We often find ourselves in situations where we do not have time or options for those much-needed break.
In the hectic pace of life, it is far too easy to get off balance with maintaining healthy and holy lifestyles. As employees, parents, caretakers, students, athletes, coaches, well, you name it—we often find ourselves in situations where we do not have time or options for those much-needed breaks.
But finding time for renewal of the body, mind, and spirit will help us keep ourselves healthy both physically and spiritually.
The Apostle Paul prayed for the church at Thessalonica: "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
God desires that we grow in our relationship with Him continually—to love Him with our whole bodies, souls, minds, and strength: "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment" (Matthew 22:37).
John Wesley had an understanding of God's grace and salvation that began with a crisis of belief, but was ultimately realized in a lifelong journey of growing closer to God and to others in God's family. Wesley saw that many who claimed to have faith inwardly did not seem to live their faith outwardly. This observation inspired his definition of salvation: "By salvation I mean not (according to the vulgar notion) deliverance from hell, or going to heaven, but a present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its primitive health, the renewal of our souls after the image of God in righteousness and true holiness, in justice, mercy, and truth."
Holiness is about wholeness and a holistic approach to life. Wesley wanted believers to experience the presence of God at every moment in every part of their lives. He believed spiritual holiness calls for us to live in physical wholeness by treating our bodies as His holy temple.
In fact, Wesley wrote a well-publicized book entitled Primitive Physick, in which he gave advice and offered remedies for illnesses. A balanced diet, exercise, and proper rest, with all things in their appropriate degree, were important to this holistic way of looking at health. To Wesley, the experience of regular renewal spiritually, physically, and intellectually was evidence of growth in Christlikeness.
Perhaps it is time to take a spiritual inventory of your life.
- Does the time you spend in praise, intercession, and the study of God's Word give evidence that He is your first and highest priority?
- Are you challenging your mind to an ever greater understanding of the character and work of the one you call Lord?
- Do your diet and activity choices reflect the honor of being host to the Holy Spirit?
- Are you striving to live at peace with those around you?
- Do you have difficulty in taking on more than you can manage?
- Do you find that are dealing with unnecessary baggage and cannot seem to let go of that?
The fact is, when our lives our out of balance spiritually and physically, we are not operating at our best.
But the good news is that in spite of life's circumstances, we can find peace in God.
We find this reminder in the letter to the Romans, that when we spend time in renewal, we can be in touch with God's will for our lives: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
Make it your goal as Christians to cooperate with Him as He "works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose" (Philippians 2:13).
David W. Graves is general superintendent in the Church of the Nazarene. Holiness Today March/April 2014