Summary: This is a challenge to ministers and preachers to care for their bodies so that they can extend their ministries to God’s glory.
PREACHER, PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY…
Satan has a full bag of tricks that never seems to become empty, no matter how often he pulls a trick from it. One of the oldest tricks is to trick the minister of the Gospel into thinking that he has a body that is indestructable. Satan also, through the power of suggestion, tells the preacher that there are things far more important to the ministry than him just taking care of his body. Preachers are constantly under tremendous pressure, while dealing with the pressures of others. If the preacher’s body is weakened by not having been properly cared for it, his ministry will also be greatly affected. This study is an attempt to call attention to many wonderful men of God who have allowed their bodies to become undisciplined and subject to satanic attack. This is an attempt to impress upon the reader the importance of taking personal inventory while asking the question. “Am I caring for my body as I should?” “Do I see the Spiritual significance of taking care of my body?” “Am I willing to acknowledge that the way that I care for my body may affect my testimony as a minister?”
The body that you have is yours. You only have one, and you can not claim someone else’s. We hear of organ donors, and organ transplants, but no one can take the soul and spirit of a person and redeposit that person into the body of another. If this were possible, Michelangelo would still be painting his Sistine Chapels, Albert Einstein would still be debating his theories of relativity, and Louis Pasteur would still be developing cures for the diseases that plague us. Even D.L. Moody would be evangelizing Chicago or some similar city. Yet because of the original sin curse, we must set aside our mortal bodies after its temporal purpose has been served.
For this reason, as noble as the call of the preacher is, the preacher must make sure that his body is prepared for the rigors of the ministry. He only accomplishes this by his complete adherence to the Word of God. God’s Word has much to tell us about the way the body is to be cared for. The preacher’s body should be cared for while setting an example to those whom he is preaching. If the congregation does not see a practiced discipline by their preacher, they will not be inclined to practice what he preaches.
Practically, the body must be cared for which allows the preacher to have his body as a personal vehicle to transport all that he is to all the people that he speaks to. The preacher’s body must deliver both his spirit and his soul to his congregation. Many great ministers have diligently ministered to the needs of their congregations, while neglecting to minister to their own bodies.
A preacher may preach vehemently against the sins of his people who are partaking of alcohol and smoking their cigarettes, while being guilty of the sin of gluttony. This contributes to the reason that those he preaches to will mutter under their breath, “Who does this preacher think that he is? I cannot control my smoking; he cannot control his fork.”
The Apostle Paul certainly knew the value of caring for and protecting his body. One of the last requests that he made was for a cloak to help him stay warm (2 Timothy 4:13). He also knew the spiritual significance of staying in control of the body lest he “should be a castaway”.
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway”.
It has been my personal observation that enough emphasis is not given to the role that the body plays in the preaching ministry. This study is being given to cause each of us to consider just how important our bodies are to the Gospel ministry. I am aware that the Lord can use those who have been injured or afflicted in their bodies in a most marvelous way. Yet, this does not grant us the right to be undisciplined in the care of our own bodies.
Our bodies require proper nutrition to give us the energy and the strength to properly carry out the rigors of the ministry. The minister will be called upon to spend many waking hours while caring for those he ministers to. He will not always have the luxury of eight hours of sleep, when this happens. To illustrate how this can happen, there have been times that I have worked long hours doing the normal activities relating to the ministry, and when only moments after lying down to be awakened by the ringing of the telephone. Someone cries hysterically, “Preacher, my son was just killed in an automobile accident; please come to the hospital; we need you!” In a situation like this, you must avail yourself to the immediate need. Even though you are unable to properly rest, you must at least make sure that you are eating the proper food that your body needs. If you are not being careful to practice healthy nutrition, it will be much more noticeable when other areas of your body are being taxed.