“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Taking responsibility for disease

“Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,
I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.
Behold, He findeth occasions against me, He counteth me for His enemy,
He putteth my feet in the stocks, He marketh all my paths.
Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man.
Why dost thou strive against Him? for He giveth not account of any of His matters.” (Job 33:8-13).

This young man, Eliju, spoke the unvarnished truth to Job. He told Job just what Job needed to hear in order to be healed, even if Job didn’t want to hear it. And the Lord in power backed up His servant Eliju. Job wouldn’t listen to the man younger than himself, but he would listen to the Lord of heaven—he had to. If Job had been willing to hear Eliju, the Lord wouldn’t have had to personally get involved. But, once involved the Lord of heaven drove Job’s pride back into oblivion, and thankfully for his sake, Job acquiesced.

Eliju was right, as we see that not only did the Lord reiterate Eliju’s rebuke to Job, but in the end, when Job and the older men had to offer a sin offering, Eliju didn’t have to. So, Eliju was correct to accuse Job of glorifying himself instead of God, even in tragedy and pain. Job was unjust by his conclusion that God was at fault for his calamity. God is right in everything He does. And what, therefore, should have been Job’s response to his calamity? He should have humbly taken Eliju’s recommended prayer, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not.” (Job 33:27).

It wasn’t enough for Job to say, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21). Those were worthless platitudes and did nothing to turn away the wrath of God.

The wrath of God? Yes, the wrath of God. Do we not all deserve His wrath? And if we don’t feel it now, its only because of His grace and merciful shielding. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (Isa. 45:7).

Even though Job had not openly charged God foolishly, deep in his heart he had, as attested to in the opening text. Because of his unwillingness to assume responsibility for his troubles, all of his right sounding, theologically correct words meant nothing. “If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life. This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked.” (Job 9:20-22).

So, Eliju took Job to task, even in Job’s most miserable moment. “Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good.
For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment.
Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.” (Job 34:2-6).

“What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water?
Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men.…
Shall even He that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn Him that is most just?
Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly?” (Job 34:7,8,17,18).

In other words, Job was accusing God of being unjust and “hating right” for allowing undue punishment. And the Lord’s bullhorn answer to that conclusion? “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.…
Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto Me.
Wilt thou also disannul My judgment? wilt thou condemn Me, that thou mayest be righteous?” (Job 40:2,7,8).

Yes even in Job’s most miserable state, the Lord answered in harshness. This is so because after all that Satan had done to Job, Job never once took responsibility. He never concluded that maybe—just maybe—he had a problem that God must address by this illness. How does the Lord point out our sins?

First, by His voice to the conscience, especially at night. “In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed;
Then He openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction,
That He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.” (Job 33:15-17).

Or, the Lord teaches us through a close scrape with death. “He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.” (vs.18).

Or, He teaches us through the full consequences to our sin—disease and/or death. “He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain:
So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat.
His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out.
Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man His uprightness:
Then He is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:
He shall pray unto God, and He will be favourable unto him: and he shall see His face with joy: for He will render unto man His righteousness.
He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not;
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (vss.19-28).

The assumption is that such a disciplined one should admit to his sin. To not admit and confess it is to prolong the disease, and even die from it.

The word of God is clear, that disease is the result of breaking the laws of God. “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” (Ex. 15:26). “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.” (Prov. 26:2).

Some conditions are inherited; but in most cases that are inherited they bring only the predisposition for physical or mental illness. In those cases the predisposition need not be activated. Obedience to God’s laws of health—not some, but all eight of them—would keep the disorder at bay and make them unknown or greatly minimize their deleterious effects to the heirs of those bodily and neurological anomalies.

Those eight laws are: “Pure air, sunlight, abstemiousness, rest, exercise, proper diet, the use of water, trust in divine power—these are the true remedies.” Ministry of Healing, p. 127. “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator.” Ibid., p. 296.

This is the condition for the vast majority suffering today. They have indulged self and must reap unnecessary misery. Until they look to God and say, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not” (Job 33:27), they will never take the next step of seeking God’s help to overcome their perverted appetites. And as each appetite is overcome, God heals the illness proportional to the damage done to the immune system caused by each perversion of nature. Some appetites dispensed with cause dramatic restoration of health and peace.

But, this requires the willingness to make the first step—that is, admission to have sinned and assuming responsibility for the physical or mental disorder. Yet, how many long years of debilitation and disability the soul will endure, just to avoid assuming personal responsibility! Assuming personal responsibility is so unlikely that Jesus said, “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matt. 7:14). Most miss the fountain of youth.

And emotional disorders are no different. If I have an anger problem, an unforgiveness toward someone, an unwillingness to help others, et cetera, then I must take the blame, even if I learned them “by tradition from your fathers” (1Pet. 1:18). I must strive to draw near to Jesus and let Him speak His conviction into my soul. I must be “redeemed with… the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1Pet. 1:18,19).

Its quite possible, and very much in every case, that our habits, whether physical, mental, or emotional, that are the cause of our maladies, were set deeply into our psyches by our teachers while we were yet developing in babyhood, as toddlers, pre-adolescents, and older. When we were like blank DVDs, accepting every practice we saw and heard without discretion because we had not yet learned to weigh the possibility of bad and good, we were picking up very many destructive and self-destructive notions, premises, eating and lifestyle practices, surrounded by music and lyrics brainwashing us with sounds and words that must inevitably lead us into a life of misery. Are we to blame for that? We couldn’t avoid learning the faults that we did.

God does not blame us for learning and doing wrong before we could know what was right to learn. He understands the need for maturity and an age of accountability. But, if no one else is around to teach us under an easier school, He takes it upon Himself to teach us through whatever means He can. If He cannot use a human mediator, we are left to face God’s harsh consequences to our sins, even if “He giveth not account of any of His matters.” (Job 33:13).

But, our ailments and bondage to vices and to addictions of all kinds are not the real problem, anyway. God knows this; but, He uses those maladies and miseries as an aid for us to gain a need to discover what is the real, deeper issue. That issue is pride, rebellion—sin at its form most recognizable to us. Rebellion and pride are natural loyalty to Satan, and thus alienation from God, the life-giver.

Here is where the real battle is waged. Healing and victory over disease, addictions, habits and lifestyle deficiencies, all start here. Only the Bible clarifies this profound truth, because only God knows that sin is the basis of all our problems. Satan will not allow the world to learn this secret.

Will we go to God and confess with our whole heart, “I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not”? Will we pray like the publican, standing afar off, who would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying “God be merciful to me a sinner”? (Lk. 18:13). Will we take responsibility? Or will we condemn the Judge for His lesson of right and wrong?

Even if my parent had his or her own spiritual issues and constantly berated me, verbally abused me, vented on me vitriol toward their parents or bosses which are daily dredged up from their memories’ archeological digs, which has left me unable to copy with my job and relationships—still I must go to God and assume full responsibility for my own anger, venting, abusive tendencies (because it all obeys the “trickle down” principle). I must, must admit to my own life-long problem of living apart from God and seek Jesus for conviction like Job heard; and then receive Christ’s repentance and victory.

Even if this taking responsibility cuts across every earthly psychology, it is biblical and therefore the only path to true recovery and healing. Even if the protocol of this blog post slices through every strand of resistance in my heart and slays me, Jesus has given us the secret to life—death. “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.” (Matt. 16:25).

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13).  To assume full responsibility will mean following in the steps of Jesus. In Gethsemane He assumed the sins of the whole race in which He had no share. We must follow Jesus, even into His garden of greatest trial. Will we save ourselves from the almost overpowering pain of assuming our parents, our guardians’, and acquaintances’ faults, and continue to suffer on in our diseases until death closes our probation? Or will we humble ourselves and follow our Master into the uncertain darkness and discover the real meaning of victory, and find ourselves, and life?

The choice is for everyone to make.


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