5 Ways to Bring God into Your Health | Ashley Varner
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5 Ways to Bring God into Your Health

Does God really care about my health? Does He really care what I eat? I asked myself that very questions not too long ago.  So I decided to search the Scriptures to find out for myself.  And I believe with all my heart the answer is: ABSOLUTELY.

What we eat and how much we move, effects our entire life.  Our daily habits effect how much energy we have, our emotions, even our life spans.  It’s important to be healthy for those reason, but my journey to health is so much more than that!  I want to bring God into my health.

I believe that you want that, too. So I’ve put together a few ways that we can invite the Lord into our health in a practical way.

1. Commit your workouts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart and working for the Lord and not for men.”

We are called to do everything we do with the attitude that we are doing it for the Lord. Not so others can look at us or applaud us for our new figures, not even for ourselves. When I wake up with an attitude that says, “I don’t feel like working out today” or I just want to go through the motions and not really work hard in my workout, I think of this verse.  I believe that everything God calls us to do is for our good.

  • Being involved in exercise everyday teaches me patience, when I don’t see the results ten minutes after I workout or even ten days after.
  • Exercising everyday develops perseverance in me so that I know from experience that I can do hard things and I can stick with something.
  • Daily movement helps me take the stress off my mind and do something good for the temple of the Holy Spirit that God has blessed me with, whether it is a size 26 or a size 6.

We can commit our workouts to the Lord and He will bless them.

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2. Pray before you eat.

Deuteronomy 8:10 “And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”

I struggled for years with emotional eating and binge eating.  And one thing I can certainly tell you is that one sure-fire way to not emotional eat and not to binge was to sit down, pray calmly over my food, thank the Lord for giving it to me, and THEN eating.

There’s something about acknowledging that everything we have is from the Lord that makes us stop overeating.  When we bless the Lord, when we give Him thanks, we are acknowledging that He has given us this gift.  Even more than that, we are acknowledging that He is with us, in the room.  And that small realization keeps us from overeating.

 

3. Deny Yourself Everyday.

Matthew 6:24, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  The New Living Translation says,  “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.’”

We live in a world that seeks out instant gratification.  It seems like everyone is in a frantic search for it.  Every magazine will tell you that you should want to be thin, and you can get thin right now.  A few weeks ago, the Lord put it on my heart to tell myself “no” on a daily basis.  Saying no might include fasting and praying for a specific missionary.  It may be to not click “SUBMIT” on the Amazon purchase I want to make.  Denying myself could even be something as simple as letting my husband pick the television show.

My point is, when we start saying no to ourselves in the small things, it becomes easier and easier to say no to the big things.  It’s okay to go without that chocolate chip cookie! This delayed gratification strengthens our obedience muscle, so we don’t whine and complain when God asks us to do something that we don’t want to do.

 

4. Don’t allow food to be something it’s not.

Ecclesiastes 10:17 “Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time– for strength and not for drunkenness.”

This verse stuck out to me when I was learning about healthy eating.  It gives us three guidelines for the way we relate to food in our lives:

  • Eat at the proper time.  Whether that is three balanced meals, six mini meals, or if you just eat when you are hungry, it’s important to eat at the proper time: when you need fuel.
  • Eat for strength. Eat foods that are beneficial to your body, that will give you the ability to do the things that God wants you to do.
  • Don’t eat for drunkenness.  You might be a little confused by this term, but think back…have you ever eaten so much that you got sleepy? Or felt guilty? Or sick? When we overeat, many of the symptoms we experience are the same as some who drinks themselves into a stupor..

It’s important that we don’t let food become something that it’s not.  It is not a hug, it is not validation, it is not security.  Eat at the proper time, for strength, and not for drunkenness.

 

5. Keep everything in perspective.

 Luke 12:23 “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.”

It’s important to take care of our spiritual health.  But don’t neglect your spiritual health in the process.  We are spirit, soul, and body.  So we need to take care of ourselves in that order.

When we take care of our spirits, when we are seeking the Lord everyday, we are reading His Word, and we are obeying Him, then we are able to take care of the next step: our souls.  When we take care of our souls, we are dealing with negative emotions, we are pursing our passions, then we can take care of our bodies.   Don’t get me wrong, all three are important, and I believe they are all intertwined, let me give a few examples:

  • I go for a run or stream a workout, and I am listening to Christian music or even a sermon podcast.  I’m feeding my spirit while I’m caring for my body.
  • Choosing to eat nutritious food, has a positive effect on my emotions.  I have noticed when I eat junk food, I don’t feel as well and when I don’t feel well I tend to make compromises in other areas, instead of getting up and working, I want to sit and watch TV all day.

When we keep everything in perspective, we are less likely to give in to that donut or skip a workout, because we know that we’re doing it all for the glory of the Lord.

 

Start seeing your body in a different way.

The best way to start to see a results in your weight loss efforts is to realize that your body is ultimately a gift from God!  When you begin to make healthy choices as a way to honor Him, instead of trying to meet an unrealistic expectation, you will find that your motivation lasts longer.

If you struggle with binge eating or emotional eating, can I recommend a free resource?  I created a video series for breaking free from these destructive eating patterns, and you can access it instantly by clicking here.

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