I don’t know about you but for most of my life I have been influenced by what I read and hear in the news and books and magazines about what I should be doing to care for my body and how to be in good health. It seems that not a week goes by that another expert isn’t writing another book or article that includes a piece of advice on these matters. Amazon.com maintains a listing of “The Top Ten Most Popular Health Books.” Most of these books tell us things we should be doing to lose weight, feel younger and love yourself.
Paul, the author of Colossians, probably would have considered the advice found in these books and articles as “rules.” In this week’s scripture he writes “You died with Christ. Now the forces of the universe don’t have any power over you. Why do you live as if you had to obey such rules as,“Don’t handle this. Don’t taste that. Don’t touch this.”? After these things are used, they are no longer good for anything. So why be bothered with the rules that humans have made up? Obeying these rules may seem to be the smart thing to do. They appear to make you love God more and to be very humble and to have control over your body. But they don’t really have any power over our desires.”
The last sentence is the applicable part of this scripture to our health. We all need the ability, or power, to make changes in our behaviors that will impact on our health. Behavior change can be difficult. When we have lived for many, many years with certain habits that are unhealthy, we need a lot of power to make changes. Our nature is to muster up more motivation and determination to make the desired changes. Paul says that, in ourself, we do not have the power over our own desires to make these long-term changes.
All the advice and “rules” in the world do not compare to the power that comes from God, through his Holy Spirit. I am learning that the real power God wants us to have is the power that comes from letting go and surrendering to Him. Even though I know Jesus in a personal way, I often tend to try to make things happen as I apply my knowledge of God and His principles. I belief God wants me, and all of us, to step aside and allow His special powers to lead the way in all the changes we are trying to make in our lives. This can only happen when we choose through our will, deep in our soul, to give up self-control of our efforts to God. And then we must trust that He will be the one empowering us and leading the way.
The more we believe and trust deep in our hearts that the Spirit of God is alive in us and that God is able to do for us as He did when he raised Jesus from His grave, we will experience ‘power over our desires’ to make the changes we want to make to improve our health. Through Jesus we can break our old habits, the links in the chains, that have kept us bound up. So I challenge you….. stop following the ‘rules of this world’ and look more into God’s guidebook for good health and step aside and allow His special power to be what changes your life.
Have a terrific day!