(Part I was sent 12.30.06 and is posted at the website.)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:1-2 NKJV.
In order to improve our physical health, we not only need to eliminate those foods which our bad for us, but we also need to eat foods that are good for us. Some of those foods are called antioxidants and the benefits of antioxidants are well known. To change your physical health for the better, you need to stop the bad foods like Trans fats, and add in the good foods that contain antioxidants like fruits and vegetables.
Spiritually, it is much the same, we need to stop pouring the grains of sin into our lives; but at the same time we need to add in the spiritual antioxidants that will protect us from the damaging attacks of the world, the flesh, and the devil. There are three spiritual antioxidants that need to be added, to be a part of the life of every Christian if they want their spiritual life to be changed and improved. What are they? They are not a super-secret and like vegetables and fruits for the body, the spiritual antioxidants are available at very little cost and in great quantity. The spiritual antioxidants are Prayer, the Word of God, and the Church.
This is nothing new, and yet only a small minority of those professing to be Christians actually takes advantage of all three of these spiritual antioxidants. Let’s examine each of these spiritual antioxidants that have the potential of dramatically improving your spiritual life.
First, consider prayer, the Bible says about prayer in 1 John 15:14-15, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Samuel Chadwick was a great man of God who preached in England beginning at the age of 21 during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chadwick most famous quote is that, “The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, and prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray.” William Carey, missionary to India, said, “Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.” How can you talk to the living God without His having an effect upon your life? Prayer will change, transform and improve your life.
Second, is the spiritual antioxidant of the Word of God. Jesus says in Matthew 4:4 quoting the Old Testament, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” In Ephesians 6:17b we read, “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” And in Hebrews 4:12 we are told, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Allow the Holy Spirit to use His sword, the Word of God. Read the Word, study the Word, memorize the Word, meditate upon the Word and your life will be changed, improved, and transformed.
The third spiritual antioxidant I want us to consider is the church. Make no mistake about the importance of the church. Christ loved the church. Christ died for the church. That should put the church in the proper perspective for you. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we are told very plainly, very bluntly, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” If you want to see your life changed, improved, and transformed, make a commitment to attend every service of the church regularly and faithfully. I made that commitment decades ago and I have never regretted it. I have never regretted the time that I have spent in church. No, the only thing that I regret is the years that I was not attending church regularly and faithfully. Dwight L. Moody that great evangelist of the 19th Century once said, “Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood to a sick man.” Change your life, improve your life, and transform your life by attending church regularly and faithfully.
God has given us the spiritual antioxidants that we need to improve our lives. We cannot be living sacrifices to God unless we take advantage of the spiritual antioxidants of Prayer, Bible, and Church. Transform your life; improve your life by no longer being conformed to the pattern of this world. Instead, have a regular intake of Prayer, Bible and Church. It will change your life forever.
(To change your life spiritually requires that you turn away from sin but also the addition of three spiritual disciplines.)