Physical and spiritual health.
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (NIV)
The Bible says Jesus was hungry. He has not eaten for forty days. The devil tempts Him according to His physical need for food. Jesus’ answer reveals that the health of his body that comes from the nutrients of food can also come by doing the work of the Lord. He has connected for us the spiritual and the physical for us to see that each affects the other.
Our world today pushes us to separate the physical from the spiritual, but the Spirit lives within my physical body. My body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Our creator has made us so that each affects the other. It is the Holy Spirit that gives me self-discipline.
In another place, the Bible says a cheerful heart is good medicine. Joy comes from Godly wisdom to see how God is working even in the worst situations. If I want more joy, I need more wisdom.
Why do we overeat? Why are we addicted to sugar? Why do we run ourselves ragged? Why do we stress so much? These are all connected to our spiritual health. Stress is a form of fear, but stress will cause us to do all kinds of unhealthy things. Perfect love drives out fear. If we want to lower our blood pressure, stop overeating, and quit smoking, then we need a stronger practice of meditating on the perfect love of God. To have the time to study and a clear mind to ponder, I cannot overeat and fall over comatose. This is what it means for our god to be our stomach. Rather than going to God for rest, we overeat.
As believers, we must live out our spirituality in our bodies. Doing the work of the Lord creates life in our bones. Resting, eating right, and working out gives us the energy to do the work of the Lord. It is not to say a person can have a bowl of ice cream or that they need muscles like Thor. But understanding how each affects the other will bring us the balanced life of shalom. Failing to focus on both areas will keep us from reaching our greatest potential as human beings.
Prayer: Lord, help me to take both my physical and spiritual health seriously so that I might have life more abundantly.