Specific Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis
(An 8 Minute Read)
The Word says that from creation, God created man in His image. He designed us so that when we remain in His image we will thrive and function at our highest possible level. The Word is full of descriptions of His nature. Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruit of His Spirit which is His nature manifest in us:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
1 Corinthians 13: tells us of His nature of love and what that looks like:
Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 KJV
And Psalm 103 describes His compassion, patience, mercy, and nature of forgiveness for us. And that’s only a fraction of what can be found in the Word.
God’s desire is to form us into our identity as His children, in His image, according to His nature. Psalm 139 talks about how thoughtfully and carefully He designed and created each one of us. We’re each designed with a specific personality, characteristics, and our own unique purpose and place that are prepared for us in His family if we will accept it.
However, there is a catch…
There is nothing the enemy would love more than to rob us of our identity and to form us into his image. He’ll try to get us to listen to fear which removes us from the protective covering of our Heavenly Father and keeps us from being able to trust Him completely. So we act fatherless like we have no one who will cover us, therefore, we feel the need to protect ourselves. Or the enemy will try to form bitterness and offense in our hearts because He knows that God’s nature is forgiveness and mercy and that’s about as far opposite as he can get us.
Another big battlefield is when he makes us believe that we are unlovable. He’ll make us forget that we are accepted in the beloved and treasured and cherished by our Heavenly Father so that he can bring all kinds of torment to us. Then he tells us that we are unacceptable and rejected. He’ll make us believe that, for whatever reason, we will never measure up and therefore, just don’t fit into the body of Christ.
He knows that if he can rob us of our identity, then he has the power to bring every manner of disease and torment into our lives. He wants to make us believe that we are separated from the love of our father. Therefore, we cannot accept the position that Father God has given us in His family as an accepted, beloved son or daughter, not for what we do but because of His great, unconditional love for us.
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:7-10 KJV
In the battle against disease, we need to begin to recognize the areas in our lives that the enemy has come to separate us from our identity as children of God and in the image of God. The image of God is His nature in us. We need to line our hearts back up with His and begin to believe what He says about us as truth. We need to tear down the lies of the enemy that have established another way of thinking in our lives.
Autoimmune diseases are a classic example of diseases that come because we have been robbed of our identity. We’ve been trained by the enemy, often through our generations, to think and believe a certain way that negates our value and purpose in the Kingdom of God and causes us to turn against ourselves. Two examples of this are Rheumatoid Arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis.
All autoimmune disease is a result of the body attacking the body. Physiologically it operates through the immune system flagging parts of our own body as the ‘enemy’ and our white corpuscles attacking that part of the body as a result.
We are hosting an entire one day conference entitled, Real Solutions For Autoimmune Disease on August 25th. This conference is going to dive into all of the contributing factors to autoimmune diseases and really help unravel and demystify this particular grouping of diseases.
In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the white corpuscles are attacking the connective tissue of the joints. This is a skeletal issue. Our skeleton is directly affected by issues of our identity.
A person with Rheumatoid Arthritis is possibly dealing with an issue of self against self. Perhaps they struggle with accepting themselves for who God created them to be and maybe they find themselves comparing themselves to others as a result.
We were not created or called to be anyone other than ourselves. Each person needs to settle in their own hearts that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, not of someone else. God does not make accidents. Some people don’t just fly below the radar and, “oh wups!” here they are without a purpose or value. No, each person was thoughtfully designed and created with specific characteristics that make them uniquely suited for the purpose they were created for. The problem is that perhaps from childhood or from their generations, the enemy has been working to separate them from that purpose and to belittle their value in the world. He might use the words of others and life circumstances to cement this way of thinking.
In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the enemy can use comparison and self-accusation to change a person’s identity and to cause a self-image issue. They may struggle with an unhealthy fixation on physical appearance or performance. The person cannot accept themselves for who they are, where they’re at, or how they appear.
Then their body recognizes this pattern of thought and a spirit of infirmity joins them to say, “Hey, the enemy is not this virus or invading organism, it’s actually my own skeleton, my own joints!” And the very thing the person struggles with most, their appearance, becomes gnarled and deformed.
Freedom comes when a person returns to Father God and seeks His heart and His perspective about themselves. When they can accept and trust that they were specially and specifically designed to be a unique and valuable part of creation and of the body of Christ, their body quits fighting itself.
Overcoming is a choice. It’s choosing to believe God’s Word over the enemy’s lies. It’s also a process. These ways of thinking can be so familiar and normal that often times it’s hard to even recognize them. That’s where God can meet us. We can ask Him to show us the hidden things in our heart and to restore those broken places so that we can be returned to what He created us to be. We need to find our value and our worth, not in appearances, not in performance, not in what other people think about us, but in the simple fact that we are God’s children. He is the only place that we can go to truly find our identity because only He knows exactly who He designed us to be.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. Psalm 139: 13-18 KJV
Multiple Sclerosis also involves a self vs. self dynamic. Only, in this case, the immune system is attacking the myelin sheath of the nerves. It begins to eat away at the protective covering of the nerves and at first, may intercept a nerve signal, but as it continues to deteriorate, the nerve signal may get cut off altogether causing impairment or debilitation of body functions.
Spiritually, the difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis and MS is this: Rheumatoid Arthritis is an issue of a person having conflict with themselves and their identity. MS is a person who has completely written off or rejected themselves and their identity. The enemy has led them to a place of self-hatred that is causing their body to try to destroy its self and its ability to function.
So the questions that are in jeopardy in this person’s identity are: Who am I? Why am I here? And Who cares?
The enemy has come into this person’s life through self-accusation to convince them that they have absolutely no worth, no importance and no purpose on this earth. They may even believe that they were a mistake, a failure or should never have been born.
They struggle with believing that they were created for a purpose and that they have a place just as important as the person next to them. This comes down to a choice. Who are they going to believe? Can they recognize how the enemy has lied to them and reject those lies? Can they search out God’s heart for them and choose to believe His Word and what He says about them?
Accusation is not only trying to destroy the person but to separate them from Father God. It will accuse Him and say that He made a mistake in creating them. The key to healing is lining up what they believe about themselves and speak about themselves with what God thinks about them, not the enemy.
The Word says that God does not hold our sins or failures over our heads but as far as the East is from the West, so far does He remove them from us.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12 KJV
It says that He has mercy and compassion and patience for us and does not reward us according to our iniquity. He knows that we are dust and does not expect perfection from us.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Psalm 103:8-10 KJV
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14 KJV
If that’s the case, who’s holding the measuring stick? Who’s telling them that they are not good enough, not acceptable, and not lovable? The Word also says that man looks after the outward appearance – that would be performance and physical appearance- but God looks at the heart. If that’s what He looks at, we need to place our own invested interest in our heart as well. We need to learn to treasure our heart the way He does. He sees those broken, hurting places in our hearts and has love and compassion for us, not only that but He has solutions to pull us back to Himself and heal and recover us.
Did you know that we can have that compassion for ourselves as well? If we are to be like our Father, that’s exactly what we need to do. If that’s a struggle for us, we can ask Him to help us see ourselves the way He sees us. His perspective may be so different from what we are familiar with but His perspective, His love and peace and patience for us will be the key that opens the doors to our freedom and healing.
The Be in Health Team