Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” At the beginning of the year, I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” I also told you that if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. So, to lay a strong foundation for the year, for the past four months, I taught you about “Leveling Up” in five areas:
As I am bringing the series to an end, I am providing a brief recap of each topic. Today we will go back and glean some nuggets about Leveling Up physically.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God is not opposed to health and wealth.
In Ecclesiastes 5:19, Solomon said, “it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it.” It’s hard to misconstrue that. God made Solomon the richest man to ever live, he used the wealth to advance God’s Kingdom on this planet, and he did not see anything wrong with it. He also did not see anything wrong with enjoying God’s blessing. And then, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote what he wrote in this text. I also have to tell you that the sentiment expressed by the Holy Spirit in this passage is congruent with a wealth of scripture. You can fight against it if you want, and you can say that health and wealth are part of some “prosperity gospel,” and therefore not God’s will, but doing so will require you to ignore or reject a good portion of the Bible. In the end, God is not opposed to blessing you financially and then also blessing you with the health to enjoy your divine assignment while you are on this planet.
Many Christians reject the term “health and wealth.” But I believe this confusion comes from satan. If you think God is opposed to health and wealth, then do you think God’s will is being broke and sick? I know some preachers have manipulated people where money and healing are concerned, but that does not change God or His will. To use the terms of a tailor, let’s agree that the pattern is right, even though the material may be flawed. Meaning that God’s Word is true, even though a few unscrupulous preachers have taken advantage of people by using it the wrong way. In the end, bad preachers don’t change the fact that we have a good God who is not opposed to blessing us richly with the resources and health to fulfill our mission while we are on this planet.
2. Sickness is not of God.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came to “Destroy the works of the devil.” (1 Jn 3:8). The Bible also teaches us that Jesus “went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (Acts 10:38).
I just had a conversation about this with someone close to me. This person said, “Such and such is in the ICU, struggling with COVID. But God knows what He is doing.” I responded, “Wait a minute, do you think God put COVID on this person?” She responded, “Well, God does everything.” I proceeded to explain to her how that is most certainly NOT the case. It is this type of thinking that turns people away from God and His church.
If sickness came from God, then why would this same God heal people through His Son Jesus?
If sickness came from God and Jesus went around healing the sick, then wouldn’t He be working against the Father?
The clear answer is that sickness is part of the curse, not The Blessing, and it IS NOT a good thing to be sick. Sickness is NOT of God!
3. What the Bible says about healing (just a few scriptures).
(Isa 53:5 NKJV)
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
— The Lord allowed Isaiah to see 700 years into the future.
— It’s like Isaiah was translated to the foot of the cross. He looked up, saw Jesus, and said, “By His stripes, we ARE healed!”
(1 Peter 2:24 NKJV)
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.
— While Isaiah was looking forward to the cross, Peter was looking back at what Jesus has already done.
— Looking back, Peter tells us, “YOU WERE HEALED!”
(Exodus 15:25 ERV)
He said to him, “I am the Lord your God. If you listen to me and do what I say is right, and if you obey all my commands and laws, then I will not give you any of the sicknesses that I gave the Egyptians. I am the Lord who heals you.”
— Our Lord God heals us!
— Healing is His will, not sickness or disease.
(Exodus 23:25 ERV)
You must serve the Lord your God. If you do this, I will bless you with plenty of bread and water. I will take away all sickness from you.
— Taking sickness away is clearly part of THE BLESSING!
— This makes sickness part of THE CURSE!
(Galatians 3:13,14 ERV)
The law says we are under a curse for not always obeying it. But Christ took away that curse. He changed places with us and put himself under that curse. The Scriptures say, “Anyone who is hung on a tree is under a curse… Because of what Jesus Christ did, the blessing God promised to Abraham was given to all people. Christ died so that by believing in him we could have the Spirit that God promised.”
— We are no longer under the Old Covenant, which put a curse on us if we did not perform.
— We are no longer under performance-based religion.
— We are under the covenant of GRACE!
— Under this covenant, Jesus qualifies us!
— Jesus became a curse FOR us, so now we get to enjoy the Blessing of Abraham (natural blessing) AND the Blessing of Jesus (Spiritual blessing!).
4. Jesus qualified you for healing.
— One of the tactics of satan, to keep God’s children from receiving His best, is to tell believers that their actions disqualified them from God’s best.
— Whenever you sin, satan will whisper in your ear and tell you that you now don’t qualify! He will tell you NOT to pray and NOT ask God for healing or anything else because of your performance. He wants you to feel condemned.
— But under grace, despite the fact that we don’t qualify, we get to accept the reality that Jesus qualified FOR us. Everything Jesus did is attributed to us!
Check out what Paul said:
(Romans 8:16,17 TPT)
16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”
17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.
Under the covenant of grace, God’s healing has already been provided, and you qualify to receive it because Jesus qualified FOR you!
Please don’t allow performance-based religion to strip you of your confidence. Faith is all about confidence, and you will never have faith if you base it on your performance. Your faith must be in God and all He already provided for you. You are not perfect, but Jesus was perfect for you. You are not righteous, but Jesus was righteous for you. Therefore, YOU QUALIFY!
5. You have to take care of the ONE BODY you were given.
Diet and exercise matter.
(1 Tim 4:8 NIV)
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
Paul told us that physical training is of “some value.” Another translation reads, “limited value.” But the bottom line is that if it has ANY value, we should do it. We should take care of the body God gave us because we won’t get another one until we receive our glorified bodies. We only get one chance at life, and during our limited time on this planet, we only get one body.
Sadly, some Christians neglect the body God gave them, and when they fall sick or injured, they first blame God, and then they come running to God for help and healing. I believe in healing. But I also believe we should take preventative measures to ensure we are not susceptible to things we can avoid.
(Read Leviticus 11)
If you take the time to read this entire chapter, you will see guidance from God on what to eat and what not to eat. Here are a few highlights:
DO NOT EAT LIST:
Meat: camels, rock badgers, rabbits, or pigs.
Fish: anything that does not have fins and scales. God says, “eating such a creature should make you sick.
Birds: eagles, vultures, buzzards, kites, falcons, blackbirds, ostriches, nighthawks, seagulls, hawks, owls, pelicans, vultures, storks, and bats.
Insects: do not eat insects that have wings and crawl or insects that have legs with joints above their feet so that they can jump.
In that chapter, there is also clarity around what you can/should eat.
Now, you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, Rick! That is in the Old Testament. I thought you told me that it does not apply to me.” In one sense, you are right. You are under the New Covenant. There is no curse associated with eating this stuff. However, here my point:
— The New Covenant was ratified by Jesus
— The New Covenant is a spiritual covenant
— The guidance provided in Leviticus 11 is practical divine guidance on having a good diet
— The body people had in the Old Testament is the SAME BODY we have in the New Testament
— If something was NOT GOOD for someone’s physical body under the Old Testament, that food is still NOT GOOD for you today, under the New Testament
— Don’t get so spiritual and heavenly minded that you fail to acknowledge the earthy counsel
— God told His people what to eat and what not to eat, so they could remain healthy and accomplish their divine assignments during the short time they were given on this planet
— That counsel still stands today
To close out this point:
— You only get one body
— God sent you to this planet to accomplish His plans and purposes
— Many believers have cut their lives short by failing to honor the body God gave them
— Diet and exercise matter
— If you are going to LEVEL UP in 2021, you should seriously consider LEVELING UP in this area as well!
God’s desire is for you to live LONG and STRONG, so you can accomplish His will while you are in the land of the living!
I will close with a declaration I believe will bless you. This declaration, and others like it, are found on my website. Here is the link: https://ripministries.org/teaching/bible-declarations
Declaration of Faith to LEVEL UP in our Health in 2021
Father, I thank You for declaring NEW LEVELS in 2021. I believe and receive what heaven has announced for me!
I will walk in NEW LEVELS of HEALTH in this season!
I confess Your Word concerning health and healing. As I do, I believe Your Word will not return to You void. It will accomplish what You have declared!
In the Name of Jesus, I believe I am healed according to Your Word. Jesus is the Lord of my life. Sickness and disease have no power over me!
I am healthy inside and out. I am free from unforgiveness and strife. I refuse to harbor bitterness in my heart. I know unforgiveness can open the door to disease in my life. I walk in Your love, empowered by Your Spirit!
I have abundant life through Your Word Father, and Your healing power flows to every organ, cell, tissue, and joint in my body, bringing life and health.
If sickness and disease touch my body in 2021, I declare that it has to die instantly because I am redeemed, and THE CURSE has NO POWER over me!
Your Word is life and healing to all my flesh. Therefore, I declare that every system of my body functions in the perfection in which Christ Jesus ordained it to function. I will live long and strong and declare Your works on this planet!
The angel of the Lord encamps round about me and delivers me from every evil work. No evil shall befall me, no plague or calamity shall come near my dwelling.
Your Word abides in me, and it is life and medicine to my flesh. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus operates in me, making me free from the law of sin and death.
Therefore, I declare:
I walk in NEW LEVELS of health in 2021!
I have control of my appetite, and it does not have control of me.
I eat healthy foods, I exercise, and I honor the physical body You have provided me, Father.
I am submitted to You in all ways, including my physical body.
So, I will not die because I am sick.
I will not die because I am old.
I will only die when I am DONE!
Until I complete my assignment on this planet, no sickness, disease, virus, germ, bacteria, or demonic spirit can stop me!
I LEVEL UP in 2021!
I declare this by faith, in Jesus’s name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!