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Health and Faith.  What does real food, doctor’s visits, and exercise have to do with our spiritual life?  Many people insist that there is no correlation, saying that our faith is compartmentalized to the church, to the spiritual, and to the supernatural, while our bodies and health are a part of the flesh, the natural, and the physical world.  If this is true, then why does God tell us to worship Him with our strength?  I assert that, in fact, there is a spiritual battle going on for our health and especially for our strength.

Spiritual Battle for Your Health

The Spiritual Battle for Your Health

Recently, I have been spending time reading Priscilla Shirer’s book, Fervent.  She talks about the most common areas of our life that Satan tries to attack.  I honestly haven’t gotten to the chapter about strength yet, but just reading the first few chapters has stirred my thinking.  With the health of so many children and adults declining due to poor dietary choices, “bad genes,” and health problems that are plaguing people from birth, how can we not attribute this to the work of the one who steals, kills, and destroys?  Satan is more than happy to covertly steal our health, kill our hopes for living without a disability or health issue, and destroy our body.  And he’s using us to do it.

In Luke 10:27, Jesus tells us that the two greatest commandments are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  We focus greatly on worshiping God with our heart, soul, and mind, but we contentedly allow Satan to pull the wool over our eyes in regards to our strength.

The Greek word used in Luke 10:27 is ischys which means “to the extent of one’s ability” or “ability, force, strength, might.”  The question for the spiritual battle for your health is this . . . do you wish to use the self-control that God has given you to increase the extent of your ability or are you satisfied to be limited in the capacity in which you can love the Lord your God with your strength?

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:17 ESV

The Choice in the Spiritual Battle

We all have choices to make in regard to our faith.  Each morning, God gives us the freedom to live in His grace or in our own power.  In regards to our mind, we can fill our minds with all that the world has or we can worship God by filling our minds with His Word, prayer, and meditating on His good deeds.  Our physical health is no different, but our health is determined by a set of choices that we make day after day that have affected us poorly (past and present), will affect us poorly (future possibility), or can radically strengthen us (alternate future possibility).  Our choices on food, health care, and exercise have either hurt our health in the past and we are living with the consequences, will affect our health negatively, or if we change our current choices on food, health care, and exercise, our health can be redeemed and our strength can return to our bodies.

Which option sounds best to you?

Why Christians Reject Healthy Food, Exercise, and “Alternative” Health

The bulk of the modern body of believers rejects health food, exercise, and alternative health as a way to worship God and increase (or maintain) their strength for doing good works.  Why is this?  We have trusted in the testimony and teachings of food companies, health systems, and the medical field to provide us with food, health advice, and, ultimately, strength and wellness, but we have stopped using our minds to analyze whether our trust has been well allocated.

If our modern food is nourishing, then we should be satisfied after eating a meal.  Are we?

If the current health advice is sound, then we should be healthy and well after eating a low-fat diet, getting all of our shots, and eating all of these foods with added vitamins.  Are we?

If modern science is so advanced and accurate, then we should as a society be living longer, having less diseases, and feeling better.  Are we?

I will these questions as I see the world around me . . . no, we are not.  We are not satisfied after eating our meals; we are nutritionally starved.  We are not healthy and well; children are developing more allergies, more diseases, and having more developmental issues.  We are not living longer, we have more diseases, and we are feeling worse than ever before; adults are dying sooner, are developing heart disease, diabetes, and cancer at alarming rates, and are dealing with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and depression.

We are sicker than ever, weaker than ever, and our physical ability is decreased as a whole.  So I ask you, should we, as Christians, thoughtlessly accept the testimony and teachings of the food companies, health systems, and medical field and blindly proceed forward, or should we begin to look objectively at the options at hand and begin to accept rather than reject healthy food, exercise, and alternative health choices?

Spiritual Battle - Your Health Matters

Common Excuses and Why They Aren’t Valid or Sound

While my arguments above may be convincing for some, I know there are some common excuses/arguments that remain.  I will attempt to address them below.

Our food does not affect our health. – False

Many people believe that food and health are disconnected. This is simply untrue.  God made our food to nourish our bodies.  When we adulterate our food and process it in unnatural ways, our food no longer has the nourishment our bodies’ need.  We can either eat “food” that is dead and no longer has nourishment or we can eat real food that restores our body and allows it to operate how God intends.

God says He’ll work in our weakness. – Misinterpretation

This is a misinterpretation of 2 Corinthians 12:9.  God’s power is made perfect in our human weakness, but that does not excuse us from the responsibility to use the fruit of self-control in order to maintain the gift of health that God has given us.  Our body and health are a talent (Matthew 25:14-30) and our use of this particular gift can be used to glorify God or cast away.

I need to listen to the nutrition and wellness advice of my physician to be a good Christian. – False

This argument is appealing to a false authority.  Most physicians only take one nutrition class in their studies to become a doctor.  We assume that a physician would have the best advice on all things relating to health, but this is untrue.  In addition, many doctors and nutritionists are trained by universities that receive funding from large companies who sell processed foods and other large companies that sell prescription drugs and vaccinations.  This is a conflict of interest.  We have to assess these opinions with our minds rather than accepting these blindly.

Balance of the Battle

The spiritual battle for our health needs to be balanced.  As a Christian who cares deeply for my family’s health and for the health of those around me, I can easily spend too much time focusing on my health and others health and lose my focus on God in the process.  Exercise, clean eating, and healthy diets can become a god.  Satan attacks the health choices of some and when we begin to attempt to get on track with our health, Satan tries to get us to turn it into a god.  Sounds just like him doesn’t it?

If you want to make a change in your health for Christ, please utilize the resource of my blog and these websites listed below.  While I do get ultra-passionate at times, my desire is to keep a balance.  God’s kingdom is our ultimate goal and no amount of healthy eating or exercise is going to get us there.  However, God’s kingdom is our goal and we want to bring glory to God by taking care of the body He has given us.  Again, balance.

Boholistic Mom’s Starting Resources for Health

  1. Identifying Real Food and Foe Food
  2. Traditional Eating – Returning to the Past
  3. What Foods to Buy Organic
  4. Consuming Healthy Fats
  5. My Real Food Timeline – My Journey to Health

Other Websites to Visit

  • The Weston A. Price Foundation – Traditional food site with great information
  • Real Food RN Recipes – A list of real food recipes by blogger Real Food RN
  • Real Milk – Pivotal information about dairy and how to feed your body unadulterated dairy
  • 100 Days of Real Food Recipes – This blogger tried eating 100 days with real food and hasn’t stopped!
  • Whole 30 – Why do I list the Whole 30?  It isn’t perfect, but it can be a GREAT first step for people trying to decrease weight, inflammation, and increase their knowledge about hidden sugars, issues with dairy and modern wheat, and a eating a balanced real food diet.  My every day diet aligns with the Weston A. Price guidelines, but if I need a little strictness to get me back to utilizing my self-control I use the Whole 30 as a tool.

The Conclusion

God has given you a beautiful gift of self-control, health, and strength to bring glory to His Name.  Consider what choices you can make that can better prepare you to do the good works that He has set before you.  There is a spiritual battle for your health and I pray that God enables your eyes to be opened so that you can reclaim your health for His glory.  God bless!

Brooke Shambley

THE Boholistic Mom

I love comments.  Each one is a great treasure to me as I seek to reach out to my family, friends, and other mothers and women who deeply desire to minister to their family through their choices.  Where are you in your spiritual battle for your health?  Have you been fighting for a while or are you just realizing that you are in the midst of a battle?

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