Originally published July 2013. Edited November 2015.
Just in case you wondered, you are not God. If you don’t believe me, ask your spouse. Neither are there little pieces of God scattered throughout the universe.
Splendor. Beauty. Expanse. As amazing as that rock formation is, God created it; He doesn’t reside in it.
Magical. Breathtaking. Spectacular. As rightly awed as you may be by the beauty of the night sky, remember, God spoke the stars and planets into existence; and when He did so, He didn’t leave a part of Himself behind. God isn’t there. Though, if you watch carefully, you may find His glory being proclaimed (Psalm 19:1).
Powerful. Amazing. Soothing. Yes. But, regardless of what the latest health guru tells you, the God of the Universe does not mystically linger in your little bottle of essential oil or supplement. I don’t care what the catchy name on the label says.
God spoke herbs and essential oils into existence at Creation when He formed the plants, trees, flowers, and shrubs and gave them to man (Genesis 1:29), but they are gifts given for our service (Psalm 104:14; Ezekiel 47:12). Good gifts. Just, don’t look for God there. Instead, open your Bible.
And know your heresies.
Pantheism: “God is everything”
Panentheism: “God is in everything”
You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and everything on it, the seas and all that is in them, and You preserve them all… (Nehemiah 9:6)
Christians have inadvertently relinquished their rights to God’s good gift of natural health, a gift that encourages the body to do what God designed it to do, which is to use the immune system to heal itself. You see, the immune system is a tool given to us by God, and the plants God gave us at Creation are designed to complement and nurture it.
The vitamins and minerals, enzymes, amino acids, proteins, essential oils, and millions of other intricate necessities infused into the plants and trees are not there by accident! They were weaved into Creation by a loving Father for the purpose of serving His children.
“Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” Ezekiel 47:12
Remember, all of these things work together to provide nourishment to our bodies, which keep all of our body systems, including our immune system, running like well-oiled machines.
Many false religions embrace the gift, but reject the Gift-Giver. Or, they try to turn the gift into the Gift-Giver. Christians, on the other hand, rightly embrace the Gift-Giver; but, ironically, they too often devalue His gifts by placing them below man’s wisdom in worth and authority. In other words, they pridefully snub the Gift-Giver’s gifts. Both are wrong.
Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord. (Jeremiah 17:5)
Arrogant. Futile. Anemic. The gift of natural foods and remedies was given to us by God for an ultimate purpose, therefore they are good and useful, and will serve us well when used properly and with thanksgiving. But, if we don’t reclaim this territory for Jesus—if we continue to eat empty, toxic foods and blindly trust in physicians to be our “miracle makers,” we will become weaker and sicker and find ourselves utterly unable to fulfill our calling.
Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady was severe; yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. So Asa rested with his fathers; he died in the forty-first year of his reign. (2 Chronicles 16:12–13)
Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in your time of distress.” (Judges 10:14)
Even if we must seek help from doctors, we must remember that all healing ultimately comes from the Great Physician, so that is where we should turn. When my daughter fell out of a tree, headfirst on a boulder, we rushed her to the emergency room, but we prayed the entire way there! In fact, the first words out of my mouth were cries of supplication to my God!
This is one reason that, when we anoint ourselves with essential oils, we pray and ask God to answer our supplications (James 5:14). Faith, obedience, and prayer are crucial.
Since we’re to obey God and not trust in our own understanding, if He wants us to anoint ourselves with oils while we pray, or if He wants us to dip ourselves in the Jordan seven times (2 Kings 5:10; John 9:6,7), we must believe and obey!
Anointing the sick and downcast with oil is found throughout Scripture. Unfortunately, it is the tendency of our sinful and idolatrous hearts to put our trust in anything but God.
So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. (Jeremiah 3:9)
We often trust in the Internet, in doctors, in pharmaceutical companies, in immunizations, in chemo, and even in created things—gifts intended for our good, but used in a sinful way. Some of us even put our trust in essential oils! It’s all idolatry!
James wrote in his epistle that if someone has a need, we should call the elders of the church to anoint them with oil and pray! Scripture is clear that God hears and answers simple prayers of faith!
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up…” James 5:14-15
God is the ultimate Provider. In Genesis 22:14, He is called Jehovah Jireh, which is Hebrew for “the Lord will provide.” He is also called Jehovah Rapha, which means God is our healer. When we sing the doxology, we “praise God from whom all blessings flow.” In James 1:17 we’re reminded that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.”
We need to stop living like we believe that New Agers and Eastern Mystics “own” the Creator’s gifts. Praise God for what He has given us; live like you believe in God’s graciousness; study and learn how to make His gifts useful for yourself and your family; and glorify Him by using them with thanksgiving, in an effort to strengthen and edify His people, and to further the Gospel.
If Christians would do this, the world would stop associating God’s natural gifts with mysticism, and they would begin to see the power, provision, and graciousness of a loving and creative God.
I’m here to help.