A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body, but envy, jealousy and wrath are like rottenness to the bones. Proverbs 14:30

The bones are where our immune and blood cells are made. The bible tells us that life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11).  Blood represents life and was the atonement for sin in the Old Testament.  We see the power of the blood in the story of the exodus of the Israelite’s from Egypt. The blood of the Lamb, a picture of the perfect Lamb- Christ, was placed over the door post and the angel of death passed over. Today for a born again Christian, it is the perfect blood of Christ that has atoned for our sins once and for all. We step out of death and into life. The abundant life is in the blood of Christ.

Medical science knows all to well the significance of blood. Blood taken from people and even animals can clue us into certain diseases. We know that stress is a major cause of illness. More than 87% of today’s illnesses are stress related. In Proverbs 14:30, we see that envy, jealousy and wrath are harmful to our bones or one could say to our immune system. These emotions are rooted in fear. Fear produces stress on the body and over time suppresses our immune system making it harder for us to fight off illness. The human body has an amazing God-given ability to heal itself if it is cared for properly.

There is so much information about health that it can be overwhelming. Many researchers and holistic medical providers are attributing stress, diet, GMOs (genetically modified organisms), cell phones, and vaccines to many of our illnesses. I researched the average age that people lived during the time of Christ. The average age was somewhere between 35-40 years of age. There was no GMOs, cell phones, antibiotics, or vaccines. They ate from the land yet they did not live long. Why? One thing I know is that the people were stressed by the Roman Empire as well as the Religious elite. There was a big divide between the rich and the poor. Living conditions and sanitation were not that good. The Jews hated the Roman Empire as well as the gentiles. Looks like envy, jealousy and wrath were definitely a problem. In our today’s society, we are living longer but unfortunately many are living with chronic diseases. Is this the abundant life? I think not. In Deuteronomy 28, we read about blessings and curses related to obedience. Sickness is a curse. Guess what! Jesus became a curse so that through Him we could live the blessings of Deuteronomy 28. Healing was purchased at the cross. By His stripes (blood), we have been healed and made whole (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus healed all who came to Him. He tells us that the devil comes to kill, steal, and destroy but He came to give us life abundantly.

We have a part to play in this healing. God tells us in scripture that He put before us life and death. He tells us to choose life. Proverbs 14:30 tells us clearly that a calm and undisturbed mind and heart are life and health to the body. Are we choosing life or death? Many of us are choosing fear over trusting a loving, living God. Many of us are choosing a diet that leads to illness instead of one that leads to life. Many of us choose to dwell on fearful thoughts or to over think to a point of frustration and anxiety. Many Christian choose not to set aside time to spend with God, to hear His voice, and to study His Word.  He tells us that His Words are Spirit and life. How can I have a relationship with someone if I don’t take the time to know them? The same is true of God. We should be going from Glory to Glory not just getting by or living with sickness. Sickness is not God’s will for us. Jesus did not put sickness on anyone. God desires us to be well and to prosper in this life. We are to be bright shining stars in this world.

Reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may avoid the snares of death. Proverbs 14:27

The life of Daniel gives us clues to living a prosperous life even in the midst of turmoil. Daniel was held captive in Babylon. The King ordered that all the young Israelite men  who were handsome and without physical defect, wise and quick to understand, to be taught the language and literature of the Babylonians. They were to be trained for three years then would enter into the king’s service. The king assigned then a daily amount of food and wine from his table. Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the royal food and wine. He asked his chief officer if he and his friends (Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah) could be given only vegetables to eat and water to drink. The chief officer agreed to allow them to eat this way for 10 days and at the end of 10 days Daniel and his friends were healthier than all the other men. The chief officer took away the royal food from the other men and gave them vegetables and water as well. Furthermore, God gave Daniel and his friends knowledge and understanding in all kinds of literature and learning and Daniel could understand visions and dreams. The king found Daniel and his friends ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom. Why was the favor of the Lord on Daniel and his friends? I believe the answer is that they honored and trusted God. Daniel prayed and sought the Lord for answers. We are told that he prayed three times per day and he studied scripture. He did not fear those around him but trusted in the Lord to provide. You know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den. Daniel continued to pray three times a day even though the king decreed that all the kingdom was to pray to no other god except the king. Now God did not stop Daniel from being put in the lion’s den but He did protect him from being eaten. The king was overjoyed to find Daniel alive and made a decree in Daniel 6:26-27:

I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence  the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end. He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”

Daniel trusted in God to protect him and did not fear the lions. His trust in God’s protection caused a nation to worship the one and only true God. Another common practice for Daniel, was fasting. We see in Daniel chapter 9 and 10 that Daniel fasted and prayed. He prayed for his people and repented for their sins. We are told in chapter 10 of the book of Daniel, that he ate no choice food, no meat or wine touched his lips for three weeks. We see that Daniel was aware that certain foods, or at least too much of certain foods, were not good for him. He must have had meat and wine on occasion or he would not be fasting from them for three weeks as he sought the Lord. Daniel lived in a foreign land but he was highly favored by the king. He prospered in a foreign land. God gave him knowledge and understanding. God still does this today. The Lord says in Jeremiah 33:3 that if we will call out to Him, he will answer and tell us great and unsearchable things we do not know. Daniel’s life is one that can teach us much about living a prosperous life even in the midst all the problems of this world. Daniel was devoted to searching the scriptures, worship, prayer, fasting and ate mostly a plant-based diet. We are told he lived to be over 90 years old.

Like Daniel, we are aliens in this world. This is not our home. As a child of God, you are surrounded by His favor. He is able to lift you up and give you a place of honor wherever He has placed you in this temporary life.  As with any child, a father and mother give more privileges as the child grows and matures. God wants to lavishly bless His children but they must be mature enough to handle the gifts. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom (Luke 12:32). Daniel sought the Lord in all things. He humbled himself in prayer and fasting. He refused to defile himself with the kings food. He chose to listen and to believe God for protection, wisdom, and provision. In due time, the Lord lifted him up and gave him a place of honor under a pagan King. His life of excellence and devotion to God changed the culture around him. He delighted himself in the Lord and the Lord gave him the desires and secret petitions of his heart( Psalm 37:4). Today the Kingdom of God is within every born again believer by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(After all) the kingdom of God is not a matter of (getting the) food and drink (one likes), but instead it is righteousness, and (heart) peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

Righteousness is a free gift through the blood of Christ, whereas peace and joy are fruit of the Spirit.  A mind steadfast on the Lord will remain at perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3), and a calm heart and mind are life and health to the body. What is your mind focused on today? What is causing your heart to be troubled? Come to your loving Heavenly Father. He will give you rest. Ask Him how to live the abundant life that His son died to give you.

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