Spiritual Dieting

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A Nugget from New Life Network

(by Dr. Larry Ollison)

Scripture for the Day (December 3, 2018)

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. (1 Timothy 4:8)

The world is obsessed with physical fitness. You can turn on the TV any time of day or night and you will find people bending, stretching, or twisting their bodies in different forms of exercise. Some have elevated exercise and physical fitness to religion status. Yoga and Far Eastern religions teach their message through transcendental physical exercise.

It seems that every conceivable machine has been developed to help men and women lose weight and look trim. Gymnastic equipment, springs, balls, and even the Gut-Be-Gone body shapers are leaping off the shelves as the obsession with the body continues.

At the same time, statistics tell us, and our own observations reveal, that obesity is at an all-time high in America. In a recent cartoon from Europe, several people from various nations were depicted in stereotype. The Irishman stood with his bagpipes. The Russian stood with his fur hat. The Scottish man was in his kilt, the Arab in his turban, and the American had a pot belly with a cigar in his mouth.

What’s the problem? Why are we obsessed with health, all the while becoming an obese nation? I believe the answer is not physical, but spiritual. Jesus said in Matthew 16:26 that there is no profit in gaining the world if you lose your soul. The key to physical fitness is spiritual fitness.

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” The flesh seeks after itself. The flesh desires to feed and pamper itself with no regard for the spirit. When the flesh is left alone to take care of itself, it will become out of control. Jesus said in John 6:63 it is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. Where, then, is our deliverance? How can we get the flesh under control?

Galatians 5:23 tells us that a part of the fruit of the spirit is self-control. The only way to control the flesh is to walk in the Spirit.

Try this. The next time you desire something in the flesh and your soul has trouble deciding if it is right or wrong, instead of guessing, pray in the Spirit and get quiet before God and listen in your heart. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth (John 16:13).

This doesn’t mean that you will never have a hot dog or ice cream cone the rest of your life. But it is the Spirit that gives life and the flesh profits nothing. Follow the Spirit, ignore the flesh, and you will become spiritually and physically fit.

 

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