The Bible teaches us that when we accept Christ as our Savior, we become the home of God—His Spirit comes to live in our spirit.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (AMPC) says: "Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, you were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body."
It seems we often expect God to be concerned about our spiritual health, and we think our bodies are ours, so we can do whatever we want with them. But these verses clearly show us we have a responsibility to "honor God and bring glory to Him" in our bodies.
I haven't always done a good job taking care of my body. There were many years when I worked all the time, and because I didn't balance my schedule to get enough rest, exercise and eat properly, I felt terrible most of the time. It made me irritable and weary, and I didn't enjoy life very much.
When we don't feel good, it's easier to be rude to people and get angry, and it's harder to pray, to study the Word and to hear what God is speaking to our heart.
And if you feel lousy all the time, you probably aren't going to do everything God is calling you to do with your life.
I'm so glad God was patient with me and helped me get on track with a healthier lifestyle. In the process, I had to do my part to get there. We have to understand we're partners with God: we have a part and He has a part; He won't do our part and we can't do His part.
We tend to want God to do everything for us when we pray for help. But many times when we pray for Him to fix a problem, He gives us something to do.
In January of 2015, I wrote in my journal: "God, I need more energy." Shortly after that, I had a strong desire to start walking for exercise. Over a six-month time period, I walked 950 miles, and I lost 17 pounds doing it! I've had more energy and have really enjoyed that time, walking outside, spending time alone with God and improving my physical health.
God didn't just zap me with more energy when I prayed; He gave me direction to walk more. I had to make an investment in my future by making more time to walk, and I feel so much better than I did before.
I want to encourage you to do what you can to establish a healthier lifestyle. Remember the body you live in is where God has chosen to live. You are the home of God. Having this perspective can help you be more motivated to take better care of yourself.
Romans 12:1 (AMPC) says to "make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship."
If you are struggling with some kind of sickness or just don't feel good, now is the time to start doing the right thing for your physical health. I realize there are some situations we can't do anything about, but if you are able, there are simple, practical ways you can get started:
- Drink plenty of water. Some experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day.
- Get the amount of sleep you require to be well-rested each night.
- Eat healthy most of the time, but allow yourself a treat now and then if it's okay for you to do that. On average, I have one dessert a week.
- Exercise on a regular basis. Walking is great, but if there is another activity you enjoy more, make it a priority to do it consistently.
- Have a well-balanced life. Work hard, but take time for rest and to do things you enjoy.
- Do what you can to eliminate excessive stress from your life. We aren't built to withstand continual pressure and stress.
God loves you, and He created you with a plan and purpose to fulfill. You are valuable to Him and deserve to take care of yourself.
Pray and ask God for wisdom about how you can establish a healthier lifestyle. Over time, you'll reap the benefits of making an investment in yourself.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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