We all deserve a healthy thriving life – regardless of our circumstances, but our current health circumstances (mental or physical) can steal our joy and hold us hostage (too busy, too fat, not enough time, no energy, too unforgiving, too bitter, bad genetics, nutrition frustrations). If you’ve sought out self help books, health programs, blogs, personal trainers, wellness and life coaches or mentors, I commend you! You are pressing to add depth, purpose, growth, adventure and spice to your life and not waste the most precious gift that has been given to you.
It’s no secret that our Creator placed a burning desire in our hearts to love life and grab a hold of anything that freely lends us genuine love or a heart that yearns for abundance. We want to be awesome, but as you can see we have a problem…don’t seem to have this ‘high’ all the time. It’s like it comes and goes. We shoot for the stars and don’t even get to the moon. We go all out for a new diet or exercise plan and stop a few days or weeks later.
We shoot for the stars and then don’t even get to the moon. We go all out for a new diet or exercise plan and stop a few days or weeks later. WHY?
We do WANT to excel and be the best we can be. We desire to be fit, emotionally strong, mentally stable and spiritually healthy. It all comes back to that word no one likes to hear. Sin. There is a huge problem with sin and it’s called the ‘I’.
The ‘I’ is right in the middle of the word sIn. It controls us at times, even though we don’t want it to (now that’s s problem). Our health issue is pressing its thumb on us so hard we can’t see our solutions. It’s holding our health hostage and we are seemingly allowing it to happen.
‘I’ likes to call the shots and make ‘I’ feel good when and how it wants. The ‘I’ can control and manipulate the rest of our body in a mater of seconds. It can control us without us even realizing it until damage is done.
This is deep, but so worth the read, so hang in there.
I know personally, that self reflection can be uncomfortable when trying to fix something…when we are failing at something, but that’s usually why we don’t want to dig in deeper – the ‘I’ has a grip on us and so we let go of our goals, aspirations, and dreams and give into the ‘I’.
Transforming our life isn’t a magic pill, a secret 5-step formula or a check list. We all aren’t going to get on a TV show for accountability and lose all kinds of weight and live happily ever after. We all live different lives, have different opportunities and different demands on our health. The crazy downward health cycle will continue unless something on a deeper level is reset.
Today, you have the opportunity to reset. To turn off the ‘I’ desires and move forward with your health, your dreams, your aspirations, and your yearning for an even more awesome life. The opportunity is here. It is found in the Bible. God is pretty clear about the direction we are to take concerning our health and it doesn’t just include restricting sugar from our diets or killing it at the gym with our workouts
God tells us to ‘arm up’ in: physical, emotional, spiritual, social and mental health. All areas of our health – not just the physical. For you see, the war we are facing isn’t physical, in fact the bible is clear on this too, Ephesians 6:12 says that we do not wrestling against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic power over this present darkness, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
If we aren’t wrestling against other humans, who is our adversary – our enemy? The bible says the devil (1 Peter 5:8). Who are the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers? This is the activity behind the scene that we can’t see with our eyeballs, because we are not heavenly beings – we are humans (in tents/our physical bodies). These beings are called powers, principalities, different kinds of angels and demons (Col. 1:16, Eph. 1:21, Dan 10:12-14, 20-21, Phil 2:9-10, Jude 1:9, 2 Cor 11:14).
There is so much more to dig deep inside spiritual warfare, but the point is this; it’s real and it’s happening regardless if we want to believe it or not. It comes back to ultimate truth. We can try to think something is true, even though it’s not, but that doesn’t make it true. Just because we think it true, doesn’t make it true. Just because we say it’s true, doesn’t mean it is. Are you following me?
If my child tells a lie, the lie isn’t true just because she said it was. If my child believes in a lie, it doesn’t make it true, just because she believes in it. We can’t change truth with our thoughts any more than we can hurt the air with a stick.
The average human believes there is good and evil in the world and that there are interactions with us humans in some way or another. I am making note that when these forces mess with us, as it reads they do in the bible, (Acts 16:16-18, Mark 5, 1 Peter 5:8) that it attacks our health in more than one way. It can attack us physically, emotional, mentally, spiritually and socially. These areas are all connected and interwoven and when one of them are hurt, the rest can hemorrhage and bleed us out.
So if we are hurting physically, there is a reason, and it’s usually related to something else that goes a little deeper, like emotions (depression, which can cause over-eating). Each of these areas distinctly play a huge role in if the ‘I’ is winning or our epic journey in life is losing.
When we focus on God and each area of our being, and line it up to what God tells us, how can our life not be more awesome?
1. Physical- Get healthy for the long haul by examining the truths of your image-management, patterns behind your nutrition and exercise, and triggers that control your health.
If our physical health is weak and controlled by jealousy, laziness and busy schedules, we are teaching it to yield to whatever it wants or desires. The frightening thing is that our weakness will show up in other areas, like cravings and addiction to other things like; sugar, pizza or soda. When we restrict and limit our cravings we train the ‘I” to let it know it’s not in the drivers seat. It then revolts and we will eventually go back to old habits as it slowly steers the vessel back to where it began.
There are countless ways to restrict or limit our dependencies, but they generally don’t stick for the long haul unless there is a major breakthrough, something that can flip the switch and completely turn it off.
When stress arises, what do you turn to? Is there a pattern you can see yourself turning to? Are you turning to God or things, food, people, addictions, secrets, etc?
2. Emotional – Pride should be blocked at the door of your heart with only positive humility allowed.
Emotions are very real and extremely fragile at times, even though some stronger individuals could disagree. Emotions can alter our entire health. When stressed we can lose hair, sleep and weight, or we can over eat, get irritable and angry. We’ve all experienced emotional eating, emotional attitudes and the like and should not allow them to control us.
Emotions can charge us to do things we don’t even want to do and cause much regret and heartache when we become emotionally disconnected later.
Okay, so we get it, this makes sense.
What the ‘I’ wants us to do is go back to those emotions and pull them out when we are feeling sad or get hurt again. It wants us to stew over it, and make it into something it’s really not. There is a way out of this mess and it’s not just by saying, “I’m going to keep my emotions in check.”
We can’t neglect something deep inside, a character trait of sorts that can alter our outlook on circumstances. This can in turn alter our emotional warehouse in our hearts and change our response when issues arise. Learn where humility comes from and embrace the simplicity in it.
3. Spiritual – Maintain a strong connection with God to enhance, renew, refocus and regenerate your deepest issues in life.
There is an undeniable desire to believe in something bigger than ourselves. After all, we see it all the time when there is; a major catastrophe, an accident, someone terminally ill, a death. We all die and we all die at different times and for different reasons. There is fear associated with death for the average person, mainly because they aren’t sure what will happen next.
There are deeper fears of dying that many don’t want to discuss, and this is generally why people don’t – it’s too scary. It also feels so very far away so they push it off to another day’s discussion.
Connecting with God spiritually isn’t hard and it sure will add more to your life than you could imagine. Connecting with God isn’t a one time affair. It’s a relationship for life. It’s a two-way communication stream that should always remain open.
Our troubles in life seem to hang up on this communication because we get frustrated, angered or saddened because things don’t turn out how we want…there it is again, the ‘I’. It can make us disconnect from the One who can help us the most.
4. Social – Focus and invest in friends that build you up, encourage, strengthen and are completely honest with you.
Maintaining a group of solid friends is one of the most important aspects in life. God said friends are closer than a brother/sister. God created us to thrive together, and not be alone. This is exactly why He created a man and a woman – He didn’t create just a solo man named Adam to tend the garden all by himself – God also created a partner, Eve, so they could enjoy life together.
We need each other and others need us. We must focus on our friendships with true honesty at the core. There are many ways to strength and build our friendships. However, there are also ways to hinder them – like jealousy, gossip and manipulation. Spend time with those who build you up and strengthen your inner-self. Ask God to show you who your true friends are and who to spend the most quality time with.
5. Mental – Saying I’m strong and I can do it will only get you so far, but renewing your mind with good things will trump it all.
We set goals. We achieve them. We set more goals. Generally when we set goals we will achieve them. This is because when we set them, we already know our boundaries – generally speaking that is. Setting goals is a great practice and I wish everyone practiced and finished them. However, our mental health/fitness isn’t just about setting goals and keeping them.
Mentally, upstairs in the vault of thinking land, we can get a lot done. The mind steers our vessel pretty quickly. This is the place where we make decisions. We can be swayed by these decisions easily – with our emotions – but we choose to do things here. If the mind is not set on things above, our emotions will take us for a ride like we’ve never seen. Our emotions will win us over if we can’t say no to that little devil on our shoulder, the “I”.
Our mind can do a lot of damage to our self and others just by our thoughts. We can destroy a friendship just by the way we think – even if it doesn’t come out of our mouth. We all know how to ‘read into’ something and distort the entire situation. Our mind is powerful and can be our worse enemy. This is the living room for the ‘I’.
It can branch out and sprawl into other rooms of your health easily when it has a free pass. The ‘I’ wants to continue to keep you connected to your issues, to mentally replay the faults over and over and sabotage your progress and any area that you are moving forward in.
We are called to renew our minds daily, to put the ‘I’ in place and keep it there. This is easy to do when our mind is focused on good things – Godly things. The only way to do this is by prayer, fasting, reading and spending our quality time around others that are seeking the same thing.