Running the Race
A life changing note of encouragement and motivation…
We are comprised of two components: body and soul. We have our physical health and our spiritual health. Everyone seems to be aware of their physical health be it from allergies to the amount of energy one has, however it seems we are less aware of our spiritual health which is even more important. If we didn’t have a need for our spiritual health or if our spiritual health didn’t exist, there would be no point or need for death in the first place because we would be invincible living immortal lives. Think about it.
There are people in the world who are very health conscious. They know and pay attention to everything they put in their body and exercise regularly because they want to look good, feel good, and ultimately stay in good health. There are people in the world who aren’t as health conscious which is reflected in their lifestyle. Maybe they feel how they’re living their life is good enough or maybe they feel it takes too much effort to change anything. That doesn’t mean that they don’t think eating healthy foods and exercising is good for you, they just use a laundry list of excuses that it’s “too hard”, they “don’t have time”, they are “content”, or that the cake just “tastes too good”. And they’re right. The cake tastes delicious! In fact, they may not have time and it is hard, but content shouldn’t be a high enough standard to set for one’s life. The truth of the matter is if you’re seeking a change and desire a richer life than the one you’re living, you have to make time. No one said it was easy. After all, anything worth having takes hard work, effort, and it doesn’t happen in one night. Everyone’s goal in life should be to better themselves in whichever area they’re struggling in. If your struggle is with your physical health, take the step to reverse directions whether you need to shed some extra pounds and feel comfortable in your clothes, gain newfound energy for the day, run around with your grandchildren and not become out of breath, or prevent yourself from having a variety of health issues. It’s up to you make the decision that will change your life.
More importantly, though, is how we view our spiritual health. There are people in the world who are very conscious of their spiritual health and then there are others who purposely deny there’s any need for it. This seems even more foolish than someone with serious physical health issues denying they have them and refusing to do anything about it. Truth of the matter is we all have been infected with a cancer called sin and we will surely die without a cure. No matter how physically healthy you are, physical death is inevitable, but along with that if you haven’t cured this spiritual cancer you will also die a spiritual death. How can anyone afford to be in denial of their spiritual health? I know it’s fun and “tastes so good” to engage in sinful action and behaviors. I know making time for the God of the universe by praying and reading the Bible can be a daunting task because I have to make time out of “time I don’t have”. I know how “hard” it is to be constantly tested and tempted by Satan and persecuted for my beliefs. I know what it’s like to feel “content” living a lifestyle where I think it’s simply good enough because I control my life and I don’t need God. I know what it’s like because I’ve been there and I’ve seen people who have been there who blow off their spiritual health for all those reasons. They’ve chosen an empty lifestyle that is leading them and or others to a spiritual death with an eternity of darkness and agonizing pain with raw, skin-lashing flames that will never subside. They’re missing out on a beautiful, everlasting, spiritual immortality that goes beyond the grave, the most perfect relationship that one could ever ask for with our Lord and Savior, a life designed and perfected by God himself, a Prince of Peace who will lovingly take the weight of worry off your shoulders, and give you the breath of life that will cure and redeem you from your sin.
If your physical health is in order, but your spiritual health isn’t, you’re simply prolonging an inevitable death. Why not open your heart to Christ, who defeated and conquered death itself, by giving Him every part of you so he can shape you into the beautiful, new creature you were meant to be in Him? If you’re spiritual health is in order, but your physical health isn’t, you’re potentially cutting your time to serve the Lord here on earth short. Why not make the decision to take that step forward? If you can’t do it for yourself or anyone else then do it for the One who died on the cross to save you and the God who has blessed you beyond expectations and considers to do so. Your body is His temple. How can you serve Him to the best of your ability if you’re not taking care of yourself?
If you’re struggling with both your physical and spiritual health, I have every faith in you that you will make the decision to go against the current and turn your life around so that you may begin living life to the fullest. There’s no way of knowing when your last day may be or what the future may hold. Don’t you want to be certain you’re going to heaven when you die? Don’t you want to live a full life of service for Christ by bringing others to know His love and mercy through your actions, faith, and testimony? Don’t you want to feel good and look good so your health doesn’t discourage or prohibit you from doing the Lord’s work? What you eat and how you take care of yourself is a direct representation of how much you value yourself. God values you immeasurably so you should put a higher value on yourself as well.
No matter what area of your life you’re seeking to change and improve, the Lord is your strength. Seek Him and you will be able to endure. The majority of the time our hearts have to change before we can begin to see change in other areas. It’s a constant battle and a consistent journey. I’m walking down the same path as you. Let’s walk down it together.
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
- 1 Corinthians 9:22-27