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A Healthy Spirit

George F. Watts

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
4. Prayerlessness
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.

1. Afflictions

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.
Proverbs 20:30

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,
jen-sig

 

 

jenthorn.com

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Comments

  1. Beautifully said Jen. Sometime I cannot help but to feel some of the sickness you talked about, but at that time I have to call on God to help me see the clear picture and bring my mind back to Him.

    Peace to you.

  2. Amen. I am trying to work on taking care of my physical body. This is a major struggle for me. This is so true, while taking care of our physical bodies, we must not neglect our spiritual bodies. God is waiting for us to come to Him with our concerns and our praises.
    I have truly enjoyed this study and am looking forward to the next study.
    God Bless You All. :-)

  3. I so enjoy what you had to say Jen. All of it so very true. Please pray for my daughter whom I feel is spiritually sick right now. Her name is Shannon.

    Also I want to tell all you good GMG leaders that I have so enjoyed your bible studies. I guess I have done around 4 or 5 of them. The have touch my life in so many ways. Thank you Thank you and Thank you God for helping this women. God Bless!

  4. Jen CUckler says:

    Jen,

    I am not sure I agree with, “Sometimes God may send physical illness in order to get our attention.” I do agree with, “Not all sickness is a discipline from God but we sure can use that time to reflect on a few things.”

    I don’t believe God will “send” anything upon us. Only Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy. God promises life and life abundantly. Maybe the wording should be changed? I get what you’re saying, but some may take that wording wrong. As if to say that he points a wand at us when we are sinning and magically puts sickness on us. If I were a baby Christian, that would make me fearful of God. Does that make sense?

    Our group has enjoyed being in this study and can’t wait to continue on to the next. Thank you! God Bless!

    • Jen Thorn says:

      Jen,

      Thanks for responding to my post. This is definitely a hard truth, but one I do see in Scripture. Hebrews 12:3-11 tells us that God disciplines those he loves. Such discipline, the author says, is unpleasant for a time, but eventually leads us to share in God’s holiness. The forms of discipline are not made clear in this passage, but they are many. I am with those who argue such affliction that God brings upon his people as discipline for their sins can range from the affliction of conscience to the affliction of the circumstances to the affliction of the body.

      For example, in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul explains that because many of the Christians in the church in Corinth were continuing in sin in the context of the Lord’s Supper, God made some of them sick. And even more. “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-30 ESV)

      Then there is the example of Ananias and Sapphira, members of the church, who after lying to God and the church dropped dead as a sign of judgment.

      So allow me to say these couple things:

      1. Sometimes God brings various forms of affliction into the lives of his people as a loving father sometimes has to discipline his children. It is painful for a moment, but is designed to teach us to trust him.

      2. Sometimes we suffer affliction not because of our sins, but because of God’s other good purposes. The Bible is very clear that all suffering in the life of a Christian is a tool in the hands of God for our good. See Rom. 5:3-5; James 1:2-5.

      I know this is a huge topic and hard to work out in a short comment on a blog. But I am sure of this, whatever God does to us or allows to befall us is done because he loves his children and works for our good.

    • God will allowed for us to be afflicted not necessary send or make us sick, cause he would contradict himself, hes a God of health, goodness,etc but yet he loved us so much that he will allowed us to go to trials, afflictions so we can grow, to see whats in our heart, so we can humble our selfs to him. We can see it with Job, God allowed the enemy to afflict him and in many other examples in the Bible too. But at the end it was for a purpose.
      This post made me realize the importance of being spiritual healthy not just physically but spiritually too.
      thanks
      Jen

  5. Thank you Jen and all the rest of GMG for this Bible Study. The LORD has used it in my life in SO many areas of my life!
    The following two verses made me go deeper into God’s Word and I am renewing my mind with His WORD, rebuilding my body, His temple, with healthy habits of eating and moving by exercising, cleaning house, and yard work. The third verse in 3 John 2 has been popping up all around me for several years now!

    First verse:
    “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
    Hebrews 4:12

    Second verse: “Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. ”
    Philippians 3:19-21

    Third verse: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
    3 John 2

    Thanking God for His awesome love! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
    The pitty parties have stopped and my focus is on Christ and His love for us. My relationships with Him, family, and persons He has placed in my life are improving.

  6. Identifying the signs is the easy part. Even knowing how to fix them seems all to easy as well. My question is, you’ve acknowledged all the signs in you, and you are saying to read, read, read His word, but what happens when you know that to be true but have slipped so far away from Him that you you can’t seem to “find the time” to read? I know I should be reading, I even crave His word but something is preventing it from happing. I want God back in my life so bad and even know how to rectify it, but I JUST WON’T! What in the world is happening. How can you want something so bad and ignore it or dismiss it so easily. Have I slipped to far? Does any if that make sense, or am I just sounding crazy? Lol!

  7. Carey, I would love to know the answers to your questions as I am struggling with the exact same things and have been for a awhile.

  8. What an awesome post to finish up this study! This is one of my fav blog posts EVER! Thank you for it!

  9. Thank you all so much for this session. It was a blessing, i am looking forward to the next one. Lordwilling some exciting things will be going on!!
    Blessings,
    Adrienne
    http://www.reina4jesus.blogspot.com

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