I spent the weekend hosting the International Messengers Canada booth at Vancouver Missions Fest. Numerous folks who see me there every year said, “You’ve lost weight. What have you done?”
I say I’ve changed my lifestyle, but that’s only part of the answer. The other part is that God has transformed my thinking about my physical health, and He’s used the Bible to do so.
It’s amazing how Bible verses I’ve read countless times have assumed new meaning in this context. Here are three examples:
1 Peter 5:6-7 – “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.”
I’ve come to realize that, on my own, I can neither maintain the self-discipline needed to develop a regular exercise program nor refuse second helpings and potato chip snacks. I acknowledge my need for God’s help to achieve my goals and to not stress over minor setbacks. He cares about my health and overall well-being, and as I seek His help, He honors my efforts to care for my body.
Philippians 3:9 – “…I no longer count on my own goodness or my ability to obey God’s law, but I trust Christ to save me…”
I placed my faith in Christ for spiritual salvation because nothing I do on my own can achieve it for me. It’s His power that accomplishes salvation on my behalf.
In the physical context, I trust His transforming work in my life to help me reach my fitness goals. Sure, I practice good eating habits and I exercise regularly, but ultimately it’s His power in me that’s changing my food cravings and giving me the discipline to get up early and go to the gym. It’s not me; it’s His power at work within me.
Philippians 3:12 – “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.”
Do I always feel like waking early to go to the gym? No. But if I make an excuse for not exercising today, then I’ll find it easier to make another excuse tomorrow. And so I keep working. I keep on exercising, tracking my food intake, and making wise choices.
I want to be everything Christ wants me to be. I want to be available to do whatever He asks me to do without poor health (due to my own choices) being a hindrance, so I press on.
About this time each January, North Americans often break their New Year’s resolutions to pursue a healthier lifestyle. The most significant thing that’s lent to my success is God’s Word and applying it to this area of my life.
How about you? How do these verses resonate with your thoughts about physical health? If you have another verse that’s meaningful to you in this context, please share it with us.
Check out First Place 4 Health for a faith-based fitness program. I’m loving it!
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