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Summary: Are you spiritually healthy? This message will challenge you to do what it takes to make sure you are.

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Being Spiritually Healthy

The last couple of days I have been struggling with a cold/flu virus. Not unusual for North Dakota in the winter, but miserable nonetheless. The first day of the illness I was running a 100+ degree fever and ached all over. I spent most of the day in bed and the next day I felt a little better. I’m still not 100% but the rest on the first day did wonders to shorten the recovery time.

The same principle applies to the Spirit. Sometimes the winds of life blow and we forget about the things of the Lord. Then our spirit becomes anemic and sickly as we grow farther apart from God. This, of course, only makes the lack of peace and whirl of circumstances in our life even worse.

Let me share a story with you from Mark 4:35-41.

Mark 4:35-41

As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let’s cross to the other side of the lake." [36] He was already in the boat, so they started out, leaving the crowds behind (although other boats followed). [37] But soon a fierce storm arose. High waves began to break into the boat until it was nearly full of water.

[38] Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. Frantically they woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don’t you even care that we are going to drown?"

[39] When he woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Quiet down!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. [40] And he asked them, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?"

[41] And they were filled with awe and said among themselves, "Who is this man, that even the wind and waves obey him?"

One thing to note is that the disciples were seasoned fishermen. They didn’t have a second thought about crossing the lake. They had probably lived through hundreds of storms. Why would they need help? But this particular storm was bad and it probably would’ve destroyed them. They only realized that they needed help when it was almost too late.

After they realized the seriousness of their situation, they decided to turn to Jesus for help. Notice that Jesus was sleeping through all the commotion. He woke up and told the winds and waves to quiet down and then turned to the disciples and said (Sunstrom paraphrase) “What’s the big deal? How come you’re scared of this? Don’t you trust me?”

Now, let’s go back to the sickness idea. Sometimes when we get sick, we don’t take care of ourselves and just keep going. After all, we’ve lived through hundreds of illnesses and this one is no different. Sometimes, things work out just fine. But normally, a small sickness gets bigger and causes enough problems that it eventually shuts our body down and forces us to rest or seek medical attention. Even in the cases where the sickness go away, the recovery time was definitely lengthened by not taking care of ourselves properly. In fact, when I was teaching in the public school, one year I caught a cold in September that plagued me the entire school year. It was because I didn’t stop and rest and take care of myself.

So what does this have to do with anything spiritual? Sometimes we get sick spiritually. We don’t spend time daily in the word and prayer and the supernatural peace that only Jesus can bring departs from our life. Instead of treating the illness by stopping to rest in the presence of the Lord, we just push on like nothing’s wrong. Well, what happens is that things get worse and worse until we end up in a situation similar to what the disciples faced. The winds and waves of life are raging and threaten to destroy us. Now that we are in a time of crisis, we cry out to the Lord Jesus, and he calms our heart and spirit and tells us, “Don’t you trust me? Why are you so afraid? You could have this peace all the time.”

Why follow the cycle of the Israelites in the Old Testament? Cry out to God and be rescued only to forget about Him and turn back to sin only to cry out again when there is a crisis. Why spend your life in constant spiritual sickness and turmoil? This is no way to live. A simple daily regimen of resting in the Lord’s presence, taking in the spiritual nutrients from God’s Word and the peace that comes from prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 gives us a Biblical remedy for a lack of peace in our lives

Philip. 4:6-7

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. [7] If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

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