By Cody Bobay, Fitness Evangelist

PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Many refuse to admit that there is a dismissive and even cavalier spirit of gluttony that is pervasive throughout the Christian community. As a result the church is more greatly exposed to everything that raises itself above God. The church is not just “at risk” it has already been thoroughly invaded by corrupt attitudes, uncontrolled passions, blindness to compromise and theological disease. The damage is done – the church is suffering from physical and spiritual morbid-obesity and as a result people are physically dying.
It’s not enough to recognize the sin of obesity in the church. At the very least that does nothing more than lead to regret. At best, it leads to temporary repentance. This is a call – a call to YOU, to stand firm. Be resolute in your convictions. Refuse to turn a blind eye. Be compassionately bold to speak the truth. Take action and live with integrity.
CONTACT US and let us know that you want to be part of the solution! We are ready to help you make a difference. Look below for an easy 4-step solution you can initiate in your community.

God’s heart for His creation – humanity, is found throughout the Bible. The whole purpose of God sending His Son Jesus to this earth, to live a life without sin, and to die a brutal death on the cross was to make it possible for people to have eternal life with God. That eternal life starts now – not the day you die. He has an unconditional love for all of us, and He wants the best for our lives. This is why the obesity epidemic should be such a major concern in every church in America. There is an attack today on much of humanity and particularly Christians. Satan, the enemy, is winning. Christians, the church, need to take a stand.
THE ATTACK

A 2006 Purdue University study found that the fundamental Christians are by far the heaviest of all religious groups led by the Baptists with a 30% obesity rate compared with Jews at 1%, Buddhists and Hindus at 0.7%. This study prompted the lead researcher, Ken Ferraro to say, “America is becoming a nation of gluttony and obesity and churches are a feeding ground for this problem.
I served this great country for six years in the United States Navy where I flew as an aircrew man in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. I was honorably discharged in 2009 because I felt God calling me to inspire people to change their minds about healthy living and make true lasting changes. The most important thing I learned while serving in the military is the importance of respecting your enemy. By respecting your enemy I mean, “to be on guard”. We have lost respect for the enemy in the church today. The Bible not only shows that we war against Satan and his demons but we fight, in my opinion, a scarier enemy - ourselves.
The Bible paints a clear picture of this:
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions”.
Many Christians have a vision of the foreign mission field (doing Christian outreach and service in another country) to be a place where one is in potential danger as he or she valiantly fights for God. Service and spiritual battles of this nature certainly often have tremendous dangers. They aren’t easy. Yet the spiritual battle waged within us is even more dangerous and risky.
My workout partner, friend and the Youth Fitness Evangelist for Bobay Fitness, Abraham Wright, is a former NFL athlete. I love hearing the stories he shares with me about how exiting it was to play a Monday night game, with millions of people watching. He talks about the thrill and excitement of those games, and how those were the easy times. The hard work, the true battle for him, as one of the top athletes in the world, wasn’t what people saw in public. It was when the spotlight of God was on him - when he battles all by himself.
In many ways it is a life and death battle. I’ve concluded that what Abraham says is true for all of us. It’s easy to look “put-together” when people are watching us. The battle wages when no one else is around. These are the times in our lives when you - the Church are under attack. We have lost the fear of ourselves that Paul describes in the Bible:


“Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only with the enthusiasm you would show in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling with self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ.”
We need this fear back in our lives…we need the healthy fear of ourselves. You may think that “worship” is only a spiritual activity. But, you need to soberly consider that without your body you can’t worship God. When you come to that awareness then it is no wonder that there is such an attack on our health. Spiritual fitness is ushered into daily life through physical fitness.
YOU LOVE THAT FOOD – BUT WHO DO YOU LOVE?

You may not want to accept what I’ve said about our bodies, but it’s true. Look at the first and great commandment by Jesus:
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.”
That strength is physical strength. That physical strength does not come by some magical exception that God grants to you from his natural laws. That strength comes as you minister to your body good nutrition, rest and physical exercise – period!
Don’t think for a moment that the demonic army doesn’t know this love relationship you have with God is what God desires most in your life. The enemy wants you to focus on everything else in your life besides loving God. Satan knows that when you take the time to focus on God you will be living in God’s perfect will for your life. So, with technology and a fast-paced society the enemy is trying to kill you with a busy life.
Let’s break this down further. While humans have three distinct parts spirit, soul and body take a moment to just focus on your physical body. What if God took your blood pressure right now, would your heart be a pleasing sacrifice to Him? Did you know according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention heart disease is the leading cause of death in America? Satan isn’t stupid, He knows to hurt God’s heart he has to destroy yours. What about your brain? Everything you eat may not go to your hips, but it definitely goes to your brain. Are you taking good care of your brain by exercising and eating healthy? What about your strength? Do you have the endurance to go to Mexico on a mission trip to build a house and share the love of Christ with others in the summer heat?
I know these questions you may not have considered but they need to be addressed. If Satan and his army can destroy your health then he has crippled the hands and feet of Jesus – the church. He can slow the advancement of the Christian message to this hurting world. Christianity is about loving God and serving others, and we need healthy bodies to do this.
At the current pace nearly one-half of the American population will be obese by 2030 according to a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The church unfortunately too often is leading the way in fatness and fitness. The researchers estimate that this will result in an additional $66 billion dollars in health care expenditures, 7.8 million new cases of diabetes, 6.8 million new cases of stroke and heart disease, and 539,000 new cancer diagnoses.
THE SOLUTION

To reverse this obesity epidemic in America, it really is going to take the power of Christ in all of our lives. We can’t assume that we can do it on our own. In fact for all the good in the church, we can’t do any good without God’s strength. It is crucial that we learn His ways and lean on His strength to fight against this growing epidemic. Living a fit life with our body, soul and spirit should never be an occasional activity – It should be a lifestyle. It is essential if the church is to be able to love and serve others with the healthiest body possible. Consider how much more you can give to others now by having the healthiest version of you. There are many ways to express wellness in the church. It’s time for the church to take this challenge to heart. It is a challenge to live a life of self-sacrifice – a life of service to others. Make the decision to love Him wholly.
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you and develops well-formed maturity in you.”
THE 4-STEP SOLUTION: NOW IT IS YOUR TURN
1. RECORD YOUR THOUGHTS. What does this message mean to you? How is God speaking to you? 2. PRAY. Reading and being inspired is just the beginning. You need to hear clearly from God how you are to respond. Do some serious soul searching and listening. 3. CONTACT US. The Faith & Fitness Magazine team is ready to help you with ideas, guidance, resources and support. We’re your tool for powerful, healthy and passionate living. Contact us now. 4. PUT THE PLAN INTO ACTION. Move forward boldly. Anticipate obstacles and resistance. Get others to join you and start a movement.

Cody Bobay, NASM CPT, PES, CPT is the founder and CEO of Bobay Fitness and the author of Lose 40lbs In 1 Day and the accompanying 6-week small group DVD. Cody and his team are on a mission to inspire the Church to fight against the obesity epidemic in America one day at a time. Contact him to schedule him to speak.

Share This Article

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Digg icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon

Facebook comments