Christians might have a health-related advantage over those who have not accepted Jesus into their hearts. When a person invites Jesus to be a part of their life, God's Holy Spirit, a part of the Holy Trinity, takes up residence inside that person. The Holy Spirit enables a person to live in a way that he could not live without the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us this in Romans 8:11 when he writes "The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you." (The contemporary Message translation is more detailed in its explanation.)
Imagine, God in the form of the Holy Spirit lives inside each Christian. We have tremendous power that is not available to a non-believer. But, a big question is, do we really believe this and appropriate this power to live in healthy ways. Over recent years, I've come to recognize that it's critical that I remind myself that this power is available to me and that I think, or meditate, on this truth. Even better, I often speak out this truth in a self-affirming way. When I do this, I seem to more easily live out of this power, not in my strength, but out of God's strength and power.
How does this apply to health-related behavior change? Here's one example. I have a tendency to skip eating breakfast. Any dietitian will tell you how important breakfast is. I enjoy a cup of coffee or two as I have my quiet time and read my devotional material and the Bible. After my prayer time, its Oh so easy for me to roll right into checking my email or writing some material. I'm off and running. Then the day begins to slip away and before I know it, it's almost noon. When I'm disciplined to ask the Holy Spirit to prompt me and then strengthen me to take time for breakfast, I am able to be pretty consistent with this helpful behavior. Then, even as I am beginning the act of preparing something to eat, I thank God for helping me. This is the process I use in making a health-related behavior change, with God's help. It's really the Holy Spirit inside me that is responsible for the changed behavior. My responsibility is to acknowledge His presence and His power and my need for His help.
Are you struggling with making a change in behavior that you've been unsuccessful in making in your own strength and willpower? Would you consider inviting the Holy Spirit to help you and then believe He will do what you've been unable to do in your own strength?
If you're reading this and have yet to accept Jesus into your life, I invite you to take some time to read this brief story about coming home.
Have a terrific day!
Read an article about surrendering more to the Holy Spirit.
Dale Fletcher is the founder of Faith and Health Connection. A speaker and wellness coach who lives in Charlotte, NC, Dale conducts workshops and retreats on personal wellness/wholeness and the link between faith and health. He is a member of the Christian Medical Association, the Society for Spirituality, Theology & Health and the Christian Coaches Network. Connect with Dale at Faith and Health Connection.