In John 2:13-17 NLT, Jesus chases everyone out of the temple who was using God’s house for selfish gain with a whip. He did this because “Passion for God’s house consumed Him.” The Word states that we are the temple of God and that our bodies are not our own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT). The same zeal that God has to drive out sin from the temple is also directed towards our lives. God wants to drive out anything that would hinder our walk with Him. It is important that we become good stewards of our “temple” (our bodies) that He has loaned to us. Just as a car needs maintenance in order to run and not break down, we also have the responsibility of maintaining our lives.
God wants us to live a VIGOROUS life. LIFE IS FULL OF CHALLENGES AND PRESSURE. Nearly 40% of people are stressed out to the point that they turn to bad habits. Stress produces 60% of all illnesses. Three out of four doctor visits are stress related. It is important that we learn how to process stress and pressure, so that we can stay strong and not give in to temptation. There are 5 essentials for maintaining a vigorous life.
1. TAKE TIME TO REST
Question...Why do you need brakes on a car? If your brakes go out you’ll crash! It is the same for us. If we neglect to “pump our brakes”, then a crash will eventually come. In other words, we need to learn how to Take Time to Rest. God gives us this example in Genesis 2:3. “And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all His work of creation.” We must learn to turn off the work talk, shut down our phones and celebrate all the good things God has done during the week!
2. GET MOVING
It is important that we take care of this temple by exercise. Even Jesus got away and climbed a mountain to pray. Our bodies were created to exert energy. Trapped energy can become dangerous.
3 John 1:2 - “My dear friend, I pray that everything may go well with you and that you may be in good health—as I know you are well in spirit.”
It sounds to me, like God is concerned about our health, and so should we.
3. EAT RIGHT
You can’t be vigorous and full of energy when you are putting the wrong things in your body. I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy food. What I’m suggesting, is that you should control your life, instead of life controlling you. It is called self-discipline, and a vital fruit of the Spirit. If you find yourself not being able to say “no”, then you might want to take Jesus’ advice and fast. Fasting allows us to get spiritually fit, and develops self-discipline.
4. ENJOY HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Number four is Maintaining and Enjoying Healthy Relationships. If you don’t want your “tires to go bad”, then you need to balance and rotate them. It is the same with relationships. It can’t be just about you and your crew. We are designed to build relationships. Family, mentors, those we are in spiritual covenant with, and new people are necessities for a vigorous life.
5. PRIORITIZE PRAYER AND THE WORD
Philippians 4:6-7 NLT - “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Prayer changes our perspective! When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change! Oak Tree, just as Jesus cleared the temple, let’s allow Him to chase out those things that hinder us and live a VIGOROUS life!