I am starting to hear from my patients in my medical office that they are going to do things differently or have a new beginning once the New Year rolls around. My patients tell me that they want to change their behavior so that they may be healthier. Many describe to me how they are going to stop smoking cigarettes. Others have stated that they are going to lose weight while still others desire to initiate a new work out or exercise program. I have even had some of my patients tell me they are going to begin a book they have always wanted to read. Since my medical subspecialty is in addiction medicine, I have had several of my patients tell me that they are going to get more serious about their recovery at the beginning of the New Year.
All of these patients have a sincere desire. If they implemented what they are planning at the beginning of the New Year, it would tend to make them healthier and more productive. However, they are talking mainly about the physical realm of life and to a lesser extent the emotional aspect of life totally forgetting the spiritual side of life.
We know, according to I Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” that God places the priority in life on the spiritual aspect of man. There is nothing wrong with us trying to maintain a healthy physical body and a healthy emotional state but our primary focus in life should be on maintaining a healthy spiritual life, or as we call it at Reformers Unanimous – a dynamic relationship with our Savior. Our first desire should be to “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…,” Matthew 6:33. All of us would be healthier and happier if we were to prioritize the spiritual part of our life. A strong, dynamic walk with Jesus will make us healthier in our spirit, soul, and body.
How do we then go about strengthening our spiritual man?
The Bible is clear in instructing us to do certain things on a daily basis. If we find ourselves following these commands on a daily basis, our spiritual man will be built up; and as a result of our spirit flourishing, we will be healthier in our soul and body, as well!
The following are the seven commands found in the Bible that we should do every day:
#1 Search the Scriptures – Acts 17:11, “…and searched the scriptures daily…”
#2 Pray – Psalm 86:3, “Be merciful unto me, O LORD: for I cry unto thee daily.”
#3 Praise God – Psalm 119:164, “Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.”
#4 Die to yourself – I Corinthians 15:31, “…I die daily.”
#5 Take up your cross – Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”
#6 Exhort – Hebrews 3:13, “But exhort one another daily…”
#7 Perform your vows – Psalm 61:8. “So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.”
The Bible tells us in Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments…” We would do well to follow these seven daily commandments. It is then that we will find ourselves “walking in the spirit.”
As many of my medical patients are making decisions to change their behavior to make them healthier from a physical standpoint, so we as Christians should make a decision to fully engage ourselves in following these seven daily commandments. In following these commands we will be healthier spiritually. However, we should not wait for the New Year to begin. We, as children of God, should commit ourselves right now to the will and Word of God.