Romans 8:12-14 New Living Translation (NLT)
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[a] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[b] you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[c] of God.
Several years ago I was caught in a vicious cycle of sinus infections, doctor appointments & prescription drugs. It finally occurred to me, after almost 18 months, that I was constantly susceptible to these recurring infections because I was failing to properly care for my body. According to 1 Corinthians 6:19, we are supposed to be honoring God with our body-not just with our sexuality, as this passage refers to, but also with what we eat, what we do and how we rest.
Instead of healthy eating, exercise & proper rest, I would continually just take a pill…believing that alone would solve the problem. Modern medicine is a remarkably powerful tool. I’m grateful that the physicians whom have provided for my well being have been highly educated and able to prescribe medications, when needed. But, sometimes, instead of wanting to just take a pill to fix my “issues” I need to be asking the Great Physician to heal me- His way.
A very dear friend of mine recently said to me, “Jodie…you see a lesson in EVERYTHING- even when you’re sick!” Yep- I do. And such was the case this week. After feeling awful for several days, I reluctantly made a doctor appointment & was told I had acute frontal sinusitis- again! So, I began asking God “Lord…why am I sick? What do you wanna teach me here….?”
The obvious answer was, I had caught the germs from our girls who had been dealing with a snotty cold for over a week. The underlying, non-medical issue however, was that I had not been properly caring for my body-again. Now I was going to have to put to death this infection…again. But I also needed the Holy Spirit to help me put to death my sinful nature; doing what I want to do, instead of what I need to do (what I needed was rest……rest…what’s that?!). Ya see, I am still having some trouble with dying to my fleshy desire to keep the world spinning on its axis by controlling everything that happens in my life 24/7. So, since I was not willing to submit to the Lord by resting, He graciously gave me a couple sick days off in bed to read His word, pray, repent, read a few books, nap….and watch a couple Cary Grant flicks. Ahhhh….rest.
The same mentality happens in our marriages. When the relationship becomes sick, we wanna “just take a pill” (blame our spouse for everything that’s going wrong, find someone else who makes us feel loved, consume too much alcohol, look at porn, ignore the issues so we can just have “peace,” overeat……you get the idea). Rarely, however, do we stop and ask the Healer:
“Lord, what do I need to repent for here?”
“What do you require of me in this marriage?”
“How am I trying to make myself feel better in the moment?”
Just taking a pill is easy. Following the regiment required by the doctor to restore us to complete health- long term- takes a change of heart…. and discipline.
If we want to live lives to the full we must be willing to put to death the deeds of our sinful nature by daily eating good food (bible=truth), exercise (prayer) & rest (submitting our will to the Father). Otherwise, we’ll just stay in the vicious cycle of infection (sin), doctor appointments (constantly needing help, but refusing to do what is required) & prescription drugs (‘fixes’ that make us feel better for the moment).
“I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Ex. 15:26)
Heal us, Emmanuel! here we are, Waiting to feel Thy touch: Deep-wounded souls to Thee repair, And, Saviour, we are such.
Our faith is feeble, we confess, We faintly trust Thy word; But wilt Thou pity us the less’ Be that far from Thee, Lord!
Remember him who once applied, With trembling, for relief; “Lord, I believe,” with tears he cried, “Oh, help my unbelief!”
She too, who touch’d Thee in the press, And healing virtue stole, Was answer’d, “Daughter, go in peace, Thy faith hath made thee whole.”
Conceal’d amid the gathering throng, She would have shunn’d Thy view; And if her faith was firm and strong, Had strong misgivings too.
Like her, with hopes and fears we come, To touch Thee, if we may; Oh! send us not despairing home! Send none unheal’d away!
-Olney Hymns, William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York