And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
I've always tried to stay fairly active, and there was a good 5-year span of my life where I was either outside running, or in the gym working out 3-5 times a week, trying to get myself in the best shape I could be. Many of the day-to-day decisions I made were made with that goal in mind; when I woke up, what I ate, the routine of getting ready for the following day, when I went to sleep, what supplements I took, the clothes I bought, the blogs I read and on and on.
But what Paul reminded the Romans was that their bodies are temporary. Because of our sin, our physical bodies will eventually give out. No matter how well you eat, no matter how much your workout, no matter what...eventually, your body stops functioning. So why was I making so many decisions based on my body?
Don't get me wrong, health and fitness are important. Our bodies are gifts from our creator and we can show love for God by taking care of the gift he has given us. We owe it to ourselves, to our families, and to those around us to stay healthy. The more time we have on Earth, the more time we have to share God's message of hope and love with our neighbors. However, there is something more important than our physical health.
Paul says, "The spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you."
Woah! That's crazy. So my body, which is temporary and in decay because of my sin, is also filled with the same spirit that rose Jesus from the dead after he died to pay for my sins. Seriously? How cool is God?
My guess is that this spirit living within me is tightly wound with my soul. And my soul is going to stick around for along time, like...forever. So perhaps it's more important to make decisions that benefit my soul. If God is living within me, then maybe that should be where I put the majority of my effort. Maybe my spiritual health should drive my daily decision making.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
So we keep our bodies healthy. We keep our minds sharp. But most importantly, we make decisions based on our spiritual health so that we can fully love God, be in relationship with God, be in communication with God, and can hear what God is calling us to do.
How do we focus on our spiritual health?
For me, the best thing I ever did...I got around people who were spiritually healthy. I started serving at church. Through serving I formed new relationships which led to new conversations, new thoughts, and a new desire to seek God's will for my life. It was through serving that I started a regular discipline of reading the Bible. It was through relationship with spiritually healthy people that I learned what it really meant to pray; to speak to and hear from God.
Is there more I can do? Absolutely. So much more. But when you see me show up early at Radius and stay late, it's because I need to be around spiritually healthy people as often as I can for my own spiritual health. Sometimes it's one of the few wise decisions I make based on my spiritual health that week, but it's a decision that can change the course of my week, and maybe even my life.
What drives your decisions each day? Where are you putting the most effort? Are there things that you can change in your daily life that will help you grow spiritually; to build your relationship with God, to love your neighbors, and to love yourself?
Gather with us this Sunday. It'll be good for your soul. In the mean time, check out Blake's message on spiritual health from this past Sunday here.