“Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.”

// Mark 7:18-19

How do we, in a city seemingly obsessed with materialism and image, honor and worship our God with our bodies?

Religion says things from outside of us defile us. Jesus, however, says that it is what comes from within our hearts that defiles us.  

So what are we to do? Eat, drink, and indulge in what ever we want? Simply put: yes, with a big IF…

IF something is more important to us than Jesus, before we even put that piece of food in our mouth, so to speak, it has already defiled us. It defiled us because it already lives in our heart. We want that thing so much that we won’t be happy or satisfied until we get it. A quick test of whether something is more important to us than Jesus is how we treat others in order to get it.

The issue comes back to worship. What we worship in our heart will manifest as worship in and through our bodies. Our bodies struggle to worship God when the love of such things lives inside of our hearts.

As for some of us, we’re trapped in a religious mindset, believing that things outside of us can defile us, even though we are told we’re free to enjoy this life.

As for others, God is setting you free from destroying your life because you are enjoying the things of this world too much. There is too much of this world that lives in your heart.  

It’s good news. The grace of God can set us free from both religion and worldliness, so that our bodies can once again worship God. If you are bound up in religion, God wants to set you free to enjoy His created world in the way He intended. If you are bound up in the things of this world like addiction, sexual immorality, unhealthy eating, drinking, shopping, social media or whatever it may be, just lay it down, surrender it to the Lord, and ask Him to put that idol in its rightful place.

When Jesus is the most important thing in our hearts, nothing in this world can defile us. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. May this summer of worship be a time when our whole lives are re-orientated to putting Jesus at the center.  

Eat well, enjoy friends, work hard, rest, exercise, and enjoy life for the glory of God – not the glory of self.

// Josh Kelsey