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A Pledge for Your Body

Have you noticed? There are invitations for each distinct part of you in these recent episodes of “Becoming Whole.”

Our hope is you’ll say yes to the invitations and incorporate all of you into this meaningful season of Lent:  Whether it’s through Confession widening awareness for your heart or Meditation as it transforms your mind.

Now, as you listen, allow your body to move through a prayerful exercise. This is simple yet powerful. 

As you sense your body communicating needs and desires; consider Jesus’ words. Jesus goes first. He gives us the words and so much more. 

Let’s begin. 

Highlights:

“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

Jesus gives us His body, His death and His Resurrected body too.

In the face of our temptations, our unmet longings, our bodily desires, those things we wish we didn’t want but we still want, the attractions or orientations we say no to, the habits we fight; Jesus says “This is my body given for you.”

If you want to learn more, check out Josh’s latest writing on this topic at, Giving Your Body

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

What do you do, when what you desire with your body goes against your commitments to God. You know, you, you’ve said you’re not going to act out sexually, but you feel the surge in your body, the desire, the temptation, or you’re lonely, you’re single. And you you just want someone to embrace you. And you could have a hookup or you could lose yourself to fantasy masturbation. And it just feels like to be faithful to God right now feels like I’m just gonna be left longing and wanting. Or maybe for you, you’re on a business trip, maybe you’re married and you’re, you’re separate from your spouse for some reason. And you want to be faithful but you also just feel the same old tugs and urges. And the same question could apply to things like you know, you want to drink and but you you abused alcohol or you want to eat more than you should because you’re full or, or you you want to pick up your phone, and dissociate and veg and doom scroll. But but you know, that’s not what what you’re made for. What do you do with this reality that all of us live with that we desire things with our body sometimes that either God has said no to, or we know we simply know from scripture, other places, this is not what I’m made for. It is still the season of Lent. I don’t know when you’re listening to this, but I’m recording this during Lent. And I want to share just a prayer exercise that I’ve been doing for the last few years now at least a few years. I don’t always do it. I don’t always remember to do it. But I think it helps to answer some of the questions I started this podcast with. And I want to offer to you as as a as a meditation as a as a direction you can go but hopefully also something that that can enrich your own spiritual life. And the reason I haven’t shared much about it publicly or haven’t taught much about this is frankly, it’s I mean, I guess it feels intimate. And so part of me wants to hold on to it and keep it just between me and the Lord. But I want to share with you, because I think it’s it’s it is intimate. And it is between me and the Lord. But it also can be intimate between you and the Lord. So here it is. It’s it’s pretty simple. Really. Let me take me back up a little bit and take a run at it here. Jesus on the night that he was betrayed. at the Last Supper as he sat down with his 12 closest friends, disciples who have given themselves to him and followed him and really expected to follow him to a culminating, earthly kingdom, not to death and resurrection, but culminate earthly kingdom, they did not know what the death and resurrection of that point. And he said them down for the Passover. And this certainly was not the first Passover meal they had celebrated together, because they’ve been together probably for at least two years. And he broke the matzah. The bread, which is a part of it’s a typical traditional part of the of the Seder than Passover meal. He broke it. And he passed it to his disciples, he said, he said, This is my body, given for you take all of you eat of it. Do this in remembrance of me. And then he then he poured the wine later and said, this is the this is my blood poured out for you. It’s the it’s the it’s the cup of the New Covenant. But I want to focus specifically on the breaking of the bread, passing out and saying, This is my body given for you. This is such a sweet passage to meditate on such as we pass it to memorize, to think about to muse on to imagine, especially as we know that that really what Jesus saying doesn’t culminate in an earthly kingdom. Yet, it will but not yet. It goes from there to his betrayal, his his arrest, is being bound and stripped and beaten, and then ultimately crucified and killed. So when he broke the bread, and so this is my body given for you, he was really saying unto death, I’m giving my body unto death for you. I’m giving this to you. And then of course, he rises from the dead. And so what are the implications of that? If he’s given his body to us? It has gone to death for us. He has he has gone to death for us. Not it because his body is him and he is his body. That’s what it means to have a body. It’s not something separate from us. It is us. He’s given us his body and then his body went to death and then his body rose from the dead and so did he revoke his gift after he wrote in the dead? No, no, he gave us his body and now his body is resurrected from the dead and so just muse on that for Little bit of a new New Thought for me. But what does that mean for us that that Christ’s resurrected body is, has been given to us as gift? So that’s the that’s the run up. That’s the runway. So what’s the what’s the exercise that answers some of the questions or at least gives an answer to the questions I asked at the beginning, when, what do we do when our bodies want one thing that God has said no to when we feel in our bodies, a desire for something that is not good for us, does not align with our design does not align with God’s commands. This is the exercise that I’ve been doing. I place a hand on my body, on my chest, on my forehead, on my arm, on my stomach. And I say to the Lord, this is my body given for you. That’s all it’s a simple prayer. This is my body given for you. I do not initiate that prayer. And this is why I did the run up. I did not initiate that with him. I say this in response to him. He has said, Josh, or whoever you are Paula, Christine, Jason Thomas, this is my body given for you. And he followed it up with suffering, and death on a cross, and then resurrection from the dead. He has said to you, this is my body given for you. And so the prayer, that simple prayer back to him is a response. It’s I mean, you can almost imagine a couple on their wedding day, husband, wife on their, on their wedding day. The one says to the other, this is my body given for you the bride and the bridegroom says this is my body given for you, I pledged myself to you, in sickness and health, for better for worse, richer poor, as long as you both shall live, I give myself to you, I the wet. This is my body given for you. Culminating in the in the marriage bed and in their sexual union. This is my body given for you. And then the spouse, the wife says In response, the bride says In response, this is my body given for you, I am yours. In sickness and in health, for better or worse, rich or poor. As long as you both shall live, I give myself to you, I thee wed. And so God has said Jesus has said to us, this is my body given for you. And in the face of our temptations, or our unmet longings or bodily desires. Those things that we wish we didn’t want. But we still do want those things that seem natural to us in our bodies, but that are not permitted for us. The attractions that we say no to the orientation that we say no to the habits that we’ve that we’ve done for a million years, it seems so innocent in the moment, and like they’re going to give us so much satisfaction. But God has said no to he has said to us, this is my body given for you. And there’s a pause and we say in response. We lay a hand on our body, this is my body given for you. And Christ follow that up with suffering. And we as we resist temptation and feel the ongoing longing in our body, or the ongoing temptation or the desire that does not wane. It’s a battle. But nonetheless, we say, Yes, Lord, and this is my body given for you. I don’t know what else to say about that. I offer that as a, as a as a prayer point for you. I hope it’s meaningful to you in your relationship with the Lord. Of course, you can pray this in moments when you’re not tempted when you’re not longing. You can pray it in moments when you’re feeling healthy and alive and vigorous. And you and you want to just declare worshipfully Lord, my body is yours I give my body to you. Paul writes in First Corinthians six, that our bodies are made not for sexual immorality, they are made for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. And so in a way, what I’m offering here is that we hear the Lord expressed himself, my body is for you. And we say back, my body is for you. So Lord, would you help us to, to keep in mind and to live out increasingly, Lord that our our bodies are not our own anymore? Just like a wife’s body is not her own husband’s body is not his own, but belongs to the to their spouses, their spouse, Lord, you have have wed Yourself to us and we have wet ourselves to you. This is our body Lord given for you. Thank you, Lord.

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