Psalm 84:1-2 (NLT)
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God.
I believe that it was when the first year turned into the second year of our son’s battle with cancer that I discovered my life felt out of control. I am quite sure that it had been for many years yet undetected because it had not been tested, evaluated and examined. My heart was broken. My body was out of shape. My strength was waning. But I could not give up. I needed to take control of this “temple” once again and clean house. The circumstances of my life had not yet changed but something had to turnaround. For many years, I had somewhat practiced holistic approaches to health and well-being, but now it was critical that I get control of something beginning with my flesh. “Listen, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6) It was time to submit my whole being to honoring the Lord. I had to learn to love the Lord with all of my heart, all of my soul and all of my strength (including my body). It would be this approach that would ultimately change the course of my life. I would discover something in this journey call peace and balance. Holistic incorporates care of the whole body and all of its entities in caring for the “Temple of the Living God.” That’s you and me on any given day whether we feel like it or not. Is God living in a stressed out, faithless, rundown shack of a body barely held together by the things of this world? Or is the dwelling place of God lovely? Do you long, yes, faint to be in His Presence? Our life (body, mind and spirit) must connect as a whole being to shout joyfully to the Living God and make the connection. Otherwise, it will constantly war against itself. Without a little self-discipline, your seed of faith will die inside you never making it to the outside to change your life, renew your heart and restore your spirit. We must learn to live a life of balance to experience all the things that God has promised. It begins by loving God with all your body, mind and spirit – your whole being just as He requested in the New Testament made possible by Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Romans 7:24-25 (NLT)
Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
People are impressionable. We are what we eat. We live what we learn. We become what we see. We are called to be imitators of God yet we use this ability to be like everyone else instead. (Ephesians 5:1) We choose the darkness to hide our sin rather than to live in the Light and deal with it. Compromise is much easier than a long term commitment. Substitutions satisfy us for the moment. However, you will never be free from the power of sin until you take the bull by the horns in all areas of life. A little yeast leavens the loaf. (Matthew 13:33) But it is up to each individual the measure of faith applied to our life. Some choose to allow sin to remain in one form or the other never realizing the potential damage it will do in our life. Our sinful nature is a strong force to be reckoned with but Jesus Christ overcame the world. (John 16:33) Sin is byproduct of this world and does not exist in Heaven. We must use our life to balance our body, mind and spirit with Jesus Christ. This is called reconciliation and it is absolutely essential to spiritual success. “For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
Psalm 63:1-2 (NLT)
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
Balance begins right here. You must decide if you earnestly want to find the Lord. Do you want to reconcile your life to Christ? If you don’t really want it, then you will not be committed to such a pursuit because it requires discipline. Let’s face it – no one embraces discipline even when we know it is for our own good. Does your whole body long for God’s Best? Until you are convinced that what the Lord offers is worth having forget about it. You will never devote your entire life to discovering His Purpose, Potential and Promises. The body must join your mind and connect with the Spirit to make it to the end. Otherwise you will never win the battle inside of you long enough to advance in such an endeavor. “As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?” (Psalm 42:1-2) Now there’s a thought…what if we lived our life in preparation to go stand before God not because we have to but because we really wanted to live in the Presence of God? It would change every single detail of our life for the Good that the Lord has promised. (Romans 8:28) It will incorporate your body, mind and soul. Are you up to the challenge? Do want to live a balanced life?
I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)
Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
Well, you cannot argue with the statement, “You must honor God with your body.” Does it get any plainer? Not really, yet most people have no control of the Temple of God that is our human body. Obesity is out of control. Sickness and disease overwhelming with many ailments directly related to misuse and abuse of the Temple of God. We do not get healthy until mandated by medicine. Our flesh is clearly in control. This is just pertaining to health not to mention the way we give our lives to unworthy things like stress, worry, anxiety and defeat. It is time to realize who we are and our responsibility in order to take authority over the flesh. It is not in control anymore. Sin is woven in our flesh and was crucified with Jesus Christ. Now we must learn to live like it. We cannot escape our flesh until we join Jesus in Eternity. But the modern age message of grace is “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” is not what God intended. We are to live a fasted lifestyle. This is not a diet but an introduction to discipline. Exercise is a form of discipline. Who begins to exercise and loves it immediately? No, it takes time. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? I believe that if more believers would conquer the flesh physically, they would experience more victories spiritually through self-discipline. Fasting would make sense in denial rather just some holy diet. Society is not about self-denial but total, immediate gratification, hence “fast food”, etc. No one has to wait on it anymore. Our flesh is crucified with Jesus Christ when He became our Lord and Savior. (Galatians 2:19-21) Who let it back in? Who gave it back its power? You did. I did. Now it is time to take authority over our flesh. Get up. Get moving. It is time to work on the Temple and make it worthy of the Lord inside and out. You must learn to endure. This not only takes intestinal fortitude but a sound body. You are what you eat. The more you eat the more of you there is. What you eat defines ability to endure. Just for the record…it is not a good idea to eat enchilada casserole less than 30 minutes before you go to the gym and probably contraindicated to eat half a cheesecake when you get home. Just thought you should know! Seriously, many Christians underestimate the connection between the physical body and our ability to overcome the flesh. It is uniquely tied together. “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:24-27) There are too many verses that compare endurance to physical training that would lead me to be confident that how we treat our body, use it and care for it is a component to reconciliation to Jesus Christ. We are a Holy Temple. Balance is established by living that way!
Proverbs 18:14 (NLT) The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit?
What you think matters! Those who are optimistic characteristically persevere through sickness better than those who give up. There are so many brokenhearted and disappointed people in the world when encountering a positive person they become a light. The only hope that remains true in this world is Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the World that eliminates darkness. So why do we run to it? If we evaluated the media according to the Word of God, there is very little that we would watch or listen to. Not from a religious standpoint, but according to securing and strengthening our mind according to this holistic approach. God doesn’t change His Mind! (Numbers 23:17) Why is this important? Because people do about a thousand times a day and those are the confident ones. In order to experience the fulfillment that God offers those who live in balance, we must change our minds. We have been given the Mind of Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 2:15-16) The Word of God is called the Book of Instruction so life does come with a manual. However, if we never choose to use either one what good are they to us. There are certain things as a believer that are detrimental and should be avoided whether we like it or not. “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) You can choose to watch, listen to and read anything that you want. You are free to do so. (I Corinthians 10:23) However, those who want to live in balance reconciled to Jesus Christ must compare all of these things for its support of the Mind of Christ and accordance with the Word of God. There are few prime time television shows, popular movies, and best-selling books that glorify God! You are the Temple of God. What is playing in your mind and with your thoughts today? Anything contradictory to His Word, Will and Way will encourage you to stray. The Word of God will split through the façade of freedom that we create to continue to allow sin and darkness a place in our life and expose every single thought before it has time to become active in our life. (Hebrews 4:12) The Lord has given us every resource necessary to avoid stinking thinking. It is up to us to change our mind to live in agreement with His Thoughts and accept His Promises. This is balance. “God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.” (Hebrews 6:17-19) Let the Lord change your mind today. Be open to accepting all of His Promises anchored by faith and confident hope until they come!
John 14:16-17 (NLT)
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
2 Timothy 1:6-7 (NLT)
This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
You have the Living, Breathing Spirit of God inside of you just waiting to take over and mend your broken life. He is ready to perfect all that concerns you just like the Lord has promised. He knows God’s Plans for you and is ready to reveal the future and hope set aside just for you. However, because we do not know His Spirit, we do not allow Him to help us in our journey through life. God’s Spirit is not fearful or timid, but it is powerful, loving and teaches us self-discipline. We want God’s Power. We desire His Love. But hang on, this thing called self-discipline sounds like a lot of work. It is! It is a requirement for endurance and to finish the race of faith. Do you want the prize? Religion calls for pious self-denial but the Lord is ushering us along with divine discipline so we can finish the race and win the prize! (Colossians 2:18-19) Denying our flesh and facilitating hunger and thirst for righteousness – we are fully reconciled to Jesus Christ and ushered into the Presence of God. (Matthew 5:6) This is a balanced life when our flesh and mind connect with God’s Spirit leading to all things that are holy. After all we are called to live a holy life wholly! (I Peter 3:16-17) Discipline is the pathway to life. (Proverbs 10:17) It leads to understanding. (Proverbs15:32) Discipline is not demonstrated in our words, but our actions as we live what we truly believe. (Proverbs 29:19) “Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor.” (2 Timothy 2:4-6) Soldiers, athletes and farmers are excellent examples of those who live a life of discipline. They understand authority, endurance and hard work. This is the life a believer who lives by the Spirit and decides to make following Jesus Christ an effort that includes their entire being. Is that you? Do you want to be found faithful when you meet Jesus face-to-face? It begins today. Reconcile your life to Christ. He is our example. Live a life of balance body, mind and Spirit and you will win the race of faith!
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:11-12 (NLT)
No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
Take control of your body today! Get up! Get moving. Evaluate your health and claim the new creation that Jesus has promised you will be. Examine your mind and remove anything offensive to God and fill it with the Good Things found in His Word. It will change your life from the inside out. Let the Spirit take over. He knows the Way of Salvation, Redemption and Resurrection. You cannot perfect perfection so go with Him. Do not give up! Endure. Finish the Race and you will receive the Crown of Righteousness you have been promised and it will be worth it. Reconcile your life to Jesus Christ. Accept no substitutes. Do not compromise only God’s Very Best will do for you His Precious Child. Discipline is not fun. It can be painful but worth every moment contribute to the effort of getting it all together and building a healthy and productive Temple worthy of the God who we serve!
I Thessalonians 5:23-24 (NLT)
Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.