The Apostle Paul said regarding his salvation: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ… that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead”…”Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:7-14, emphasis mine.)
Let me ask you this. Do you believe Christ Jesus has made you His own? If so, are you proving this by how you live?
In America we have a crisis, yes? But the crisis in not truly a health issue (from God’s point of view), it is a heart or, spiritual crisis. And not until we deal with the crisis underneath or, behind the other problem will there be healing. Now, this spiritual crisis is obvious among non-believers and is expected. But among Christians??! It was preventable. I am not saying there is not a true health crisis, I am saying that that health crisis revealed a much deeper crisis within the Church. What we have is a FAITH CRISIS. A faith crisis stems from a lack of exercising one’s faith and from a lack of living according to one’s faith. We have had it easy, comfortable, and nothing to challenge our faith for years. It has been easy to live life without depending on God, or the Holy Spirit within us. People have had their basic needs met and even many desires met (for many). Life has been on autopilot and pretty comfortable and we have not “needed” to depend upon God for daily life (if we didn’t want to). We even have been able to control our own health, and have whatever we needed to “fix” our health issues at our fingertips. And when most Christians become used to controlling their surroundings they stop relying of God to take the wheel. And thankfully God is shaking things up which is causing many of His children to Look up and run home!
Also, because the true gospel of the Kingdom has not been consistently preached there is much confusion and division within the Body. Many were “taught wrongly” regarding their Christian faith and what that faith actually looks like in daily life, and this true gospel verses fake gospel has brought animosity among many. This “fake” gospel came from “seeker friendly” churches and from the “faith teachers/healers” and from psychology and higher education institutes. These have watered down the gospel message. The gospel has always meant “a death must occur” and “a resurrection must occur” from that death. Die to yourself and this world and rise to walk with Christ and live exclusively for His Kingdom. It has always been an “intense and extreme” message. It has never been about being “nice, accepting and tolerant” of everyone. Nor is it about social justice. Nor about preserving the planet. It has always been about transferring from one kingdom to another. It has always meant “take up your cross and follow”. It is an ALL or NOTHING message!
As I asked earlier. Do you walk as though Christ has made you His own? Or are you still living for yourself and what you desire? Or are you living like He is your personal Lord?
Through many trials and difficulties the Lord has humbled me to depend upon Him for life and death. For health and sickness. And all that I am has been transferred to His responsibility. I want to express for a moment what “transferring responsibility” to Jesus and the Father looks like a little in my life.
I have heard these words from the Lord over my life, that “He has given me rest on every side”. Also, He has “given me the desires of my heart”, and He has met every need. Given me peace, joy, hope and love. He literally is my strong tower and shelter and only hope….WHICH HAS ONLY COME THROUGH GREAT TESTING AND DIFFICULTY!
“And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Josh. 21:44-45, emphasis mine)
“But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune” (1 Kgs. 5:4, emphasis mine)
So I want to say, the Lord has given me REST on every side. It is a solid, fixed, confidence, or faith, that I live under the shadow of God and abide in His pleasure, therefore everything is okay (Ps. 91:1-2). It is a place of rest from which I move from daily. The Lord desires this to be the goal of His children. To rest in His provision. To “walk with God” in absolute confidence regarding all things. Not just some things. But all, Just as Jesus did with His Father.
“Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
and your justice as the noonday” (Ps. 37:46).
Lastly, in part, what the Lord desires to accomplish in His Church through this health issue we currently are dealing with:
He desires that we, “…being knit together in love [united in one mind and heart], to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. [And make note of this warning!!!] I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order [there are roles God has assigned, order, and headship within the Church] and the firmness of your faith in Christ [Solid, unwavering, mature, sober-minded, healthy doctrine] (Col. 2:4-5, emphasis mine)
And so, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Col. 1:28) Through trial and fire God refines His children to look like Jesus. AMEN