More and more research reveals that a major component of disease is stress. Eating processed foods, failing to exercise, and engaging in unhealthful habits are significant factors contributing to poor health. However, they are often bad solutions to the problem of stress.
God’s law gives us the blueprint for health and wellness. As we obey the commandments of God, we are spared many of the consequences of sin. While it is true that someday we will all die, how we function while on this side of heaven is very much within our power to effect. For example, to obedient children the promise is long life. This is not merely a platitude. It is an observable fact that those who learn to exercise self-control and self-discipline avoid many pitfalls in life. In the same way, when we disregard the directives in Scripture, negative consequences ensue. For example, too many ignore Biblical guidance regarding anxiety and live by the adage, “Why pray when you can worry?” Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” This is a prescriptive remedy for dealing with anxiety and stress.
Too often, we treat passages like these as inspirational sayings rather than the command-words that they are. When we do so, we are not only depriving ourselves of the bounty the Lord has placed before us, we are digging a pit for ourselves.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul states,
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. (1 Cor. 11:27–30)
How many come to the communion table failing to turn their troubles and concerns over to the Lord? How many spiritualize God’s Word, failing to receive it at face value, thereby ignoring its clear commands? Could this be the reason for so many being physically weak and sick? Eating natural foods and making good lifestyle choices will not succeed in making us healthy in the absence of this important first step – paying heed to what the Bible says.
So, the next time you read through your Bible and come to a passage that is written in the imperative, don’t glance over it. Take it to heart. That’s what Kingdom-driven people do—they listen!