Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not My Own

                How would you feel if someone dumped a truckload of garbage into the middle of your place of worship? You would most likely be very upset and wonder why someone would do something like that? The past few months, I have been experiencing some health issues. They started with a stay in the hospital, and then never really seemed to go away. Being the kind of person that I am, I started doing some research on my symptoms. During my research I found that most of our foods that we purchase today are full of
additives, preservatives, chemicals and steroids. Even what is considered “organic” is not fully organic. When I thought about this, I realized that I was putting these things into my body as well. I was the trash truck driver and I was dumping all this trash into His temple.  This research also brought to my attention the truth that I am not my own, and that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives and moves in me. So what exactly does it mean to be the temple of the Holy Spirit, and what does all this have to do with what we eat and how we take care of our bodies? Is there a connection? I asked these same questions. So I went on a quest, seeking from the Lord the wisdom only He could give me.
                “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19
                First of all a temple is the place where God dwells. A temple is sacred to God. The temple that Paul would have referred to in this passage would have been the temple in Jerusalem. The temple had an inner sanctuary, it had the place called the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence dwelled, and it also had the outer courts and porches. Our bodies are temples too. We are sacred to God, and He dwells in us. Our
soul is the inner sanctuary, our understanding and hearts, the Holy of Holies, and our body, our skin, organs and bodily functions the outer courts and porches. So, with that being said, if our whole man is a temple, then what we put into it physically must be as important to us as what we put into it spiritually.
                Paul also tells us that we are not our own. We were bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. He died so that we could have life. As I pondered on these words, I thought of a woman who gives birth to a child. That birth however, caused her to lose her life. Knowing ahead of time that she would not live but the child would, she still chose to have the baby. Then, after she had passed the child was handed to
me and I was asked to love it and raise it as my own. As I pondered on this I saw that my life was the child, and Jesus was my birth mother (metaphorically speaking). He died so that I could live a full and eternal life. Then He handed the child to me, and asked me to take care of it. When someone gives something precious to you and asks you to care for it, you are not going to ignore and neglect it, but you are most likely going to pay extra attention and give it the utmost care that you humanly can. Our whole body has been given to us by God. He died so that we could live. Knowing this, should I not the more be concerned with what I eat and do with my body on a daily basis?
            Just like the image of someone backing a trash truck into your church and dumping trash in the place of worship, when we don’t care for our outward bodies, that is what we are doing. I realized all of this because honestly, I really have never thought about my body. I just always assumed it would function, and that when it was time for me to go I would go and this body would just perish. So what I put into it and how I took care of it wasn’t always on the forefront of my mind. Nor did I ever really see a connection between my spiritual well being and my physical well being. But now, through all of this I see that both of them are important to God. For if my body is sickly and not able to function due to illness, how then can I fully be used by God? If I am sick because of sin, God cannot use me, and if I am sick because I have neglected His precious possession, then He cannot use me. If I dump trash into my body continually, eventually this outward part of His temple is going to begin to rot. Doesn't God deserve more than a body that is full of trash?
                We are His purchased possession, so what right do we have to pollute and abuse what is not ours? Now I realize that some might say that a little is okay, as long as you don’t go overboard. And I would agree with that. Moderation in everything is always wise. But, even though “all things are lawful for me”, not all things are “helpful”. (1 Corinthians 6:12) Therefore, if we are His temple, if we are not our own, then shouldn't we be paying more attention to our bodies and what goes into them? If I have no true desire to take care of the outward what does that say about how I take care of the inward part of my being? For so many years, it was easy to run through a fast food restaurant, feed my children as we headed off to the next appointment on our list. But all those years of unwise choices in regards to my physical well being have gotten me to this point I am at today, in need of medical help and feeling ill all the time.
                This has been an eye opening time for me, not just because I am not feeling well, but because I have finally seen the whole picture. I see that all of me, every hair on my head, every cell in my body, and every organ in the midst of me was paid for by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This body that I now have, it will perish and a new one will be given to me. But should I not be taking care of this one first? Do I take the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as nothing in regards to my physical body? He did not just die for me spiritually, but He also died for me physically. So therefore, how I treat my physical body is just as important to Him as how I treat my spiritual life. I am His temple, so what I put into His temple physically and spiritually really does matter.

                Father God, I pray today that You would show forth your love and glory to all those who read these words today. Father, I pray that we would become children that worship you not only in our spiritual life, but in our physical life as well. That we would become a people who are wholly Yours, inwardly and outwardly. I pray that You would give us the wisdom we need to care for this temple that You paid so dearly for. We are not our own, Father, we were bought with a price, therefore may we glorify You not only in our spiritual lives, but in our physical lives as well. May all praise, honor and glory be to You Lord Jesus, forever and ever, amen and amen.