In the will of God, I must be regularly physically active.
  22. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I not be intemperate in any of my bodily appetites. I must not be gluttonous, slothful, drunken, or immoral. I must be blamelessly temperate!
  23. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I “keep under my body, and bring it into subjection.” I must be “temperate in all things.” Doing so is immensely profitable for both this life and for the life to come.
  24. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I “bridle [my] whole body.” I can only do so if I sin not in what I say. If I do anything with “murmurings or disputings,” including anything I do concerning any facet of my body, I will “come short of the glory of God” of bridling my “whole body.” Only those who “do all things without murmurings and disputings” are able to glorify God in maintaining their bodies wisely by bridling their whole body.
  25. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I accept full responsibility for my failures to glorify God in my body. I must not cover my sins. I must not shift the blame to anyone or anything else. I must confess and forsake my failures to maintain my body wisely if I am to have mercy from God to be faithful in maintaining my body wisely.
  26. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I refrain from all unnecessary fellowship with vessels “to dishonour,” including those who grossly fail to maintain their bodies wisely. Unnecessarily companying with those who do not maintain their bodies wisely “corrupt[s] good manners.”
  27. Maintaining my body wisely requires that I be a good, faithful, and wise steward of all that the Lord has entrusted to me, including my body. To be such a steward, I must have the proper conception of the imminent return of the Lord who will judge me concerning my stewardship of all things, including my body. To be the godly steward that I should be of all that He has entrusted to me, including my wondrous body, I must “love His appearing”!
  28. Maintaining my body wisely consists of Christ being magnified always in my body, “whether it be by life, or by death.” The love of Christ will constrain me always to magnify Christ in my body, if I allow it to.
  29. I can maintain my body wisely through Christ who is strengthening me. I must maintain my body wisely by faith in Christ. I can maintain my body wisely only as I give the word of Christ its proper place in me.
  30. Maintaining my body wisely is only possible as the fruit of the Spirit, as I am filled with the Spirit, as I am led by the Spirit, as I walk in the Spirit.
  31. Maintaining my body wisely is essential to my doing the work of Christ for my life, including faithful obedience in solemnly testifying to everyone that God has appointed Christ to be the Judge of the living and the dead.
  32. Christ will one day judge me concerning all that I have done in the body. All that has not been done with love and to please Him will be burned up at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Whatever I do in maintaining my body wisely must be done with love or it will profit me nothing (no eternal reward).
  33. Not that I would be in good health, but that I would do the work of Christ is to be my highest priority in life. For the work of Christ, I must be willing to sacrifice all, including my health and even my life, if God should will that I do so. I maintain my body wisely only as I have good health in the will of God.
  34. Maintaining my body wisely is to “not lose heart” when my physical well-being deteriorates in the will of God. Rather, I must ”keep [my] heart with all diligence,” looking eagerly for the redemption of my body at the return of Christ. Christ will one day change my body “that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body”!
  35. Maintaining my body wisely is necessary for me to glorify God in my days on the earth, having finished the work that God has for me to do, even as Christ did.

Let us all maintain our bodies wisely that we may glorify God by serving our generation by the will of God!


For more information, please see Stress Management Truths from Scripture; Christian Health/Fitness Quotes I; Does God Care How Healthy Your Lifestyle Is?

Isn’t Doing Aerobics Enough?

February 26, 2014

Neglecting proper stretching exercises and proper resistance training is a common error in the exercise programs of many people. They believe that doing aerobic exercise regularly is all they need to do to care properly for their bodies. This dangerous misconception needs to be corrected.

For too long, aerobic exercise has been overemphasized. Doing only regular aerobic exercise is not sufficient in caring properly for your body.

Yes, aerobics is a vital component of any sensible exercise program, and it should not be neglected. To care properly for your body, however, you must also do some regular stretching and some regular resistance training.

Without engaging in some regular resistance training, the average adult will lose more than a half a pound of muscle each year. If he does not account for this muscle loss, he will grow fatter and less fit, even while he may be maintaining a constant body weight and a good level of aerobic fitness.

In a similar manner, those who do not stretch regularly will lose a substantial amount of flexibility as they age. This loss of flexibility is not normal, and will contribute adversely to many health problems.

For example, 80% of back problems are musculoskeletal in origin. Very often, they are the result of lack of strength and flexibility in key muscle groups of the body.

To take good care of our bodies, we should engage in a well-rounded, sensible exercise program, consisting of aerobics, resistance training, and stretching.

Please note: This article is only for general informational and motivational purposes. It is not intended to give specific advice to anyone concerning his specific health needs. You should see your doctor for a proper exam before beginning any regular exercise program. You should also consult with appropriately qualified people for specific information about how to exercise and design your program.

Scripture teaches that the proper reception of the words of God is to those who so receive them “health to all their body”:

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh (Prov. 4:20-22).

This amazing verse teaches infallibly that the health of a person’s entire physical body is affected by that person’s relationship to the Word of God. Thus, from the mind of the only wise God, we know that His Word is salutary for the physical health of the entire body! How brightly does the care of God for the comprehensive well-being of His own shine forth from this marvelous text!

When we consider that our present earthly bodies are corrupted by sin and will some day either be destroyed or be changed (at the Rapture), why does God even bother to speak in such terms about the health of this transient body? Such a statement probably seems at odds to the notions of those who espouse the view that health is just not that important of a spiritual or Scriptural issue.

Seemingly supporting that notion that only limited concern for the welfare of the physical body is appropriate is a Scriptural statement about the lowly belly (stomach, NASB):

“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body” (1 Cor. 6:13).

In this verse, God explicitly says that He will some day destroy both the belly and the foods that go into it. Reasoning along the same lines, how many have concluded that the present earthly body in all its parts is not much more than something to be put up with until we get our glorified bodies?

Does God concur with such thinking? How would we know? Incredibly, under inspiration, Scripture records God’s concern for the stomach[1] of a minister: “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Tim 5:23)!

Understanding the Power of First Timothy 5:23 Properly

Many do not appreciate the power of 1 Timothy 5:23, and a proper understanding requires a brief rehearsal of the nature of Scripture. Scripture teaches about itself that the will of man was not at all involved in its origination. Everything that is in the Bible is there by the will of God (2 Pet. 1:19-21). Scripture also teaches about itself that all Scripture was breathed out by God and is profitable for us to be righteous before God (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

Scripture teaches us what we need to know and do for the salvation of our souls. It also teaches us what we need to know, do, and be in every aspect of our lives so that we would fulfill all of our obligations to God and man.

Paul wrote to Timothy to teach him how he should conduct himself in the church:

“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:14, 15).

Thus, this pastoral Epistle specifically teaches how a minister should carry out his ministry.

For us to understand the importance of 1 Timothy 5:23 properly, we must keep in mind that not one verse of this book is human thinking about proper ministry. Every verse teaches us what God has to say about ministry in the church.

That being the case, Paul’s statement to Timothy in 5:23 is striking. Under inspiration of God, Paul authoritatively directs Timothy, the pastor of the church in Ephesus, concerning his health, including the welfare of his stomach![2]

Paul relates that Timothy had a stomach problem and was frequently ill. Significantly, Paul does not merely note Timothy’s health problems—he commands Timothy to change his lifestyle for the sake of these health problems.

Specifically, Paul directs him no longer to continue drinking only water, but also to drink a little wine. That the purpose of this authoritative direction is clearly for the betterment of his health is plain from the words “for thy stomach’s sake“ (cf. NASB, “for the sake of your stomach”).

Thus, in this one verse of Scripture, God has recorded for all time in His eternal Word His mind concerning the physical well-being of the pastor of a church. He has also given us clear teaching about pastoral ministry from the example of how Paul ministered to his son in the faith, Timothy. Moreover, God has also plainly revealed his mind concerning changing our lifestyles for the sake of our health.

The Great Contemporary Importance of First Timothy 5:23

Were this one verse[3] of Scripture (1 Tim. 5:23) to be taken seriously, the health of many multiplied thousands of believing people would surely be greatly improved. If it be objected that applying this teaching to our lives should not be taken seriously merely because of the reference to wine, let us consider how many even today use medications with significant alcohol content, such as Ny-Quil and cough syrups, for the sake of their health, and without any apparent qualms concerning the propriety of such medicinal use of alcohol.[4]

Amazingly, God has recorded in His word that is forever settled in heaven His care for the stomach of a minister, a stomach that God Himself destroyed at the death of Timothy. This verse is not at all surprising if we take care to keep in mind the mind of God revealed in Proverbs 4:20-22. The God who spoke in Proverbs 4 of that which was “health” to the entire body is the same One who gloriously demonstrated His interest in such comprehensive well-being of His people by recording in 1 Timothy 5 one minister authoritatively confronting another concerning his health.

The God who inspired both Proverbs 4:20-22 and 1 Timothy 5:23 is the same God who also stated to His own, as encouragement for them not to fear, that His care for them extends even to every hair on their heads: “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt. 10:30, 31). Such care for the health of those whom God is watching over shines forth especially from Acts 27:34: “Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you” (cf. 27:24- 25, which indicates clearly the hand of God in the situation).

Thus, Scripture indicates the astonishing care of God for the health of His own. Yes, He cares for the health of the believer’s whole body, even his stomach, even for every hair, which all are destined for destruction; shouldn’t we likewise care for the health of our entire body?

Plainly, we should be concerned for the comprehensive well-being of the people of God. Like Paul did with Timothy in 1 Timothy 5:23, ministers must minister to the people of God appropriate authoritative direction to change their lifestyles for the sake of their health.

Significantly, the terseness of the teaching in 1 Timothy 5:23 wonderfully suggests that why a person is in ill-health need not even be mentioned or perhaps even known for it to be appropriate for them to be exhorted concerning their health. Regardless of whether someone has health difficulties because of heredity, or as the result of accident or injury, or from unhealthy lifestyle, or from some other cause, 1 Timothy 5:23 still applies. If a believer’s health could be helped through some appropriate lifestyle intervention,[5] Scripture here strongly shows that they should do so for the sake of their health.

Interestingly, the specific teaching of 1 Timothy 5:23—that of no longer continuing in merely doing what one has been doing to date, but adding a practice to the life that would help one’s health—is exactly so often what is needed for the effective treatment of many health problems, especially lifestyle-related ones. Many who are suffering from ill health are doing so because of the omission of one or more of the well-established health-promoting lifestyle practices. Scripture indicates plainly in 1 Timothy 5:23 what is to be done in such cases—add to one’s life the health-promoting practices that up to this point have not been engaged in properly in the life!

Moreover, the teaching of 1 Timothy 5:23 especially indicates that those who have without full justification set aside authoritative direction from their Christian doctor or other qualified individuals concerning changing their lifestyles because of their health needs should amend their ways. Such behavior is plainly contrary to the mind of God, who would have them to change their lifestyles for the sake of their health.

Let us ask ourselves how many ministers and other Christian leaders are presently righteously caring for the health needs of the people of God by giving them authoritative direction concerning lifestyle changes for the sake of their health. How will they do so if they do not understand that Scripture teaches that they should do so? How can they do so effectively if they do not have a personal testimony of caring properly for their own comprehensive physical well-being?

Moreover, how will they do so apart from proper sufficient training concerning physical health of the body? What’s more, were they to do so, how many Christians would even be submissive to such direction when it is given?

Let us also consider how many parents are letting their children engage in unhealthy lifestyles, not wanting to take the trouble to confront them or thinking that God has not really spoken to such matters? In addition, let us consider how many spouses allow their spouse to go on living in self-destructive eating habits, wishing there were some way to get them to change before something terrible happens.

God Does Care How Healthy Your Lifestyle Is!

Let none who are facing any of the situations discussed above (or other similar situations) dismiss, make light of, or neglect the glorious teaching that God commands us to make lifestyle changes for the sake of our health (1 Tim. 5:23). Apart from a proper reception and observance of that teaching, what will we have left whereby to wisely minister to such needs of our loved ones: “The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jer. 8:9).

Only the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is able to pierce to the innermost being of man and lay bare to him the true state of his heart before God (Heb. 4:12). In 1 Timothy 5:23, we have just such a wonderful “sword” that God will mightily use to quicken both us and our loved ones so that we all will change whatever lifestyle habits are hurting our health.

Only through a proper reception of the mind of God through the careful handling of numerous passages concerning health, etc. in Scripture could such proper ministry become a reality in the church, in our homes, in our schools, etc. By such hearing and obeying of what God says in those verses, including especially 1 Timothy 5:23, many more believers would experience the glorious promise set forth in Proverbs 4:10 (and elsewhere): “Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.”

May God help us to live properly in the light of His concern for our comprehensive well-being. O yes, He cares how healthy your lifestyle is—will you?

 


[1] “Stomach” in 1 Timothy 5:23 = “belly” in 1 Corinthians 6:13; for our purposes even though different Greek words are used, the reference is clearly essentially to the same thing.

[2] That this is only one verse in a book of six chapters concerning pastoral ministry should not lead us therefore to dismiss, make light of, or neglect the truth taught by God therein. Certainly, proper ministry is much bigger than merely the health concerns of the people of God. As this verse plainly shows, however, adequately ministering to the health concerns of the people of God is part of the ministry! Consider also how much time and money go into addressing the health issues of believers in a church, and therefore, how needful and valuable is authoritative direction from God concerning those issues.

[3] This verse is only one of several in Scripture that show God’s mind concerning comprehensive well-being of His people: Numbers 6:22-27; Psalm 35:27; Proverbs 3:7, 4: 22, 14:30; Ecclesiastes 11:10; Isaiah 58:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 3 John 2.

[4] Proper treatment of all the Scriptural considerations concerning the propriety of contemporary use of alcohol by Christians is far beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say, the teaching in 1 Timothy 5:23 plainly indicates the medicinal use of a small quantity of wine in the specific setting that Timothy faced at that time. If the reason for this admonition stemmed from concerns for water quality, given the proper facilities available to us today for water purification, no such use of wine can be justified except in the most exceptional of circumstances. All things considered, this writer believes that Christians should abstain from all consumption of alcohol, except for legitimate medicinal use, including such preparations as noted above, which are to be used only in a limited fashion at those times when legitimate need exists. In any case, this verse gives no support whatever to social drinking as legitimate for believers. For differing viewpoints concerning the propriety of the use of wine in the observance of the Lord’s Supper by believers today, please consult appropriate works that deal with that and related issues.

[5] Potential concern for discerning properly what the appropriate lifestyle intervention(s) for any given health concern(s) is/are should not lead us to discount the teaching of 1 Timothy 5:23. For the vast majority of cases, proper attention now to any of the basic well-established tenets of healthy living, such as regular physical activity, healthy diet, sufficient rest, etc. that have not been adhered to in the past, will yield great benefits. For numerous people with health problems, one pertinent application of 1 Timothy 5:23 would be along the following lines: “No longer just serve in your church, at work, and at home, but also do a little regular physical activity.” The case for such advice being of benefit has been established through hundreds of studies for decades, including many recent ones that powerfully show the value of even a little regular physical activity. Consider especially that the case for regular physical activity is so strong that the Surgeon General has even issued an advisory report detailing the facts supporting such a practice. Keeping in mind that believers generally hold that smoking is ungodly behavior because of the damage to one’s health, it is striking that research has demonstrated more than once that a sedentary lifestyle is as damaging to one’s health as smoking, or even more!

See also Christian Health/Fitness Quotes I

Scripture records a number of cases of people who were severely afflicted:

(1) a king who was highly troubled (1 Sam. 16:14-15) and became so suspiciously jealous that he repeatedly tried to murder a loyal subject (1 Sam. 18:8-11; 19:10); (2) a very upright man who was severely afflicted with boils all over his body (Job 3:7); (3) a lunatic son who would often fall into the fire and often into the water (Matt. 17:15); (4) a daughter who was grievously vexed (Matt. 15:22); (5) a man who was constantly screaming night and day in the mountains and in the tombs and cutting himself with stones (Mark 5:5); and (6) a woman who had been sick for 18 years and was bent over and could not straighten herself up at all (Luke 13:11).

Every one of these people was seriously ill because of demonic affliction. In several of these cases, even ordinary people correctly knew what was causing these people to suffer so much:

(1) King Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold, now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee” (1 Sam. 16:15). They somehow knew that a demon was afflicting Saul.

(2) A man from a crowd said to Jesus, “Master I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; and wheresover he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away (Mk. 9:17-18; cf. Luke 9:39). Somehow, this man knew that his son was afflicted by a demon.

(3) A woman of Canaan, who was not even a Jew, cried unto Jesus, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil” (Matt. 15:22). This lost pagan woman somehow knew that a demon was cruelly afflicting her daughter.

If these situations were to happen in our day, however, and the same people would suffer the same problems, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other medical personnel would undoubtedly attribute their problems to various causes, but it is highly unlikely that any of them would accurately diagnose the true cause of their problems as affliction caused by demons! They would probably scoff at even the suggestion that demons were responsible for these people suffering in the way that they would be suffering.

Although it is understandable that secular authorities would reject such an explanation of their suffering and behavior, it seems to me that many of God’s people would also reject even the possibility that demonic affliction would be the cause of their problems.

Given what Scripture teaches in many passages about the destructive desires and activities of Satan and his demons, I find it disturbing that many of God’s people are reluctant to consider that demonic activity may be the cause of much illness in our day.

Are we overlooking a major cause of serious illness in our day?