Requirements for Spiritual Health
Beloved, I pray
that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your
soul prospers. 3 John 2
We need to be concerned about our spiritual
health, even more than our physical health. Like most good things,
spiritual vitality and strength must be worked at. Conscious thought
and effort are required. (2 Peter 1:5-11)
What are some of the things needed
to acquire and maintain spiritual health?
An immune system serves to ward off
disease. Without a healthy immune system, we can be killed by relatively
small threats to our health. Spiritually, how strong is our ability
to withstand temptation, false teaching, persecution, etc?
Temptation and spiritual hardship are
inevitable. We cant live in a bubble. Going out
of the world to avoid all contact with temptation is not possible.
(John 17:15; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:9-10; 1 John 5:18)
Spiritually speaking, we need to build
up our resistance. (James 4:7) We must take heed.
(1 Corinthians 10:12) We must gird up the loins
of our minds. (1 Peter 1:13-14) We must live circumspectly.
(Ephesians 5:15-17) We must put on the whole armor of
God. (Ephesians 6:10-11) We must arm ourselves against
the devil. (1 Peter 4:1)
Spiritually, as well as physically,
we thrive only when we work, when we are active and productive.
Compare sluggish in Hebrews 6:11-12.
The Lords church is a realm of
activity. (Ephesians 2:10) In the Lord, there is work to be done.
(Titus 3:8, 14) We have been saved in order to serve.
(Note: Matthew 20:27-28) Each of us individually has work to do.
(1 Corinthians 12:6, 7 & 18; cf. 2 Timothy 2:20-21) We must
work while there is time and opportunity. (Galatians 6:9; cf. John
We each need to exercise
ourselves unto godliness. (1 Timothy 4:7-8)
When we have exhausted
our energies and resources in productive work, these need to be
replenished and rejuvenated. From time to time, we must stop and
sharpen the saw.
There is great value in solitude, meditation, and reconnection with
nature (the things God has made, as opposed to manmade things).
Spiritually, as well as physically,
the Lord designed us to function best within the round of cycles
and seasons that alternate between work and rest. We are made such
that we need some downtime. Periods of retreat
characterized the Lords ministry. (Mark 6:30-31)
To survive spiritually, we will have
to have adequate rest and refreshment. The biblical picture of the
spiritually strong person is the image of restful (rather
than frantic) strength. (Psalms 1:3; 23:1-3; 92:12-14)
The Lord Himself took time for the quiet disciplines of spiritual
strength. (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16)
Rest doesnt necessarily mean
doing nothing. It means doing something different that will refresh
us and restore our energy for work.
Whatever the content of our usual activities,
we simply cannot remain spiritually strong without significant periods
of Bible study, prayer, and quiet contemplation of the things of
Just as we need rest, we need nourishment.
(See: Hebrews 5:12-14)
Health-giving nourishment involves
both the assimilation of nutritious food and the avoidance of toxic
substances. Sound doctrine is literally healthful
doctrine. (Titus 1:9; cf. 2:1) The Lords words are words
of life. (John 6:63, 68) We ought to have a natural desire
for Gods word. (1 Peter 2:2-3)
We do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. (Matthew
Any sickness ought to be
a matter of grave concern, especially illness of a spiritual nature.
(James 5:13-16) We need to identify our weaknesses. (Hebrews 12:12-13)
And we need to work at making spiritual progress. (1 Timothy 4:15-16)