Monday, November 09, 2009

Fighting (and Winning) the Battle

As many of you know, I've been on the Take Shape For Life plan for two months now. While I've enjoyed great success so far, it has been a battle in many ways. Understanding my ultimate physical goal - optimal health - and continuously confirming that pursuit as my fundamental aim has been critical.

I was reminded of strategies for fighting the battle at church (Third, Pella, IA) yesteday when Pastor Kevin spoke on spiritual warfare. He emphasized that culture today is taken by the supernatural in part because we have ignored the reality of the spiritual world in our everday lives for so long.

The fact that we contrast the natural with the supernatural reveals that we have bought into a false dualism, that we consider these two worlds as entirely separate of each other. However, the reality of the supernatural in everyday life is obvious. Do you see evidence of sin? Do you battle temptation? Do you understand the daily war that is raging between the worlds of good and evil?

In a spiritual sense, Pastor Kevin encouraged us to "take out the garbage", "take daily showers", and "put on the armor of God." In essence, he was emphasizing how important it is in the material world to understand the temptations and deal with them in a strategic way.

As a Christian, it is my fundamental goal to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Christ. I guess you could call that my pursuit for optimal spiritual health. If I do not make that a daily priority, I become complacent to the attacks against me that are counter to that fundamental goal. But if I continuously remind myself of that fundamental goal, I will be prepared to capture my thoughts and make them subservient to my fundamental goal. My daily actions will support my fundamental spiritual goal.

The same is true in my pursuit of optimal physical health. Every day I am faced with new temptations. If I allow myself to forget my fundamental goal, I create a foothold for my desire for instant gratification to get the best of me. I can easily rationalize one little piece of this or that until I've sabotaged my fundamental goal of optimal health.

For those of you who've surrounded my on this journey with me, thanks for your support. For those of you who've been battling similar battles, let this be an encouragement to you. When faced with tempation, you have 10 seconds to win the battle in your mind. Make it a habit to remind yourself of your fundamental goal, and you're one step closer to winning the battle.

Do you have any garbage you need to take out? Get rid of the temptations! Have you taken your shower today? Don't let that past failure define you and continue to wreak havoc! Have you donned your armor? Keep developing strategies that allow you to fight the battle well!

Get well! Stay well!

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