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Temple Talk: The Struggle & Stewardship of the Spirit

templetalk

(Like the tank? Click here to see where I got it)

Hi friends! I”m so happy to be back this week with you all! I am just loving this GMG study on intentionality! This week the subject is near and dear to my heart as we are talking about our health. I feel like it’s the subject that causes a lot of mixed emotions within the Believer and I consider my joy and privilege to share what God lays on my heart with you all! We all have heard that our bodies are temples of God, but many times, it’s so hard to transfer that into real life. What does this look like for us? How does this practically play out? Where do we get proof in scripture that we are indeed temples? My prayer is that this post provides some clarity for you!

Our reading yesterday took us to 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Most of us know this verse. We’ve heard it from the time we’ve been in high school–usually in the context of sexual purity–to our adulthood–as we apply it to the food we eat, what we do with it (or don’t do with it), and more. I want to check out where else in scripture we see passages that talk about our bodies being a temple. Here is a sampling:

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 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

“And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22

“Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.” Acts 17:24

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” Romans 12:1

Isn’t it exciting to think that God chooses to dwell within us? We cannot deny this to be true! However, many times understanding this and then practically putting it into action are two different things.
Here are a few principles that I’d like us to consider about temple stewardship:

1.) We will struggle with entitlement
We all struggle with entitlement! It’s defined as feeling like you have a right to something. We hear ourselves saying, “I deserve (fill in the blank).” It manifests itself with the food we eat, the things we buy, and the way we spend our time to name a few. None of these things in themselves are wrong or bad–the problem is when they aren’t taken into submission of the Spirit. But because we have been bought- with a price–a very large one–we have given up that right to be our own.

Body Check: Is there an area of life that you feel entitled to? Have you asked God for freedom in this area?

2.) You have a built-in guidance system
It’s an internal GPS–a Spirit system that gives us nudges. There will be times when you willingly accept those nudges and other times when you want to detach yourself from them quickly—but you will get them. They are there on purpose. Check them with scripture and with wise believers and act in obedience from there. Also, don’t forget–we are not only individually a temple of the Spirit, but corporately. (Ephesians 2:21) Sometimes the Holy Spirit nudge you are feeling involves someone else in the Body of Christ. In your own physical body, you can only ignore a throbbing area for so long until it needs dealt with.

Body Check: Is God using you to intervene for someone? Are you ignoring the nudges from the Spirit?

3.) This will and should affect your every day decisions.
I know you expect me to harp on the food you eat, and how much you do or don’t exercise–and of course, I believe those 2 things to be included in what we consider–but I also want you to know that they are many ways in which we honor Him with our bodies. The Spirit travels with us wherever we go, so we must consider places we go, things we see, and activities we do. Also, the body includes the head which includes the brain. Our minds need held captive to Christ also and if I’m being honest, that’s where most of us will struggle. I’ve found that once the mind and will is submitted to the Lord, our bodies follow with little resistance.

Body Check: Physically: How is the food you are consuming taking control of your body? Are you tending to your physical body with movement regularly, both being kept in check so that you may live in freedom and do the works God has called you to do? Mentally: Are you taking your thoughts captive to truth? How are your every day thoughts affecting what you do daily with your physical body?

4.) It will be a fight.
“But Clare, you don’t understand. It’s just so hard to control myself in (fill in the blank). I have so much pressing in on me and I get tired of fighting.” Oh friends, I do understand. I experience the fight every single day but I also expect it. I cannot expect that the enemy will not want to wage war against me since I am carrying deep within the Spirit that he so despises. You better believe there will be a fight. That doesn’t make you weak or bad–it makes you a Believer who has a beating heart and blood running through your veins! Fight, friends.

Body Check: Have you given up in the battle? Have you given yourself a pass in this life because it’s getting too hard? Do you realize that the struggle within you may actually be a spiritual war?

5.) Satan will try to get us to “toast an unholy cause”.
I referenced in the last post that I’m going through Beth Moore’s “Daniel” study. We are taking it at a half-pace so I’m still working through it and something that stuck out to me was Daniel 5. King Belshazzar used objects from the temple–holy objects, to “toast an unholy cause.” Beth Moore states, ” You are a holy vessel Satan may be trying to use for unholy purposes. You are God’s holy child, and HE wants you prepared for great use.” (“Daniel”, Study Guide, page 99) Friends, we are holy–not by anything that we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us. We must keep ourselves pure–body, soul, and Spirit! 2 Timothy 2:21 says, “If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.”

Body Check: Are you toasting an unholy cause with your body? With your mind? With your Spirit?

My encouragement to you today is to examine yourselves. I can’t do this for you, nor do I want to. These are hard things to chew on so start by praying. Ask God to reveal Himself to you in these areas. Ask a trusted friend if they see any area here where you may be lacking. Oh the blessing it is to be used by the Almighty God–who has prepared many good works in advance for us to do!

Press on,
Clare
www.peak313.com

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Screen Shot 2014-01-20 at 12.29.30 PMClare lives with her husband and 2 children in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelor’s degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university. Clare’s passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313!

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