‘desiring physical fitness, yet becoming spiritually fat’

“Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Isaiah 6:10

I would like to preface this post with the fact that I am NOT a ‘health fuddy-duddy’. I am NOT opposed to exercise and physical fitness, in fact my wife and I walk three miles a day, 5-6 days a week. I try to eat the right stuff and the right amount. After all the body is the ‘temple of the Spirit of God’, but what we are seeing taking place in the church is NOT healthy, at least at the spiritual level.

I would also like to say that I am in no way undermining the below product propagated in the commercial. This was an advertisement sent to our church email box and while reading the content I thought that the church in America needs to be spending more time on the spiritual condition than its physical condition.

Commercial:

Based on proven techniques and 25 years of experience, First Place 4 Health invites you to discover the most complete, Christ-centered weight loss and healthy living program available.

If you are tired of going up and down on the dieting roller coaster, or not feeling confident in public or with your friends and family, and you want to improve your overall health, then we invite you to experience healthy living success.

Group Starter Kit:
The First Place 4 Health Group Starter Kit contains everything necessary for leaders to teach members to begin a new way of thinking about health through a renewed mind, emotions, body and spirit.

Leaders will appreciate the user-friendly food plan and easy-to-use tools provided in the kit to bring lasting positive change in their own and in members’ lives. The all-new training DVDs will bring the program to life and make the leader’s role a pleasure as they help members change their lives.

Group Starter Kit Contains:
• A Complete Member’s Kit with Member
Navigation Sheet
• First Place 4 Health Leader’s Guide
• Begin with Christ Bible Study
• First Place 4 Health Orientation and Food Plan DVD
• How to Lead with Excellence DVD
• 25 Brochures on the First Place 4 Health Program

ISBN 08307.45904 • ISBN 978.08307.45906
Limited time price $179.99 (Regularly $199.99)
A $256 value!

At the beginning of this post I drew from the text that is found in Isaiah chapter 6 where Isaiah appeared before God and God was looking for someone He could send to His people with His word. Isaiah said “here am I, send me”. God told Isaiah that he would go and carry His word, but that the nation Israel would “Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.”

In essence, God was saying that instead of hearing His word and believing it, they will only reject it as they did in the day our Lord traversed this sod. In fact, after this wilful rejection by the religious sort of the Word that was made flesh and dwelt among us, this was the scripture Jesus quoted to them in John 12:37-41.

Now I am not saying this is true of every church or every believer, but I have followed the apostasy that our nation and our church is in, and if you look at it collectively, you must agree the church has veered in the wrong direction, and that away from the teaching of God’s word.

We do not need the church to be a means for its congregants to attain physical fitness but….

“for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:12-16 

Now if you have convinced yourself that the edification that is mention from the verses found in Ephesians 4 is physical fitness, then the commercial is for your admonition, and I say this in love, for it only has profit in this life!

If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

malachi

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2 Comments

  1. I agree with you that physical fitness should not be the overall focus of our lives. Our spiritual growth and health with a personal relationship with Christ is what REALLY matters. Having said that, I believe a healthy and fit lifestyle promotes emotional health which in turns helps us pursue of spiritual lives more effective. Do we need to be physically fit to be spiritually on track with our faith in Christ? Yes and no. Physical health is not a prerequisite to personal spiritual growth. But, like you said, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we need to take care of them.

    I encourage those around me to pursue “faith first” and then fitness. I run a website promoting this called “Faith First Fitness” where we “pursue genuine faith and lifelong fitness.” Please check it out and I would love your honest feedback.
    – Greg from http://FaithFirstFitness.com

  2. Thanks for stopping by ‘A Word From Malachi’ Greg. Yes I checked out your Faith First Fitness and it is good. You have the priority in its proper order FAITH 1st.

    That is what I wanted to be very careful of Greg when I posted this article. I am totally in sync with the physical fitness of the believers body, as we ar to serve Him with all of our mind, body and spirit. Our physical condition is a key role in our ability to do so.

    What my focus was on is the ‘lack’ of spiritual fitness of the church in America. We are a nation and a people immersed in material blessings and that has translated to the distance that the church has migrated to ‘from God’.

    I guess I would liken this discussion to what Christ told the religious leaders of His day…

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.” Matthew 23:23

    See the promotion of physical fitness is not the problem, the lack of things much more important are.

    My greatest concern Greg is that with the spiritual ignorance (lack of understanding of God’s word) that we see in the church in America, is that anything that is taught, whether it be physical fitness, social programs, doing good deeds, etc… is going to convince the spiritual babes that this is what makes God happy, and if I do all this stuff, I am going to be fine with God. NOT!

    Peace
    malachi


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