By Tope Banso
The Psalmist says, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD” (Psalm 118:17 New King James Version). Also, the writer of Psalm 91 says in verse 16, “With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation” (New King James Version).
Yes, these scriptures are true. God’s portion for you is long life. He doesn’t want you to die before your time. Nevertheless, you have a responsibility to avoid things that can cut short your life.
Sometimes when people die, it is not because the time apportioned to them by God has come. Some deaths could be as a result of people not taking care of their health.
Some people died prematurely because they abused their bodies and jeopardized their health through anxiety, stress, unforgiveness, unwholesome eating habit, carelessness, and other bad habits, which violate the Word of God.
Deuteronomy 4:40 says, “If you obey all the laws and commands that I will give you today, all will be well with you and your children. Then you will enjoy a long life in the land the LORD your God is giving you for all time” (New Living Translation).
The apostle John says, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2 New King James Version). In Exodus 23:26b, God says, “I will give you long, full lives” (New Living Translation).
Ill-health is one of the prominent causes of premature death. Some cases of ill-health are not because of demonic activities. Imagine someone who got infected with HIV/AIDS because of sexual promiscuity and died prematurely. That certainly is not directly a demonic attack, although it could be argued that the devil took such a person over to live a reckless sexual life.
God’s Word is clear on the need to avoid sexual immorality. Obedience to God would have saved several young men and women who have died prematurely through HIV/AIDS pandemic because of their promiscuous sexual life (I concede there are others who didn’t contact it through illicit sex).
The point I am making is that obedience to the Word of God is a condition for good health. “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8 New King James Version).
Keeping the Word of God will make a man depart from evil and therefore, position him to enjoy good health. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh” (New King James Version). The words of God are health to you if you keep them.
Many people have died prematurely because of emotional trouble. Anxiety and stress have killed a large number of people prematurely. Often, one hears of heart attack. Proverbs 12:25 warns, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression” (New King James Version). Did you see the danger of anxiety? Depression!
Many have terminated their lives as a result of depression. Jesus warned against worrying in Luke 12:22-31 but told us to have faith in God. Worry changes nothing.
The antidote to worry or anxiety is to commit your ways, your needs, your problems to God in prayer and trust Him to take care of you. David says, “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5 New King James Version).
He also says in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you, He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (New King James Version).
Unfortunately, many people will rather continue to use their limited wisdom to deal with the issues that are many times beyond their abilities. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (New King James Version). When a man loses the peace of God, even over legitimate responsibilities of life, his life is in pieces!
Anyone in business, career, ministry, etc. who doesn’t want to die prematurely must minimize stress in his life. Many are subjecting themselves to unnecessary stress because they have gone into ill-fitting jobs – jobs they have little or no temperament and aptitude for.
They went into the jobs due to the financial reward – good salaries and other benefits. However, they cannot cope with the demands of the jobs, and are being stressed out every day; they don’t have enough hours of sleep; they don’t rest well.
Such people don’t need to die prematurely; they must prayerfully exit their ill-fitting jobs and let God lead them into jobs they’re well suited for even if the financial reward is lower.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, “And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life — that is indeed a gift from God” (New Living Translation).
What about those who set unrealistic targets for themselves, which put them under severe pressure that have negative consequences on their health? They must change if their health will improve or if they will not lose their health.
Don’t abuse your body.
If you want to live long, don’t abuse your body by eating food that doesn’t do your body good; avoid smoking. It is surprising that despite the de-marketing of tobacco consumption through advertisement warning that those who smoke cigarette are liable to die young, many have chosen to die young by their continued smoking of cigarette!
Avoid consumption of what can cut short your life; don’t abuse your body. “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 New King James Version).
Because God knows that sometimes human beings cannot take care of their health alone, He has promised to heal the sick whether it’s caused by demonic attacks or other factors. Talking about the restoration of Israel and Judah, the LORD said, “For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 30:17a New King James Version).
A similar promise is made in Jeremiah 33:6: “Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth” (New King James Version). Jesus said that those who believe in Him “will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them” (Mark 16:18 New Living Translation).
While you should take physical precautions to stay healthy, you have a responsibility to also take spiritual precautions to believe God for divine health. If you’re sick, believe God for divine healing.
Train yourself to regularly confess, in faith, the Word of God concerning divine health. God’s best for you is to enjoy divine health – stay healthy. And if you’re sick, His will is to heal you. He is the LORD who heals you (Exodus 15:26).
Put healing scriptures in your heart and in your mouth, and don’t despise receiving prayer for your healing. “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15 New Living Translation).
I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek medical help – you should go to the hospital when you’re sick, and more importantly go for regular medical check-up. The Bible is not against the use of medication (drugs) or going to hospital for medical care. But ensure that you don’t let medical help replace God in your life. Even d octors know they care only God heals. Doctors fall sick too. They are human beings, not God; they are flesh, not spirit!
Isaiah 31:3 says, “Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; they all will perish together” (New King James Version).
While doctors attend to you, keep praying and hold on to your faith in God. Doctors must not replace God in your life. “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Even when the disease became life threatening, he did not seek the LORD’s help but sought help only from his physicians. So he died in the forty-first year of his reign” (2 Chronicles 16:12-13 New Living Translation).
If you’re battling with any illness, I pray that the Great Healer will heal you. May the healing power of the Jehovah Rapha invade your body now, heal you and make you whole in Jesus’ name.
That illness shall not kill you. You shall recover. You shall fulfil your full tenure on earth; you shall not be robbed of the remaining of your life. You shall enjoy good health, good life and long life in Jesus’ name.
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD will satisfy me with long life and show me His salvation. He will restore health to me and heal me of every sickness. I reject negative stress that can cause illness. I receive wisdom to lead a healthy life.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 300 in-deph and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org)
▪︎ Banso, an Abuja-based Minister, heads
Cedar Ministry International, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com; Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947
Take care of your health as a person of faith
By Tope Banso