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-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --
Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net

Breaking Expectation Barriers In Healing

by Teresa Seputis

Lesson 6
Holiness and Healing

The Power of A Holy Lifestyle

You probably already know that our lifestyle and personal holiness have a direct effect on our overall health. It is a spiritual principle that makes a lot of sense, even to the natural mind. The Bible gives us many guidelines for holy living that protect our health when we follow them. For example sexual purity laws protect us from all sorts of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or AIDS. The prohibition against drunkenness protects our livers and kidneys. This isn't such a big factor any more because we know to thoroughly cook pork now, but back in the Bible days the "unclean" food laws against pork was to protect people from a parasite carried in pork that causes severe intestinal problems. Many of the laws that God gave us were designed to protect our physical and mental health. God is practical, and He wants His people to be healthy. That is why the health laws in the Bible are good old-fashioned common sense.

But there are also spiritual factors behind them. Did you know that God releases angels to guard our health when we live in a way that honors and obeys Him? That comes right from Psalm 91:9-12: "9 Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place- 10 no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; 11 for He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." This means that most of the time God protects our health when we honor Him with a holy lifestyle.

This is a general principle and there are always a few exceptions to it. There are times when the Lord allows very godly people get seriously sick in ways that don't make a lot of sense to us. An example is my friend Diane. She was a beautiful and godly Christian woman, and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She passionately loved God and honored Him in every aspect of her life. Despite her holy lifestyle, she was diagnosed with skin cancer in her early twenties and eventually died from it. One time, shortly before she died, she told me that she thought the reason that God allowed her to suffer from this terrible disease was because He needed her to be His witness to the other chemotherapy patients. She led at least three or four people to the Lord before she died, and about another six of "cancer friends" received Jesus at her funeral. God allowed her to experience severe health problems even though she was a godly person.

Her story is similar to the man who was born blind in John 1:1-3: "1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' 3 Jesus answered, 'Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.'"

In other words, there will be times when people live very godly and holy lifestyles, and they still get sick. But most of the time, God guards a believer's health when then live to please Him.

God laid the principle out very clearly in His word: God heals us and keeps us well when we obey His commandments. Look at Exodus 15:26, "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord Who heals you."

There are more Bible verses to substantiate this. Proverbs 3:5-8 tells us that obeying God "will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 4:22 tells us that God's wisdom is "life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body." Daniel Chapter 1 (especially verse 15) demonstrates how God gives us supernatural health when we obey Him and walk in His ways. Malachi 4:2 says, "But for you who revere My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall." We have been talking about God protecting the health of those who honor Him. As we have seen in His word, He really does that, and in very practical ways. Let me share a modern-day example. Sexual morality is very "loose" in some parts of Africa. As a result, AIDS is an enormous problem there. The believers (who follow the Bible's guidelines about not having sex outside of marriage) have a much lower AIDS rate than their unsaved neighbors, because AIDS is primarily a sexually transmitted disease.

Breaking The Power Of Sin

The flip side to all of this is that if disobedience to God can cause sickness. God makes that very clear in Deuteronomy 28, where He lays out the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Those curses include health problems like plague, consumption, with fever, inflammation, severe burning fever, severe boils that cannot be healed, tumors, the scab, the itch from which you cannot be healed, madness, blindness, confusion of heart (e.g., emotional problems), etc. Deut 28:35 says, "Moreover all these curses shall come upon you and pursue and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you."

That is bad news, because at some point in our Christian walk, many of us have chosen to deliberately disobey God in some way or another. That puts all of us under the curse of disobedience, and opens us up to all sorts of health problems. But the good news is that when we repent and start obeying God, then He lifts the curse and begins protecting our health again. There is great physical healing power in repentance and forgiveness. That is what the power of the "blood of Jesus" is all about.

I would like to share a story from Aimee McPherson's life. She is one of my "heroes of the faith." She founded the Foursquare denomination, had a very powerful healing ministry, and was a mighty woman of God. When she was young, she got married, and she and her husband went out on the missions field. He died there and she came home with a young baby. She had to remarry in order to support herself and her child. Her new husband was a successful businessman who wanted a "respectable wife" to stay home and take care of the children. She felt God calling her into ministry, but he overtly refused to let her do it. So Aimee had a painful choice--obey God or obey her husband. She made the 'practical' choice of obeying her husband. God continued to call her to the ministry of an evangelist, and she continued to refuse His call because she afraid that her husband would divorce her.

Then she became deathly ill. She was in the hospital and she was quite literally dieing. She was on what they call "death watch" where they move you to a private room and a nurse sits with you until you die, trying to make the last few hours before you die as comfortable as possible. Aimee was laying in bed quite literally waiting to die when God spoke to her. He gave her the choice one last time to obey Him and preach the gospel. She realized that she would die if she said "no" because she had been disobeying God. So she repented and committed to obey Him. God healed her instantly. She sat up in bed and gave the death watch nurse quite a shock.

In Aimee's case, her sickness was a result of her deliberate choice to disobey God. As soon as she repented of it, God healed her. (You already know the rest of her story--she began to preach the gospel and hundreds of thousands were saved and healed through her ministry.)

There is a spiritual principle here: repentance breaks the power of sin in our lives to make us sick. The Bible backs this principle up over and over again. Let's look at some Old Testament examples:

Here are some verses from the New Testament that say basically the same thing.

When we fall under the curse of disobedience, our bodies often get sick. No amount of healing prayer will heal us until we repent to God for our disobedience and sin. But if we repent, then God will heal us and restore our health.

-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <godspeak@godspeak.org> --

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