Monday, April 30, 2012
The Temple of the Holy Spirit
When I developed cancer almost 8 years ago, I begin to look at my physical body differently. From a spiritual standpoint, I saw a great responsibility to take care of the flesh that God had given me. Maybe I had not been taking care of it like I should. Perhaps it was just genetics or perhaps it was just bad behavior. But I realized with great reflection what most people will never look deep enough to see. It was time to do things differently.
I don't really want to preach about alcohol or cigarette smoking. I don't really want to preach about drugs, or bad eating choices, food addictions, and the like. I want to preach about Jesus and the church and God's saving grace. People are willing to listen to the things that will help them spiritually. But people excuse themselves from the reality that they are losing to Satan when it comes to the flesh. I have found that people take it personally when you challenge them to stop making bad choices when it comes to carnal, temporal things. They want to redirect! They simply don't want to take a long look in the mirror and admit they are a mess!
After having cancer, and being forced to deal with the issues I had with the care of my flesh, my perspective changed and I can praise God for humbling me. Now that I realize what a great gift life is and how important good health is, I admit that it is hard for me to respect people who are being destructive or negligent when it comes to taking care of their bodies. I pray that they will see what I have been given the opportunity to see myself.
So rather than attacking one issue so that you can point to those who have problems in another issue, I want to challenge you to take a long look at yourself. Because, "...he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him...or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 6:17, 19-20).
Therefore, make this resoltuion:
"I am going to take care of the body that God has given me. I know that He dwells in me and that this body is the temple of His Spirit. I am going to treat my body with respect as a vessel of God. I am going to be a good steward with my flesh. I am going to eat differently, I am going to excercise, and I am not going to let substances that will harm my body to enter. My motivation for all of these things will be spiritual. I am not taking care of my body to get praise or attention or to be attractive to others. I am not working on my body to stroke my ego. I am taking care of my body because I love God and I want to serve Him. I am going to live in such a way that God is glorified not only in my spirit, but also in my flesh."
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." ~ Galatians 5:16