I went to a conference on the spiritual roots of diseases.
It should be no surprise that there are spiritual roots to many diseases. Christians have same statistics in the areas of cancer, heart disease, depression, divorce, diabetes, etc. as unbelievers. Diseases are choking the church!
God’s Spirit dwelling in us does not mean we will never get sick, nor have to deal with accidents, and disasters. We live in a world of unpleasantness, temptation, and struggles. The power of the Holy Spirit enables us to withstand evil and persist in times of trials.
Some diseases are the result of sin from fear, unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, and bitterness examples are heart disease, high blood pressure, ulcers, headaches, insomnia, etc. Some disease come from family generational curses (sins of the father Num 14:18)
Battling Fear and Worry
I recently spoke on homeschool fear (you can listen to the audio here). I have overcome homeschool fears but I continue to battle fear and worry in other areas.
Worry and fear exhaust the power God gives us to face every day problems and to accomplish responsibilities. These are sinful wastes.
- Fret not—He loves you (John 13:1)
- Faint not—He holds you (Psalm 139:10)
- Fear not—He keeps you (Psalm 121:5)
I have been at death’s door several times this year–open heart surgery, failed grafts from heart surgery, stents, and hemorrhaging. There is biblical and scientific evidence that the diseases I am battling are rooted in the sin of fear.
I experience daily angina (chest pressure). I have learned to physically pace myself to stop the angina but I have not been successful dealing with angina brought on by stress and anxiety.
The doctors have told me I don’t take certain medications daily I will die. They tell me if I have another clot I will have to have another open heart surgery. (Open heart surgery involves being put on a heart and lung machine and having your chest and sternum cut open with a saw. It is extreme trauma to the body.) The angina and diagnoses are frightening and cause additional fears. It can be a cycle of destruction.
The blood pressure medications I am on often make me weak, dizzy and faint and have caused a stomach ulcer. If I can overcome the fear and anxiety with God, the doctors can reduce or stop the medications that cause more problems.
Fear As a Spiritual Root of Disease
Fear and worry are sin. Fear is a barrier to the promises of God. The scientific community is aware of how our emotions effect our bodies. The limbic system is where our protective emotions originate including fear. The process of creating fear takes place unconsciously in the brain.
Part of your brain controls the physical response o fear and sends a signal directly to the amygdala which stimulates the hypothalamus to produce corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) that triggers the pituitary gland’s discharge of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates the adrenal gland to secrete cortisol.
Cortisol in the bloodstream causes an increase in glucose production, providing the necessary fuel for the brain and muscles to deal with stress.
Here is an image from HowStuffWorks:
Cortisol is involved in several body functions including:
- Proper glucose metabolism
- Regulation of blood pressure
- Insulin release for blood sugar maintenance
- Immune function
- Inflammatory response
Fear is scientifically proven to be a cause of disease. ScienceDaily (Mar. 26, 2008) states intense fear can make our blood clot and increase the risk of thrombosis or heart attack… Anxiety patients have a statistically higher risk of dying from heart disease by a factor of 3 or 4.
The Bible says fear results in heart problems: “Men’s hearts are failing for fear.” Luke 21:26.
Healthy and Unhealthy Fears
Unhealthy fear is not of God. Fear and faith are opposites. We cannot operate in a spirit of faith and a spirit of fear at the same time. We should not fear, because God is with us. God said He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deu 31:6).
Healthy fear (fight or flight) helps us avoid life threatening or dangerous situations is God given. Fear is the beginning of wisdom (Psm 111:10) refers to reverence of God. Unhealthy fear is unbelief rooted in self.
Here is another image from HowStuffWorks.com:
Examples: If I’m shoveling the barn and feel angina this is an example of healthy warning fear or my body telling me to slow down.
An example of unhealthy fear is to allow the angina to plunge me into a downhill spiral of thoughts like “I am going to die; I should stay in bed; Why is God allowing this?; Who will take care of my children?; I’ll never see my grandchildren grow up?; Woe is me; etc” This type fear leads to a personal pity party. It is not God’s will for me to walk in unhealthy fear.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident. (Ps 27:3)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor 10:5)
That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days (Deut 30:20a)
Dealing with Fear and Worry
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (Ephesians 6:16).
I have asked God to replace the worry and fear thoughts with gratitude and praise.
Speaking to a large audience, D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, “How can I get the air out of this glass?” One man shouted, “Suck it out with a pump!” Moody replied, “That would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.”
After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. “There,” he said, “all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by “sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit. (Moody Bible Institute’s Today in the Word).
More to Come
I’m still playing catch up with home and family. The above is a tee-tiny fraction of what I learned last week Let me know if you would like to know more (curses, anger, rage, envy, bitterness, hypothalamus, hormones, Prozac, etc).
I will share as the Spirit leads. Meanwhile remember:
…They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31).
For more see the book A More Excellent Way: Be In Healthby Henry Wright.
I received a lot of emails on this post asking if I recommend Henry Wright’s Be in Health classes. Yes, I do recommend them.We all need to work on our spiritual life and he has excellent teachings on forgiveness, fear, anger, etc.
However, I need to state I believe nutrition is a very important part of healing. When I attended Be in Health remarks were made that we could consume almost anything because food was designed by God.
I don’t agree. Our food–even fruits and vegetables– have been tampered with so much they can make us sick. I had to stop eating gluten. I agree God made wheat and it should be healthy but due to genetic engineering today’s wheat has 4 times the amount of gluten and less than half the vitamins.
Resources to Learn More About Nutrition
Get educated. It’s easy to do for free on the Internet. I listen to a nutritional podcast daily to stay motivated.
- What the Bible Says About Food
- Dr Axe (my doctor)
- Holy Cow: Does God Care About What We Eat? (Hope Egan)
- Incredible Raw
Some of the following sites have excellent health information; however, they think pork and shellfish are okay. They aren’t, so ignore those parts.