Let us go to…
September 15th, 2019
Saturday was miserable for me physically. Breathing was made difficult and a cough developed. I noticed that my throat was raw, and I was drifting in and out of a fever. Last night I came to the conclusion I would not be able to attend worship at my church this morning.
Being sick and not being able to go to church is a physical thing. Pondering this a bit, I realized having an illness can physically keep you out of church, while being out of church can cause us to become spiritually ill.
I searched for a term for this relationship of illness and church attendance but was unable to find anything that really fit. Regardless, I find it intriguing that the physical solution for illness is the exact opposite of a contributing cause of spiritual illness.
When we are sick physically, we avoid exposing others if we can manage it. We need fellowship and the gathering together with the Body of Christ to maintain Spiritual health. It’s not odd at all, but rather typical of how things of the flesh are the total opposite of the things of the spirit.
In addition to the isolation when we are physically sick, we need to focus on getting rest and having the right medication, and over time we normally become better. Inversely, we could argue that to maintain physical healing in general, we need avoid contact with disease, provide the correct nourishment, exercise, and rest.
Spiritual wellness calls for the exposure to others who share the same Spirit, consuming the Word of God, exercising our faith, and resting in the Lord’s grace, peace, and love.
I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Psalms 122:1 (CSB)
This assembly of ourselves with other believers is not just healthy for us spiritually, we gain a physical advantage as well because so many physical ailments come from when we allow the world undue influence in our lives.
The world seeks to pull us toward its corruption and decay.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things — as I warned you before — that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 (CSB)
Many of these things don’t appear alluring at all, but the issue of any of them is that they lead to attraction of all of them.
We may harbor contempt for an individual we know, or we associate with at work. This contempt is a form of hatred and it could allow envy to creep in as we see them prosper in their contemptible acts. It could well lead to ambition, not allowing them to be rewarded and our attempting to cut them off from that promotion or recognition, naturally we would be more worthy in our own eyes and therein lay selfish ambition.
All of it compounds on itself and festers over time.
Without the constant cleansing of the Word of God and exposure to like fellowship we are increasingly at risk of falling into spiritual sickness.
What God desires is that we focus our efforts in the areas that promote good spiritual health. Continuing in Galatians.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Galatians 5:22-26 (CSB)
It is when we focus on these things as our aspirations, that we set ourselves up for the right kind of exposure. That of course is exposure to the Word of God, The Body of Christ, and basking in the presence of the Lord.
Are we spiritually healthy? Or do we find that sin has found a way to infect us?
Sure, if we are physically ill it isn’t a good idea to expose ourselves to others. But if we want to be and remain spiritually healthy, we need the fellowship of the local Body of Christ Jesus to maintain optimum health.
Some can’t attend church with regularity, many are physically inhibited to god. There may be job or other intervening factors that keep us away, but we need to do all we can to compensate for that by finding other ways to engage and interact and fellowship with other believers.
In the years I was running from the Lord, I too told people, I could worship God anywhere, I didn’t need a man-made institution to follow God. My God was too big for a building. But while I did that, I was growing weaker and weaker spiritually. My Bible was seldom if ever opened, I didn’t pray unless I needed something, and then there was some kind of deal melded into the prayer, because in my heart of hearts, I knew I was outside His intended purpose for me.
Our churches are built with human hands, our God isn’t captivated in the walls of those churches, He is present in the bodies of those who trust Him for their salvation and if we want to be healthy spiritually, we need connectedness to that Body of Christ. It is there that we find growth and health.
There is power in numbers. God saw that the people had clustered together at Babel and said if He allowed them to gather together in their sin that they would have too much power. So, He imposed a language barrier and confused their speech, spreading the population to far corners of the earth.
Likewise, there is spiritual power in numbers, so as we gather together, the binding of spirit grows, and our prayers together are amplified as one voice; the healing power of God’s Word is manifested in the lives of those who seek him.
I sent a text out to my Sunday School teachers and Pastors at my church this morning. I told them I wouldn’t be with them this morning because I was ill. I had several responses, and well wishes, but Brother Bruce replied with this verse, and it fits well with this devotional.
Dear friend, I pray that you are prospering in every way and are in good health, just as your whole life is going well.
3 John 1:2 (CSB)
Paul was talking both about spiritual and physical health. These are not mutually exclusive. I desire the same for you, so I pass it on to you as well.
Let us go to “The House of the Lord” and be well!
In His Grace!
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