We live in a culture promoting health. Our media and experts give us a wealth of information on a nutritious eating, supplements, exercise, and relaxation techniques. But the goal of having a healthy body didn’t come from man—it came from God. His desire that we have healthy bodies was so great that He sent Jesus to take stripes on His back so we could have healing in our bodies (Isaiah 53:5,6). But though trusting God with our health and taking care of our bodies is important, investing in our spirits is even more important. We can go through life with a strong and healthy body; but if our spirits are weak and unhealthy, our entire lives will be unhealthy, eventually effecting our bodies.
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
You may have heard the saying that what we put into something is what we’re going to get out of it. First and foremost, we are spiritual beings. We are a spirit, we have a mind, and we live in a body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). If we put junk food into our bodies consistently, we will get junky health out of it. It is the same with our spirits. If we are consistently putting unhealthy things (i.e. bad attitudes, destructive habits, negative entertainment, etc.) from this world into it, we will be a weak and unhealthy person, physically and spiritually. It’s God’s desire that we be strong and healthy spiritually, for our sakes and for the sake of others.
How to Become Spiritually Healthy
The first step to acquiring a healthy spirit is to first become a child of God. When we’re not saved, we don’t just need a healthy spirit; we need a brand new one by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9, 10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Ezekiel 36:26). If we’ve already received our new, born-again spirit, we must recognize when we’re weak. Weakness can be identified when we:
- Have lack of desire for God’s Word and worship
- Become easily offended
- Find it challenging to walk in love
- Get easily discouraged when trials come
- Fall easily for the lies of the devil
- Stop bearing spiritual fruit
- Cease growing in our relationship with Jesus
Once we’ve recognized our weaknesses, we can take action to strengthen ourselves. Just like a family member or friend can’t exercise and eat healthy for us, so God can’t make us spiritually healthy and strong without us investing in our spirits. We strengthen ourselves through the basic discipleship exercises of:
- Spending time in prayer
- Studying the Bible
- Ministering to others
- Attending church
- Serving in the local church
Each action strengthens our “inner man” (Ephesians 3:16), just like lifting weights and eating a nutritious meal would do to our physical bodies. The more we do these things, the more we will sense our spirit growing stronger. And like we may have craved ice cream, we will begin to crave the things of God. We will recognize in a moment when we’re waning in spiritual health and getting low on spiritual strength.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).
My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; for they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22).
How to Become Spiritually Unhealthy
Just like doing the above spiritual exercises can make us strong, neglecting them can make us weak. Not taking the time to read God’s Word, pray, worship, and attend church will eventually starve our spirits like not eating will starve our bodies. Like our muscles weaken when not exercised, so our spirits will weaken when the things of God replaced by:
- Becoming too busy
- Worrying about the cares of life
- Listening to negativity
- Watching ungodly entertainment
- Associating with ungodly people
Developing a weak spirit won’t happen overnight when we participate in these things. But over time, we will find that the signs of weakness have returned. Because it can be so subtle, we need to constantly protect our hearts from anything on the outside that would weaken us on the inside.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).
The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit (Proverbs 18:14)?
Why We Need to Be Spiritually Healthy
Just like going to the gym and eating protein has its physical purpose, becoming healthy and strong spiritually has a purpose. The healthier we are, the weaker the devil will be in our lives and in the world. We need to be spiritually healthy in the End Times so we’re not deceived by our changing culture and the spirit of antichrist. We need to be strong to fight the good fight of faith when the devil attacks us. Our spirits need to be healthy to overcome offense, walk in love, and fulfill God’s call on our lives. A weakened Christian is easy prey for the devil, which means he can more easily attack and deceive us and others through us. For the sake of God’s Kingdom, we should strive to be healthy and strong…not in our own strength, but in His (Psalm 71:16, Ephesian 6:10)!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might (Ephesians 6:10).
I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only (Psalm 71:16).