JANUARY 22, 2015
The Verse that Made Me Cringe
"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; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
For years, I cringed every time I read our key verse about honoring God with my body and it being the temple of the Holy Spirit.
I wanted to please God. But did it have to be with my body?
I had set out with great enthusiasm to get healthy so many times but always slipped back into complacency. I didn’t want to try and be reminded of my failures again.
Then I found the most interesting story in the Old Testament about how serious God is about people taking care of the temple entrusted to them. It stepped on my toes and messed with my heart in the best kind of way.
Before the Holy Spirit was given to us and our bodies became the temple, there were physical locations for the Spirit of God to dwell. In Haggai chapter 1, God’s people had returned from being in exile in Babylon. One of the first things they set out to do was rebuild the temple.
They started with great enthusiasm and wonderful intentions but slowly slipped back into complacency and eventually stopped their work on the temple altogether. Other things seemed to be higher priorities, more urgent, and more appealing to work on. Haggai 1:2-8 says:
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘These people say, "The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house."’
Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: ‘Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?’
Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the LORD." (NIV)
Oh, this reminds me just how divided my heart can be when it comes to taking care of my body — God’s temple. Like the Jewish people, I could easily say, "I’m not in a season where it’s feasible to take care of my body. I just can’t find the time between the kids, my work responsibilities, running a home, paying the bills, and all the day-to-day activities."
However, if I am really honest, I make time for what I want to make time for.
Just the same, the Jews who returned from Babylon obviously had time to do things they really wanted to do as well. They found the time and energy to put paneling up in their own homes while ignoring the home of the Lord.
So, where’s the hope?
I found it in the challenge the Lord issues in verse 7: "Give careful thought to your ways" and make time to "build the house" so that He may be honored.
Verse 8 says, "Go up into the mountains." In other words, escape the ruts of my same old patterns by heading onward and upward. Give careful thought to each decision I make from here.
I realized each decision mattered.
So, I started waking up each day and lifting up my willingness to head in a new direction to the Lord. As I took positive steps, the Lord strengthened my heart day by day.
One good decision turned into two, turned into three and eventually turned into victory.
Slowly, I rebuilt my temple and learned to honor God with my body. Me. The girl who used to cringe at the thought of our key verse. Sweet sister, if I can do it, so can you. And my team and I want to pray for you. So come over to my blog today and tell us how we can prayerfully support you.
Dear Lord, I want to honor You with my body and my life. I commit to make good decisions that will lead me into a better place with my struggles. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 3:16, "Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?" (NIV)
Has food become more about frustration then fulfillment? Lysa’s book, Made to Crave, is the missing link between your desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment you need to make it happen! Purchase your copy here.
If you’re struggling to make healthy choices, take the Made to Crave 21-Day Challenge for free! You’ll get daily, biblical encouragement sent straight to your email inbox. Get started here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Are you honoring God by taking care of your body?
Think of one way you can improve on that this week: take a walk during your lunch break, prepare healthy meals instead of eating out, etc.
© 2015 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 22 January 2015.