An apple a day
|Image Source: Robertina|
For some reason, whenever I return to East London from Pietermaritzburg (or vice versa), I find myself contracting a bit of a cold.
We will shortly be heading back home to East London after a busy year and this got me thinking if there are any sure-fire ways that could prevent me from getting sick in the coming weeks.
My first thought was the old proverb: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
I then thought back to all of the advice I have received over the years about staying healthy: "Take your multi-vitamins daily," "stay warm when it's cold outside," "make sure you dry your hair when you get out the shower," etc...
Unfortunately, I don't have the one right answer and if I'm honest, I don't know that there is one. I think if there was any fool-proof way to prevent sickness, we would all be doing it.
We often seem to have a similar experience in our spiritual journeys and no matter how hard we try to prevent it, at various times of our lives, we find ourselves "spiritually sick."
While there may not be any sure-fire ways to prevent getting sick, there are certain steps that we can take to strengthen our immune systems and make it more difficult for any sort of infection to enter our bodies.
In the same way, I believe that there are certain steps that we can take to strengthen our spiritual immune systems. Our options are plentiful and could include many general practical examples such as prayer, bible study and worship.
However, the apostle Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, presents an effective way that we can strengthen our spiritual immune system and prevent us from becoming spiritually sick.: Putting on the Armour of God.
In Ephesians 6:11-18, Paul tells us that we must daily equip the Armour of God in order to withstand the devil's evil schemes.
I will resist the temptation of preaching a sermon here about exactly what this entails, but if you are serious about strengthening your spiritual immune system and preventing spiritual sickness in your life, do yourself a favour and read Paul's advice to the Ephesians in this passage.
"Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
- Ephesians 6:11-18