It’s hard to be in faith for health when you know you’re doing things that contribute to sickness, for example, eating fake, chemical-laden foods and unnecessarily exposing your body to dangerous toxins. Conversely, when you eat food you know is healthy, that is, real, whole food that God made, you can have faith that you’re living in harmony with God’s ways for health.
God Gave Us Good Food to Eat
Adam’s rebellion against God resulted in man living by his human, or sin, nature, rather than by the spirit of God. Romans 5:14 explains that death, which is the result of this sin nature, started with Adam. Sickness, which is death in part, became a part of every person’s life thereafter.
God originally provided Adam and Eve with everything they needed for a healthy life in companionship with Him. He provided the best food for them.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. (Genesis 1:29 NIV)
This description includes nuts, grains, legumes, and seeds.
The human digestive system was designed for the way of eating God set out for man in Genesis 1:29. The length of the digestive tract is a strong indicator of what type of food should be eaten, and our digestive tract is 12-14 times our shoulder-to-hip (trunk) length, the same as fruit-eating animals. Herbivores, such as cattle, have a gut-length 20 times their body length since it takes longer to digest the fiber content in the foods they eat. The shortest tracts are found in meat-eaters such as canines, polar bears, and felines. Many scientists classify humans as herbivores, which includes cows, sheep, deer, rabbits, and squirrels.
Once man fell (Genesis 3:6), his perfect world fell apart, too. No longer was the earth properly supplying everything he needed.
To Adam he [God] said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV)
After the fall, God told Adam that he would eat plants. Vegetables are very rich in sulfur and are good cleansers of the digestive tract. Vegetables also take longer to digest than the fruits, grains, and seeds that God originally gave humans to eat, meaning man could go longer between eating.
After the flood of Noah, all human, animal, and plant life on earth had been wiped out (except for Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark). Noah and his sons could plant crops, which would require time before they could be harvested. So, what did they eat? The only things possible to eat were the animals that had been on the ark.
Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.” (Genesis 9:1-4 NIV)
Now, man was an omnivore with a body designed as an herbivore. Therefore, God set principles regarding the eating of meat.
God’s Health Solution #1
After the fall of Adam, God put into motion a plan to reconcile man back to Himself (Genesis 3:15), but until the time that Christ came in the flesh, God in His love provided ways for man to stay healthy. One of the ways He did this was by instituting various dietary laws.
The purpose of these laws (found in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14) was not to make life difficult for people or to prevent them from being free to eat whatever they want, but to keep them healthy. Even though we are no longer bound to the law to earn our righteousness, dietary and sanitary laws are just good, common sense.
God promised that if the children of Israel obeyed His laws, they would stay healthy.
He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26 NIV)
God’s Health Solution #2
God’s permanent solution for the health of our bodies was for His son, Jesus, to endure pain and torture so that we might be free from sin and sickness.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Many people think that solution #2 eliminates the need for solution #1. However, God’s solutions work best for us when we combine them. This is called “eating in faith.”
Most sicknesses today are self-inflicted, meaning we bring them on ourselves by violating one or both of God’s solutions. Many believers feel that because they have been healed by the stripes of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:24), they do not need to follow God’s dietary principles. In fact, many believe that doing anything other than “having faith” is contrary to God’s will. This leads to thinking they can do/eat whatever they want and expect God will heal them. Yes, we are healed by Christ’s wounds, but we also reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).
God designed food to be fuel for the body, but today many people’s lives revolve around food. We make decisions about what we eat based not on if it will help our bodies, but if it tastes good. This is reminiscent of Eve’s deception.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:6 KJV)
When our decisions on what foods to eat are ruled by our senses (pleasant to the eyes, pleasurable on the lips), we are not eating in faith. We are not taking care of, respecting, stewarding what God has given us.
Because of God’s goodness and love for us, He laid out dietary principles, things that we should and should not consider as “food.” Unfortunately, many of today’s foods are not really food, as God would define it. Food today has been adulterated and changed so that it no longer resembles what God made.
The church today is sick and tired because it is not eating in faith, living in harmony with God’s ways regarding health. Diabetes, obesity, and cancer, among other diseases, are rampant. This ought not so to be. If any group of people today should be healthy, it should be the church.
The biggest thing that is happening to our food supply in the United States is that it is being modified (biologically changed). A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals, or even humans. The best way to avoid GMO’s, mycotoxins, and chemicals in your food is to eat real, organic, non-processed food.
Common Sense Eating
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:23 KJV)
This instruction from Paul to Timothy regarding his health was a matter of what he was consuming, of diet, of common sense. Timothy had been suffering frequent health problems, probably due to drinking contaminated water, and Paul’s suggestion was to change his diet by adding some wine.
Today, our faith is being hindered because, deep down, we know we’ve been doing the wrong stuff. We know that the junk we eat, the potato chips and ice cream and chocolate cake, isn’t good for us. If we are eating in faith, then we should not be sick.
If there’s that little voice in the back of your head saying, I know I really shouldn’t be eating this… that’s the spirit of God in you, prodding you to eat in faith.
Making the Change
The idea of changing one’s diet is a scary proposition for most people. However, the anticipation of how hard it will be is almost always greater than the actual doing of it. In other words, the more you think about it, the harder it will seem. Once you do it, you’ll find it much easier to live within God’s guidelines for health. You can eat in faith.
If you need help making good food choices, learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.