Perhaps some may feel that our physical health and our relationship with the Creator are somehow unrelated. I know that there was a time when this was the case for me. In fact, growing up, I was taught that too much focus on the “physical” was vanity – and that what really mattered was how much time I spent pouring over the Biblical teachings. Now, while I still believe that the Word of the Creator is the source of life and light – and of immeasurable value to us – I have come to know that the religious programming I received was not true, balanced, healthful Spirituality. What matters is not merely how much we know (though truth, wisdom and knowledge are important) but how we choose to live and whether we put into practice what we know in our everyday lives. And, in reality, without practicing wisdom, we will ultimately end up going astray in our understanding of what is true, and of Who God really is. For, He is the living God of dynamic action.
The True Creator of the Bible did not just call us to live out our lives, do Bible & religious stuff some of the time, and wait for a better time in the future – even though this is how some Biblically oriented, religious communities represent Him. The true God has called upon us to live a holy life now. But what is holiness? In simple terms, its being separated for the Creator, and doing things according to His design, and not the design of men. In reality, what this will include is learning to live the way He created us to live, and not the way of the societal world as we know it.
So, what of the societal norms around us? What about the mass production of toxic chemicals? What about the mass consumption of pseudo-foods made in laboratories, stripped of all nutrition and filled with toxic chemicals that degrade human health? What about GMO’s and their dangerous side effects on the earth’s ecology and the discovery of the danger they have upon humans? What about the pesticides and herbicides sprayed all over our food supply? What about the disappearance of bees (necessary for growing produce) resulting from widespread pesticide use? What about the oceans becoming filled with toxins of all kinds? What about the earth becoming filled with completely unnecessary, and irresponsible industrialized waste?
Surely these things are not in alignment with the Creator of the universe. If we are truly His people, then surely He must expect us to not be promoters of these things and to take responsibility over the creation that He has made.
It’s important to note, that this was actually the primary instruction to humanity from our very beginning:
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them,’Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and rule it; Be leaders over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’” / “Then YHWH God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to serve and to guard it.”
(From Gen. 1:17-28; 2:15)
But, it would seem that humanity has forgotten the founding instruction given to our first ancestor, and the intention expressed at the beginning of Genesis concerning our role in the earth as being part of the human race. Perhaps, like many others we may think Spirituality is about depriving ourselves, all about personal sacrifice. But again, this mentality does not truly align with the God of the Hebrews.
“Has YHWH as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the YHWH?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to listen than the fat of rams.”
(1 Sam. 15:22)
“You have even made your back like the ground, and like the street for those who walk over it.”
(Isa. 51:23 – the Words of YHWH – note this was never His intention for us.)
True Spirituality is about walking with God, walking in God’s ways, developing in wisdom, acting in wise ways, being just and kind, becoming a true leader, being humble and showing love. And, if we truly begin to develop in all of these ways, we will come to understand that our personal health choices are of the utmost importance. Every choice we make has consequences, whether for good or for bad. We must take responsibility for the results of our own choices. If we choose to buy from evil corporations who are bringing destruction to the earth – we must come to realize that we are participants in this evil. In reality, we are paying them to do so. If we consume unhealthy food or other substances that destroy our own bodies – we must also understand that we are walking in foolishness, and the God of all creation has called His people to be wise and full of His Shalom (wellness & peace). He has called us to be wise, to be understanding, to be knowledgeable, to be trustworthy and to be productive. And, He desires to dwell in the bodily temple that He has given to each one of us. Accordingly, we have a responsibility to keep this bodily home clean, healthful and strong.
“She clothes herself with strength, and makes her arms strong.”
(Pro. 31:17 – The Wife of Valour)
“Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.”
“Alas, sinful nation...
The whole head is sick,
And the whole heart faints.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
There is no soundness in it,
But wounds and bruises and putrefying sores;
They have not been closed or bound up,
Or soothed with ointment.”
(Isa. 1:4, 6)
Evil, destructiveness, foolish choices, irresponsibility, ignorance – these are not the characteristics for God’s people – though they have all been commonplace for millennia. He has called us to be restorers, to be those who bind up the sicknesses of the world. He has called us to bring cleansing, wholeness, health, truth, and justice to the world.
“But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend…
Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles…
A bruised reed he will not break,
And smoking flax he will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till he has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for his law.”
I, YHWH, have called you in righteousness,
And will hold your hand;
I will keep you and give you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house…
‘You are My witnesses,’ says YHWH,
‘And My servant whom I have chosen…’
Thus says YHWH:
‘In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you;
I will preserve you and give you
As a covenant to the people,
To restore the earth,
To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;
That you may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’
To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’
They shall feed along the roads,
And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.
They shall neither hunger nor thirst,
Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;
For He who has mercy on them will lead them,
Even by the springs of water He will guide them.'”
(Selections from Isaiah – 41:8; 42:1,3-4,6-7; 43:10; 49:8-10)
These are beautiful descriptions of God’s people – the glorified Israel – the Servant Leader of Yah. May these be things that we strive for in our own lives. First seeking to walk in His ways and His instructions, and then as we become wise in our own lives and as we become healed in our God – we will be able to bring healing to the world at large.
And, we don’t have to do any of this alone. For the God of Israel, YHWH of Hosts, has promised to help His people to bring forth His good pleasure and walk in all His beauty and purity – fighting when we need to fight – and binding up when we need to bind up – all according to His perfect leadership. He will help us to be Leaders with Him.
“Fear not – for I am with you.” – This is His promise to His beloved family (Isa. 41:10).
And so, praise His name for His glorious promises, and His never ending love.
In Sincere Shalom,