My journey to weight loss began with dedicating myself to God. In Galatians 5:16, Paul calls this concept walking in the Spirit. It means allowing the Holy Spirit to control you.
I had to learn to bring the Holy Spirit into my life when it came to eating and exercising. While I depended on God for my sermons, I had to learn to depend on Him for self-control in my eating and exercising habits.
The human aspect of who we are is found in Matthew 26:41: “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Our flesh is weak, and it is what we tend to respond to. We give in to its cravings—what it lusts for. The Bible says we won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh if we walk in the Spirit.
Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to control you? Will you walk in the Spirit? I was one with the Holy Spirit when I preached, but I needed to include him when I sat down for meals.
First, we have to dedicate our bodies to God. Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Your body is not intended for the gratification of self, but for the glorification of God. God gave us these bodies to honor Him—they are not our own. This is contrary to the popular belief, “It’s my body; I can do what I want with it.” No, it’s not yours and you can’t just do what you want with it. Our desire should reflect the attitude found in Philippians 1:20—that Christ would be magnified in our bodies.
Second, we need to discipline our bodies for God. In Romans 6:11-13, we find the concept of losing oneself, dying to self, being dead to sin but alive to God through Jesus Christ. We are called not to use our “members”—our body parts—as instruments of sin but for righteousness.
Where are you going with your feet? What are you doing with your hands? What about your mouth? Your eyes—what are you watching on television or reading in books? Do you get what I’m saying? Do you understand that every part of your body is an instrument?
We must deliver our bodies. One day we will all stand before God and be required to give an account of our lives. We’ll have to account for how we used our time, our talents and our treasures. We will also have to give an account of how we cared for God’s temple, our body.
Second Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Decide today to honor God with your body when it comes to eating and exercising.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
Steve Reynolds is the lead pastor of Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Va. He is the author of the books Bod4God and Get Off the Couch. He is also the creator of the Losing to Live weight-loss competition. Steve has lost more than 120 pounds and has led his church to lose over eight tons of weight.