Extreme Faith

Posted by John Lindsay on 28th December 2013 in Christian Articles, Health, News

Medicine BibleTwo guys walk into a doctor’s office. The doctor tells them both they are going to die in six months. Six months later one dies while the other lives another thirty years. Why the difference? – Perhaps because one believed the prognosis and the other did not. If this is true, do people die from the presence of disease or an absence of faith?

Let us assume for argument’s sake, disease is a guardrail on the road of life; a not-so-subtle reminder something is wrong and/or missing. If disease is a symptom based on unhealthy actions initiated by bad choices, what precedes the choice? What convinces us to continue to make detrimental decisions as well as turn a blind eye to their consequences?

Matthew 15:11, “Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” The Bible is clear. What we consume is secondary to what we say, but that’s not to say, in terms of health, they are unrelated. Spoken phrases like, “I deserve better.” “That’s not fair.” “I will do whatever I feel like.” indicate a spiritually diseased condition which will influence everything we do, including what we eat. If physical maladies are a direct result of spiritual sickness, we must find the source of the spiritual symptom to find the root issue of the physical problem.

What we say is based on what we think. Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. As one who reckons, he says to you, eat and drink, yet his heart is not with you [but is grudging the cost].” This character snapshot depicts spiritual sickness (i.e. when a person’s spoken word (physical) and his thoughts (spiritual) disagree with one another). When God’s word insists our yes means yes and our no means no, (Matthew 5:37; James 5:12) it is not merely talking about the building blocks of a strong character, it is framing the means to spiritual health.

Thoughts are preceded by influence. Influence is monitored by each individual’s free will. Free will is not an honor but a responsibility which carries a consequence if mismanaged or taken for granted. Hosea 4:6 states God’s people are destroyed for lack of knowledge – specifically God’s law. Filtering out bad influences (evil) is a function of free will and is profoundly impacted by a knowledge of God’s word.

The tenth commandment in Exodus 20:17, “Thou shalt not covet…” strongly suggests the danger of yearning for what does not belong to us. Marketers prey on this particular human weakness to sell their products. What is peculiar is the product is almost incidental. Market research confirms people want a better lifestyle. People buy things, not for the product, but for the lifestyle these products promote. Covetousness has nothing to do with physical lack, but rather verifies spiritual discontentment which we attempt to rectify by accumulating things to make us appear valuable and superior.

So, the lack of knowledge (of God’s word) weakens our will which opens the door to unhealthy influences. These influences affect our thoughts which, when verbalized, affect everything we do. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our thoughts don’t have power, neither does our free will. Unhealthy influences have no power. Even God’s word will sit dormant until we believe it and speak it into our lives. How can we use this information to combat and/or prevent disease?

Romans 10:9, “That if you shalt confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shalt be saved.” Agreement between the spoken word and heart is necessary to insure some blessings.  However, Peter, when asked to cast his nets on the other side of the boat against his better judgement, obeyed and received a great reward. Our disbelief has no power to falsify truth. Lining up our words with truth or deception will determine life or death. So, speaking God’s healing promise (e.g. Isaiah 53:5) contrary to the evidence at hand, even if you believe the grim prognosis, must stifle the power of the disease.

A person who rejects bad health news and fights will always stand a better chance of survival than someone who accepts it. So why not rely solely on faith? – The problem with believing is most people don’t think you can believe in something without first having proof to back it up.

The words “faith” and “believe” are transitive verbs. Transitive verbs must have a direct object (i.e. You have to believe in something). By the same token, you cannot believe in something without first rejecting everything contrary to it. The question is should we direct our faith in a trained physician whom you can see and touch and whose credentials are boldly displayed or in God’s power which can neither be physically proven nor quantified?

An opinion based on medical science is a prediction, not truth; direction, not a destination. Medicine never deals with the root issue. The American school of modern medicine teaches doctors to think alike. A second opinion may weed out incompetence but rarely if ever does it increase options.

Many diseases at one time were considered incurable. If there is no cure, then why do so many promote the investment in research? – Because of hope. Even doctors put their faith in the unknown. Doctors are propelled through their lives and careers by faith, rejecting what they know for the hope of what they do not for the sake of the cure. The great contradiction is asking the sick to hope for a cure while at the same time believe in the medical profession’s speculation based on incomplete information.

When a patient is diagnosed with a disease, doctors will be asked to give that disease’s survival statistics. The problem with numbers is, though real, they are arbitrary. They don’t tell you why someone survives while someone else does not. But if faith determines success, a 2% survival rate can now be viewed two ways: 98% of people die or 100% of those who exercise a necessary level of faith survive.

Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (in the law of God).” Knowledge of medicine deals with issues long after damage is done. Faith, on the other hand, positively affects every step of the progression. So, if faith’s reliability stands to reason, why do people reserve it for a last resort? – Faith healing is hard to quantify, but the most devastating deterrent to using faith is faithful people still die.

I recall taking the most spirit-filled believer I knew to the home of a terminally ill man. We explained what the Bible states about healing, how to use faith and prayed. The man was rejuvenated. Not only was he positively affected, his wife, who would not venture into the basement due to a stroke, escorted us down the stairs to tour their home. It was brought to my attention soon after our meeting the couple sought the sacrament of last rights which negated what we had done. You cannot believe in both life and death simultaneously. Regrettably, yet understandably, the man passed away shortly thereafter.

Faith, when disconnected from God is the equivalent of removing currency from the gold standard or thinking a farmer can insure the security of his family without being accountable to the land. Too many souls walk about with proverbial extension cords, pulling the plug out of one socket and placing it into another only to find out too late, though it may fit from a popularity standpoint, there is no current flowing to the outlet.

Man’s misuse of free will ushered disease and corruption into this world which is now teeming with distraction and manipulation. We should not be surprised when God uses something drastic to get our attention – or push us to our limit for our own good. Unfortunately, carnally driven minds can’t fathom the grace of God working in the midst of a trial.

The enlightened extremist sees more clearly. The eyes of those who exercise extreme faith aren’t clouded by shadows of death. They don’t ask for sympathy. The truly faithful are compelled to rejoice for being chosen for the trial and look forward to God’s strength to be manifested in them and to be drawn closer to God as precious works of art. Non-believers will not have the spiritual strength to resist the erg to become resentful like so many disgruntled souls who sow seeds of bitterness and disillusionment into other unfiltered hearts.

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The Bible doesn’t suggest we trust God with some of our heart. Extreme faith in God is an all or nothing proposition which prevents disease by changing and correcting habits and behaviors which lead to sickness and disease – filtering our minds at the stage of influence.

God created the body to heal itself from the inside out. Most doctors heal from the outside in. This does not mean we should depreciate their work or break ties with the medical profession. Doctors are highly skilled diagnosticians. A doctor can inform you there is something wrong even before a physical symptom manifests itself. Besides, there is no one who needs to hear a story of life more than the person who deals with sickness and death every day.

Jesus offers this alternative in John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Jesus’ brand of life makes an impact and is evidenced by movement, increase and fulfillment. Life abundant is ripe with health, peace and free of fear and guilt. Jesus also used the word more. A more abundant life…through faith. – Sounds extreme.

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