Today’s post is the latest in a series of guest posts centered around my church’s annual theme of “Healthy Hearts”. This month’s contributor is Keith Roberts. You can read his bio at the bottom of the post.
Why does spiritual health matter? What is spiritual health, anyway? And why do so many Christ-followers struggle with it?
According to Scripture, we’re made up of spirit, soul and body:
“May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thess. 5:23 NIV)
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)
This means that you ARE a spirit, housed in a body and interacting in this finite world as a “soul”.
If your life is controlled by the body, you’ll become obsessed with either abuse of the body (gluttony, sexual immorality, addictions, etc.) or obsessed with physical culture (exercise, your appearance, diets, clothing, etc.).
If your life is controlled by the soul, you’ll emphasize emotional well-being, education, the arts, entertainment, success, etc.
But if your spirit reigns, then Scripture, fellowship with other believers, true worship, prayer, etc. will dominate your life. And along with this, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will manifest, becoming the prominent feature of your personality (Galatians 5:16-25).
So, here’s why spiritual health is vitally important: If your spirit is weak and anemic, your soul and body will ascend to the throne and dictate the direction of your life. When that happens, disaster follows. Such people fill our churches. They’re self-oriented and world-oriented but not God-conscious.
Example: Demas had the honor of working directly with the Apostle Paul, who labeled him one of his “fellow workers” (Philemon 1:24). Yet later Paul writes about him, “Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.” (2 Timothy 4:10 NIV) The English phrase “this world” comes from the Greek which is literally translated “this present age”. Demas’ body and his world-oriented soul had crowded out the influence of his spirit, and of the Holy Spirit.
Example: When the Apostle Paul wrote to a church in deep trouble, he diagnosed the members as spiritually anemic. His evidence? – chronic division in the congregation.
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NASB). (Scripture often calls the tandem tyrants of body and soul “the flesh” or “the carnal man”.)
So, we cure these issues by improving spiritual health – through prayer, Scripture and fellowship with other believers, keeping us linked to His Divine Spirit and glorious Presence.
Keith Roberts has been a Preaching Minister since 1975 and has preached for the Calhoun Church of Christ (Louisiana) since 1981. He is also and elder int he church. Keith is a graduate of Whites Ferry Road Preaching School and later served and instructor at the school (1985-92). He has taught over 100 prayer seminars in various churches & lecturships. He recently published a book, “Why God Waits”. Info on the book is available at www.WhyGodWaits.com.