[Click this link to Biblegateway.com for Bible in new window/tab]
God is relational. He is triune: Father, Spirit, and Son. He created us in His image and saved us via spiritual birth for the express purpose of being in this blessed intimate relationship, communion with Him. He is our Father, and we are His beloved children. Christ is our Bridegroom, and we the Church are His beloved bride. We are also the Body of Christ, wherein each member serves and blesses the others through Christ, who is the Head.
As believers remain within the perfect provision and safety God has given us in Christ, we are blessed with health and right relationship within both the spiritual and physical realms: we have right relation to God, to each other, and to all of creation. It is all about RELATIONSHIP, because God is relational. If we disobey God’s laws the relationships break down and we suffer the consequences. For example, when we try to defy His laws of physics while driving too fast on a curve, we sustain physical injury or death to our bodies, and damage to all objects involved in the collision.
Although natural laws cannot be overcome in the physical realm, they can be superseded by the supernatural, as happened when Jesus walked on water and when He regenerated the man’s shriveled hand, to name but two of His miracles (Mark 6:47-52; 3:1-5). As we discussed in Part 1, it was God’s design that the supernatural realm supersede the natural realm. Supernatural occurrences are not subject to the scientific method of investigation, thus they are rightfully called miraculous – they are credited to God and not men! Praise Him with me now….
Let’s go back to walking on water. Believers in Jesus Christ can supersede God’s natural laws too. Matthew 14:25-32 records that the simple Galilean fisherman, Simon (“reed”), whom Jesus renamed Peter (“rock”), did exactly that. Of all the terrified disciples in the boat, Simon Peter is the only one reported to have apprehended the Lord’s word to be courageous and not fear. Peter’s commanding of the Lord to tell him to come to Him on the water is stupendous! It proves Peter (1) knew his depravity, and (2) knew that the Lord’s word has the power to perform itself. God’s call to us is sufficient to enable us to carry out His will; yet, as this account illustrates, we must believe, ask (or command Him, as in this case), and receive the grace in order to overcome the natural realm. We must keep our eyes on Jesus, not on the very real and threatening physical circumstances. Like Simon Peter, we fall immediately back into the natural realm when we focus on it. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what it unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Brothers and sisters, we must fully apprehend this, for this is how diseases are healed and eradicated instead of managed and treated. We have studied God’s word on disease; if we believe it and walk it out in accordance with the Holy Spirit, we will be fixed on Jesus, who IS the Lord who heals us. Focused on Him, we will overcome (and not be focused on) the very real physical symptoms of our diseases, and we WILL be healed without referral to physicians, just as in the OT, the gospels, and in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Believers and unbelievers alike will witness us being miraculously healed of the same diseases they have. And we will preach the gospel and heal the sick as they behold the glory of Jesus Christ in our jars of clay as never before.
This WILL happen as soon as we stop deceiving ourselves by only hearing God’s word (as perhaps happened with the disciples who remained in the boat that night) – we must apprehend it, walk it out, do what it says (James 1:22). Now, hear and apprehend the key verse in the New Testament (NT) regarding healing and eradication of disease: confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed… (James 5:16).
That’s right: we must repent. The Greek word for repent, metanoeo, signifies changing one’s mind or purpose, always, in the NT, for the better, from sin. The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15).
Here is the most important point of our entire study. Just as a baptism of repentance had to occur to prepare the way for the Lord’s first coming (Matthew 3:1-12), a baptism of repentance must come now to prepare the way for His second coming. Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8). We, the blessed children of God, must first listen to God and receive His revelation so that our sins will be exposed, then obey Him and repent – the healing always follows. We must not conform any longer to the pattern of this world and settle for mere management of disease via our exceedingly expensive worldly healthcare system. Instead, we Christians must align ourselves with what our heavenly Father has said in His word about disease, lay hold of it, and be cured through supernatural means: faith in Jesus Christ, by whose blood our sins HAVE BEEN forgiven, and by whose wounds we HAVE BEEN healed (Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:1; 1Peter 2:24b).
And here is more good news: if we simply recognize our spiritual poverty, humble ourselves, and ask Him for the requisite grace, He will give it. My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2Corinthians 12:9). If you remain in me and my word remains in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.. (John 15:7). Repentance, renewal of our minds in accordance with God’s word, bears fruit, including healing and eradication of the dis-ease that follows disobeying our Father, the Creator and Lord of all.
Would you care to join me in repenting now? Father, Your love and mercy astound me! Thank you, from the very depths of my heart, for this good news! I confess my rebellion against You, my utter depravity, my inability to do any good whatsoever on my own. I confess my proclivity to depend on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Wisdom Himself, Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:8). I confess my absolute continual dependence upon Jesus, just as He, the only sinless Man, did nothing of His own, but depended continuously on You, His Father. I hereby consecrate my body, mind, will, and emotions to Christ, my Lord, for His keeping. And I rejoice, for through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Now I receive the forgiveness and the healing that comes with His righteousness (e.g. Mark 2:17, 1Peter 2:24), and rest in God my Savior. Amen!
Hallelujah! Thank God we’re not in this alone, but are together as the magnificent Body of Christ, being transformed from glory to glory! It is a corporate cleansing that follows such corporate changing of mindset and purpose. Oh, the blessings are going to be beyond all that we can fathom… (1 Corinthians 2:9).
So then, let’s press on and take hold of that which the Lord is laying out for us here, which is to dig deeper to expose and uproot the spiritual roots of disease. We do this together, in Christ, by the power of God.
The most obvious and easiest spiritual roots of disease to identify are the multiple sexually-related sins which can produce the numerous sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs are spread directly from sinner to sinner by infectious organisms as the sin transpires. STDs can result from a single occurrence (versus longstanding repetitions of sin as occurs with chronic diseases), but some of them, like HPV-related cervical cancer, take time to develop.
Other obvious sin-disease cause-and-effect relationships include (1) alcohol abuse and its varied acute and chronic illnesses such as “hangovers,” esophageal varices, and cirrhosis, (2) smoking and its numerous chronic diseases, including emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and cancer of the lung and upper respiratory tract, and (3) gluttony and the multiple diseases associated with obesity, such as type II diabetes mellitus, degenerative joint disease, and cancer of the colon, prostate, and breast. (Understand that, with the exception of hangovers, none of these diseases are exclusive to any of these particular spiritual conditions).
Venturing a little further now, consider the universal sin of fear. Please cover the remainder of this page after this paragraph, and discern what physical and psychiatric diseases might be manifest over time by longstanding fear.
Perhaps the most common manifestation of a stronghold of fear is an anxiety disorder. Medical science also recognizes fear /stress/anxiety as a contributing and/or causative factor of many physical diseases affecting different organ systems. For example, hypertension and palpitations affecting the cardiovascular system, some headaches and tremors affecting the nervous system, and acid reflux and ulcers affecting the upper gastrointestinal system.
A more extreme psychiatric disorder developing from a stronghold of fear would be the psychosis paranoia; this is discerned to be a spirit of fear. Recall that King Saul’s fear and jealousy of young David after he had killed the giant Philistine by the power of God brought an evil spirit upon Saul, supernaturally intensifying his own sin of fear and jealousy (1Samuel 18:6-29, especially vv. 10,15,29). It is God’s cause and effect relationship, His design, that we are blessed when we obey His perfect ways, and destroyed when we disobey them; as He warned us, mental illness is one of the consequences (Deuteronomy ch 28, especially vv. 15,27-28,34,65-67). Praise God we can repent, and, through faith in Christ, we can receive complete deliverance and healing!
Now, let’s consider another universal sin: unforgiveness. Recall that when Peter asked how often he should forgive his brother when he sins against him, Jesus told the parable of the unmerciful servant. This illustrated that we are all beggars before God; He mercifully forgives us our tremendous debt against Him, yet we do not forgive our brother his pittance of a debt to us. Jesus ended the parable warning that being turned over to jailers to be tortured is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart. (Matthew 18:21-35).
Most of us suffer from disease, and many would consider it (or its treatment!) torture. As a pathologist, I examined countless thousands of specimens from patients suffering greatly from an enormous spectrum of acute and chronic diseases involving every organ and tissue of the body. There is so much pathology to learn, it takes at least nine years of medical school, graduate study, and clinical work in order to be able to render consistently accurate pathologic diagnoses on all tissues, cells, and fluids of the human body so as to receive board certification and practice as an anatomic and clinical pathologist. Physicians are highly trained in tremendous details of the physical realm of disease, but we are not taught the spiritual basis of disease in our formal medical education, nor do we depend upon God alone for healing and give Him all the glory (note the words “alone” and “all”).
The Lord called me out from darkness mid-life, and shortly thereafter from the zealous practice of medicine, reminiscent of how He called Saul the Pharisee out from darkness and from the zealous practice of legalism (Philippians 3:4-14 describes it beautifully). God has taught me One-on-one through His word and His Spirit that these thousands of painful, destructive diseases, noncancerous and cancerous alike, are the fruit of our disobedience to Him. Not surprisingly, His word ranks unforgiveness among the most important/common root sins, even addressing it in and immediately after Jesus taught what is known as the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:12-15). God has lovingly brought and taken me through multiple strange Joseph-like experiences, with each one bringing progressively deeper experiential knowledge that forgiveness and death to self are the way to reconciliation and emancipation – the way of Christ Himself.
Our Father takes His children through the fires of affliction time and time again in order that His glorified Son be incrementally wrought into them to minister Life unto others, for, as Jesus Himself modeled for us in the flesh, we mortals certainly can’t do it: I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can do only what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). With the psalmist we sing It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:71).
In His wisdom, God likewise brings experiential knowledge of His supernatural means of healing to His humbled and feeble servants so that no one may boast, and He gets all the glory (see 1Corinthians 1:18-31). The spiritual roots behind our diseases are discerned spiritually – they cannot be taught otherwise. God Himself reveals them to believers who ask, seek, and knock knowing that their heavenly Father has promised to answer and reveal such pearls of wisdom (Matthew 7:7-11). We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. (1 Corinthians 2:12).
And we know His exceedingly great pleasure in us this very moment as we heed His call to repent and be healed, so His glorious Son may be unveiled within us for all to see….
I suggest that we now deliberately pause to consider each of the following strongholds of sin, asking the Lord to show us which ones might be spiritual roots of diseases that afflict us individually. We pray to be sensitive and responsive to His conviction while resting assured that there is no condemnation for those of us in Christ Jesus. Afterwards, let’s thank God for the revelation, confess our sins both to Him and to an accountability partner, pray to receive His grace, and then BE healed by the Lord who already healed us 2,000 years ago!
Judging by mere appearances (John 7:24)
and a more subtle one, Ingratitude
May this list serve as a springboard as we remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s loving touch…
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:2-3).
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13).
Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:19-21).
link to Part VI