Everyday on social media I read about homeopathic remedies, essential oils, alternative medicines, weight loss advice, exercise advise, etc. Everyone but me seems to be an expert or have information I need to improve my health. Thank you, some of your advice is very beneficial. Please allow me to return the favor. I am not a doctor, I do not play one on TV, but I do have the Great Physician’s Desk Reference and this is His prescription for your betterment.
3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” John shares his concern for both their spiritual and physical health. With that in mind and the advice I hear from so many, let’s look at our spiritual health.
There are four keys to physical health that I think applies to our spiritual health as well.
- Have a Healthy Immune System. Physically, a strong immunity helps us fight off small threats that can be dangerous if not fatal. Threats like bacterial or viral infections. Spiritually there are the threats of temptation, false teaching, persecution, and more. These threats like bacteria and viral exposure are inevitable in the world, “I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-10). Since we have to live here, how do we boost our immunity? The first step is to build up our resistance by avoiding temptations as much as possible, James says it this way, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7). Next we:
- Get Regular Exercise. Staying in good physical condition helps our body have the strength to fight infections. The same is true spiritually. The Hebrew writer encourages us to be active and not “pew-potatoes” – “And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12). We are saved to serve as the Christ served, “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28). This would include spreading the good news of Christ, building each other up, and reaching out compassionately to the lost and hurting.
- We also need Occasional Rest. We need replenishing. We need to stop and sharpen the saw. We need to spend quiet quality time with the Creator. I can hear someone say, “The Devil doesn’t rest.” Maybe not, but Jesus did, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:30-31). When Jesus did step away from activity, He spent that time in prayer (Mark 1:35). The apostle Paul took time and encouraged the Philippian church to take time to reflect on God’s will and what is right, ” . . . The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:5-8). Take time for you and God alone.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet. My doctor reminds me to eat food that is beneficial to me, to avoid eating what we call junk food. This is good advice spiritually as well. We need to consume spiritual nourishment that builds us up we need the “Words of life.” (John 6:63, 68). We need to avoid spiritual junk food! Healthy food is “sound teaching” whereas “unsound teaching” is junk food. Just like in our physical world junk food may be more palatable, but junk does not provide for healthy growth. Spend time with God’s Word that provides in which “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,” (2 Peter 1:3)
Take time today for a spiritual check-up. Go see the Great Physician for a renewed spiritual health, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:1-5)