Why we need proper maintenance
God calls many into His service as messengers of His gospel and testimonies of His greatness. The effect of the messenger upon the message is unavoidable, as the voice of humanity reflects the voice of God (when the messenger is in line with the Spirit of God). The spiritual condition of the one God uses is imperative the delivery of God’s word. Thus, the need for proper maintenance of the messenger is key for the successful delivery of the message. Establishing good practices for healthy living is one aspect of keeping God’s image in a messenger’s life. The Bible provides examples of proper maintenance for the physical life of the Christian.
Remember to sleep
Stress is a part of the ministry, and proper stress management is necessary to maintain the condition of the messenger. Jesus demonstrates proper stress management as he sleeps amid a storm (Matthew 8:23-27). Jesus sleeps untroubled by the anxieties of the storm, and in the Old Testament this type of sleep produces evidence of trusting in God’s protection. Sleep leads to rest, which leads to an experience of sabbath in Christ. Sleep exists as a biblical example to manage stress, as we trust God during stressful situations. Sleep at times does not come easy for the stressed mind of the messenger thus, providing a need for exercise.
Remember to exercise
Exercise provides the body with an amount of exertion that prepares the mind and the body for sleep. Paul, in 1 Timothy 4:8, makes a comparison between physical and spiritual disciplines. He admits to a place for the physical maintenance but sets the limit on its exercise. Bodily exercise had little profit for Paul, a man who walked everywhere he went. Thus, giving rise to the question: How much do we profit from physical activity? The answer lies in our lifestyle, which usually consists of sitting in a chair at a desk, sitting in a car as we go from point ‘A’ to point ‘B.’ The answer is that we profit from exercise more than the apostle Paul.
Relax, it’s all about balance
Exercise brings our mind and body into balance, and then we can focus on our spiritual balance.
So many times, spiritual people only look at the condition of their spiritual life, neglecting the examination of their entire being. They neglect to realize that they consist of mind (mental), body (physical), soul (emotional), and spirit (spiritual). Anytime one of those facets is out of balance or sick, then the entirety of one’s being is out of balance. Thus, the need for the physical activities of exercise, sleep, and relaxation (Hebrews 4:9); to maintain the physical person is just as critical as keeping the spiritual person because it is all connected, each affecting the other in the system of the human body.
Furthermore, the disciplines are activities of mind and body that bring the totality of our being into practical cooperation with God’s divine order.
The Messenger is the Medium
A few years ago, I started to apply a direct focus on my physical being in connection with my spiritual person. I began to exercise daily, and I began to see immediate results in my attitude and person in conjunction with my already applied spiritual disciplines. The fact remains that every messenger of Christ is a clay jar in need of proper maintenance. Philosopher Marshall McLuhan has many famous quotes, but one stands out from the rest, “The medium is the message.” This quote seems misleading, because I am of the persuasion that the messenger is the medium when we discuss the messenger of Christ.