Many of you know that the foundational verse for my most recent book and ministry, Fit for Faith, is 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
"What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God, and that you are not your own? You were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (MEV).
The Lord used this verse, among others, nearly eight years ago to heal me of the eating disorder that Satan was using to ravage my body and soul (John 10:10). You can learn the details of that time in my life here, but today I wanted to share a simple truth that has absolutely freed me from the infernal heaps of condemnation that the enemy launches in my direction when I stumble and revert into past sins and struggles: Repeats of the same spiritual attack are to be expected.
I've shared publicly that while I was healed and I do stand victorious in Christ against anorexia and the depression and pride that birthed it, I am not immune to becoming ensnared again. I know from experience and from the testimonials and observance of others that conquering a trial, persevering through a tribulation, or resisting a temptation doesn't drive Satan back to the drawing board where he angrily strikes through the demonic strategies that failed in your life as his soldiers scratch their heads and begin devising a brand new battle plan.
The devil is an old dog with old tricks. And just as he did with Jesus in the wilderness, he'll flee when you resist him, but he'll return after "a season," when "an opportune time" presents itself (James 4:7, Luke 4:13). If he was able to knock you down and draw some blood with a particular dart, don't doubt that he'll select that same arrow from his arsenal again in the future when your defenses are down.
"Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil" (Eph. 6:11, MEV).
Stress and idolatry are two hell-sent arrows that come whizzing into my path when verses like 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 become muted in my spirit by the raucous, fruitless efforts of my flesh. When I become anxious and turn to a WOD instead of God to clear my head. When I relieve stress by controlling my calorie intake with unhealthy compulsiveness instead of releasing all control to my heavenly Abba – daddy. If they endure long enough, these foolish activities lead me down a dangerous, dangerous road ...
Just over a year ago, the twin arrows struck me again when a new city, new house, new life as a wife and then a new business began, well, freaking me out a little bit. I began working out more and ignoring the Holy Spirit and my husband's encouragement to rest, to turn to God, to be still (Ps. 46:10). Because I typically lose my appetite when I'm stressed, I was eating less. My temple wasn't being honored at all, but instead, treated like a sheer sack of dust ... which it once was before I believed and accepted the redeeming light of God who sacrificed His life to dwell within it.
From the time of my wedding in December 2011 to April of last year, my nearly 5-feet-5 frame dropped 10 pounds. With the patient and persevering prayers and encouragement of my husband and the Shepherd's strong, steady staff pulling me gently back to His life-giving Word, the arrows have gone up in smoke again, and I am at a healthy weight once more.
Whatever your weaknesses have been in the past, do not be afraid that they will one day overtake you when our age-old opponent finds you vulnerable. Instead, take heart and have hope that your Redeemer has already won the war and is with you this day to fight your battles.
"The Lord shall fight for you, while you hold your peace." (Ex. 14:14)
You see, those of us who have accepted Jesus as our High Priest have the privilege to tend to the holy temple that He inhabits, our bodies. No daily lottery. No special occasion. It's every day, every hour, every second. What an honor, indeed!
Stay fit and stay faithful.
Note: Diana Anderson-Tyler was recently interviewed on Blog Talk Radio by Dr. Ray DiBartolomeo, the Doctor of Chiropractic at the Biggest Loser Resort. Listen to the interview.
Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House's Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman's Guide to Total Fitness and her latest book, Perfect Fit: Weekly Wisdom and Workouts for Women of Faith and Fitness. Her popular website can be found at dianafit.com, and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Twitter.
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