Bod4God: Desire for Change
In Luke 10:27 Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, soul , strength and mind. This week in our Bod4God series, let’s just try and get our mind wrapped around our strength, our physical bodily self and how it connects to our love for God.
Genesis 1:28 (ESV) And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Life in Eden wasn’t vacation, swinging in a hammock under a palm tree. God’s blessing to Adam and Eve included a purpose, a job! That dominion word includes the nuance of dominate, direct, control, lead, manage, govern… over every living thing. Sounds like busy days. I’ll bet they needed to steward and nourish their physical strength in order to carry out the commission God had given them, to bring fruitfulness, effectiveness to all of creation.
Use the discipline of reflection… time invested in focused thought, making connections. Reflect on this passage and picture of Eden and connect to your daily life. Describe your personal commission from God to have dominion. How do you increase fruitfulness and effectiveness in the world around you, in the people around you? What physical strength or ability or endurance is needed to carry out that commission? Thank your Creator for the purpose He has built into your life.
Imagine the disappointment of the Creator. This is not what He had planned for Adam and Eve. Understand how He mourns over the physical changes they must weather due to their spiritual rebellion. Hear the promise that the story does not end with this disappointment but with His provision for deliverance.
What are you disappointed about? Reflect on these varieties of disappointment.
Does the contrast between your mirror and the images on TV disappoint you? Does the huff and puff climbing the stairs make you feel the pile of years? Do your goals of an active life fade into a sigh of “Oh well…” Do your resolutions for improvement end in failure?
Now wrap yourself in the committed love of your Creator who has the power to remove the impact of our sinful dysfunction. Set aside your self-induced disappointment and rest in the deliverance God wants to give you. Tell Him the truth of your heart and give Him thanks for His love.
1 Peter 5:8 (GW) Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour.
God’s desire for you to have an active role in His creation is crossed by Satan’s desire to disrupt the Creator’s plan. He cannot directly derail God’s plan or steal your eternal life but he can deceive you into doubting and denying your place in God’s Kingdom right now. Reflect on the ways Satan deceives you about yourself, including your physical self. Put each lie in a tomb marked with a cross.
Listen once again to God’s desire to bring you into full partnership in building His Kingdom. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” Romans 8:14-17
Now think of some physical “improvements” you think would be beneficial to make - some particular strength, endurance, skill. Write one or more if/then statements for each; if I could __________ then God could use me for ___________________ in His Kingdom.
Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
You may have heard the theory about obesity saying that people sometimes over eat to “fill a void”. God fills voids much better than any salty fatty sweet snack. He brings peace better than any couch time can deliver. Reflect on today’s verse phrase by phrase and name the impact each phrase will have on your journey toward a healthier lifestyle.
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Your week of reflection on these passages from God’s Word has helped you identify God’s desires for you and your own disappointments. Focus your attention now on one point, one aspect of your physical self that you want to dedicate to God and tune for His use. Make a full statement about that in prayer to God.
Don’t keep your goal a secret. As you embark on the long journey to a healthier life, let someone know and give God all the glory.