Detox –  Spirit Detox 

Introduction:

In 1 Corinthians 6:9 we have the well-known statement that says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?  Frequently, when this statement comes up, its in the context of a discussion about diet and exercise. But it is so much more than that. The Spirit within us is more than a teacher who gives us an assignment and then steps out of the room, leaving us to learn the lessons and finish the assignment. How effective our spirit is depends on whether we experience the presence of God and interact with the spirit as a moving, dynamic life changing entity. It is much like breathing: first, we need to spiritually exhale, to empty ourselves of the toxins that are hampering the Spirit in our lives. At the same time we must inhale those things that will strengthen the Spirit in our lives. 

Bottom-line: Starve it, Feed it.

Something To Talk About:

In order to Detox, there are things we need to starve out of our spirit and three things we need to feed the spirit:

  1. Starve it: Improper view of God: You view God as a cold, harsh, distant taskmaster rather than an approachable, loving Father. When we base our relationship with God on our ability to perform spiritual duties, we deny the power of grace. God does not love us because we pray, read our Bibles, attend church or witness, yet millions of Christians think God is mad if they don’t perform these and other duties perfectly. As a result they struggle to find true intimacy with Jesus.  
  2. Starve It: Works mentality: People often talk about how being “a good Christian” (going to church, reading the bible, tithing, trying to “be “good” and “doing good things”) is what Christianity is all about. And there is nothing wrong with those things. We don’t need to rely on our good works, however,  because “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. So it doesn’t matter how well we perform in life’s endeavors.
  3. Starve it: Prideful thinking: Sometimes by thinking that our righteousness is special, we can become self-righteous. Self-righteousness is wrong and worse, it is a display of spiritual ignorance. Paul addresses the problem of religious self-righteousness in Romans 10: 2-4 says, “ For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Finally, Solomon tell us in Proverbs 16:2-3, “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” 
  4. Starve it: Sin: We will sin. We will miss the mark. In order to see the power of the Spirit of God begin to give us the power over sin, we must desire what God desires. The Psalmist said in Psalm 57:7, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” That means we give our undivided attention to God by changing our aim to reflect what God wants for us in our lives. 
  5. Starve it: Trust In Traditions and Formulas: Instead of promoting Christ, Christians often promote their values, their traditions, their spiritual practices, their required form of communion, their style of sermon, their denomination, their brand of worship, their favorite leadership model, their laws, rules, and and regulations. Why do we as Christians seem to talk about almost everything related to God without actually talking about our relationship with God? Amid a world with unlimited spiritual choices, Jesus is distinctly unique! By being like  Jesus, rather than religious traditions and practices, we will live the life that God intends us to live. 
  6. Feed It. God’s Word: The Bible says in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Paul is telling us to let the Bible take up residence in our lives in a rich, profound, and life-giving way. Read the Bible.  Think about and chew on God’s Word. And apply it to your life.
  7. Feed it: Worship: Some props for our worship leaders. They are entrusted with the task of standing before our people weekly and leading us into the very presence of God. Their role is to point people to Jesus, and they work tirelessly to do that. We need to worship, to praise God, to fill our spirit with the worship of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures are also filled with admonitions to worship, very often including song. “Praise God in his sanctuary.” (Psalm 150:1). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16) Feed your spirit through worship.
  8. Feed it: Prayer: We will embark on 21 Days on Prayer starting on Sunday, January 10. We hope you will participate in this extended time of prayer, fasting and personal devotion that is running concurrent with the Detox series. We believe as a church that there is no better way to reset our spiritual compass and bring about refreshing in every area of our lives than through prayer and fasting. Our hope is that this time of prayer and fasting will refresh us personally but also our church as we seek His blessing and direction. We pray that you will experience the presence and power of God in an extraordinary way as you commit yourself to Him over the 21 days. Ask the Holy Spirit to clarify His leading and objectives for 2016. This will enable you to pray more specifically and strategically. Think about the top two or three most pressing issues on your heart and zone in on those with God. Fast and pray for us as a church as we seek to do His will in 2016.

Questions:

  1. What do you consider a toxic habit, activity or indulgence?
  2. Where do you see your spirit getting in the way of God’s plan for you?
  3. Many people view Christianity and religion as “indistinguishable” from one another. What distinguishes Christianity from religion?
  4. Proverbs 3:5 says to “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Discuss how we can consistently apply this verse in our everyday lives.
  5. This week, we were called to starve our spirit of an improper view of God, a works mentality, prideful thinking sin and trusting in traditions and formulas.  What steps will you need to take to make that happen in your life?
  6. This week, we were called to feed our spirit in God’s word, worship and in prayer. What steps will you need to take to make that happen in your life?

Take One Thing Home with You

In the first week of the Detox series, we talked  about the toxins that can affect the spirit. The danger of these toxins is that they have the potential to develop a religious spirit: a religious spirit is a man-made effort that utilizes works to please God. It is very easy to mistake being religious for having a relationship with God. Religion is a man-made attempt to reach God. However, Christianity is supposed to involve having a genuine relationship with God. 2 Corinthians 13:14 tells us this:”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  Unfortunately, it is very easy to unwittingly replace this precious relationship with a religious lifestyle or attitude.