Did you know your spiritual immune system needs “feeding” just as much as your physical immune system does? We have the same two choices in the spiritual realm as we do in the physical realm: we can live a constructive or destructive spiritual lifestyle. The way you handle the troubles life brings will depend almost entirely on how well-nourished your spiritual immune system is.
Consider the apostle Paul. What made it possible for him to rebound so consistently when wave after wave of trouble came crashing in upon him? He was “hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed;…perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). His spiritual experience was the equivalent of a person walking through a laboratory of deadly pathogens, viruses, and bacteria with no protection — yet not succumbing to any of them. His spiritual immune system was so strong that, while he experienced the occasional fever, chills, headaches, and sniffles, he was never knocked out of action. His spiritual body was well-fed; his defenses were strong; his resources were well-stocked.
If you are to survive physically in this world, your body’s immune system must be strong. But if you are to survive spiritually, your spiritual immune system must be stronger. Because, as many have proved and are currently demonstrating, your physical health can be taken away in the providence of God without destroying your spiritual health. Many Christians, confined to a bed or wheelchair, continue to exhibit a sweet fragrance and aroma of the Lord Jesus Christ. Their spiritual immune systems gave them victory over things which even their bodies could not withstand.
So how do you keep your spiritual immune system in good shape? Let me begin by drawing five parallels between the physical and spiritual dimensions of our lives — both types of immune systems need the same basic things:
1. Immune systems need food. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are the staples of our physical diet, but the Word of God is the spiritual food we rely on. When the words and will of God become sweeter to you than honey, you will know your spiritual immune system is being fed properly (Psalm 119:103).
2. Immune systems need water. Ninety-two percent of our blood, and nearly 98 percent of our digestive juices, are comprised of water. We are literally surrounded by water, which is a beautiful picture of the way we ought to live spiritually — surrounded by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
3. Immune systems need exercise. The body’s lymphatic system — filled with disease-fighting white blood cells — circulates in the body as a result of physical motion; it is not circulated under pressure like blood is. And spiritual ministry provides the interaction you need with others that continually stimulates you to love and good deeds