I wanted to share a devotion I read this morning. I was going to summarize, but as I tried to do so, I found that there was NO way I could. it was all so good and profound. Hope you have the time today to read and chew on this one. I believe it goes along wonderfully with so much that I talk about in this blog. Both in the physical realm and the spiritual realm.
Your Body, His Temple
by James Robison
"For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be
their God, and they will be my people.'" (2 Corinthians 6:16)
Whenever Christians talk about health and wellness, we invariably quote 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.” The implied message is, “Take care of your health, because God lives in you!”
That’s a valid message, but when we really examine the text of Paul’s letter, we discover something more foundational to the topic of health. In fact, until we truly understand and implement this particular Biblical principle, we will not be able to consistently practice the practical and beneficial advice presented in the new series, “The True You.” Once this deeper truth enters your spirit, you will be able to align your mind so that you can bring your body under control.
The context of the passage actually encompasses a discussion about marriage. Paul is drawing a parallel between the husband-wife relationship and our devotion to Jesus Christ.
“Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?” he asks. Then he shocks his readers with a blunt question. “Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute?”
By now, Paul has the attention of his audience. Unfortunately, his question is just as relevant to today’s reader as it was back then! “Never!” he continues, “And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, ‘The two are united into one.’ But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.”
Here, Paul takes his discussion to a spiritual level. He’s talking about sexual purity, but he’s also elevating it to spiritual purity. He also echoes the prophet Jeremiah, who said to Israel, “Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you...you said, 'I will not serve you!' Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.”1
Again, God’s messenger uses the image of prostitution to illustrate the unfaithfulness of His people. Paul and Jeremiah are not only condemning sexual immorality, but also spiritual immorality. It is in this context that the letter to the Corinthians continues:
“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.” Then Paul asks that question that we often associate with health and wellness. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”2
This is an issue much bigger than weight loss or physical training. The temple was the place where God’s presence dwelled. He didn’t call our bodies the “hotel of the Holy Spirit,” where He checks in after 3:00pm and checks out before noon the next day. He called it the temple – that holy place where God’s presence resides permanently. It’s the place where God manifests and reveals Himself to a lost and dying people. In a world where nearly everyone is under the control of other influences, the temple is the place where God is fully in control – your spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit are united as one.
That is why it is so revolting and foul when believers fall under the control of anything else other than the Spirit of God. Like the faithful husband who flees the voice of a temptress, the faithful Christian must flee the seduction of any spirit other than God’s. We must never be under the control of any fleshly appetite, because we are a temple of the Holy Spirit! Remember, the enemy seeks to use our God-given natural appetites as a point of attack in order to lead us into bondage.
One of the most common invading forces in His temple is the simple lust for food. Imagine how different our lives could be if we hungered for God as much as we hunger for our next meal! I believe this is one reason God introduced the concept of fasting. When we deny our body to build our spirit, it changes our perspective and realigns our priorities. Remember the manna from heaven that God provided His people in the desert? It spoiled during the night. They had to rely on God every single day in order to sustain their strength and energy.
This is a recurring, foundational truth throughout the Bible. We must be one with God through daily unity with Him. There is no such thing as part-time marriage or part-time Christianity. If you’re not fully committed, you’re not really in a healthy relationship. You can’t bring prostitutes into a legitimate marriage and you can’t bring other gods into the temple.
So as you hear the wonderful truths and encouraging advice from our experts on health and wellness, you must first examine the spiritual side of “the true you” before you can successfully address the physical side. God wants us to prosper in our physical health as we prosper in our spiritual health. We can and should care for this temporary housing we call a “body,” but we must first start by giving our all to care for His eternal purposes and truth. As your concerned family and friend, we are offering you inspiration, direction and encouragement for your journey and care of your body - His temple.
Look to the new year as a new emphasis on the Holy Spirit's presense in your life. Commit yourself -- body, mind and spirit -- to being His temple.
"Lord, I give myself wholly to You. Take charge of every part of me so that I may glorify You in every way. In Jesus name, amen."
1 Jeremiah 2:19-20, NIV
2 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, NIV