Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him ( Luke 24:13-16, NIV).
Not long ago, I read this familiar passage of scripture and was captivated by a truth I never really noticed until then. That is part of the beauty of God’s Word–it’s always fresh! I started to wonder when was the last time I (or anyone I know, for that matter), set out on foot for a destination seven miles away?
SAY IT ISN’T SO!
I became so intrigued that I went online and got the distance for locations I drive to nearly every day, places at which I have never arrived by any means other than my car:
My children’s school 4.83 miles
My office 4.30 miles
My church 5.88 miles
It made me painfully aware that I, a staunch advocate of physical activity, and one who is willing to get on a soapbox to preach the benefits of regular exercise, had a pretty short cut-off distance for jumping into my car. Even our church’s annual Walk-A-Thon, an event that serves to kick-off our Health Awareness campaign, is a mere 3.5 miles.
A DIFFERENT CULTURE
Of course, I recognize that the culture of biblical times is vastly different from our 21st century way of living. If these gentlemen had the convenience of an automobile, they would probably have driven to Emmaus and picked up Jesus en route. Nevertheless, we cannot ignore the health crisis confronting us today. Everywhere we look, we see the burden of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and osteoarthritisconditions that are either caused by or exacerbated by excessive body weight and a sedentary lifestyle. This is quite apparent within the church as well.
Sadly, Christians are more obese than any other religious group. From the perspective of our physical health, the body of Christ is indeed in trouble.
MORE THAN ONE WAY TO WALK
There’s another point about these men heading for Emmaus that is worth observing. Not only were they walking with Jesus physically, but also they were walking with Him in the spirit. The essence of walking in the spirit is to be in agreement with the teachings of God and to strive to manifest these truths in our daily living. Yes, it goes without saying that much lifestyle-related diseases plague the church because we aren’t doing enough physical walking; however, I submit that neither are we committed to walking in the spirit. The sad truth is that we are taking many biblical precepts for granted–talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
ITS TIME TO START WALKING
The Word of God tells us that our lives should be highly disciplined, manifesting moderation and sobriety. Believers have a biblical mandate to avoid self-indulgence and resist any temptation to yield to the flesh, including the temptation to overeat or avoid physical activity. Gluttony is a sin. We are governed by the Holy Spirit, whose presence in us is demonstrated by His fruit, the ninth of which is self-control.
Yes, it goes without saying that much lifestyle-related diseases plague the church because we aren’t doing enough physical walking; however, I submit that neither are we committed to walking in the spirit. The sad truth is that we are taking many biblical precepts for granted–talking the talk, but not walking the walk.
AND GET OUT OF TROUBLE!
The Body of Christ is in trouble on two fronts, our spiritual lives and our physical lives. But it doesn’t have to be this way, and it is certainly not God’s desire for us. It’s time to change. It’s time to take a new approach, draw upon the power of the Holy Spirit, and do things fully committed to what thus saith the Lord. I am confident that when we do, we will see the blessings of God abound in our lives: body, mind and spirit.
Start the New Year renewed–body, mind and spirit!
Join Dr. Davis on the Spiritual Secrets to Weight Loss 50-Day Renewal
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