Fit to Serve: Living in Ruins

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Yes, it’s important that we pray and ask for God’s inspiration and help! But we also have work to do when it comes to getting God’s house in shape.

As I sat down to read my Bible the other day, I asked God to reveal something new to me. Wow, did He do just that.

I was drawn to the book of Haggai. I thought. “This seems like a somewhat random book, but let’s see what YOU have for me God”.  I have a study Bible and it lists a “key verse” for the book you are about to read. My eyes were immediately drawn to this, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4)

The book of Haggai is in the Old Testament, so when this verse says “my house” he is referring to the Temple. So the key verse really asks, “Why are you living in luxurious homes while “my Temple” lies in ruins? The people knew they were called to rebuild the temple, but they were busy doing other things and weren’t making rebuilding the Temple a priority.

This is where my light bulb moment happened. Jesus promised that after He was resurrected, He would send His Spirit into our bodies. God’s home is now in the physical body of all believers. Now let’s go back to this key verse “Why do you live in luxurious houses when your body (God’s home) lies in ruins?” This really grabbed my attention.

We are busy doing so many things – making money, traveling, buying new toys, improving our homes, taking care of our families….,yet we ignore taking care of our body.

As I continued to read through Haggai, I was moved again by this verse, “So the LORD sparked their enthusiasm…. and they began their work on the house of the LORD (Haggai1:14) If you need inspiration to take better care of your body, it comes from God, He sparks our enthusiasm. But this verse also shows we have work to do when it comes to taking care of our body.

Yes, it’s important that we pray and ask for God’s inspiration and help, but we also have work to do when it comes to getting God’s house in shape.

For us to stay committed to working on our health, it takes self-control. Again, God’s Word is clear about how we gain self-control. God gives us self-control (2 Tim. 1:7) and self-control is one of the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23). If we want to make lasting, healthy changes we need to draw closer so we have the self-control and discipline needed to stay on course.

The number one reason given for not exercising and eating healthy is lack of time. Again, the commentary for the book of Haggai addressed this, “Our problem is not the volume of demands or lack of scheduling skills, but values – what is truly important to us. Haggai’s message to the people sought to get their priorities straight, help them to quit worrying, and motivate them to rebuild the Temple. Like them, we often place a higher priority on our personal comfort than on God’s work and true worship. But God is pleased and promises strength and guidance when we give him first place in our life.”

Are you motivated to move away from unhealthy habits so you can honor God with your body? If so, I know this can seem overwhelming. Where do I start and how will I ever break free from my old, unhealthy habits. It starts with one obedient choice after another. “Like a brick, each obedient act is small in itself, but in time the acts will pile up, and a huge wall of strong character will be built – a great defense against temptation.” (Commentary 1 Samuel 31:13) Each day, you can make one new healthy change that moves you closer to better health.

Of course, our body is about more than just our physical health. Our mind, body and spirit are so interconnected, that if one is unhealthy it effects the others. We need to also make our spiritual health a priority. What spiritual disciplines draw you closer to God? Incorporate them into your daily routine. Physical training is important but spiritual training is more important (1 Tim 4:8).

By Michelle Spadafora

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