God gave me this Word after my husband, Joe, began talking to me at length about his retirement. He said that he wasn't exactly sure when he would retire, only that we should start thinking seriously about it, because it could be within the next few years. Joe mentioned that when the time came, we would have to curtail our spending, and we might even have to move to a more affordable area. As I listened, I could feel the fear and anxiety welling up inside of me.
When I got alone with the Lord later that day with an open Bible, I asked Him for His perspective on the conversation with my husband, and that's when I read, "Refuse to worry and keep your body healthy." (Ecclesiastes 11:10 NLT) As I meditated on this verse, God showed me that it was crucial for me to refuse to become anxious or fearful by putting my wholehearted trust in Him for the future. The Lord reminded me that while He has plans to do us good, and to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11), Satan and his dark forces have plans to do us harm. (John 10:10) When we are living by faith, we hook up with God's good plans for us. And when we live in fear, we risk opening the door to the devil and his evil plans for us. Since worry is rooted in fear, the Lord expects us to resist it with all the power He provides us with through His indwelling Spirit. (2 Timothy 1:7) He also expects us to take Him at His word when He says that He will supply all of our needs, and He will never leave us, nor forsake us. (Philippians 4:19; Hebrews 13:5)
The Lord also expected me to do my part to keep my body healthy by doing my best to eat well, exercise, and get the proper rest. But while these things are all important, they are no substitute for living a life of faith. The Bible says: "Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come." (1 Timothy 4:7-8 NIV) I work out almost every day, but I also spend time with the Lord each morning in prayer and Scripture reading. I have lived long enough to know that those who spend their time and energy focusing on their physical health alone, often die sooner than believers who are more focused on their relationship with the Lord. Because I really want to enjoy my "golden years," I am determined to follow God's instructions for living, and to give Him first place in my life.
Whether or not you are facing retirement soon, I believe that if you will take this Word from the Lord to heart, it will not only extend your life, but it will make your life worth living. So refuse to worry. Protect your health. And live the abundant life that belongs to you in Christ!
Lord, I want to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential, so teach me how to rely on Your Spirit to live without fear, dread, or worry. Help me to keep my body healthy by getting the proper rest and exercise, and practicing good eating and drinking habits. Empower me to live a disciplined lifestyle, and to look to You for all of my needs. Thank You that as I keep my trust in You and Your promises, I will experience life at its very best!
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