Being a healthy person means one is fit and is free from infirmity or disease and is not experiencing any form of abnormality. It is good to be healthy and we need to aim at living a healthy life because when we are healthy we are more energetic, we are happier, we think more clearly, we enjoy our sleep, we enjoy relationships, we are productive and we have a high chance to live to a good old age. They say that when you are healthy, you rarely fall sick, and when you are attacked by virus, your body is in a better position to deal with it. And in an accident or where your flesh experiences a tear, you get healed quicker - your body repairs itself quicker.
We need to do our best to stay healthy physically, mentally and spiritually. My emphasis today though is on the need to have a healthy spiritual life and I like to take you on a Bible study as I share with you some four principles from 1 Corinthians 16:13 that can help you achieve a healthy living and spiritual victory.
1 Corinthians 16:13, (King James Version) says, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. The four principles are: 1. Watch ye 2. Stand fast in faith 3. Quit you like men 4. Be strong Watch Ye This is one of the fundamental principles for spiritual victory that every Christian must be familiar with. To be watchful means to be a Christian who is on alert and who is not sleepy. Sleepy Christians are:
Christians who are no longer passionate about the things of God like they were before. They used to have an intense love for God and could do anything for him, but that love is now gone cold.
They take spiritual matters lightly. They don’t think it is important to fast any more, they can skip believers’ gathering and it wont bother them at all, they may not study the word or pray for days and still feel okay about it. Sleepy Christians take the things of God lightly.
They are people who can spend most of their time with unbelievers, they enjoy the gists, the gossip and the laugh but they don’t talk to them about Jesus and are comfortable with it.
They are more interested in themselves than in the things of God. They are materialistic and carnal, thinking more about what God can do for them, how blessed and successful they can become in this life more than the need to make God great and known in their sphere of influence.
They easily can compromise and sacrifice their standing with God for worldly gain. They can accept any offer even at the expense of their calling and relationship with God.
They are struggling with bad habits, habits that they were once on top of. When you become a sleepy Christian, you loose your fire and what you have conquered before, the bad habits, start to resurface in your life. They make excuses for their sinful behaviour and other failings. They say 'God knows I am doing my best'.
A believer who is not watchful will be easily overtaken by satan. You must be watchful to maintain what you have with God. Being watchful also means you are aware of what to do and continue to do the right things to stay spiritually sound, vibrant, on alert, and ready for the coming of our King and Lord, Jesus Christ. Being on alert means you are also aware of the devil’s scheme to overthrow our faith and you are not taking anything for granted. Romans 13:11-12 says “And that, knowing the time, that now it is time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light”.
Stand Fast In The Faith We can explain this principle of stand fast in the faith in two dimensions. First, this principle is dealing with the need for a believer to firmly hold unto the word and the promises of God spoken into his life and not to be moved, irrespective of the circumstance or challenge he finds himself in. You must stand your ground, keep believing and never look back no matter what.
Hebrews 10:38-39, Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
The second thing about the principle of standing fast in the faith is the need for a believer to learn to line up his behaviour and lifestyle with his faith in God no matter where he is or the pressure that is put on him. I think this is what the phrase 'stand fast in the faith' is more about. You see, Christianity is also called the Faith. It is called the Faith because Christianity is meant to be a way of behaviour. To stand fast in the faith is more than just having faith to be blessed, is more than having faith to be healed, is more than having faith for a miracle or having faith to live in prosperity and it is more than just the belief in God.
The Christian faith is about a lifestyle that shows our conviction in the existence of God, and that demonstrates our fear of God. To stand fast in the faith therefore means to line up our behaviour with the word of God irrespective of our circumstance or the challenges we face in life. The Bible says in Colossians 2:6-7, As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. We need to be rooted and established in the faith otherwise, we are not going to mature in the things of God, we are not going be productive in the things of God, we will be weak and easily discouraged. The fact that we come to church, the fact that we do one or two things in church does not necessarily mean that we are in the faith. We are only in the faith if our lifestyle shows the fear of God or corresponds with the word of God.
2 Corinthians 13:5 says, Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobate. A man is reprobate if the fire of Holy Spirit in him is quenched. You know that the fire of the Holy Spirit in a man is quenched if he indulges in ungodly behaviour and he makes excuses for his behaviour. To him it is nothing serious, and he thinks God understands. It can be a challenge to live the lifestyle of a believer in some environment and there are many things and people out there seeking to overthrow our faith. The devil will use all means to bring your downfall. But the onus is on you to stand your ground and not let him, no matter the pressure. I say stand fast in the faith.
Quit You Like Men This is a call to live the divine life and not like ordinary men. It is a call to live in the new creation. As a born-again believer, you are made partaker of the divine nature and God desires that you manifest it.
2 Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
By being a partaker of divine nature, it means you are to live the God kind of life. It is the God kind of life that separates us from ordinary men, the natural man. It is the God kind of life that separates us from this world's corruption. In other words, we will continue to be subject to the god of this world, in sin and curses in all it ramifications, as long as we live like ordinary men. We are superior to the limitations that exist in the world only as we manifest the life of God that is in us. This is what the Bible meant in 2 Corinthians 2:14, But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
To live the divine life, we must first reckon our body as dead to sin and redeemed from curses. We must stop seeing things the way the world sees them and start to see things from the perspective of the word. If the world sees impossibility, we must see possibility. We must walk with the Holy spirit. In ignorance of the operations and the leading of the Spirit, you operate in the flesh, you are weak, vulnerable, and likely to make a mess of everything. You cannot function in the divine nature by not knowing the leading of the Holy Spirit. We must stop talking what we see, hear or feel in the physical. We must accept what the word of God says as being final, start to confess it into our lives and our situations.
The Bible says we are to be imitators of God. One of the ways to imitate God is in our ability to call those things that be not as though they were. I like you to speak these out loud and believe they are so:
I am not weak, I am strong
I am not lacking in anything good, I walk in abundance
I am not walking in fear; I am righteous and bold as a lion
I am not a failure; whatever I put my hands on prospers
There is an open door before me and I am walking in peace with my enemies
I am not what people say, I am who God says I am, I am more than a conqueror, blessed and highly favored
I am not cursed, I am blessed, I am not in defeat, I am an overcomer. I overcome sickness, I overcome diseases, I overcome loneliness, I overcome depression, I overcome the spirit of hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness. I overcome poverty, I overcome every limitation, I overcome satan. I declare, in Christ Jesus, I am an overcomer. Amen!
Be Strong To be strong is first about being full of the knowledge of God. For the Bible says in Daniel 11:32, And such as do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
We all need to keep developing our knowledge of God. To know God more than you do now, you must develop a passion for God. You must love to spend time in prayer and fellowship with him. You must devote time to study the word like never before. Your interest in God and in the things of God must be more than the interest you have in other things of life. Also we can be said to be strong in the Lord when we are at the place where we are established, and no matter what happens, we are not going to turn our back against God. We all need to come to that place where no matter our challenge, no matter the opposition or hardship we face, and no matter what, we are going to be steadfast and maintain our stand in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Thirdly we are strong when we are prayerful. We become spiritually weak when we are not prayerful. When we are spiritually weak, we become insensitive to the Holy Spirit and we walk in disobedience to God. In spiritual weakness, the old man becomes strong and the believer can easily yield to temptation. He can easily become angry, he can lie easily, he is fearful, lacking in confidence and can even indulge in sin and not feel bad about it. To overcome the adversary and enjoy an overcoming life, a believer must be strong in the Lord.
Ephesians 6:10-11, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. How can we overcome the wiles of the devil? By being strong in the Lord! It will be difficult for you to be strong if you have a prayerless life. It will be difficult for you to live in victory if you have a prayerless life. One of the things you will notice with people who take their spirituality serious is their devotion to prayer and to fasting. We need to live a fasted live. Fasting helps us to be focused and concentrate on spiritual matters. If you want to be a serious Christian, you must be able to set aside at least one day a week for fasting and prayer. You must also commit to the study of the word daily.
Acts 20:32, And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Don’t be so busy that you don’t have time for the study of the word. You can never grow or develop yourself spiritually if you do not create time for the word. When we first gave our lives to Christ, we were told that we must commit ourselves to four Christian disciplines for us to grow in our walk with God and for us to be fruitful. The four things we were told to do were:
Commit to prayer daily
Commit to studying the Bible daily
Find a good church, commit there and never stay away from believers’ gathering
Share your faith with others.
You cannot afford to be so busy that you cannot have the time to fast, pray and study your Bible and attend believers fellowship. You cannot afford to stay away from fellowship for one, two, three weeks and feel it is okay. Not for anything and don’t let money be god in your life. You cannot afford to be having a conversation with somebody and it is leading to a discussion about God and you can not seize that chance to share Jesus with him.
You might not know it, but is it possible that that person has got a loved one who is praying for him that God will send a harvester to him, so he can be saved. And possibly you are that harvester sent to him by God. And who knows, you might be the only believing person who will have that kind of privilege to be having that close contact with the person. And maybe if you don’t talk to him about Jesus, nobody would again.
Don’t let anybody end up in hell simply because you failed to tell him about the Lord. Be Strong!