"Time to Start a New D.I.E.T."
"Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?"
1 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT)
The holiday hustle and bustle may be behind us, but perhaps you’re like me and find you have a few regrets over the neglect of your health. It’s so simple in the rush of the season to find a few bad habits sneaking in … times where we take the easy route over the best route.
For example, on a busy day, it’s quicker to zip through a drive-through than grill some chicken and veggies at home.
Not only can we take the easy way with our health, we can easily slip into bad spiritual habits as well. When we’re exhausted, it’s easier to slump onto the couch and seek comfort in milk and cookies, rather than open God’s Word for encouragement.
It’s so enticing to sleep late on Saturday mornings, rather than get up and spend quiet time with God.
Let’s face it, easier and quicker isn’t always better-- either physically or spiritually. The best choices often take extra time and effort, but they are crucial for our health and a strong faith.
Our key verse reminds us we have a responsibility to care for ourselves spiritually because of Who resides inside: "Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).
This year, as we think about New Year’s Resolutions, what if we focused on the inside? What better time to begin committing to a healthy spiritual diet that feeds our spirits, lightens our hearts, nourishes our souls and fuels our walk with Christ than right now?
Below is some "food for thought" for how to kick off a strong spiritual D.I.E.T. and become a spiritually healthier you in the coming year.
D-- DISCIPLINE: 1 Chronicles 16:11 says, "Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him" (NLT). The Bible gives us guidelines for living through His Word that help us grow spiritually healthy and mature in our faith. A daily dose of disciplined faith, which includes setting aside time every day to seek God through His Word and prayer, goes a long way to helping us achieve spiritual health.
I-- INTENTIONAL: A strong faith doesn’t happen on its own but needs to be intentionally pursued. I have to make a deliberate effort to put God first in my life. Acts 2:42 says, "They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (NIV). What a beautiful example we have of the intentionality of the first followers of Jesus-- they gathered together daily to study, pray and share the Lord’s supper.
E-- EARNEST: Being earnest in our faith takes effort to the next level. Have you ever read a passage of the Bible or listened to a sermon, and forgotten the topic 10 minutes later? Me too. I listened, but apparently my mind and heart weren’t fully engaged. Hebrews 11:6 says "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (NIV). When we sit down to spend time with God in any form, He longs for our full, zealous attention and the reward for our intentional and earnest faith is the development of a deep spiritual hunger.
T-- TRUSTING: My weakest times are when I doubt God’s plans or purpose for the hard times. Psalm 9:10 says, "Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you" (NLT). When I start to feel weak, I need to uncover any doubt that has settled in my heart and choose to trust God. Trusting God, in the good and bad times, is an essential part of a healthy spiritual diet.
Is 2016 your year to start a new D.I.E.T. plan with Jesus? Why not start today? After all, it is a Monday, when all new healthy diets begin.
Sweet Jesus, I long to have a deeper relationship with You and commit to making my faith a priority. Give me the desire and strength to follow a healthy spiritual diet this year. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Corinthians 7:1 "Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God." (NLT)