Eddie Morra seems stuck. His life is grey and uninspired, his career is going nowhere and his girlfriend just dumped him. Things look pretty bleak. Then everything changes when he encounters a smart drug that enables him to access the entirety of his brain power. Suddenly life is in colour and full of possibility. Tasks that once seemed impossible become effortless. He is filled with a new zest for life—he wants to learn, he wants to discover, he wants to be and do all he can. The limitations that kept his life small and grey have been abolished.
We all know what it’s like to feel stuck and long for transformation. But unlike man-made quick-fixes that come with negative side-effects, each of us has something far superior available to us. When I first saw the movie, Limitless, I was struck by the similarity between the effects of the fictional smart drug and the supernatural life available to us through the Holy Spirit. When you’re yielded and filled with the Holy Spirit, it truly is like life is suddenly in colour and full of new possibilities.
When you’re yielded and filled with the Holy Spirit, it’s like life is suddenly in colour and full of new possibilities.
Things that once seemed impossible become effortless when we access His resources. Can you imagine what your life could look like if you completely relied on the strength and ability of the Holy Spirit instead of your own reserves? What if you sought His wisdom in determining the best way to nourish your body? How would your exercise habits look if your life was characterized by the self-discipline of the Holy Spirit? How would you be different if your heart overflowed with the joy and confidence that is available to you in the Holy Spirit?
The Daily Process
There are two parts to the Christian life: salvation and sanctification. If you’re not familiar with them, these words simply mean “accepting Jesus as the Lord of your life” and then “cooperating with the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus.” Salvation is a one-time transformative event that radically changes your identity from “lost orphan” to “cherished daughter.” It entitles you to every promise in the Bible: new life, healing, freedom, purpose and more. Sanctification is the daily process through which you work with the Holy Spirit to appropriate those promises into your life through faith.
“Christ also brought you the truth, which is the good news about how you can be saved. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God. The Spirit also makes us sure that we will be given what God has stored up for his people. Then we will be set free, and God will be honored and praised.”
The Holy Spirit takes up residence in us at the moment of salvation, but it is up to us how yielded to Him we are willing to become. There are many roles that Holy Spirit plays in our lives, but for the purposes of walking in freedom in my relationship with food and my body, I like to think of Him as my very own Life Coach and Personal Trainer. Who better than Him? Only He knows exactly what my body, mind and spirit need to thrive and only He can empower me to make the best choices.
Your Life Coach
In Deuteronomy 30:15 (CEV) God says, “Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster.” In verse 19 He goes on to say, “choose life!” It seems so simple, doesn’t? When we know the good choices that will lead to our health and wellness, why do we so often make bad choices? Why do we choose the donut when we know some nuts would be a more satisfying snack? Why do we hit the snooze button one more time when we had planned to get up and exercise before taking the kids to school? The answer is, it’s natural! Your natural instincts are to choose whatever you feel like in the moment without thought to consequences or long-term goals.
Left to our own devices, we will always struggle with
selfishness and destructive choices—only the Holy Spirit
can enable us to choose life.
As small children, our instincts to cry for food and stick as-humanly-close-to-mommy as possible ensure our survival. As we mature into adults, we are capable of more complex thought and are able to think through our actions. We imagine what we would like our lives to look like and we set goals to try to achieve our desires. So often though, we find ourselves right back where we started, making choices that are completely opposed to the goals we’ve set for ourselves. Our instinct is still immediate survival and completely focused on self. Left to our own devices, we will always struggle with selfishness and destructive choices—only the Holy Spirit can enable us to choose life.
“As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life. For your self-life craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder Him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old self-life from dominating you! The Holy Spirit is the only One Who defeats the cravings of your natural life. So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your self-life of the flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.”
Not only does the Holy Spirit fill you with the self-discipline to make good choices for yourself when you don’t feel like it, He actually begins to transform your desires. Your self-life cravings begin to fall away. As I begin to rely more on the Holy Spirit and less on my own good intentions, slowly but surely, I am beginning to see positive changes. My thoughts are more positive and life-affirming. I am more likely to make good choices for myself. I find that self-control does come a little easier. When I feel anxious or stressed I am quicker to run to God for His help and peace than to the freezer for Haagen Dazs. When I mess up I have more grace for myself, and as a result, I have more grace for others too. Gradually my new creation life of the Spirit is winning out.
Your Personal Trainer
Another role of the Holy Spirit is to build spiritual muscle in you. Muscle is built through resistance. Every time you resist a self-life craving, you’re developing your spiritual muscles. Developed spiritual muscle can be recognized by having the fruit of the Spirit active in your life:
“God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.”
Sometimes muscle-building can feel slow and we can become discouraged. But just like you wouldn’t expect to lift some weights one day and have bulging muscles the next, spiritual growth requires diligence day in and day out. Your behaviours may not change right away, but there are big changes happening under the surface. A tree begins as a seedling and has to grow and weather many seasons before it ever bears fruit. If you keep fertilizing and watering your tree, eventually the healthy fruit will appear.
“If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.”
When you feel discouraged, remind yourself that this is a lifelong process and that there is no finish line. Muscle can’t be built without resistance. God redeems and shapes us in real time on the journey. The change that we so desperately long for comes as a result of being there in the thick of it.
“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”
A Limitless Life
Your health journey is not all on your shoulders. Your job is to be obedient and diligent, and then trust God with the results. He is totally invested in your life. He gave His own Son so that you can be free and then He sent His Spirit so that you can live free. He has held nothing back. If you haven’t met Jesus yet, check out my START HERE page and begin your exciting journey. If you are a little way into your journey and are feeling discouraged, or not sure how to move forward, invite the Holy Spirit to have a greater role in your life.
With the Holy Spirit working in you and through you,
your life and your future will truly begin to feel limitless.
Spend time getting to know Him better so that you can recognize His voice when He speaks to you. If you’re not sure where to start, try reading a verse in the bible and then ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to say to you. His voice might convict you, but it will never shame you. His voice will always encourage you and give you hope. Unlike the man-made pill in the movie, there are no downsides to life in the Holy Spirit. As you surrender to Him in a greater way each day you will begin to notice the things that once held you back begin to fall away. With the Holy Spirit working in you and through you, your life and your future will truly begin to feel limitless.
Have you ever thought of the Holy Spirit as your very own life coach and personal trainer? What are some areas of your life that you can invite the Holy Spirit to coach you in? Share with us in the comments below!