6 Keys to Spiritual Health

I can always tell when I’m starting to get the spiritual sniffles because the evidence of my spiritual health begins to spill over into my day to day life. Symptoms often include a running mouth that finds itself gossiping and complaining. A craving for bad behaviors and unhealthy vices. Lethargy and laziness accompanied by discouragement, distractions and a headache full of lustful thoughts and negative thinking. When I begin to notice symptoms like these I know I have not been maintaining my spiritual health. Listed below are 6 keys to monitoring and maintaining a healthy spiritual life.

 

1. Meet with the Dr. (PRAYER)

Prayer is an essential component to the believers life. It is where we communicate with God by expressing our gratitude, acknowledging God’s goodness, and removing the gunk out of our lives through confession and repentance. Most of all, prayer is our act of worship and obedience to God.

  Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

2. Read the Prescription (BIBLE STUDY & DEVOTIONALS)

The word of God is our sustenance and source of life.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God

Matthew 4:4 NIV

It is our hope, our health, our instruction, and within its pages it points to the cure for all mankind, which is Jesus Christ. The Bible is literally the God breathed, God inspired  word from heaven to us; good for use in all things we may be facing, questioning, or going through.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

3. Follow the Doctors Orders (OBEDIENCE)

If we are going to live healthy spiritual and physical lives it is important that we are vigilant and obedient to follow God’s instruction and design for how we should live. Furthermore, we obey God not only because it is the wise and profitable thing to do, we obey out of our love and reverence for who He is.

“If you love me, obey my commandments.

John 14:15 NLT

4. Get Plenty of Exercise (BE A DOER OF THE WORD)

It wouldn’t prove very beneficial or profitable to have a gym membership and a personal trainer yet never lift a weight or heed the trainers counsel and instruction. The same goes for us. When we only read what the bible says yet we never take any action and put to work the principles and wisdoms of the word our spiritual lives only decline and rarely if ever improve.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.

James 1:22-24 MSG

SIDE NOTE: The promises of God, in many cases require action and obedience. “If you do this…God promises to do that.” Action is required to live whole and healthy spiritual lives. Every day we make decisions that either bring us closer to a fuller more abundant life with God by becoming more and more of the person He created and designed us to be or we drift further and further away from the completed work in us and our true identity. Every day we have to choose to put into practice what we know the Lord has called and commanded of us if we are ever going to live in the fullness He has promised to us.

5. Eat a Healthy Diet (WHAT ARE YOU CONSUMING INTO YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND?)

Every moment of our lives we are constantly consuming information. Especially in a day and age where social media, television, movies, music, news and opinions are at our fingertips 24/7. Its important that we are consciously monitoring the things we are taking into our hearts and minds. From the conversations we choose to engage in to the books we read we should always ask ourselves, “Is this activity, media or substance benefiting and bringing life to myself and others or is it contrary to what I know is acceptable in the sight Of God?”

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

What we consume becomes a part of who we are, it has the potential to shape our lives and it will be these things that overflow from our hearts through our actions and words that will spill over into the lives of others and those around us.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Luke 6:45 NIV

6. Get Plenty of Rest (REST AND WAIT ON THE LORD)

The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

Lamentations 3:25 NASB

Lastly, when we are walking in faith we can find rest in knowing that God is on our side, that He is always faithful to those who trust Him. There is no need to be anxious for anything. As believers we are always allowed to pray about a matter but once given to God we are not allowed to worry about it! We rest in the faith knowing that God will always keep his promises. He is waiting on our waiting…

Yet the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love; he will conquer you to bless you, just as he said. For the Lord is faithful to his promises. Blessed are all those who wait for him to help them.

Isaiah 30:18 TLB

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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Bookshelf : Enlightenment & Development

                

Motivation

I am up far to early today, not at all because it is in my nature, its more so having something to do wit an early stirfry dinner that gave me idus last night and left me passed out on the living room floor around 6pm. Up at 3am and scrolling through some of my favorite blogs, I came across ordinarilyextrodinarymom‘s blog post No Hustle, No Sleep, No Repeat and it really got me to thinking about motive and true inspiration. And as if by magic I turn into today’s devotion and it read

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” – Leviticus 19:18 ESV

color-purple-shug-o

Ugh oh, I know what this means, and I don’t need Shug Avery to sing it to me for confirmation; it’s obvious, “GOD”S TRYNA TELL YOU SOMETHIN””

Grudge, malice, vengeance, animosity, those are all such harsh and dirty words. What on earth could they possibly have to do with a good ole’ christian girl like myself? But, this is why I love the Holy Spirit so much. Just when I’m about to mount my high horse and set off swiftly into the sunset, like a perfect gentleman He takes my hand and brings me right back where I belong.
So perhaps I’ve never tried to put sand in my exes fuel tank, never wished that my neighbors cat would die, and I didn’t talk bad about so & so (well…that bad, I didn’t talk about her that bad) after I found out what she said about me. No, my motivation is more elusive than that, I would pay them back simply by trying to be better than them, proving them wrong and living my life with the mantra “Oh, I’ll show them!” Suddenly it was clear, and for the first time I realized that maybe those  dirty words I’d like to think I’ve never done,  I did and actually do.

What’s Your Motivation?

Bringing Glory to God

“So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God” – 1 Corinthians 10:31 AMP

Is it success? is it popularity? Is it to be known? Is it to be loved?
When our number one priority and motivating factor above all things is God there is fullness and satisfaction. Don’t misunderstand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being motivated by the desire to live a full life that is profitable and successful, to have an abundance of awesome friendships and healthy relationships, to live life with purpose and to thrive with passion for what you do. These are all great things we should want and should be motivated by. In fact, Jesus said that He came that we may have life and have it to the fullest (John 10:10). But what happens when our primary motivation is not our love for God and bringing Him glory? Idols, which is anything or anyone we put before God, are formed. Comparing ourselves to one another and even jealousy can crop up in our lives. We lose the sense of enjoyment we once found in what we do. Our lives are consumed with busyness always going going going with a harvest that bears very little fruit or growth. Things begin to feel like a struggle; there is a loss of peace and a contentment that only comes from glorifying God . What we once viewed as important because it was done to edify God has now become negotiable; based primarily on feelings and circumstances.

Love

“If I have the gift of prophecy and can understand all secrets and every form of knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains but have no love, I am nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:2 ISV

Love for God, Love for others and love for yourself. I ask myself, especially when I’m blogging or on social media, does this post demonstrate my love for God? Will this retweet enrich or disrupt someone else’s life? Does this instagram post show me in a light that is reflective of the love and respect I have for myself? And that’s just one minor way love can be a motivating factor. In my case, taking on an attitude of trying to show off or show out because of a grudge or out of revenge is faaaaarrrrr from operating in love. It should be no wonder why things often did not prosper. Whether its love for God, love for others,  a healthy love and respect for yourself or a love for what you do, it’s all meaningless and nothing outside of love.

The Ultimate Authority

God will never require us to do or be anything He hasn’t enabled us to do or empowered us to be. Obedience to God is essential to doing and living in the will of God and being blessed by God. Obedience is doing what God says to do, how God says to do it and when He says to do it. True, obedience isn’t always easy, but it is undoubtedly the best way.

“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”” – Luke 11:28 (NIV)

Related Post: The Importance of Obedience

God Must Be the Ultimate Authority in Our Lives

“For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” – Deuteronomy 10:17 (NIV)

I remember as a child, having received my first bike and just learning how to ride, I couldn’t wait to get home from school everyday so I could hop atop my pink and white tasseled Huffy and ride the day away. There were only a few rules: behome when the street lights came on and never ride beyond the courtyard. For a while I was more than satisfied with that. But as I grew more experienced, the training wheels came off and all of my friends ventured off beyond the street lights and returned with tales of imagination and discovery I longed to go further. Yet, whenever they would ask me to join I’d always decline. Not because I didn’t want to but because I knew my mother and father were the ultimate authority in my life. Even though, in disobeying my parents they may or may not have ever found out, I couldn’t help but know it just wasn’t worth the risk.

In the same way, if we seek to be obedient to God we must know Him as the supreme authority in our lives. And unlike the parents of a 6 year old child, He is the God who knows all and sees all. Yes, God gives us choice,the choice to obey or disobey His commands. But when we believe God to be ultimate, above and before all things in our lives; including our desires, our feelings or the persuasion of others and this world, we can’t help but know disobedience just isn’t worth the risk.

 

The Importance of Obedience

Obedience to God is an essential component to the Christians life. But have you ever wondered why? While it is not always easy to be obedient it is required in order to be pleasing to God. Its also beneficial and critical to living a life in the fullness God intends for His people.

The Importance of Obedience

Obedience is evidence of our love for God

“But remember—continue to obey the law that the Lord’s servant Moses gave you. You must love the Lord your God and obey his commands. You must continue to follow him and serve him the very best that you can.” – Joshua 22:5 ERV

Where the heart lies the man follows. This is why Jesus says in Matthew 6:24 that no one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to one and despise the other.” Love is an all in heart choice. You can not sort of love someone or something, you either love it or you don’t. Sure, there may be varying degrees of love. Im sure you don’t love a friend in the same manner you love a spouse and you don’t love your children in the same manner that you love Starbucks coffee on a Sunday afternoon. You might make time and reservations for your spouse that you otherwise wouldn’t for a co-worker, just as you would give the world for your children, highly unlikely you would do the same for a vanilla frappe. In the same way, as believers, God should be the paramount love of our lives and when He is there is nothing we won’t do to satisfy that love. Our obedience overflows from that love, just as the psalmist illustrates we too desire to be obedient to God. Psalm 119:4-5 You have given us your laws to obey— oh, how I want to follow them consistently.”

“If we love God, we will do whatever he tells us to. And he has told us from the very first to love each other.” – 2 John 1:6 TLB 

Obedience bestows blessings & provision

“How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the Lord.” – Psalm 119:1 NET

 When we are obedient we release God to operate uninhibited and to move fully in all areas of our lives. Conversely, our disobedience births consequences and death (physically and/or metaphorically) that inhibit us from attaining all that God wants to give us.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7 NET

Obedience is essential to spiritual maturity & growth

“Yes, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can’t do a thing.” – John 15:5

How does a child know right from wrong? Unfortunately, none of us were born knowing how to drive a car, do long division or instinctively recognize that touching a hot stove is a bad idea. Fortunately, that’s why we have parents and teachers, leaders and mentors to give us loving correction, to guide us and instruct us. None of us are perfect. We are born into this world full of sin, funny as it is we never have to teach a child to lie because it is in our nature as men in this fallen world to sin. And just as a child is corrected by their father or mother so it is we are children of God, born into this new life of Christ. And like any loving father he corrects us for our benefit and instructs us in the way we ought to live. Obedience to heeding to God’s instruction leads us into a life of fruitfulness, maturity, and growth.

Obedience is the evidence of our salvation and faith

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21 NIV

Salvation is a gracious and undeserved gift from God that is given to all who believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ; His deity, death and resurrection. When a person comes to believe a thing, whatever that belief may be, his or her life can not help but reflect it. If I just say the words “I believe,” and in my heart there is little to no truth in my confession, my life will undoubtedly appear quite contrary to that belief system. Our faith defines our desires, actions and behavior. As a believer in Christ our actions should line up according to His word.

“This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. The one who claims, “I know him,” while not keeping his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in this person.  But the love of God is truly perfected in whoever keeps his word. This is how we know we are in him.  The one who claims to remain in him ought to live in the same way as he lived.” – 1 John 2:3-6 CEB

Obedience is essential to living a life in the will of God

“Young people can live a clean life by obeying your word.” – Psalm 119:9 CEV

You can not live in the will of God if you do not obey the will of God. Simple enough principle with a whole lot of worth. However, do you know the will of God? In order to know God’s purpose, plan and will you have to be in His word. The bible is where we find instruction, guidance, truth and life. As believers we also have the gift of the Holy Spirit who is our advocate and helper. It should be our daily practice to hear from God, meditate on His word and pray for the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to carry it out.

“the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV

 

Obedience glorifies God

“Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.” – John 15:8

Without obedience we can not walk out our faith and our faith without work/action is dead (James 2:14-18). Furthermore, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6)Our lives are lights that set us apart and point to the one we belong to. Our actions, how we behave, speak, treat and love each other are all ways we demonstrate God’s affection for us and the world. The word makes it very clear that a life of obedience, love and faithfulness are a great delight to our Father.

“What is more pleasing to the Lordyour burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” – 1 Samuel 15:22 NLT