Health: The Prospering Soul

Beloved friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and that you continually enjoy good health, just as your soul is prospering.

3 John 1:2

Our spiritual health is connected to our physical health. Websters dictionary defines health as the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit. What we are “feeding” our soul is just as important as what we are “feeding” our body. Throughout scripture, we see that meditating or filling our mind with the Word of God is life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body (Proverbs 4:22). I really love The Passion Translation of Proverbs 4:21-22:

Fill your thoughts with my words
    until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
 Then, as you unwrap my words,
    they will impart true life and radiant health
    into the very core of your being.

 

“Fill your thoughts with my words”brings us back to the process of being transformed by the renewing of our mind. The Passion Translations says it beautifully: Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes. 

Proverb 4:23 says something very interesting. 

So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
    for they affect all that you are.
    Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
    for from there flows the wellspring of life.

Our innermost being is our spirit and our emotional state can affect our spirit which will eventually affect our physical well-being. I ask you this question: Do you have internal peace or is your inner-self in turmoil? The bible tells us in Isaiah 26:3:  You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

We learn from this passage that to be at peace in our inner-self two things are required: a mind steadfast or focused on Jesus and TRUST in His protection and promises, both will require FAITH. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith also requires an action or persistence on our part.  Google dictionary defines persistence as a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”. Being persistent means that you do not give up even when things get hard.  Persistence is actually required for true change to happen in our lives. This is true in any endeavor we undertake. How many of us make a decision to get healthy but when the first hunger pain comes we give in? Health begins when we set our mind to seek the Lord daily. It is the seeking to know Him and meditating on His Word that leads to a prospering soul and divine health. The problem is not food or drink really but the condition of our soul.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy. Romans 14:17 The Passion translation. 

As born again believers, we have been made righteous through Christ. Righteousness is a free gift that can’t be earned. Jesus is our peace and our joy. The peace Jesus gives is an eternal peace not the peace that the world gives. The joy we have is the joy of our salvation. The joy of knowing our eternity is in Heaven. We are secure in Him. The problem for most of us is our thinking or our mindset. Do we have a Kingdom mindset or a world mindset? A kingdom mindset will bring the peace that surpasses all understanding. Kingdom peace will bring rest and health. Health begins with a soul that is prospering. Let Jesus bring peace and joy to your soul. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). 

I will leave you with this passage:

Psalm 27:14 (TPT)

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

Please take time to listen to my interview with Dr. Eric Madrid a family physician from Southern California. He shares his personal story on how stress can lead to weight gain. 

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, Healthy mind healthy body: Stress and Weight Gain https://anchor.fm/allison-rolston-pa-c/episodes/Stress-and-Weight-Gain-e2m2ql

“A mans life will be of the character of his thought. His outward life will be as the inner impulse is.” ~ John G. Lake

In today’s podcast, I discuss the importance of a low inflammatory diet. Stress and anxiety also increase inflammation in the body. My hope is that today’s podcast will bring light to the subject of inflammation and how perfect love is the answer to living the abundant life.

Listen to this episode of my podcast, Healthy mind healthy body, Low Inflammatory Diet https://anchor.fm/allison-rolston-pa-c/episodes/Low-Inflammatory-Diet-e2k67e

Peace. All of us long for it but how do we get it and maintain it? The word for Peace in Hebrew is Shalom. I love the Hebrew language because it has such rich and deep meaning. The root word for Shalom is the verb shalam which means to be safe in mind, body, or estate. It further implies a completeness (fullness), or type of wholeness that promotes one to give back or generously re-pay something in some way. In biblical terms, shalom means an inward sense of completeness or wholeness (inner completeness and tranquility). In Israel, saying shalom literally means “may you be full of well-being or health and may prosperity be upon you”. Shalom is used to say “hello” and “goodbye” in the Jewish culture.

The pathway to peace begins in the mind. We can choose to medtitate on things above or meditate on evil. The Lord says that a mind steadfast on Him will remain at peace. Peace He gives is a peace that surpasses all understanding. This peace is found in relationship with a wonderful Heavenly Father who wants to give you more of His Holy Spirit. Today’s podcast discusses the power of our thoughts. Hope you will take time to listen! Sholam, may health and prosperity be upon you!

Listen to the newest episode of my podcast, Healthy mind healthy body: Transformed Mind is a Transformed Life https://anchor.fm/allison-rolston-pa-c/episodes/Transformed-Mind-is-a-Transformed-Life-e2j0bc

 

Weapons of War

“Love truly is the key, the secret and the answer to the pain in the world today.” Doug Addison

Love is a powerful emotion that can bring healing to others and to ourselves. Learning to love ourselves is very important. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor as ourselves. The Lord told me years ago that you can’t truly love your neighbor until you love yourself. You can’t even love God until you embrace His love for you. God’s love is so deep and so rich that many can’t comprehend it. It’s seems like foolishness. Why would God come in human form and die for me? The answer is really a simply one – LOVE. God wishes that no one should perish but have eternal life. Eternity is in each one of us. Unfortunately, sin took us out of our intimate relationship with God. It all started with a lie. Satan told Eve that if she ate from the tree of knowledge, she would be like God. There is the lie. She already was like God. Here started our battle with evil, and I find it interesting that it involved eating.

We were born into a battle. At your very conception, the enemy started to devise his plan for your destruction. Why? Simply because you were created in the image of God with the potential to over throw the kingdom of darkness. When your spirit connects to the Spirit of God through the Holy Spirit, you become a weapon for the “Kingdom of Light”. We of course connect to the “Kingdom of Light” by accepting the “Light of the World” Jesus Christ as our Savior. As born again believers, we have been given authority to overcome all the works of the devil. It is in communion with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and growing in maturity that the Father can trust us with more of His authority.  Satan’s primary target is our relationship with God and our identity in Christ. He is also after our love walk. He wants us hurt and mad with people because people united in love are powerful. We see his hand at work today with all the fighting and hateful words being spoken. He loves division among people. Our fight is not against people but against Satan and his demons.

As children of God, we are called to release Him (His love) to the broken, dark world. We are called to bring light to the darkness which includes casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Why is the church not walking in this mandate? Put simply: unbelief. The church looks like the world. We are anxious, fearful, sick, depressed, addicted, stressed, and judgmental of others. We do not honor our brothers and sisters and are focused on worldly things or are “double-minded” (James 1:8).  Anything we focus on more than Jesus is an idol (stronghold) that must be broken down. An idol can be food, people, sex, people pleasing, negativity, job, ministry, exercise, health, television, video games, or self. Unbelief is a primary entry point for the devil. We don’t take God at His Word. We don’t pray or fast, and worse yet, many don’t even believe there is a devil. The reason evil is progressing is because we the “Body of Christ” have not taken our place as the children of God. We have down-graded grace to stay stuck in habitual sin. We are complacent in our walk with God and are more worried about ourselves than those perishing around us. We say things like “God knows my heart” as an excuse to stay in sin. Grace is the person of Jesus Christ, and He gives us the power to overcome sin. Sin shall not have dominion over us. It’s time to get battle ready. God needs His army to be strong in mind, body and spirit.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

The enemy wants us stressed, sick, and ineffective in the Kingdom of God. He wants to steal our peace and joy. God wants us whole, walking in all that He has given us. He wants a “Body” that can carry the fullness of His Presence to a hurt, sick, and dying world. He wants a people who are emotionally stable, not wavering in the storms of life, but who have their mind and heart fixed or steadfast on things above. Now we are told that the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.  The enemy attacks these three areas. Righteousness is our identity in Christ, Jesus is our peace in whom we find rest for our soul, and the joy of the Lord is our strength.
To be effective in the Kingdom, we must know who we are in Christ, have peace in our inner man as we walk in peace with others, and have and express the joy of the Lord. The lack of inner peace, I believe, is the root of our emotional, spiritual, and physical problems. We seek to obtain peace from things that are only temporary fixes. Food and drink is just one area but I do believe it is probably the one most used by the “Body of Christ”. We involve so many of our functions around food and most of it is not healthy. 1 Timothy 4:4 says that everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. The key word in this passage is “everything God created is good”. It doesn’t say that everything man created is good.
So much of what we eat today is processed and full of preservatives. Studies have confirmed that our American Standard Diet is causing illness and that more than 87% of illness is stress related. Over-eating is a spiritual problem rooted in unhealthy emotions. Over-eating is an attempt to silence the inner man with food that does not satisfy but leaves us empty. The food that satisfies is the Word of God. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the bread of life. Jesus said my Words are Spirit and Life. The Bible says that by not “discerning the body of Christ” that many have fallen sick (1 Cor. 11:29-31).
I believe that not “discerning the Body of Christ” involves three principles:
  • not spending time meditating on the Word and what Jesus actually did for us at the cross,
  • not partaking in Holy Communion (the bread and wine), and
  • not honoring our brothers and sister in Christ.
It is in communion with Jesus, that we are healed, find rest for our soul, and receive the confidence to move in the fullness of what he has for us. In communion with Him, a divine exchange can happen if we will listen to His voice, agree with Him, and obey what he says. The healing of my food addiction did not come by disciplining myself or punishing myself but gradually declined as my knowledge of the love of Christ for me grew. Because I knew he loved me and would never forsake me, I could trust and obey Him. His love lead me to repentance. Repentance is changing your mind for the better. Every time you believe right you are repenting. Repenting is the process of being transformed by the renewing of your mind. God wants a people who can carry His presence. In order to walk in this fullness, we need not to have anything in common with the enemy. This is our spiritual journey. God is calling us deeper into His Love, into a deeper revelation of who he is.  This requires letting go of some old ways of thinking. Now let’s talk more about how we fight the battle.
Doug Addison said it best in his October 18 blog  entitled: This is Your Time to Step Up and Not Step Down: “People are not our enemy–Satan and his demons are. However, if you try and fight the enemy with the same spirit the enemy is operating in, you will get knocked out.”  He goes on to say that if we have anything in common with the enemy then things can backfire on us. Doug went on to say “Jesus had nothing in common with the enemy.  We lose our authority in prayer if we harbor things like soul wounds, past hurts, unforgiveness,  and bitterness. Allowing God to heal us of these things allows us to take authority over them.” Doug says to give the enemy a “black eye” is to do what Jesus said:
“How can you say to your brother,’Brother, let me take the speck out of your  eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Luke 6:42
It’s time for us to ask God to search our hearts and quit looking at what’s wrong with our neighbor. Our weapons are not weapons of this world but have divine power to demolish strongholds.
The Lord has shown me weapons we can use to remain at “REST”: worship, prayer, meditation, Identity, and His Word. These are not meant to be in any order but are tools for staying at rest or at peace.  Peace is so important. Peace is power and when we remain in peace or rest the enemy knows he is defeated. Internal peace is key to physical health as well.
Worship is the acknowledgment of the Creator of the universe as our source of life, praising Him for His goodness and getting our eyes off ourselves. It is in worship that our chains (bondage’s) are broken. In Acts, 16:25-26, we see the power of prayer and worship at work. Paul and Silas were in jail praying and singing hymns to God. All of a sudden an earthquake shook the foundation of the prison. The jail doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. When we pray and worship, foundations of evil are shaken and not only are we set free but others are set free as well. This is why Satan doesn’t want you praying or worshiping. It’s a powerful weapon. The Israelite’s won many battles never lifting a weapon. The worshipers went out to battle first and the battle was won with no one lifting a single physical weapon.
Meditation is the process of renewing our mind with the Word of God and setting our mind on things above. A mind fixed on Jesus will remain in perfect peace. A mind determined to think Kingdom thoughts will no longer be “double-minded”. Being double minded is simply a mind that wavers or vacillates from one thought to the next. We must set our mind on the Kingdom of God. Right believing will bring about right living.
Prayer is engaging our Lord Jesus in conversation. It is seeking to know Him and His ways. It is in this time of intimacy with Him that we are transformed from the inside out.
Identity In Christ and Declaring the Word of God are keys to living the victorious life. We must know what God says about us in order to overcome every lie of the enemy.  Believing and confessing God’s word will bring such peace and joy. His Words are Spirit and Life. I encourage you to study this scripture in Philippians 4:6-9:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you. 

Though prayer, petition, thanksgiving, and thinking Kingdom thoughts, the peace of God shall garrison and mount guard over your heart and mind. In other words, He fights and protects you. It’s time to get battle ready.

Are you Battle Ready?

“I have been a compulsive person, always working and eating more than I should”. John Wimber: Evangelist and Founder of the Vineyard Church

John Wimber was an evangelist, musician, author and founder of the Vineyard Church. He led many to Christ and his teachings touched many lives. He believed in healing, yet died at 63 years old. He admitted in his own words that he was compulsive, working all the time and eating too much. Sounds like so many of us today, doesn’t it? In 1986, Wimber had a heart attack and in 1993, Wimber was diagnosed with sinus cancer.  In 1997, he had a triple by-pass. He admitted that he struggled with depression and with his theology on healing during his treatment for cancer. He went through radiation weighing 280 pounds. He fell in November 1997 and died of a brain hemorrhage on November 17, 1997.

What happened to John Wimber is happening to many in the Body of Christ today. We are living stressful lives and eating too much of the wrong things. The enemy has conned us into believing that we can live, think, and eat anyway we want to under grace and still not get sick. So many of us are dying before we complete our destiny. I wonder how many more lives would have been impacted by Mr. Wimber had he lived longer?

More than 87% of illness is stress related. Overeating is a stress related disorder. This topic was discussed in an article entitled: Effects of Chronic Social Stress on Obesity.  The study stated that stress “tends to alter the pattern of food consumption and promotes cravings of nutrient-dense ‘comfort foods’. Many OF US use food like AN ALCOHOLIC uses alcohol. We use food as a comfort and a stress reliever. Somehow we don’t see eating as a problem but obesity is rampant in the church. Food addiction is no different that addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, work, television, video games, approval, shopping, or exercise. All of these practices are attempts to fill a void in our souls that can only be filled with Christ. We criticize our brothers and sisters for drinking occasional alcohol but we are overweight and addicted to sugar, caffeine and salt.  Chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Coronary Artery Disease, and obesity are rising. Medical studies have revealed that these diseases can be prevented by diet.

The other piece of preventing illness is our mind. Meditating on the wrong things can also bring physical illness. Every negative thought produces a negative affect on the body. The University of Virginia Medical School has found that our immune system is connected to our brain through small vessels. So an unhealthy thought life can affect our immune system making us more susceptible to illness. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body. We need to change our mindset about food and the business of our lives. This mindset change starts with the renewing of our mind. Our primary goal should be to seek the Lord for wisdom and allow Him to show us how to live the abundant life and fulfill our God-given destiny. The pursuit to know Him will also require obedience on our part. Radical obedience will lead to radical blessings!

The book of Daniel gives us keys to being battle ready. Our culture today is much like the Babylonian empire. This empire was wealthy, focused on attaining knowledge, and appreciative of physical beauty.  They had plenty to eat and drink. The people of Israel were captured by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. King Neb (my chosen name) ordered young Israelite men from the nobility and the royal families to be trained to serve in his courts. These men were to be without defect, good-looking, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well-informed, and quick to understand. They were to be taught the Babylonian language and literature. They were to be given food and wine from the King’s table and to be trained for three years before they could stand before the King. Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the King’s food and wine. He approached the Chief officer asking not to eat the King’s allotment of food and wine. The Chief officer was concerned that if he gave into Daniel’s request, He would look worse than the other men and the King would have his head. Daniel requested that the Chief officer give him and his friend only vegetables and water for 10 days.  At the end of 10 days, he could judge for himself their condition. The Chief officer agreed. At the end of 10 days, Daniel and his friends looked better and stronger that the rest of the young men. The bible tells us that God gave knowledge and wisdom to Daniel and his friends. Daniel was able to interpret dreams and visions. The King found them 10 times better that the enchanters and magicians.

The word “resolved” means to firmly determined to do something. Daniel made up his mind to honor God and not to defile himself with the Kings food and wine. Later, King Neb has a dream that troubled him greatly. He call all the magicians and enchanters asking then to interpret the dream without him telling them what the dream was. He said that if no one could tell him the dream that he would kill them all and their families. The magicians and enchanters told the King that this was an impossible task. Daniel heard about the decree and immediately went to his friends and they began seeking the Lord and his mercy. That night the Lord gave Daniel the interpretation of the dream. Daniel gave praise to the God of Heaven who reveals the secret things. Daniel came before the King saying “the magicians and the enchanters can not interpret your dream but there is a God in Heaven who reveals mysteries.” He gave King Neb the interpretation saving himself and all the magicians and the enchanters.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel and paid him honor and ordered that an offering and incense be presented to him. The king said to Daniel, “Surely your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, for you were able to reveal this mystery.” Then the king placed Daniel in a high position and lavished many gifts on him. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and placed him in charge of all its wise men. Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court. Daniel 2: 46-49

As I studied the book of Daniel, I began to see that Daniel had common practices or disciplines. He fasted, prayed, searched scripture, and interceded for his people but above all he believed (trusted) and honored God. He was also excellent in his job and even those who opposed him could find nothing against him. He was trustworthy and neither corrupt or negligent (Daniel 6:3). He was known by others as the man who has the spirit of the holy God in him. His goal was to seek the Kingdom first and by doing so all these things were added–knowledge above all others, ability to solve problems, interpretation of visions and dreams, high status, and supernatural protection. He did not lose his peace when the decree went out that all should worship the king for 30 days and those who did not would be thrown into the lion’s den. He simple did as he always did. He went into his upper room, opened the window and prayed to God. We are told that it was his practice to pray three times a day. Fasting and searching scripture were also something he practiced:

In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem would end; and it was seventy years. So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.  Daniel 9:2-3

 In those days I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks.  I ate no tasty food, nor did any meat or wine enter my mouth; and I did not anoint (refresh, groom) myself at all for the full three weeks. Daniel 10:2-3

Daniel was highly esteemed by God and men. His goal was to honor God in all that he did and to seek Him for answers. He humbled himself in prayer and fasting. He confessed his sins and those of his people before God and God gave him wisdom, honor and divine protections. I believe that we can have this same life but it requires that we get on that narrow road. The narrow road is the road of seeking the Kingdom first and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you (Matthew 6:33). Daniel and his friend resolve to believe and trust God no matter the cost even unto death. I encourage you to read the book of Daniel.

How does this apply to health? I believe our physical health is influenced by our spiritual health.

3 John 2  Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].

Stress and the Standard American Diet is killing us. It is time to seek the Lord about all aspects of our life including our diet. The bible does say that the kingdom of God is not about eating or drinking but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).  Paul also said that he was free to do whatever he wanted but not everything was beneficial (1 Cor. 10:23). It’s time to be “BATTLE READY”. The Lord needs us strong in mind, body, and spirit.  We are in a battle. Don’t let the devil take you out early. God needs you here to be a light for Him. He is not giving you physical illness to teach you a lesson. He does not need you in heaven. He needs you here to destroy the works of the devil. Disease is not His will for us. He has given us free will and we can choose life or death. This includes our choices in the food we eat and what we drink. Are you choosing food and drink that brings life to your body or death? God said man should live to be 120 years old. This is my goal. I want to live 120 years (unless Jesus comes for us before then) giving the devil a black eye everyday for the Kingdom of God. You are a light to a dark world. Let your light show before all men. You were created to destroy darkness not to be defeated by the kingdom of darkness. In the next blog, we will discuss our weapons of war. Until then left your light shine because darkness can not stay in the LIGHT! I leave you with this scripture to meditate on today:
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; But arrogant fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline. Proverbs 1:7