Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
The above verses are my life, my passion, my ministry. Body Temple is not just a small group in my church, but an attitude, a way to live your life to the full potential God wants you to live. The last two years of this small group that I have lead, I have seen many people come and go and wonder how much of an impact I have made on their lives. For all of these people I keep them all on my email list and I have only had two requests not to receive the email any longer. My focus started with the idea of changing people from the outside, by teaching them about nutrition and exercise. I would do weigh-ins and focus on what small steps they were taking each week toward weight loss. In some ways, I think I was injecting too much of me into the group and not as much God. God was always a part of it, but that was just it, part of it. For a ministry to thrive it has to have the fuel of the Holy Sprit involved in it. I’m not saying it didn’t have that aspect, it just did not have that complete focus as I am starting to realize. From the start of this small connect group, God wanted to have an element in it that would take over completely, and that is the spiritual aspect. It has slowly been working it’s way to become a driving force in the group. God loves the dynamic and is always going to allow us to go through a time of learning and tweaking before He reveals what He wants our ministry to become. Now the focus of my connect group is change from the inside out, not what it was originally.
As I look at both of those verses above, and I have read them many times, a phrase stood out to me today that brought about this blog post. It says in the very last line of verse 17, “and you together are that temple.” We all have a body temple, but together we are a force to be reckoned with. If the enemy can separate us and fragment us, we don’t have strength alone. Together we are strong. Losing the 242 pounds I lost taught me a lot of lessons about myself that I am in the process of putting into a book. At the start of the goal of losing weight, it was difficult to change my old habits from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle. It was difficult changing from eating very bad food to eating healthful food. It was difficult, but as results started to happen, the momentum picked up. Sure, I had a few weeks of plateau’s and even weight gain, but for the most part, it became a loss every week. Encouragement through those tough weeks got me back on my horse and headed for weight loss land. Always have positive people around you for any change you make in your life. My point here is it was hard when I started, but it became easy to lose. When I got into that mode, I got to the point of fear that I was not going to be able to stop losing. It was that easy.
Now that I have overcome that stronghold in my life of gluttony, I am now engaged in the biggest battle I ever faced: maintaining. It’s been very easy to slip back into a few bad habits as far as eating, and start gaining weight back slowly, 30 pounds. The reasons for this weight gain are the internal battle we all face, our spiritual life.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12
When you start being dangerous to the kingdom of darkness you get a lot of unwanted attention. So yeah, I slaughtered one major Goliath in my life, but the battle and struggle never ends. It’s very interesting that God brought me back to the David and Goliath story for three weeks in a row to bring home an important point. I thought it was to show me what real courage was, but that was not it. I thought it was to show me that I was a giant killer, but that was not it. What He wanted to show me is the repetitive nature of spiritual warfare. It never ends. One Goliath gets defeated another arises. I am not telling you this to make you feel defeated, it’s just a fact. We are all going to face struggles and defeats in our lives, but God always has a good plan and will execute it when the appointed time comes. That is a promise He always keeps.
My focus for Body Temple has now moved from the physical to the spiritual, because that is where the biggest battle is. If I can help plant the seeds of change in someone’s life on the inside, the outside flesh is going to have no choice but to change. What keeps me going is the love and passion I have for God’s people who are struggling with what ever they are struggling with internally. The original thought for this blog was to have a mixed bag of both physical fitness and spiritual blogs, but if you look at the history, it’s all about spiritual. Just like my small connect group.
The last 4 years of my life have been amazing. I have gotten more attention than I deserve, more love that I can fathom, and more encouragement that is unyielding. I guess for me my biggest battle is really maintaining the idea I am a saint, not a sinner. That I do deserve all the blessings God has given me and is going to continue blessing me with those blessings, whatever they may be. I think the attention is what is driving my current emotional eating. Being the “big guy” I have always had more negative attention than positive attention. Now being this thin dude that is an overcomer, has put me in this positive spotlight that sometimes is overwhelming to me. So, the more I understand my sainthood and how God views me; this is transforming my inner self into what God wants me to be. I am worthy and worth all of this, I just have to fight this big battle and win it. Bringing it back to the phrase that started this blog post, together we are the temple, together we are a force to be reckoned with, together we can fight battles, and together we can be overcomers. So, with help from my brothers and sisters in Christ I have no doubt that victory is always going to be the outcome of any struggle I face and any struggles you may face. So fight on this big battle, when the flesh is no longer; victory will finally be at hand.