(1 Cor 6:19-20) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Today begins a three-part discussion about Christians and health. Why am I emphasizing the things of the body when it’s our spiritual life that relates to God? Because the Bible says we are a trichotomy of body, soul, and spirit. (1 Thes 5:23) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And what affects your body can affect your soul and spirit. What affects your soul and spirit can affect your body. Paul prays that his listeners’ body, soul, and spirit would be preserved blameless until the Lord’s coming. So before holistic health there was Biblical holy health!
Paul said to the Corinthians that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament there was the Temple in Jerusalem. Under the new covenant it is the temple of our body where the Spirit dwells. We belong to God. We were bought at a price (the precious blood of Jesus – 1 Pet 1:18-19). As a result we are to glorify God in our body and our spirit.
Our bodies are an expression of who we are. As believers we are called to do God’s will and the works He has ordained for us from before the foundation of the world (Eph 2:10). It takes a body to do that. So as we take care of our bodies we are taking care of that vessel of honor so it can be useful for the Master (2 Tim 2:20-21). When I realized this it changed my life. I was so busy living life and taking care of others that I neglected my own health. I loved God and wanted to serve Him by serving and sacrificing for others. My body, mind, and spirit took its toll and I was a vessel beginning to crack and fall apart. The Lord opened my eyes to the fact that when I take the time to invest in my health it is not selfish. In fact, it really means I am taking the time to fine tune my body so it can be even more effective to serve others.
I have come to the conclusion that we have a stewardship over our bodies and a scriptural mandate to take care of them. We can neglect our bodies but eventually it will catch up to us and we will have to pay. We keep up our homes, our cars, our computers, but what about our bodies? We only have one of them. If this one goes then I don’t have another one in the closet I can use.
So what does it take to get our bodies in shape? It takes what I call an Inside Out approach. That means the Spirit of God will open your eyes to the need for health and then give you the power to take the steps you need to take. (Phil 2:13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. You won’t fuss about what you have to do. You’ll be excited to make the changes from the Inside Out. It’s a lifestyle change instead of a temporary fix for your health. You will make changes not just to fit into that swimsuit this summer or to look good at the graduation or reunion. It’s a change for life!
Most people approach health from the Outside In. They go on fad diets and exercise like crazy only to gain their weight back after they reach their goal. This is a law approach: (Col 2:23) These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in . . . neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
I am very excited to share more about Inside Out health in terms of food and exercise. Get ready for change!