by Kevin Burton
When King David prayed “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10) he wasn’t talking about cholesterol.
David was in trouble and he knew it. He never ignored his physical health, but in this moment of repentant prayer after being confronted with his sin with Bathsheba, he called God’s attention to his spiritual health, the spiritual condition of his heart.
On Page 7, we have arrived today in class at the Earthly School for the Spiritually Blind (ESSB).
As a child I benefited greatly from my years at the school for the blind in Ohio. I now recognize even more of a need of instruction for my spiritual blindness.
The default setting for man in his fallen condition is spiritual blindness. That’s why I invented this school.
I am not your teacher for this series of Sunday classes, I am your fellow student. There is one Teacher. I pray He will enlighten us all.
Today we are in a first-period health class. Because this is ESSB, we’re talking spiritual health. Are you ready?
Ever see a heart-shaped picture on a can of soup? The seller is telling you the product is good for you, “heart healthy.” It means they have backed off somewhat from the ridiculous amount of salt they put in their regular soup.
Maybe it would help to have a heart on the side of our Bibles. The word of God is the spiritual food that helps us maintain a healthy heart. Just as with the soup though, you have to open the container and consume the product to get the health benefit.
What would your body look like if you never took in any nutrients? How long would that plan last?
What would your body look like if you took in nutrients once a week on a Sunday morning from 11 a.m. to noon, and nothing the rest of the week? Not much better huh?
If you are not in the Bible on a regular basis you are starving your spirit.
Here are Jesus’ words from Matthew 4:4 (NASB): “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.”
Psalm 119:11 reads in the NKJV “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
Here is King Solomon, in Proverbs 4:20-23 (NASB): “My son, pay attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. They are not to escape from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
On www.bibletrack.org, Wayne D. Turner speaks of spiritual health in terms of “spiritual hygiene.”
He starts with Bible reading and also includes prayer, fellowship with other believers and sharing your faith.
Spiritual hygiene is a great concept because it reinforces the fact that you need to do it on a daily basis. It also points out that if you stop doing it, it’s going to show and it’s not going to be pretty.
Your morning routine of bathing, tooth brushing etc. gets you ready to face the day. How much more do we need that daily spiritual preparation? Whole armor of God anyone?
We’ve talked a lot about Bible reading. Here is some scripture behind Turner’s other elements of spiritual hygiene:
For prayer, 1 Thes. 5:17 “pray without ceasing.”
For fellowship, Col. 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
For sharing faith, 2 Cor. 5: 20 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
Thanks for attending! Here are some takeaways for our spiritual health class:
Class notes, first period, health: Spiritual health must be guarded and maintained just as we do with physical health. God feeds your spirit when you read his word and pray. Fellowship with other believers and witnessing to the unsaved are also part of what Wayne D. Turner calls “spiritual hygiene.”
One for the spiritual road: What will you feed your spirit this week?