Jonathan's Perspective  

Oct 4

'The Necessity of Heath'

'If you don't have your health...'  How many times have we been reminded that the most fundamental aspect of a happy, product life is health?  We can't do our best at work, enjoy hobbies, and appreciate relationships without good health. Good physical health is also the basis of good mental health.  Physical pain and distress take a toll on our emotional outlook and compromises our ability to engage the world in a healthy manner.  The same is true for our spiritual lives.

What does it take to be healthy spiritually?  Jesus gives us a great metaphor to understand how to attain spiritual health:

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers... (John 15:5-6)

We will only experience spiritual vitality if we live in Jesus and Jesus in us.  Just like a branch is dependent on the vine to give it nutrients and water through the phloem and xylem, so too are we dependent on Jesus to press into us the life-giving Holy Spirit.  Without that vital connection we wither inside and become extraordinarily unhealthy when we follow other pursuits to fill us.  Other pursuits can never give us what we need for spiritual flourishing since they do not connect us with our Creator and Sustainer like Jesus does. 

When we live in Jesus we are able to bear the wonderful fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23).  When God forms these holy qualities in us, we begin to look more and more like Jesus.  The result is that we are able to have peace within, be a blessing to others, and bring health to our community.  But it all starts with our personal connection to Jesus.  We have to hold on to him for dear life, for it is our lives that are at stake! 

Jesus makes an amazing statement late in the chapter:

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:7-8)

Jesus invites us to talk with him and make bold requests.  He promises that he will respond in powerful ways to our requests when we ask for the things that will bring God glory, bear the fruit of the Spirit, and demonstrate what it means to be in Christian community.  Not only does Jesus promise to give us what we need for good health, but to work closely with us as we seek a truly abundant life in him.

How is your spiritual health these days?  Are you staying connected to the source of life through scripture, prayer, and meditation?  Are you allowing Jesus to press the Holy Spirit into every aspect of your life?  I encourage you to take time to assess your spiritual health. Once you have humbly examined your life, boldly ask for Jesus to give you what you need to be more fruitful.  Remain in Jesus and Jesus will remain in you.  Delight in Jesus, and you will find Jesus' joy living in you.

Blessed to be a blessing,

Jonathan

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