Today’s passage talks about the spirit, soul, and body being preserved healthy at the time of Jesus’ coming. We are more concerned about our health these days. Such sicknesses and diseases entered the world because of the Fall. They come into our lives and sometimes leads us to death. But spiritual sickness is even worse, it leads us to eternal death in the fires of hell. Whereas some people may suffer from physical sickness, everyone suffers from spiritual sickness. Those who are physically sick need to see a doctor. Those who are spiritually sick need God.
Satan wants to destroy our spiritual health, and oftentimes he tries to do so by attacking our physical body. He comes in through the weakness of our flesh to attack our spirit. But our line of defence begins at the spiritual level. 3 John 2 says that our soul and spirit need to prosper first before we prosper in any other way. What’s most important is the well-being of our spirit, since it determines whether we go to heaven or not. Just because I’m happy, it doesn’t mean that my spirit is doing well. Spiritual well-being is determined by our relationship with God. And so, like the wilderness journey, God disciplines us for the sake of our spiritual health. Which is the greater blessing? The son asks the father, ‘Do you love me? Do you want me to be happy?’ The father replies, ‘Of course.’ And then the son says, ‘So why don’t you let me do things that make me happy? Why do you stop me from eating sweets, from watching TV, and from playing video games all day long?’ The father says, ‘I stop you because I love you and I know what you need.’ This is how God is to us, He knows what’s best for our spiritual health.
The Symptoms of Spiritual Sickness
Loss of appetit
We lose our appetite when we’re sick. When we’re spiritual unwell, we also lose our spiritual appetite for the Word of God and God’s presence. As such, our heart and attitude toward worship service changes. The first ones who know this are ourselves, since only we know our own heart. Even when the Word is being preached, we may not listen with reverence. When we’re spiritually unwell, we aren’t appetized by the Word of God. Jesus came down to bring us the Word. Moses and Noah began their life’s work because they received the Word from God. Adam fell because he rejected God’s Word and did not remember it. Despite the condition of our life of faith thus far, if we’re not fed daily with the Word, we will fall.
The proper digestion of the Word of God is the end-product of doxology. Does the Word give you the strength to live according to God’s will? The Word applies to each and every one of us. Some people eat the Word, but they are unable to digest it. They do not absorb the nutrients, and the Word leaves them without doing them any good. When we eat the Word, we must remember that it’s not only knowledge and information. We must not listen to the Word with this kind of attitude, but rather receive it as if God personally chose to give us this specific Word at this specific time. The Word is not something which we pick and choose. Rather, just as we need to eat all kinds of food to have a balanced diet, we need to eat from all parts of the Word or risk having a lopsided faith. Furthermore, it’s not healthy for us to eat a lot of food and just sit still. We have to move around. Likewise, with eating the Word, we have to move spiritually. We have to evangelize, pray, and share the Word.
Some bad habits that cause spiritual sickness
Many pastors and ministers have fallen away from Christianity. When a big tree falls, its trunk is often hollowed out by previously hidden bugs and ants that ate it from the inside. It’s often the things that we cannot see which cause us the most spiritual harm. One such habit is when we stop taking sin seriously. When we stop having a fear of sin, we start to find excuses around it by mislabeling sin as something else. This is what society does. They become proud of sinful things, and they start boasting about it. In this way, Satan causes us to become dull and numb to sin. We start having a ‘One last time’ or ‘I’ll start tomorrow’ attitude when it comes to dealing with sin and repenting.
Paul warns us to abstain from every form of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:20-22). When the Holy Spirit is with us, we will not be attracted to sin. On the other hand, we often quench the Spirit and spill God’s grace by seeking for sinful things. The Holy Spirit has the power to revive and renew us, so let us trust in His fullness and not look for sinful things. May we have immunity from such temptations.
Becoming Vulnerable to Infections
Sin is contagious. If we care enough to wear masks when we go out, we need to ask God for help against spiritual infections. We need to avoid places where sin abounds. Psalm 1:1-2 tells us, ‘How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the Lord.’ In response to this Psalm, we need to ask ourselves, ‘What kind of people do I hang out with, and in what kind of environments?’ If we hang out with those who are spiritually ill, we may also be influenced by them. Should we hang out with people who call the cross of Christ ‘foolishness’? Let us instead walk in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:6-8). We need to be holy as God is holy, and so we need to come into God’s holiness (Leviticus 11:41-45).
Ways to Recover Spiritual Health
We are all vulnerable to sin and Satan’s attacks. So how do we get better? We need to detox and purge all the toxins out of our system. Spiritually, this looks like confessing our sins and repenting. David is our role model here. He committed such a great sin with Bathsheba, but he repented until everything came out. He realized that his one sin with Bathsheba was the result of all the sinfulness he was born with. Psalm 51:2-12 shows that David realized the true nature of his sinfulness, and he repented until the time of his death. James 1:14-15 says that each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. We need to find a cure before this happens. This cure is the Word of God, which calls us to repent. Medicine isn’t always sweet or pleasant, but we need to ingest it. No matter how serious the sickness is, we will survive if we find the right cure. Proverbs 17:22 says, ‘A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.’ When we have the Word of God, our hearts will become joyful and our spirits will be restored. May we live in the Word and maintain our new lifestyle of spiritual health.