God's Instruction Manual: Your Guidebook to a Healthy Life

Health and exercise
The Bible is designed by God to provide us a blueprint for living a healthy life. (Flickr )

The Bible is designed by God to provide us a blueprint for living a healthy life. It's like an owner's manual for a piece of exercise equipment. We can make the best use of the equipment if we read the owner's manual so we are aware of how to use all the special capabilities and how all the buttons and whistles work. When it breaks down, we can look in the manual to know how to repair it.

One secret to living an abundant life, according to Warren Wiersbe, is obeying God. As we live according to God's principles, we will be in His presence more frequently, which empowers us to bear more fruit in our lives. If we desire to obey God, reading his Word is essential. The more we read and study the Bible, the more knowledgeable we can become about how to live our life according to His principles and commandments.

What the Bible Says

There is one chapter of the Bible that tells us the benefits of living according to His principles more than any other: Psalm 119. In this chapter's 176 verses, words such as principles, decrees, commandments and laws are used 156 times as the author writes about how God blesses him as he lives according to His principles. Happiness, joy, a renewed life, hope, freedom, understanding, comfort, wisdom, peace and health are some of the blessings mentioned that the author received and that we can have if we live as God instructs us to live in the Bible.

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Two verses in this chapter that apply to health are as follows: "I will never forget your commandments for you have used them to restore my joy and health" (v. 93 NLT). "As pressure and stress bear down on me I find joy in your commands" (v. 143 NLT).

James also capturesd the essence of the value of reading the Bible and obeying God's principles when he wrote, "But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in his deeds" (Jas. 1:25).

What the Research Says

I have yet to find medical research that suggests explicitly that obedience to God's Bible promotes good health. However, if you read Psalm 119, you will see that following His principles will bring many blessings likely to have an impact on health. When you experience joy, happiness and peace on a regular basis, you are more likely to live in better emotional and physical health. It just makes sense. And according to the Bible, when we follow the principles and commandments of God, we will experience these sorts of blessings.

What You Can Do

Grow deeper and deeper in love with God as you read the Bible and know Him better. A deeper love for Him will give you a greater desire to follow His commandments. Read Psalm 119 in a contemporary translation. If you don't own a contemporary version, visit www.biblegateway.com and read the New Living Translation. Ask God to reveal to you the personal benefits He wants you to receive as you obey his principles. Be aware of how reading the Bible on a regular basis impacts on your day-to-day attitude and your emotional well-being. Recognize how this ongoing positive state of emotional health impacts your physical health.

The middle three letters of the word obedience are "die." To be able to follow God's commandments requires that we die to ourselves and live for God. This is not easy, because we are selfish in nature, and it's a big risk to believe and trust that His ways are bigger and better for us than our ways.

But the Bible makes it clear. Over and over, it reminds us that when we disobey His principles, we are likely to suffer negative consequences in our life. When we follow God's ways, we will have life—the kind of life Jesus mentions in John 10:10 when He tells us He came so that we might have life to the fullest.

For the original article, visit faithandhealthconnection.org.

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