I am into day four of my Ten Day Challenge from the Lord. I must tell you that day three was hard. I found myself heading for the sweet treats that I had created over the weekend, and I did find a bag of Doritos to finish off as a snack. So, I have some work to do, but I am purposed in my heart to take one day and one step at a time, just as the Lord is calling me to do. I will say, with much delight, that I only had two cups of coffee yesterday. My normal routine is to make a large cup of coffee in the morning and carry it with me to church. Yesterday, I had my one cup, put my cup aside and filled up some water bottles. I drank water instead of coffee. That was a huge win for me!
But this morning, I find myself struggling once again. So, I went to my Lord and asked for help. I knew the food choices that I made yesterday were not wise, and I did have two cups of tea along with the coffee I drank, which also has caffeine in it. But I have not given up hope; however, I knew I needed His strength to keep me going on this path of my ten days.
Through these past four days, not only have I been striving to make better choices about my food and drink, and other areas of my life, but I have also been seeking what it means to “glorify God in every area of my life.” Since those words are what led me to this Ten Day Challenge from the Lord, I knew there was something in these words today I needed to learn, apply and walk. His word always brings me the strength I need, the hope I desire and the wisdom to walk this walk. I cannot live without His word to me, I would wither and die away, of that there is no doubt! So, as I turned to my bible I was led to 1 Corinthians 6:20:
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are Christ’s.”
I am not my own. My body, my spirit, the very breath I breathe is not mine. They were all given to me by God the Father, who created me, then died for me. He paid the ultimate sacrifice by hanging upon that cross and taking the punishment for me. I am not my own. But Paul is telling us in this chapter that since we have been bought with a price, we must therefore now, glorify God with it. So how do I do that exactly? (That was my question to the Lord this morning) How do we glorify God in our bodies as well as every other area of our lives? Good question!
The word “glory, glorify” has many meanings, but the base of them all means “to make God known.” We are to cause the dignity and worth of God to be made known in every area and aspect of our lives. Pastor Chuck Smith states that our lives are to be a witness to the world of how great it is to know and serve the True and Living God. God desires for our lives to be a true picture of who He is. Our life is to be marked by His characteristics, His love, His peace, His joy, His longsuffering, His grace, His gentleness, His goodness, His meekness, and to have moderation in everything. This is God’s true nature and He wants us to show them to the world.
This is a pretty tall order to say the least. And I must say that the thought of it is overwhelming. But, we must remember that we are not our own. Jesus Christ bought and paid for you, lock stock and barrel. He came to this earth and showed forth the glory of God, fulfilling the divine will of the Father to make Himself known to the world. Jesus Christ then, after fulfilling what we could not, took the sin that held us back and paid the debt for us. We no longer belong to ourselves to live for ourselves, we now belong to Christ.
“For you were bought with a price.” I was a slave to sin, to my fleshly desires. I did what I did because I was bound to my flesh and its lusts. But Jesus has set me free, I am no longer chained to what my body desires, but I am now free in Christ Jesus. I don’t have to do anything my flesh craves any longer. Jesus freed me from this flesh, from the chains that bind this body of mine. Not only that, but “my body, which I once abused, I now offer to Him as the instrument through which He might work, the temple which He might dwell.” (Pastor Chuck Smith)
“I have been bought with a price.” We are not our own to do with as we please. I cannot continue to use and abuse my body as my own. 1 Corinthians 3:17 warns us that if we defile or abuse the temple of God, God will destroy this temple. We must accept that, run from the defilements of bad choices and turn to the living God who paid my debt in full. Pastor Chuck states “We need to respect our bodies; they are marvelous instruments of God. A beautiful instrument, my body, given to me by God that it might become the medium of expression for God. That God might express Himself, through you, through your body as His instrument, revealing His love, revealing His work, revealing His plan. And so we need to hold our bodies as instruments of God and respect them as such and do not that which would destroy or harm the temple of God.”
So, how exactly do we do this? We ask ourselves two simple questions. Believe me when I tell you that these two questions have helped me extremely today. As I asked myself these questions, and then applied the reality of the truth that the Lord just revealed to me, my cravings became less and less until they were gone. It is amazing what power the flesh has over us, when we allow it to. But what is even more amazing is the Power of God through His word when we allow Him to work in us and through us- for we are His in the first place.
The questions we need to ask when faced with these bad choices is found in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” Is what we are about to eat, drink or do expedient for me? Meaning is it going to harm the temple of God that I have been given? We may be able to say, “No, it’s not that bad. It won’t harm me that much.” And we may even be able to prove that point, but that is not the question. For we can find justification for our fleshly desires anywhere, and trust me, I would know, but the question we need to ask ourselves before we eat or drink or do anything is this, “Does it bring me under its power and does it build me up or tear me down?” (Pastor Chuck Smith) I must begin to apply the truth that the Lord has given me today, I am not my own, and He wants to use me to express Himself. He cannot do that if I do not respect what He has given me. He bought me, He paid for me, and He deserves every ounce of me, I am His temple, and He will be glorified, it is His divine will for me in Christ Jesus.
No matter what we are doing that is bad for us, some of us may be reading this and already feeling the Lord open areas of your life that you need to let go of, because they are not good for the temple He dwells in. If you are one of those that feel you need to let go of bad habits that are tearing down the temple of God instead of building it up, may I encourage you to take the Ten Day Challenge found in Daniel 1:8-17, and let us together begin to make good choices in every area of our life that brings forth the glory of God, and not ourselves. To Him alone be glory forever and ever. Amen and Amen.