Two things people strive for above everything else are life and health. In Proverbs 4:20–22, God gave us a four-step recipe for attaining both of these blessings.
Jesus is the Head of the Church, and we in the Church are His body (Eph. 5:23, 30). Authority is conferred not only upon the Head but also upon the body. The same authority the Head has, the body has. Our physical head cannot do a thing without our body. In fact, our head can’t do anything except through our body.
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Step One: Attend to God’s Word
The first step in God’s recipe for life and health is to pay attention to His words (v. 20). We can only find life and health through His Word. The Bible says Jesus is the living Word. The written Word is given to reveal the living Word to us. And Jesus came so we might have life abundantly (John 10:10).
The Bible instructs us to keep our minds on God’s Word. That doesn’t only mean the words Jesus spoke in the Gospels. The entire New Testament—particularly the epistles—unveils Jesus to us. It is crucial to give our attention to all of God’s Word.
The epistles show what Jesus obtained for us in His death, burial, and resurrection. For instance, Second Corinthians 5:21 declares that we were made righteous in Christ. And in Galatians 3:13–14, we learn that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law and made us partakers of the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.
These are just a few of the many references in the epistles that explain what belongs to us through Christ. When we give our undivided attention to these truths, they will bring life and health to every area of our lives.
We can only find life and health through His Word.
Step Two: Incline Your Ear
The second step in God’s recipe is to listen to the Lord’s sayings (v. 20). To walk in the fullness of life and health, we must give God’s Word our undivided attention and not allow ourselves to think about anything that contradicts it. We must open our ears to what our Heavenly Father is saying and close them to everything else. Believing and accepting the Word causes it to work for us. No one will ever know life, freedom, and truth without giving their full attention to understanding the scriptures.
Knowing God’s Word has a twofold application because Jesus is the living Word. We begin to know Jesus personally by accepting Him as our Savior. But we will never know Jesus—the living Word—in His fullness without knowing the written Word of God.
Step Three: Keep Your Eyes on the Word
The third step is found in verse 21. It says, “Let [My words] not depart from thine eyes.” We are to look at, as well as listen to, God’s Word. The Bible tells us to keep our vision fixed on Jesus (Heb. 12:2). How? By continually feeding on the written Word. As we do that, Jesus, the living Word, will become more real to us.
We should also keep our eyes fixed on Jesus as it pertains to the healing of our bodies. I learned the importance of doing this one night when I was troubled with alarming physical symptoms. I began to pray and claim the healing promises, but the symptoms persisted and grew worse.
I continued to praise God for my healing and finally managed to fall asleep. But I woke up again. Then in my spirit I heard the words, “Consider not.” I began to rejoice because I knew the passage of scripture in Romans 4 the Holy Spirit was referring to. I rejoiced in the promises of God instead of paying attention to my body.
I began to consider Jesus and the Word that says, “Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17). As I meditated on that truth, I fell into a deep sleep. I rested well and awoke the next morning healed.
The Bible lets us know what we should and should not take into account. We are to “consider not” physical symptoms and contradictory circumstances (Rom. 4:19–21). We are to consider Jesus and what God’s Word says is ours through Him (Heb. 3:1).
Step Four: Store God’s Words in Your Heart
In the fourth step, God tells us to “Keep [His words] in the midst of thine heart” (v. 21). Walking in life and health always starts in our heart, or spirit.
As Christians believe the Word and keep it in their hearts, it causes the life of God to spring up in them. The more they feed on scripture, the more they can walk in the truth that is in them.
When I received the revelation of Mark 11:23–24 when I was sick and dying and standing in faith for healing, I knew in my innermost being that I was healed. I praised God for my healing even when my heart still didn’t beat right, and my body was still partially paralyzed. I kept the Word in my heart.
It’s a mistake to look at our bodies to see if we are healed. The Bible says, “God is a Spirit” (John 4:24), and He heals us through our spirit. Healing first begins in our heart and then is manifested in our body. Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). The Word is a God-breathed and God-inspired message. Let’s always keep His words in our heart.
God is interested in our physical and spiritual health. If we want to enjoy life and health, we must continually listen to God’s Word. So let’s give it our undivided attention, fix our vision on Jesus—the Living Word—and keep God’s Word in our heart. Why are these steps so important? Because God’s words “are life to everyone who finds them and health to all their whole body”!
- Attend to God’s Word. Put it first. Give it your undivided attention. That means, cut other things out—put the Word in.
- Incline your ear to God’s sayings. Listen to what your Heavenly Father has to say about sickness and healing. Open your ears to His Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom. 10:17).
- Don’t let the Word depart from your sight. Don’t look at the symptoms or anything else. Only look at the Word!
- Keep God’s words in the center of your heart. Continually feed on scripture to get it built into your spirit, and it will work for you!
Kenneth E. Hagin
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