Evaluating the Health of My Spiritual Life
A healthy spiritual life does affect your “spiritual” immune system and your overall physical health. The majority of people live as if they were never going to die. For many today, our physical health and our body have become our modern gods! Many today spend enormous amounts of time and money in pursuit of bodily perfection. They look for the ideal diet or the ultimate exercise to create the perfect body.
Many in their pursuit don’t realize that a healthy life is linked with a relationship with God. The most important step of becoming healthy, ultimately, is to establish our relationship with God who made us for His purposes. What is physical health without a vibrant relationship with God?
My spiritual life starts with a relationship with Jesus.
From Scripture we learn that we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26), and we will be held accountable for our actions (I Cor. 3:10-15). We should "glorify God in our bodies" (1 Corinthians 6:20), and in everything we do (I Cor. 10:31).
Yet our physical bodies were not made to last forever (Psalm 39:5; James 4:14). Our real challenge is to learn to think like Jesus, develop Godly character (Philippians 2:5) and show love for others (John 15:17).
This life is merely a training ground for an incredible future (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Rev. 22:5). If we learn to follow God's instructions, and properly care for what God has given us, we will receive a reward which includes reigning with Jesus Christ when He returns to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth (Revelation 5:10; Rev. 20:4)).
Ultimate Questions:Discover why a relationship with Jesus Christ is so urgently needed — and how it is possible.
The Physical and Spiritual life connection
Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor.6:19), we believe our physical body is connected to our spiritual body.
Even though our physical body is temporary, our spiritual body will last forever.
In I Tim. 4:8 it says, bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. There is value in taking care of our physical life, but shouldn’t we put more emphasis on our spiritual life since it is going to last forever?
We would like to spend some time in evaluating the health of our spiritual life, which we believe is vital in experiencing joy and blessing, not only in this life, but the life to come.
We are going to evaluate the health of our spiritual life by asking three questions? Do you have a spiritual life?
Is your spiritual life sick or healthy?
In your spiritual life, are you growing or getting weaker?
Do you have a spiritual life?
How do you know a person is dead or alive physically?
It should be obvious, after examing the vital signs, are they breathing (lungs) and do they have a pulse (heart beating).There are many places in the Bible describing a spiritually dead person (Eph. 2:1-3), and also someone who has spiritual life(Rom. 8: 5-17).
How do we know a person has a spiritual life?
Again, we exam their “spiritual” heart and lungs.
Let us first exam the heart.
Does my heart beat for God?
The heart in the Bible (not the organ) represents who you are as a person, your mind, will, and emotions. Some also use terms like your personality, desires, and ambitions.
We can begin to exam our spiritual heart by answering a few questions.
Do you have the mind of Christ?
Do you think like He does? (Phil. 4:8)
Do you submit to His will? Do you obey His commands? (Jn. 14:15,21)
What is your passion or desire, to please God or self (II Cor. 5:9.15)
Do you love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Do you love others? (Jn. 13:34-35)
Is your desire to get to know Christ and spend time with Him?
Does sin bother you?
Do you have a heart for God?
Let now exam the lungs
Our physical lungs brings oxygen to our cells, which sustains our life. We depend on them to live and we breathe continually and naturally without giving much thought. In the same way spiritually, prayer are our spiritual lungs. Through prayer, we commune with God, which helps us build our relationship with Him. Our prayers should be natural and done regularly, without having to think about it much. We need and depend on Christ, who is our life sustainer, and our prayers and relationship with Him should be constant and natural.
Here is some questions to exam our spiritual lungs.
Do you have a healthy relationship with Christ and commune with Him regularly?
Do you talk with Him regularly, asking for help or giving thanks?
Do you know Christ personally or do you just know facts about Him?
It is like the person who tried to see President Bush in the oval office. He claimed that he knew him, and rattled many facts about the president. But President Bush never knew him personally, and the guy was denied access. But when his wife or daughters would like to come to him, they get immediate access because they have a personal relationship with him.
In conclusion, How do you know for sure you have a spiritual life?
Do you have a heart that beat after God?
Do you hunger for His Word, and desire a deeper knowledge of Him and His Word?
Do you submit to His will, and are passionate about pleasing Him?
Are you filled with the emotions of praise, thanksgiving, and love for Him?
Do you have spiritual lungs?
Is your relationship with Christ similar as your relationship with your best friend?
Are you comfortable about talking about Christ with all your friends?
Functioning Heart and lungs and struggling/experiencing pain are a good sign a person has spiritual life.
Is your spiritual life sick or healthy?
After knowing you have a spiritual life, the next question ought to be “Is your spiritual life sick or healthy”?
We would like to go a little deeper to examine the health of our spiritual life.
How do we know if there is a problem with our physical health?
God has provided us some warning signs to alert us when something is wrong. Pain, discomfort, or abnormal bodily functions or growth warn us that something physically may be wrong. Spiritually, it could be guilt, or improper emotions and actions. (Acts 2:37; Gal. 5:19-21).
It is always a good idea to get a periodic physical exam to make sure your body is healthy and growing normally. When we see the doctor, he does a series of tests (blood, urine, x-rays) to exam if anything is abnormal. We can also help by informing him of any pain or discomfort. If some problems are found, the doctor’s diagnosis provide remedies or a plan to treat the problem. Sometimes radical measures must be done to solve the problem. If cancer is found, usually surgery to remove the tumor is recommended, along with radiation or chemotherapy. Sometimes, there are some minor adjustments needed to treat the problem.
Just as it is important to have physical exams, it is also vital we have regular spiritual exams to live a fruitful and productive life.
Our struggle to be godly is a good sign that you have spiritual life.
As long as we are in the fleshly body, there is a possibility for sickness Ps. 31:10; 32:3;38:3
The first question is what are the problem areas in our relationship with Christ? (Ps. 139:24-25)
We need to first pray to our Great Physician, Jesus, to reveal areas in our lives that we our spiritually sick (sin). After He reveals our sin (problem areas), we need to take the prescription that He gives.
Generally, the first step of treating sin is confession (agreeing with God about the problem). If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(I Jn. 1:8-9).
He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confessed and forsakes them will find compassion(Prov. 28:13).
We then need to seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near. Forsake your sin and return to the Lord.
Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Is. 55:6-7)
Repentance (hating sin, obeying God) is also necessary to begin to restore health. Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh, perfection holiness in the fear of Christ. (II Cor. 7:1)
It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones (Prov. 3:8)
If we have serious health problems (cancer), we need to deal with them radically, either through surgery or other extreme measures.In the same way, we also need to have the same intensity when attacking our spiritual sickness (sin).
After addressing the immediate problem, treatments or therapy is needed to continue to restore and maintain a healthy life. God has blessed our physical body with a very fascinating and complex system, the immune system. It is precious because it has the ability to defend us from unwanted visitors and protect us from disease. The immune system also has the power to “clean up” wounds inside our body and the ability to help the body heal properly.
In the same way, God has provided us help to defend us from evil and protect us from sin. He gave us His Word, “thy Word I have hid in my heart, that I won’t sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11). By obeying His Word, guarding our heart (Prov. 4:23), and staying away from any appearance of evil (I Thess. 5:22), not setting no worthless thing before my eyes (Ps. 101:3), also help keep our spiritual immune system strong. Prayer is another means to keep us from evil and get the help we need. “Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptations; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41)
He also gave us faith (I Jn. 5:4), power through the His Spirit(Rom. 8), and everything we need for life and godliness (II Peter 1:3-4), so we live a healthy physical and spiritual life.
When evaluating if your spiritual life is sick or healthy, Do you have a clear conscience? (Acts 23:1; 24:16; II Tim. 1:3)
Last question to ask is …Are you growing or getting weaker in your spiritual life?
There is no middle ground, no standing still, we are either maturing in Christ or we are getting spiritually weaker.This evaluation is harder to detect, because the consequences of poor choices may not be evident until later in life.A poor nutritional diet, not much exercise, little rest, and inappropriate attitudes can compromise our immune system and lead to sickness, disease, and in some cases, chronic illnesses. Sometimes the symptoms don’t show up for many years.
Recently, many are learning the importance of a good balanced nutritional diet, and what you put in your body does affect your health. (GIGO). We are also learning that the right combination of rest and exercise is important in getting stronger and maintaining good health.
Having the right attitudes like joy, thankful, contentment, have also shown to be helpful in dealing with illness (Prov. 17:22).
We can use the same areas to evaluate the health of our spiritual life.
First, let us look at the diet of our spiritual life.
Do you daily feed on God’s Word? “like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation(I Peter 2:2)
“But I am afraid lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (II Cor. 11:3)
Do you exercise your faith by obeying His Word?
But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, having their senses trained to discern good and evil” (Heb. 5:14)
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (James 1:22)
Do you rest in God or work in the energy of the flesh?
Cease striving and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10)
Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. (Ps.127:1)
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Rom 8:37
Good diet without exercise leads to not getting stronger or no real growth.
Without rest you will have little energy and it will be hard to have proper attitudes
Too much exercise (work) without rest or food will lead to burnout.
Do you see how diet, exercise, rest, attitudes, and priorities are all important and related to each other?
Balance is the key in living efficiently and productively.
In the same way in our spiritual life, if we do things in the energy of the flesh without resting on the Lord and drawing on His strength, we will burn out.
If we have a good diet, feeding on God’s Word, yet, do not apply it to our lives, there is no real growth and they are not getting stronger.
Many feed on God’s Word by just reading it and trying to understand what it is saying without going to the next step of ‘exercise’ (applying the truths learned to your life).
Here is a sample of questions you can ask to help you ‘exercise’ the truths learned.
Is there a command to obey?
A promise to claim?
A sin to confess?
How did this truth impact my life?
How does it apply to me personally and practically?
What will I do today in order to obey God in that which I have learned?
How does it affect my attitudes towards people, or circumstances?
How does it affect my behavior in my speech or walk?
Any habits need changing?
How should this truth affect my relationship with God and others?
Do I need to … Forgive? Encourage? Rebuke? Submit?
How does it affect my motives, values, priorities, and character in my life?
Our choices in all these areas (diet, exercise, rest, attitudes, and priorities), do affect our spiritual life and our overall physical health. We will reap what we sow Gal. 6:7
Are you growing in Christ in your spiritual life?
After the exam, our doctors give suggestions and remedies to treat the problem. We can heed it or reject it and face the consequences.
In the same way, Our Great Physician also gives remedies for our problems. What will we do? Will we be wise? Our choice will affect our health both physically or spiritually! How is your spiritual life?
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