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-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --
Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net> http://www.godspeak.net
Editor: Elvi Glass

Working With God
To 'Keep Your Healing'

by Teresa Seputis

Lesson 12
Wrap Up

We have spent the last 11 lessons looking at various practical ways to work with God to keep our healing once He has healed us.

We need to remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. And, as God's priests, a part of our duty is to take care of His temple, to keep it clean and in good shape. In other words, God expects us to take care of ourselves physically because we are to be good stewards of His temple. This means He expects us to eat healthy and wisely, to get rid of bad habits that are hurtful to our bodies, to stay free from sin and to exercise our authority in Christ to break curses against our health and to rebuke and cast out any spirits of infirmity that try to take up residence in our bodies.

God has spent a long time developing His character, His nature, His giftings and His anointings in each of us. He does this because He desires for us to participate with Him in doing what He is doing -- in advancing His kingdom, of sharing the good news of the gospel and of tearing down the works of the devil.

The devil, on the other hand, is very interested in taking us out of commission so that we can't work with God to tear down his kingdom by building up God's kingdom. The devil uses many strategies to try to take us out. He will try to entice us into sin and away from serving God. He will attempt to take us out emotionally and try to get us to disqualify ourselves. But that is a whole different teaching series, and we won't address that here.

The devil will also try to take us out of commission by getting us physically sick. However, God has given us authority to heal the sick and to cast out spirits of infirmity. We do not have to accept sickness or infirmity from the devil, we can go to God for physical healing and God will usually heal us.

And a third way that the devil will try to take us out of commission is to get us to harm and sabotage our physical health through bad eating and health habits and through poor nutrition. Our eating habits can directly effect our health. They can cause a variety of serious health problems. If our diet causes a problem and God heals us of that health condition, we need to change our eating habits or they will eventually give us the same problem again.

God wants us well, so that we can work with Him to advance His kingdom, so that we can fulfill our destinies. God desires health for us. It is true that He is a healing God, but He doesn't want us to keep getting sick and to constantly be in need of a physical healing from Him. When we don't take proper care of our bodies, we give the devil a foothold to bring sickness and infirmities to us. The devil is a legalist, and he is always looking for "legal loopholes" to attack those who are actively building up God's kingdom. This is one of his ways of fighting back, of "protecting his turf."

God wants us to be good stewards of our bodies, the temple of the Holy Spirit, so that we can stay well and be available to do real kingdom work along with the Father. There are numerous ways that God expects us to do that.

One of them is in the area of nutrition and how it effects our health and healings. For instance, eating fatty and high cholesterol foods and hydrogenated oil can cause high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries and heart related problems. Too much salt can raise our blood pressure. Eating too many sugars and simple carbohydrates can lead to tiredness, exhaustion and even diet induced diabetes. Not drinking enough water can lead to kidney problems. We need vitamins and minerals such as potassium for healthy muscle tissue, calcium for strong bones, vitamin B for stress and proper digestion, etc. And, of course, being overweight often leads to a bunch of health related problems, so we need to do our best to control our eating and weight. Lessons 4 to 11 cover these subjects in a fair amount of detail.

Exercise is also important to staying healthy. Exercise raises metabolism. It helps to keep our muscle-to-fat ratio (or percentage of total body fat) at lower levels. Exercise tones our muscles. Cardiovascular exercise is good for our hearts and lungs, and it increases strength and endurance and energy level. It can even help to lower our blood pressure. And it can be a critical factor in helping us control obesity and maintain a healthy and safe weight. Lessons 1 and 9 discuss exercise in a fair amount of detail. Lesson 9 is also helpful from a weight loss perspective, because it gives you an idea of how many calories you burn when you do various types of exercise.

Emotional factors can strongly effect our health. God has set up a lot of principles and guidelines to help guard our emotional health. He has given us His supernatural peace and promised us His protection. He has also promised to take care of our needs, so that we don't have to live under anxiety and stress. In addition to this, God has really emphasized how important it is for us to forgive freely from the bottom of our hearts. Unforgiveness has negative spiritual effects on us, because it separates us from God and it gives the devil inroads to attack us. And unforgiveness also has a direct effect on our physical health. Unforgiveness and bitterness appears to be the cause of many physiological problems including digestive tract problems, circulatory system conditions (heart problems and blood pressure) and possibly even cancer.

Inner healing and releasing forgiveness seems to play a big factor in our health. Doctors say many physical illnesses are caused by our emotional and mental state instead of by physiological factors. And our mental state can effect the duration, severity and depth of symptoms of an illness that has strictly physiological causes. In short, the better our mental and emotional state, the healthier most of us will be. That may be one of the reasons why God likes to go deep, to bring healing and resolution to past hurts and to set us free from the mental bondages and oppressions of the enemy, such as fear, rage, anxiety, etc. Lesson 3 discusses the effects of our emotions on health and healing and keeping our healing.

And of course, there is a spiritual dimension to healing and health. This comes in multiple areas. One of these areas is in our own holiness. Sometimes sin can open the door for health problems. In this case, God wants us to stop sinning to keep our healing. We know this from John 5:14, where Jesus told a man He'd healed to "stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." (This is developed in more detail in lesson 3).

Faith plays an important role in healing and in staying well after God has healed us. We need some sort of indication from God that He wants to heal us before we stand in faith for our healing. God may quicken a scripture to you, give you a prophetic word promising your healing, etc. Once you have that, stand in faith. And when God heals you, you should certainly stand in faith to stay well if your symptoms try to return.

Sometimes there is a fine line between faith and presumption. Please try to avoid presumption (or accidental mishearing) when it comes to discontinuing your medications. If you hear God tell you to stop taking a medication that you need to stay alive, use common sense in how you do that. Likewise, if your medication is needed to prevent a serious condition, run it by your doctor before discontinuing it. Let the doctor be the one to examine you and take you off of the medication. Lesson 2 discusses this area in more detail.

There is also a spiritual warfare side to keeping your healing. Many illnesses are caused by a spirit of infirmity. If the prayer that healed you was an authority prayer to cast out that spirit, it may try to come back later on. When a demon is cast out, it wanders around for a while looking for a new home. If it can't find one, it tries to return to its previous host. It will try to bring back the original symptoms to convince the person they were not healed. In this case, you need to exercise your authority in Christ to rebuke the spirit of infirmity.

There are other spiritual warfare factors that enter into this. Some sicknesses are caused by curses and if you don't break the curse, the sickness may try to return because the curse is still in effect. Some sicknesses are caused by high level spiritual warfare ... the enemy may assign some of his demons to make you sick so that you stop advancing God's kingdom and damaging Satan's kingdom. In these cases, you may need intercession or you may need to use your authority in Christ to explicitly cancel the assignments of the enemy against you. Lesson 2 goes into this in a bit more detail.

The bottom line in every aspect of health and healing is to try to put yourself totally under the lordship of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Invite Him into your eating and health habits. Ask Him to teach you how He would like you to live in these areas, to show you any eating or health habits He would like to change. Ask Him to make His will clear to you and also ask Him to empower you to do what He tells you to do in this area. Don't try to make these changes solely on your own strength. Instead invite God into the process and give Him Lordship over it. You will have much more success if you do this with God instead of trying to do it on your own.

-- © GodSpeak International 2003 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <godspeak@godspeak.org> --

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