“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”—1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Health is something we tend to value more the less we have of it. In our society, when we have a health problem, we usually seek the appropriate specialist, follow the prescribed regimen, and wait to see what the outcome will be. How much better would the results be if we were to take an active role in the treatment of our own illness? Or better yet, an active role in preventing health problems, working hand in hand with the One who knows our bodies best, designed and created them and established written guidelines for their basic care? As with so many other areas of life, Satan has led us to believe a number of lies about health. These lies can only be combated by believing in God’s Word, the Bible and following His principles within.

The Bible contains a detailed blueprint for managing our health. In Old Testament times the Israelites often made the same mistake as some do today. They believed following these principles would make them more righteous, more holy, more pleasing to God; rather than viewing them as guidelines given by a loving Father. On the other hand, most of us today who know we have been saved by grace and are not under the Law make the mistake of neglecting these wonderfully wise principles, much to our own detriment. Christ told His disciples that if they loved Him they would keep His commandments. We are to live by grace and faith, while honoring the Lord as the One who knows what is best for us.

Living by God’s principles for our health is an excellent way for us to thank Him for the bodies He has given us and whatever level of health He has given us. Imagine how you feel if you give someone a gift and see him neglect and misuse it. How much more if you had given him specific instructions for its use and maintenance! Our bodies are our most important material asset as we make this trek through life on earth. Living by God’s directives shows Him gratitude and gives Him glory for the gift of physical life.

God gave minutely detailed instructions for the design and care of His Old Testament dwellings, the tabernacle and temple. The beauty and wonder of these material structures were unequaled and hard to imagine without seeing them. The Holy One of Israel clearly wanted His earthly houses to reflect His glory and holiness. If we are born again disciples of Jesus Christ, new creatures in Him, we have become the dwelling place of God. The One, True, Holy God of the universe, Who is bigger than the universe, lives inside us! It is a mystery to comprehend, but the New Testament teaches this truth again and again. If the purity and maintenance of God’s inanimate home was of such great concern to Him, may we not conclude that He who numbers the hairs of our heads is even more concerned with the way His people reflect His glory in their bodies, as well as their Spirits? “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God.”—1 Corinthians 10:31

Preventing illness in our lives may also further God’s work here on earth. Most churches have a prayer list primarily filled with names of people suffering from severe or chronic health issues—many, though not all, are preventable. What eternal results would we see if the time and energy spent praying for these could be used in prayer for spiritual issues? How many people are taken out of ministry die to health issues? As a pastor recently said, “It’s hard to be spiritual when you don’t feel well.” This is not God’s ideal. As Christians we can seek the Lord’s strength to help us rise above our fleshly trials, but it is true that illness and infirmity make it that much harder. Jesus told us that we would have suffering, but it was to be for His name’s sake. I hesitate to believe we will be commended for the suffering we bring upon ourselves by the poor choices we make in any area of our lives.

When you begin to investigate God’s health plan given in Scripture, you will be amazed that a book, which many believe to be myth and legend written by primitive men, actually contains divine wisdom for health care, which science has only “discovered” in recent centuries and years. Yes, this flesh is perishing daily, and our care for it is never to take priority over the care we give our spiritual selves, but let us show honor and glory and gratitude to our God only wise by looking to Him before all else in our care for our bodies. While we give sincere thanks for good medical advancements and for fine physicians who are there when we truly need them, let us not make the mistake of King Asa who “in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.”—2 Chronicles 16:12-13