1 Corinthians 6:19 [NIV]
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
It has long been stated in numerous ways that man in his essence is a “spirit” who has a “soul” and lives in a “body.” This much we also know, according to John 4:24, God is a Spirit and like Father, like children! This is to say, in agreement with the teaching of Genesis 1:27, that God created man in his own image and likeness. So then, since we are spirit, what do we do with these bodies? These ‘earth suits?’ These ‘earthen vessels?’ These ‘clay containers?’
In the ‘body’ of Christ today we see a lot of emphasis placed on the spiritual realm and so we should. After all and again, spirit is who we are in the very core of our beings. Yes, we are undoubtedly spiritual beings and in this fact, we have an undeniable likeness with the God of creation who scooped up the earth’s dust and blew his breath into his created master piece to make us living souls.
So then, our God consciousness, an awareness of the fact that both God our creator and we his creation are spirit is something that should always be critically important. Next to that priority however, is the understanding of our consciousness with ourselves and the world around us. This is what takes place in the realm of our souls. Our soul gives us our mental reasoning and our emotional powers. If the soul of a man was his glory then his spirit would be his crown. Lastly, as is commonly known, it is our bodies though, that gives us the ability of our five known senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. It is our physical bodies then [our outer shell, the temporary home we live in] that we are able to connect with the physical world around us to enjoy the everyday lives we live. Like it or not; this is the biblical order and arrangement of things concerning man in his place on earth.
Yet most Christians today, as critical as it is to place a significance on the lives we live in the spirit and even in the realm of the soul; we often do so at the exclusion or the expense of our bodies. In other words, it is far too common place for those who follow Christ, as I do, to treat our spirits or even souls as holy and sacred to God but then to still treat our bodies in ‘any kind of way!’
Tragically though, God’s word reminds us that our bodies are His temple and are to be treated as such; we literally exercise very little restraint if any in how we treat our bodies! Shout ‘
amen if you know I’m telling the truth c’mon now you don’t have to be a pastor, preacher or bible scholar to see that there is a great gap between how God tells us to take care of our bodies and how we really do. In fact, I’m sure that many of the same folk in ministry leadership that you know have even developed a habit of trashing their bodies with the idea that this is spiritually acceptable to God. I tell you “The devil is a lie!”
C’mon now! To do ministry, you need a body! It doesn’t matter how well you preach, teach or anything else; once you destroy your body; you can’t be there to help anyone else; game over! The problem is that we are not nearly as wholistic in our lifestyles as we ought to be. We tend to compartmentalize certain areas and master them while neglecting the others! Here is where the question must be raised; isn’t God concerned about your Total Life? Is he only concerned about a portion of it or all of it? Surely prayer is important and even essential but is prayer really the “total answer” if you are still going to trash your body with all kinds of drugs, poisons, toxins and unhealthy foods that do everything from increase the likelihood of you getting high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or a stroke? Aren’t we putting the cart before the horse in merely pretending to be spiritual about something we need to be a bit more self controlled and practical about according to the knowledge that God has told us to live by?
I don’t know about you but my eyes are now wide open to living with a respect not only for spiritual things or things that effect the deep places of my soul but I can also now see and respect the need for me to take the care of my body! Yes … I know I won’t live in this body forever but while I’m here; I need this thing to work right! I want it to get up when I say get up! I want it to go when I say go! I want my energy to last through the day without me feeling like I have crashed and burned out by 4 o’clock and truth be told, all of these desires will require some changes in my life. So, I’ve decided to be intentional about the changes I needed to make because no good thing will happen by accident.
Keep in mind, like some of you, I was already on track with my spiritual foundation in Christ. I have also learned through habit to be extremely passionate about implementing the soul care I need in my life. This is why I invest time with my mentors, coaches, family and close friends that help me to stay rooted and grounded. In addition to that, I was so incredibly blessed just a few weeks ago implementing some more of my soul care strategy; spending a few days of quiet, solitude at Galveston beach again to help restore my soul from my often demanding schedule. It always does wonders for your soul; unplugging from my normal flow of life and sitting still and quiet for a few days is an exercise a few times each year! If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it to you.
Finally however, I have just one other recommendation. I’ve also started to make some a physical changes to allow for the Total Life Change that I had been taking for granted and missing out on for decades.
Now thank God, after making these simple changes, my energy is back up like it was more than 10 years ago! Not only that but by extra weight is steadily declining. I’m especially enjoying the detox that takes place every time I sip my cup of tea. Yes, praise God, I now have everything it takes to enjoy a Total Life Change. The truth is that we all need a Total Life Change in one way or another.
So, what are you doing for your spiritual growth and development? Is your foundation built on Christ? Surely, he is my chief corner stone. What strategies and plans do you have in place to impact the deep places in your soul? What is that you are doing regularly that restores your soul? Finally, are you taking good care of your temple or are you taking your body for granted; pushing it way past its set boundaries?
Mel Keyes, native Brooklynite is the pastor of The Joshua House of Worship, a multi-cultural and multigenerational congregation located on the west side of San Antonio, Texas. He’s been married to the lovely Kendra Keyes for twenty five years, with three children and two grandchildren. He is a graduate of The Baptist University of the Americas and Dallas Baptist University. He is the author of Hell To The Know, How To Get From The Hell You’re Living In To The Life You Were Meant To Live.” Mel is also the founder of Joshua Generation Radio.org. as well as his life coaching practice “ Master Keyes Coaching & Consulting.” Determined to build his life on vision, Mel lives his life around three core principles of his personal vision for Ministry, Entrepreneurship & Leadership:
To passionately serve God, my family, friends and others around me through strong, loving, disciple making MINISTRY.
To empower army’s of disciples through life transforming ENTREPRENEURSHIP.
To change the world around me through learning and practicing Christ centered, servant LEADERSHIP.