I wrote a blog for men recently in which I said men’s bodies were designed with a purpose: to love God and love others. I wrote because despite how natural and normal sexual temptations may feel, it’s essential that we (men and women alike) know that our bodies were designed for love, not for sexual sin.
A few days later, I read a post by a friend of mine, Mark Stephenson, a pastor at Horizon Church in Towson, Maryland. What he posted challenged me to rethink what I wrote.
Like me, he affirmed that our bodies are designed with a purpose and that they are not made for sexual immorality. But then, drawing directly from Paul’s words to the church in Corinth, my friend concluded that our bodies are specifically designed for…
…the Holy Spirit.
“Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13)
I’ve read Paul’s words many times, but this opened my eyes to it in a profoundly new way. Here’s an excerpt from what he wrote:
“Our bodies were perfectly designed to have intimacy with the Lord through the Holy Spirit. Our bodies (not just our spirits or souls) were designed to connect to the Lord.…Our bodies were beautifully designed to connect with God, receive communication from God, feel God’s Presence, sense God’s movement, soak in God’s love, absorb God’s Light.”
Isn’t that beautiful? And it’s so true!
I think I’d always read Paul’s words this way:
Your bodies are not designed for Action A (sexual immorality), but rather they’re designed for Action B (loving and serving the Lord, and doing as the Lord does).
But we can also read Paul’s words this way:
Your bodies are not designed for Union A (sexually immoral oneness with another person), but rather they’re designed for Union B (spiritual oneness with the Lord).
Both readings are correct, and both are important. They are like looking at a diamond from two different angles—two angles, one beautiful diamond. Even so, as I gaze at the diamond from the union angle and consider the foundational reality that our bodies are designed for relationship with God, it adds something that I desperately need, and I think we all do:
First, without it, we will be like people who know a car is designed to drive but who become frustrated because we don’t know a car is designed to run on fuel. It is His love abiding, living, and surging within us from which we love. “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Second, the enemy would have us believe that on a practical level, the physical world and the Holy Spirit of God have nothing to do with each other—that heaven and earth never touch. But Paul declares just the opposite! Knowing that our bodies are specifically designed by God for union with God puts everything in proper perspective.
As we get this, our lives come into focus—Christianity comes into focus—including why we would give our lives for another, the glory of our bodies, the sacredness of male and female, the importance of sexual chastity, what marriage and marital sex represent, why the enemy attacks the body and sex, the reality of the gifts of the Spirit, why we pray for supernatural healing, why our desires are so immense, the beauty of the Eucharist, and so much more.
The fingers of God knit us together tenderly, purposefully. He designed every fiber of our bodies for intimate union with Himself. We are where heaven kisses earth.
We are heaven kissing earth.
Stop for a moment and try to take in the concept that your body was specifically designed by God so that He could intimately connect with you and you with Him. What arises for you when you contemplate this? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below.
You are absolutely right and i fail to realize this every time i’m over taken by sexual desire and i fail by giving in. I’m a married man and at times i fall to my lust and i fail God by not fully obeying that the body is meant to give God glory not to honor man. Keep me in prayer!!
This is significant Josh. Thank you!
My Christian brother, you have just laid out the foundational case for Catholic mysticism, see Saint Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle for the three stages of interior life. Blow. Your. Mind. And also google Italian artist Bernini’s depiction of this, “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa”. 15th/16th century. Love witnessing your spiritual journey thank you for beautifully sharing!
PS: Also check out St. John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul.
Thanks, Sofia. Glad to be on this journey, for sure. Thanks for your reading recommendations. Good stuff!