Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ I Thessalonians 5:23
I have been thinking very much lately about healing.
Why is the church so physically sick? Why is there virtually no difference between the overall health of the churched vs the nonchurched in the Western world?
Sanctification is not a very commonly used word. Definitely not used outside of religious circles. To sanctify is to make holy. In one sense, we are already holy, because Jesus has made us right before God and done what we could not do. In another sense, it is a process, one that doesn’t end until we meet our Creator.
What I find interesting in the above passage is the inclusion of the body. Sanctification is a complete process, involving the whole person. Not just your spirit or soul, but your body as well. I have to be frank: I have seen attitudes transform, thoughts transform, but I am just not seeing a multitude of bodies transform.
Is the church missing something here?
If it is God’s will for you to be sick, as some might say, why go against His will and go to the doctor? Or do we even think about God at all when we are sick, have a cold, sprain an ankle, etc? Do we just instinctively reach for cold medicine or make an appointment to be seen by a doctor? Even those, like me who use alternatives and holistic therapies, do we just reach for an essential oil without thinking about what it means that we are sick?
Even prayers I have heard from many sincerely God-centered people have had a air of hopeless resignation to the fact that yes, I am sick, help me God to get through this because I know I am stuck with it and the best I can hope for is a good attitude till I get to the other side.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases
~ Psalms 103:2-3
I am doing some real soul-searching about this topic. I do believe in a God who heals. I believe in a God who is bigger than any dis-ease. Ease and peace are basically synonyms. So DIS-ease means NO peace. My God is the God of peace, and He has come to sanctify my WHOLE spirit and soul and body.
Could there be an emotional or spiritual root cause for WHY members of the church universal are overwhelmingly sick? Is there something we just don’t get? This is something I am looking at in a deeper way in the weeks to come.