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How important is my physical strength to God?
Evidently, it’s every bit as important as my heart and soul. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Looking at strength that way adds immense importance to the way we treat our bodies. Simply stated, if we mistreat or harm our bodies in any way, we fail to love God “with all our strength.” For someone like me with a significant weight issue, that hits home hard. For many of us, it’s easy to consider our physical bodies as holding less importance to God than our inner qualities of heart, soul and mind.
We might also ask why the Bible tells us not to count on our own strength, but on His. Because the Lord is strength, and He strengthens those who are weak. The problem comes when we see our bodies as separate from our hearts and souls. If we separate one part from the others, they all suffer. How does that work out in real life?
The Bible is full of examples.
Jude 1:8 puts it this way: “ungodly people pollute their own bodies.” Whatever harmful substances we put into our bodies, such as food, drugs, and alcohol, pollutes them. We can’t serve God with all our strength in a polluted body.
Other times, we choose to go without good things in an effort to honor God, which may have good intent but can have disastrous results if done improperly. Consider the time King Saul denied the Israelite army any refreshment during a full day of successful battle with the Philistines (1 Samuel 14). The king’s son, Prince Jonathan, returned from a secret mission. He had left before his father had placed the ban on eating. When he saw a honeycomb on the ground, he ate some. He felt refreshed and prepared for further battle. As ravished as the soldiers were, they fell on the livestock taken as plunder. They not only broke the king’s command, they also broke God’s law by eating meat without draining the blood first. When Saul then sought God’s blessing to continue the successful attack on the enemy, God was silent.
If Saul hadn’t placed the foolish ban on them in the first place, they could have taken in nourishment earlier and avoided sin.
Conclusion: It is better to put nutrition and nutritional supplements like CBD oil into your body in a timely manner than to risk poor health by not eating, making it difficult to love God with all your strength.
In order to take good care of our physical bodies, it helps to prepare. Proverbs 30:25 gives us an unexpected example on how to plan ahead: “Ants … store up their food in the summer.”
A quartet of young Hebrew men faced an impossible choice when they were transported to Babylon in Daniel 1. Taken into training by the best of Babylonian nobility, they were offered food they knew they shouldn’t eat. Offered the best table available at the time, Daniel asked for a very different diet for himself and his friends: water and vegetables only.
Their supervisor hesitated, fearful they wouldn’t compare well to the other young men in training. However, he agreed to let the Hebrews eat their separate food for ten days. At the end of the trial period, they not only held their own, the four boys outperformed everyone who ate the king’s foods. Their daily diet was permanently changed, and they grew to prominence in the Babylonian Empire.
Their elevated status came as a direct result of their obedience to God in their decision to make good food choices.
Conclusion: It’s best to abstain from unhealthy foods and plan ahead so we have healthy foods, supplements, vitamins, and health boosters like CBD oil on hand and readily available.
Isaiah 58:11 expands on the oft-repeated promise that the Lord is our strength: “[The Lord] will satisfy your needs … you will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
That promise was never more important than during the three-year drought God brought upon Israel when the prophet Elijah prayed. For the first months, the prophet stayed by a brook and a raven brought him meat every evening.
When the brook dried up, God directed Elijah to approach a widow in Zarephath—a town that wasn’t even in Israel, but in Sidon. Elijah asked the widow to share her last portion of flour and oil with him and her son. This must have been tough for her, as she had been planning ot take the last bit of sustenance, bake a small piece of bread, and feed it to her son before they then waited to die. Instead, when this woman shared the meager amount she had with the prophet, God performed a miracle and provided for all of them until the drought came to an end. This is a reference to the importance of the nutrients in oil to our survival, and to the miracles God can do to help sustain us.
Conclusion: We can trust God to provide the food we need in the most difficult of circumstances. Oils are part of that provision.
The Levitical law provided for the needy by commanding farmers to leave portions of their fields uncut for the poor to harvest for themselves. God repeatedly told his people to take care of widows and orphans. Yet during Israel’s exile, God spoke through Ezekiel: “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured” (Ezekiel 34:4). Hebrews 12:12 repeats this Old Testament principle: “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.” The New Testament’s Good Samaritan wasn’t a Jew, but he seemed to know something of the Lord God. He went out of his way to do everything possible for a stranger who was his natural enemy. Included in his provision for healing was oil to bind up the man’s wounds.
Conclusion: God intends for us to love God with our strength, and to give that strength to others through provisions of food, medicinal oils, and the like.
Whether we’re talking about how to avoid the wrong foods, plan our food and nutrition regimen ahead, trust in God’s provision, or take care of others, one thing stands out to me: The triune totality of our heart, soul, and strength, dedicated to God in love and service, is more important than any gifts of things or money.
God wants us, all of us.
He wants our strength, and He has made every provision needed for it. He has given us a variety of ways to fuel and maintain and strengthen our physical bodies. He gave us meat, vegetables, honeys, spices, herbs, vitamins, and oils like CBD oil for our use. Let’s use them wisely to maintain our bodies and also to lift us up in times of illness and hunger. All God asks is that we give our whole selves back to Him, under His control.
Let’s use God’s gifts of nutrition and and all the other wonders of the sustenance He provides to increase our strength, so we may love God more and more and more.
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