Spiritual depravity, sickness, disease, addictions are all a direct result of the fall of man. God did not intend for us to have anything but a blessed life…but sin entered the world and man was under a curse however, when we come to Christ, Paul through the Holy Spirit tells us this
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We are told once a addict, always an addict. You have been told your parents had cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, senility therefore you are destined by genetics to do the same…what if this scripture is not only spiritually true but can be physically true as well
I read a book a while ago by Dr, Caroline Leaf, “Switch on your brain” she is a cognitive neuroscientist and a Christian. In her book she shares how the scripture lays out a pathway to mental and physical health for the long term. I appreciated her insights however, being a neuroscientist rather than a doctor I didn’t feel the book had the weight to impact people.
Yes, because she is a Christian and seen on Joyce Myers’ program, she had a certain air and prestige but the weight of proven science wasn’t quite strong enough for me.
Recently a friend who knows my history of my grandmother’s, Father’s, and mothers Alzheimer’s battles, thought I might be concerned about the genetics. She gave me a series of research teachings, headed by a doctor of neurology Dr. David Perlmutter
To my surprise this neurologist was saying very much the same things Dr, Leaf had said years before, our genes do not necessarily control our future… that through processes called…
Epigenetics – is the influencing our genetic expression through various outside sources, in other words through doing things (that are biblical by the way) we can change our genes
Neurogenesis – we have been told brain cells die off and can not be restored but studies over the last 30 years now tell us differently, we can form new neurons in the brain, well into our 90’s. This is something God has enabled us to control
And through another process called neuroplasticity we can rewire and reshape our brains and once again the funny thing is following basic biblical principles enables us to do this…
60% of the people with the genetic marker for Alzheimer’s and 40% with no genetic marker will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Research is now saying that through some very basic principles we can change our genetics and predispositions to walk in freedom and live a healthy and whole life….John said this, and science is proving it to be true
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
The focus of their study was on dementia and Alzheimer’s (which they are calling type 3 Diabetes) but I was amazed at how God’s word is proven…Isaiah 26:3
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
Before we walk down this road today allow me to make something very clear…
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Paul is writing and saying allow or (choose) to have the peace of God, choose to dwell in wisdom….we always have a choice and what I am going to share with you today is about making choices that will affect your life. You may have had the worst gene pool (as I have) but you can alter your physical well being by choosing to obey Biblical principles that science is now proving so you can have a hope and a future, addictions and disease may be able to be thwarted by choosing to live by Godly principles that have been outlined in God’s word for thousands of years.
By now, I’m hopeful that you are wondering,
“What can I do to prosper and be in health?”…
”Can I really change my genetic predisposition to addiction, cardiac, liver, pancreas, brain and other problems?”
”What do I have to do from a spiritual stand point?”
The principles are quite simple and Biblical
- Times of quiet and meditation, prayer
- Proper nutrition
- Controlling stress – be at peace, do not worry or be anxious, renewing our minds, casting our cares on him
- Exercise –
- Times of quiet and meditation – we have allowed the word “meditation” to be stolen by the new age movement and yoga instructors but before these were invented men and women of God meditated
Meditation defined – to engage in contemplation or reflection for religious purposes or relaxation….the Bible makes it clear this is the consistent, reading, studying, of God’s word and prayer
This can be through daily prayer and/or reflection and study of the word
God instructions Joshua to meditate in Joshua 1:8
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”
In Psalm 1:1-3 Solomon gives us a promise of mediating on God’s word, keeping prayer at the forefront
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Do you recognize the prosperity promised here for those who will meditate which is to study and focus on God and His word and to pray. This was 2500 years before the discovery of epigenesis and neurogenesis Listen to what Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:20-22
My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Please take time on your own to see how many times the Lord challenges us to meditate on His word and to pray…this is part one of what we can choose to do to physically become the new creation Paul talks about and how we may be able to be set from the world’s labeling and our own genetics
We are promised by the Lord great success as we make time everyday to meditate on the word and pray. Now we know from science the benefit is doubly so!
Epigenetics, neurogenesis, and neuroplasticity are all enhanced and our brains rewritten for the positive as we follow the Lord’s challenge to meditate on Him
- Get proper sleep…we fret and work so hard and it robs our health and His future plans for us…this is something the Lord has said way before
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep
Peaceful night’s sleep is inferred in these scriptures and many more
You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Be still, and know that I am God….
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
Why is sleep so important? Medically our bodies get rid of toxins during times of rest and sleep. Spiritually we are renewed, we can “rise up early and seek the Lord” (Psalm 63:1) Lamentations tells us God’s mercies are new every morning.
God gave us a sabbath rest and created our bodies to renew and get rid of toxins by sleeping 7-9 hours per night. As we do, science is now telling us it works to help make us new so we can handle all God has for us.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
- Proper nutrition – from a spiritual standpoint we know whatever we allow into our hearts or minds creates a reality for us….garbage in, garbage out, or hope in and hope out depending on what we allow….you know how the news, gossip, unrighteous television or radio can affect your heart and mind so proper nutrition affects our bodies
I am not talking about adhering to the dietary laws of the Old Testament here but the scripture does comment on a sin that we frequent in our American society, called gluttony
Proverbs 23:20,21 (maybe this is our verse for the year as it is 2021)
Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, 21 for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
Over eating tends to make us lazy and weary…hear the sins of Sodom, not what you thought
Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.
These sins lead to every detestable thing…not just an Old Testament problem…Philippians 3:17-19
Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. 18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth.
How do we control it, don’t allow our appetite to control us…eat to live not live to eat….is it wrong to enjoy a great meal? No, but like every other thing in our lives don’t allow food to control you. In our culture simple carbohydrates and sugars are doing the most damage to our brains and bodies and they are addictive so rather than craving time with the Lord we allow our appetites to control us. Is it wrong to have a dessert, donut, sugary drink? No, just don’t allow them to control you. Controlling our blood sugar (not being a glutton) reduces the inflammation in our bodies and brains so we have less pain and can live longer more productive lives.
Here is my challenge, I have watched many people die because of health issues that were preventable. We don’t look at these things as being spiritual but if they hinder us from being healthy enough to do the things God wants as to, if they seem as if they do not affect until we age, what if God’s call is greater than our health can sustain…science is now verifying what God’s word has said all along….let’s pay attention to what God’s word is saying and live a life that prospers and being in health even as our soul is prospering
We will talk about controlling our diets next week…it is amazing to me that God created us in such a way that even though we suffer from the fallen curse spiritually, mentally, and physically if we do things His way He redeems us…. Next week we will finish this up as we see how legitimate science once again proves that God’s word is true.
Our genetics are a map that may very well be linked to the fallen sin nature of man and God has given us a way of escape through His word that science is now proving