I live in an area where we tend to get less sunlight than the average population, especially in the winter. So it is not too unusual to hear of others or experience myself, some seasonal affective disorder, which affects our sleep and eating patterns. In the winter, our skies our quite often dark and grey, overcast with many clouds. Without the natural sunlight providing essential vitamin D to our bodies, we begin to wear down.
Too many times we as Christians are so busy looking for a supernatural fix to all our problems that we ignore the natural. I tend to see five basic types of healing in scripture:
- Faith of Self / Self Intercession
- Faith of Others / Intercession of Others
- God’s Sovereignty
- Natural Means
By and far my own research says the most predominate forms of healing is none other than healing as an act of God’s sovereignty or mercy. That is, God pronounces healing without the intercession of others or due to any action on our part (perhaps a blog for another date). However, scripture does not preclude natural remedies as a means to heal:
- Ex 21.18-19
- Lev 13.1-46
- Lev 14.1-32
- Lev 15.1-33
- 2 Chr 28.15
- Eccl 3.3
- Ez 47.12
This would not preclude that if we do not take care of ourselves we will get sick such as Ezekiel 34.4 and Nah 3.19.
Let us look more closely at the story of Elijah running from Jezebel after God answers by fire and resulting in the death of the prophets of Baal.
- 1 Kings 19:1-9 NASB – 1 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” 3 And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers.” 5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, “Arise, eat.” 6 Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake [baked on] hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. 7 The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 Then he came there to a cave and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD [came] to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Even the best of times with God can tax our physical limitations to the max, causing us to act in irrational ways. Elijah just witnessed God answering by fire and now he is running from the threats of one woman. But what is God’s response? Before God even attempted to speak to him he first let him get some rest and eat nourishing food. The unspoken theology is that if only Elijah had more faith, prayed more or worshipped more then God would have . . . but the reality is that God didn’t. God was first interested in making sure that Elijah had enough rest and ate properly before attempting to speak to him. God knows when our journey is too great for us and that is nothing to be ashamed of.
My personal opinion is that most revivals do not end because of God, but because we stop eating and sleeping properly as we are now up all hours of the night seeking God and fasting when our natural bodies need to rest and to replenish our nourishments through meals. And so we are no longer in a position to hear from God. Instead of scheduling extra services in the midst of revivals, we should be scheduling time to spend with our family and friends to just enjoy loving one another. I wonder how many revivals would have continued unfettered had we just taken the time to eat, sleep, and rest properly. Just because we are in the midst of revival it does not negate our need for a Sabbath rest (a whole other topic all together).
So if in the midst of revival, my advice is to not ignore the need to eat and rest properly, fast as needed, but not to deplete ourselves. And if we ever find ourselves with the same mindset of Elijah, depressed to the point to say “It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life,” especially then we need to follow the pattern laid out by God himself, eat and rest. Remember as previously stated in another blog, the first thing Elijah did after God spoke was to appoint Elisha as a partner. Time spent with good friends is necessary for our continued well being and state of mind. This may not seem like supernatural intercession, but it comes from the example of God himself.
So as always, love much my friends because we are commanded to:
- Matthew 22:39 NASB – 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
And if we do not take the time to show love to ourselves as we ought, then our neighbors are in trouble!!!! Ignoring the natural is just not spiritual.
And as always, love much my friends . . .