When we set out to accomplish a goal, we often make one of two errors. We either try to do everything on our own, relying on our own wisdom, strength, and ability. Or, we pray and ask God to help us, but we fail to do our part. I have found that it is only when we actively engage in a partnership with God that the impossible suddenly becomes possible. After all, He never intended us to do anything on our own, so it would be foolish to imagine that we can accomplish anything apart from Him.
1. Partnering with God in Our Journey to Health
One of my favorite depictions of our partnership with God is found in Matthew 14:13-21. In this passage, Jesus sent the disciples on a mission to feed five thousand men, women and children. At the time, the disciples didn’t see the logical way of doing so, as they contemplated feeding the multitude in their own strength and ability. Despite Jesus’ command to feed the people, they resorted to their own human reasoning and were getting ready to send the multitude away to find food for themselves. Jesus saw their lack of faith and told them, “That isn’t necessary. You feed them.” (paraphrased)
The disciples explained that they only had five loaves of bread and two fish, which wouldn’t nearly be enough to feed everyone. Jesus responded by telling them to bring what they had to Him. He then blessed the bread and fish and handed them back to the disciples to distribute to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and there was even some leftover!
This is such a beautiful display of how Jesus can take what we have and multiply our efforts, ability, and provision. We can see that although Jesus could have fed the multitudes single handedly, He involved the disciples, giving them a crucial role to play. It was only when the disciples gave Jesus what they had in their hands that He was able to bless and multiply it. Likewise, the disciples had an active role in distributing the food to the people.
This is such a powerful display of the partnership that we have with the Lord. Just like all partnerships, there is a part for each of us to play. Our part is done by inviting God to walk with us in our journey. By giving Him what we have in our hands, we trust Him to help us in our areas of weakness.
Inviting God into our situation can be done through prayer, spending time with Him, listening to and obeying Him, and continually seeking His wisdom every step of the way.As we seek God for guidance, I believe that it pleases him greatly. He always responds by sending help from the Holy Spirit, who is our guide, counselor, and friend.
This specifically applies to living a healthy lifestyle, as it requires wisdom from God, but also our obedience and cooperation. For example, we are the ones that must make the choice to buy nutritious groceries, lace up our tennis shoes, and make healthy choices when dining out. As we ask for wisdom in how to care for our bodies, and act on what He is leading us to do, He is able to bless and multiply our efforts!
2. Partnering with Others in Our Journey to Health
In addition to partnering with God, it can be incredibly valuable to partner with others in our journey to health. Just as we were never meant to do anything apart from God, I also believe that He never intended us to be isolated and achieve every goal on our own.
Having a support system in place is especially helpful on the days when we feel that we are lacking motivation or when we are tempted to quit. I personally found this to be true when my sister and I started working out together. There were days when I didn’t feel like going to the gym, but knowing that my sister was meeting me gave me the accountability I needed to stay committed.
When we join with others, we are able to share our struggles, gain practical advice, and encourage one another. Whether we find support from a family member, friend, or from a support group, there is strength in numbers!
Here are Three Ways the Bible talks about the Power in Uniting with Others:
1. Defense & Strength: Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves”
2. Encouragement: Ecclesiastes 4:10 “If one falls down, his friend can help him up.”
3. Support: Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.
We all get one life, one soul, and one body, each being a gift from our Heavenly Father, and He has given us the choice how we will care for them. The good news is, He loves you, He is for you, and He has already prepared a way for you! God is asking you to take the next step with Him, are you ready to embark on the journey with His guidance and the support of others? If so, join us in our next round of Stronger Together, starting September 16th, and open now for registration!