Week Five – Day 3
TODAY’S FAST – Fast from All Junk Foods, Desserts, Sweets, and Sodas
This passage in Timothy is often misunderstood. Paul writes to Timothy and tells him that “physical exercise carries some benefit, but spiritual discipline carries eternal benefits that carry on into eternity.” The mistake comes in thinking that Paul has somehow provided Christians with a choice. “You can either exercise physically,” people hear Paul saying, “or you can train yourself spiritually.”
Instead, Paul means to endorse both. He hopes the reader agrees that exercise is good for the physical body, because he means to use that as the common ground to then state that spiritual exercise has even greater benefits since it does not end with the death of our bodies. But we are so eager to hear about the value of prayer and Bible reading that we can easily miss the simple statement by Paul that physical exercise does, indeed, have value.
The Scriptures are not silent about the need for us to have positive health habits. Gluttony and drunkenness are clearly deemed as damaging (Proverbs 23:21). Good sleep habits have positive health effects (John 11:12). And understanding the benefits of eating healthy foods is always helpful.
During this week as we pray for healing, health and wholeness, my encouragement would be that we see God as both the One who can heal our ailments and as the God who has given us wisdom in how to stay healthy. That is not to say that every illness is a lack of healthy habits or that prayer and fasting times can’t see miracles for things like cancer, diabetes or other debilitating issues. God can heal that which we cannot solve (Luke 13:10-13). But today, why not seek God for where physical discipline in your life could be improved? It may be the very cure for what you have sought from God for so long.
Lord, I want to change, and only You can empower me to embrace transformation. Show me how to begin and continue this process in my life so that godliness is something I live out. Speak to my will and my heart, and I will open up to the ministering of the Holy Spirit. Please be my strong deliverer and motivator. Lord, hasten the day when I can flow in Your divine order and out of my fleshly disorder. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8 NIV