Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
1. Cor. 7:1
Can you believe that our Intentionally Focused study is coming to an end? I feel like this session just flew by. This week we are learning to be women who are intentionally focused on our health.
I loved Clare’s post this week where she challenged us to examine our desires, struggles and sins in the area of health. If you haven’t read it yet check it out here.
In our verse for today Paul is calling us be healthy in both our body and our spirit. We are challenged to purify ourselves, to get rid of the things in our lives that contaminate us. Basically it is a call to put to death our sins.
Today I want us to look our spiritual health. Even as Christians we are able to become spiritually weak and sick. This spiritual sickness weakens our faith and leads us away from Jesus. Like any illness, there are accompanying symptoms that tell us something is wrong. We must know these symptoms so that when we see them in our lives we will begin to look for the remedy. Below is a list of the symptoms. We may not experience all of them at the same time, but I am sure we have all experienced many of them at some point in our Christian walk.
Symptoms of spiritual sickness
1. A feeling of coldness or hardness towards the things of God
2. Boredom with the gospel
3. Worldly-mindedness, covetousness
5. Neglect of the word of God
6. Lack of love for the people of God
7. Neglect of, or disinterest in, corporate worship
8. Lack of hunger for and effort in spiritual growth
9. An ongoing complaining spirit
10. We are no longer bothered or saddened by our sin
Identifying such symptoms and diagnosing spiritual sickness is good, but more than that is needed. We need to seek the cure for what is ailing us.
Cures for spiritual sickness
There are many different remedies God uses in the lives of his children in order to heal them and make them stronger. I’d like to focus on two.
Contrary to what some teach, afflictions are not always a symptom of spiritual sickness. They are often part of the treatment God uses us to restore our health. This may seem a bit weird. How can afflictions heal someone who is spiritually ill? We need to remember that God’s ways are not our ways. He is the ultimate physician and sometimes the surgeon needs to take a knife to his patients and cut out the parts that are causing the person to be sick.
Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.
Sometimes God will afflict our conscience and convict us of our sins. We will feel restless and uneasy until we finally repent and turn once again towards God.
Sometimes God may send physical illness in order to get our attention. Not all sickness is a discipline from God but we sure can use that time to reflect on a few things. Any time we are not feeling well we should remember that life is temporary and that God has placed us here for a specific reason. It should make us pray more and ponder the fact that we are finite while our God is infinite in all his ways and loves us anyway. It should kill our pride and instead humble us before the throne of grace.
2. His Word
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation
1 Peter 2:2
Just like a healthy person eats good food so we must also feed our spirit healthy food. This is why we have been given the word of God. The more we consume it the stronger, wiser, holier and healthier we will be. But we shouldn’t just gulp it down and move on to the next thing. We need to chew it slowly, thinking about what we have read, letting it settle into our souls and hearts so that we can be changed. The race is not about who can read through the Bible the most times but who can perservere to the end through the power of Christ found in the word.
“Regularity is also essential; we have too much common sense to try and eat enough on the weekend, to suffice our bodies for the remainder of the week; then why be so foolish in adopting this device to the soul? Time must be found for communion with God even though it means an hour less in bed each night.”
- A.W. Pink
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2
In the long run a healthy body will benefit us very little if we are spiritually sick and weak. We are called to be good stewards of all that God has given us, this includes our mind and our body.
Looking To Jesus,