Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
-2 Corinthians 7:1
When we the last time you got really sick? I mean down-the-dumps, couldn’t-move-from-the-bed sick? Do you remember how that moment felt? Did you wonder if you would ever feel clean or well again?
When sickness ravages our bodies, a virus or bacteria is usually to blame. The foreign organism attacks our body, and our natural immune system sends troops to front lines to fight the battle for our health. If there is an antibiotic or medication available to treat the sickness, the added reinforcements rush in to help turn the tide of the battle for our bodies. Once the virus loses its hold in our system, our immune system will purify the sickness from us through fever, until the sickness is burned away and we are made well once more.
This incredible process by which our bodies operate is similar to our spiritual journey. When we first become believers, the Holy Spirit enters us and regenerates our hearts – causing us to desire the things of God rather than the evil things of the earth we once loved. The power and love of Jesus cleanse us from our sins in a way that leaves us holy and pure in God’s sight. However, the sinful influences of the world and our past lusts and desires still exist, and we fight a battle daily against them. Satan and the dark forces of the world try to convince us to lose hope in our faith as we battle temptations and doubts. If he can do it, the enemy will infect our faith with foreign lies and wage war with our spirit.
In his letter, the apostle Paul tells us that we must use the promises of God in the same way our bodies use our immune system to fight sickness. When we begin to feel the first symptoms of spiritual sickness, we must put the Word of God to work in our lives. When we read and meditate on the promises that God has made in His Word, we remember that the enemy is a liar and that only Jesus is the Way. Like a gulp of medicine, the Word of God enters our system and purifies us from all those whispers of the enemy that seek to draw us away from God.
Have you taken your medicine today? Are you fighting your battles with the power of God?
Questions For Reflection on 2 Corinthians 7:1
#1 In today’s verse, Paul reminds us to use the promises of God to purify us from all the things that contaminate our lives. What are some of the common, everyday doubts, fears, and temptations that plague your spiritual life?
#2 What are some of the “promises” that Paul speaks of? How do those promises remind you of who God is, and who you are in light of what Jesus has done for you? How can you live in power and faith today with those promises?
God, I admit that I often fail to believe that You are who You say You are. Daily I live in a battle between my faith and my sight, fearing that You are not truly there and that I cannot place my hope in You to help guide me on this journey. Bring me back to the promises of Your Word today, and remind me of my relationship to You as a beloved child of the Father. Holy Spirit, take the promises of God and plant them deep in my heart, that I may know and trust You today!
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.