Have you ever considered how faith plays a role in your health and fitness? If you believe in creation (or if you don't), many religions believe that we are not only a body and mind, but also a soul. The body, mind, and soul (or spirit), all work together to play an important role in your overall health.
80% of people aren't even trying to continue their New Year's resolutions after just 2 weeks. So what is the difference for some people? Is it the infomercial or the exercise program they choose? Is it the nutrition they choose or the newly purchased juice machine? Or is it something else?
So you focus on the body by giving it the proper nutrition and exercise and something just isn't clicking. You just can't seem to do it. Maybe its because your focus is all wrong. How could focusing on good nutrition and exercise be wrong you ask? Perhaps its not wrong. Perhaps it just shouldn't be the primary focus. Or maybe it should be a co-focus. Maybe focusing on it alone isn't where the magic is. Are you confused? Hang with me.
Look at what the bible says:
Paul the apostle who was a great speaker and writer of the bible even faced a battle that many of us face. It is the battle of the mind. It’s a battle when we want to do the right thing but we just can't seem to overcome the flesh.
In Romans 7:18-20 Paul said "For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to... no, the evil I don't wanna do is exactly what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I don't wanna do, it’s no longer I who do it, but it’s the sin living in me that does it" (paraphrased)
In Romans 7:24-25 he continues and says..."What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord".
Galatians chapter 5, verses 19 through 21 explain all types of sin we face. Then in verse 24 we find out this: "Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. And in verse 25 it says, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit”.
So could it be, that all our efforts to get fit, live healthier, and try so hard to develop discipline may just be in vain if we don't include that vital Spiritual food that we need as well?
I think if you want to live a spirit-lead life, rather than a flesh lead (or "me" lead life), then it’s important to acknowledge a few things.
1. You (I) are/am out of Control. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
This is tough because we want to control our health, our finances, our job, our family. But what if you let God control those things?
2. I am damaging my witness. (2 Corinthians 8:21)
If you want to live as a Christian, what is your discipline or lack thereof saying about you as a believer?
3. I am not giving God full honor. (1 Corinthians 6:15)
When Jesus came, he tore a veil and our bodies became the sanctuary. So how are you treating your sanctuary?
So now that you've acknowledged these things, what are the steps to focus on and develop your spiritual health? Your primary focus should be your spiritual health. Every other focus after that will fall in line and become easier, including your quest for physical health.
In America we have bought into several important national slogans. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave. We have founded our very beliefs on a document called the Declaration of Independence. We pride ourselves on being independent. But what if by making those acknowledgements you begin to understand that you've just made a declaration of DEpendence? What if you understand that you need God in your life?
Here are the steps to help you stay on track.
1. You (I) must start over daily. (Romans 12:1)
2. You (I) will Sabbath (hit the reset button) weekly. (Isaiah 58:13-14)
3. I will live with purpose. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)
Every day it’s important to understand that you need God to help you protect your mouth, your body, and your eyes in order to live a Spirit lead life.
So the challenge this week is to put God as your focus. Pray and ask God to protect your eyes, your heart, your mind, your body. Then pray again when you’re hungry and ask God to help you make the right choice. When you don’t feel like working out, ask God to help you gain control of your body. Keep key scriptures noted earlier in front of you and read them for motivation.
Maybe you’ll see that your new focus helps your old focus.
Some notes are courtesy of Pastor Josh Mauney. To watch Lexington's Turning Point Church on this subject, please click here to listen to Pastor Josh Mauney deliver the message entitled New Beginnings.