God promises rewards to anyone who keeps His commandments. Proverbs 3:1-2 (NKJV) says “My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands; for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.” This is a principle for long life which applies equally to whoever keeps to the instruction. But whoever breaks His laws by living a disobedient, careless, uncontrolled and intemperate life, will have his life shortened.
Apart from the spiritual laws meant to keep us away from sin, there are also natural laws of God which must be observed to ensure long life. Generally, Christians endeavour to keep the spiritual laws but often neglect the natural ones. Natural laws are impersonal and apply to everyone, Christians or non-Christians. The law will automatically be applied whether you know of its existence or not. Ignorance of a law makes no difference to the consequences of breaking it.
For example, the natural law of gravity does not respect any person, whether you are a holy person or the chief priest of an idol. If you drop yourself from the top of a building, you must crash on the ground. Matthew 5:45 (NLT) says, “…For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
Many people do not accept responsibility for their health problems. It is easier for them to blame a germ or virus, without accepting the fact that they are responsible for introducing the germ into their body. Some blame Satan or even God by saying that it is the will of God. But God has said in 91:16 (NKJV) that “…with long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
I love 1 Corinthians3:16-17 (NKJV) which says, “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.” True followers of Jesus Christ are the church, God’s temple, which is holy and should not be defiled. The promise of God is that He will destroy whoever defiles this temple.
Obedience of only the spiritual law, while ignoring the natural ones cannot assure us of the reward of obedience. God demands total or complete obedience. Deuteronomy 28:1NLT says, “If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today…” Partial obedience is not obedience. Don’t be like King Saul and his army that spared King Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, contrary to God’s instruction to completely destroy the Amalekites and their animals. King Saul suffered for this disobedience (I Samuel 15).
It has been known that most of the diseases of the body, with some resulting in death, are manifestations by the body of violations of God’s natural laws. Cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart failure, cirrhosis, asthma, arthritis are but a few. The body tries to cleanse, repair and rebuild itself but it reaches a point where it can no longer cope with the abuse and then breaks down.
In seeking a healthy body and long life, the laws of God must be fully obeyed in order to receive the reward. The body of a Christian is precious to God and must be properly maintained. Sometime ago, a man of about 71 years was admitted into a hospital for various manifestations including delirium and the diagnosis was severe dehydration. The body is made up of 75 to 85 per cent water, and dehydration for a prolonged period could be fatal. As a matter of fact, no one can survive without water for more than five days.
The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that no one can survive without oxygen for more than five minutes. Without oxygen, permanent brain damage begins after only four minutes. Anyone who knowingly or unknowingly cuts off supply of oxygen or water to their body will definitely suffer the fatal consequences of that disobedience.
Those who smoke cigarettes and tobacco are causing their lungs to break down. Those who consume sugar in excess are just inviting problems to their pancreas in the regulation of the blood sugar level. Those who consume too much salt should be saving money for antihypertensive drugs to be taken for life. Those who abuse cocaine and marijuana are gradually damaging their brain cells. When you consume much alcohol, you will observe that the liver starts to fail with time.
Any abuse is a violation of the natural laws of God and the abuser must suffer for it. It does not matter whether he is a health professional or a preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ or an applicant searching for job. They have committed the same offence and the punishment must be the same. Galatians 6:7 (NIV) says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Obedience demonstrates our faith and trust in God and is the key to success and blessings.