"I'M FREE IN CHRIST BUT IN BONDAGE TO MY TASTEBUDS"
Why is it that people who don’t have the Light of Christ in them can avoid illness and disease that beset those of us who do know Jesus?
Nutritional laws are like physical laws. If we don’t respect them, we suffer the consequences.
For the record, I do believe in divine healing. It is still in operation today just as it was almost 2,000 years ago when Jesus healed every person who had faith to receive it. But on two occasions, and they are recorded in the Gospels, our Lord and Savior did issue a stern warning after He healed the invalid by the Pool of Bethesda and the woman caught in the act of adultery: “Go and sin no more” (see John 5:1–14 and 8:3–11).
We tend to view sin as a moral or spiritual shortcoming. But we don’t take into consideration that nutritional neglect brings judgment on our bodies just as a sinful lifestyle would. And I’m not equating poor eating habits with a life of sin. We can eat whatever we want, saints of God. However, we just might go to heaven years or decades before our time if we eat poorly.
The prayer lists (and lines) at many American churches likely cover the gamut. Cancer. Intestinal problems. Cognitive problems. Heart disease. Gout. Type 2 diabetes. Respiratory challenges. Depres- sion. Anxiety. You name the ailment, and it’s probably on a prayer list somewhere, or that person suffering from it is standing in the prayer line (or behind the pulpit) at some church on Sunday.
We may have predispositions to certain diseases in our bloodline, but this doesn’t mean we’re doomed by them. Heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure run in my family. I’m not only pleading the blood of Christ over my body as a spiritual shield of protection, but I’m also placing the food of the Creator inside my body as a nutritional shield of protection. We need to do both, or else we leave ourselves exposed to unnecessary health problems.
Genetic factors. Environmental pollutants. Negative thinking. Toxic stress. An acidic body. Poor nutrition. Food addictions. Lack of sleep. Lack of exercise. Dehydration. Freak accidents. Sinful lifestyles. Unforgiveness. Demonic influences. Any one (or all) of these could potentially turn on the illness and disease switch in our lives. It’s a lot to take into consideration, but with the right playbook, Lord willing, we can keep poor health outcomes out of our bodies, out of our homes, and out of our churches.
Please understand. I’m not advocating bondage. We are under grace, not the law. But if we can’t control our appetite for harmful foods—a fast-food drive-through or kitchen cabinet grab-through— there’s probably a good chance that we’re enslaved to our taste buds. Take hold of the liberty we have in Christ by dedicating our temple to Him in the area of nutritional excellence. This should be our reason- able service to the Lord, the proper nourishment of our bodies. We’re God’s property.
I’ve battled my own food addictions through the years. I was a gluten, dairy, and junk food addict. I never considered myself an addict, but my behavior called me out. Every time I walked in the kitchen, my first impulse back then was to grab something unhealthy, even when healthy alternatives were present. And when you’re naturally slender with a fast metabolism and have a few extra dollars in your pocket, that can be a recipe for disaster. It was. Mineral depletion. Seasonal allergies. Recurring bronchitis. Leaky gut. Explosive temper.