Your physical body craves nourishment. It needs food and water in order to grow strong, and if you fill it full of the wrong things, it won’t function properly.
Your spiritual body operates the same way. If you nourish it with good things, it will grow strong. Fill it full of the wrong things and you’ll suffer the effects of sin and decay.
This isn’t only true for those who believe in the spiritual body, either. It’s an inescapable truth that we are body, mind, and spirit. And like our bodies, our spirits are influenced by the things we allow inside.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
When we engage in the activities related to death and depravity, we deprive the spirit of the things it needs to grow and flourish. But there’s more. We separate ourselves from the life-giving Spirit that God sent to be our helper. By saying “no” to Jesus and the example He set, we choose death and decay instead of life and freedom. We subject ourselves to a present form of hell, or separation from God, even before we leave this earth.
When we double-down on bad choices because things are going badly in our lives, we separate ourselves from God. The Israelites did it, too, and the consequence was 40 years of wandering in the desert.
But Jesus came here to bring heaven to earth. He came to bring life and freedom and forgiveness to those who say “yes” to Him.
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
And when we choose to live the kind of life Jesus calls us to, we find the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control that Jesus promises.
The men of Junto Tribe are moving away from the choices that oppress us and moving toward the freedom and life that Jesus offers. We’re building tribes of men who will bolster and challenge each other on the journey.
Whether you’re new to Christianity or you’ve followed Jesus for years, you need a tribe to do the same for you. Ask God to connect you with other men who can help you strive for life change rather than simply for behavior modification.
The world around us is desperately in need of manhood and its strength and protection. We must accept the responsibility and engage with the people around us to point them from death to life.
Before we can do that, we must feed our own spirits the good things they need. We must choose freedom, and then share it with others.