Your Body is a Temple

(The following is a transcript of Steve Carter’s message “Your Body is a Temple,” part II of Game Changers. The video is also available to you here.)

So last weekend, we kicked off Game Changers. And we touched on a passage from Philippians chapter 4, and we discussed how we could fight... for rest... in a world filled with anxiety. And, remember, rest is an acronym where the R stands to rejoice always. We’re gonna be people of joy all the time. And the E, we are gonna earnestly seek, because the Lord is near. And we are gonna be the kind of people who surrender our concerns. We’re constantly praying and giving God our problems and our struggles and believing in His promises that we will prevail. And we are going to think about what is true. What is right. What is pure, what is noble, was is excellent, what is admirable, what is worthy of praise. Because we are the air-traffic controllers of our minds. We decide what lands in our brain, what lands in our heart; and anything that’s not true and good and right and pure and holy and worthy of praise, we send that off.

And I received so many emails from people... in our congregation. People who are watching online at willowcreek.tv. And they just said, “Hey, that was a game changer for me.”

But we challenged you to memorize a passage of Scripture. Did any of you take that challenge? Alright. Alright. Well, we’re gonna give you a chance to recite it, cause I just... it’s your pop quiz. You didn’t know it was coming. Next week, you know it’s gonna come. But I want you to memorize it. And I want you to know it because we need to have Scripture that we can turn to.

Now, for some of you who don’t know—don’t worry, it’s gonna be on the screen. Cause I’m giving you a pass this week. Alright, so here’s the verse. Philippians 4:6, which simply says, repeat all together:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Well done. Hold that verse. Each week, we’re gonna be trying to memorize a passage of Scripture.

Now, a number of weeks ago, I walked into Bill’s office, I pitched this series, I had all of the topics. He said, “Good, I like it. Good. Sounds great. But you’re missing one.”

I was like, “Well, calendar, I’ve got it all mapped out. I think- no, I don’t think so.”

He goes, “No, no, no, you’re missing one.”

And like a good coach and mentor that he is, I said, “What do you mean?”

He goes, “I think you need to talk personally... about something that I’ve seen God doing in you.”

And I quickly responded, “I think you... should speak about that.”

And he said, “No, I have seen you... grow in this area of your life. And I think you’d be a gift to our congregation for you to share it.”

And, I’ll be honest... I’ve never taught a message on this topic before. Nor, in my thirty-eight years on planet Earth, have I ever heard a teaching live on this topic. And then my coach, my mentor, our Senior Pastor, is like, “And now, it’s your time.”

And I was like, “Once again... I can slot you in to give this message.”

He said, “No.”

So, I wanna read a passage of Scripture. And this is gonna be the game-changing verse because it was for me. But I’m gonna tell you that this topic, when I name it, and when I say it, you... will feel a wave of shame... come.

And, please, from the bottom of my heart, I’m praying for protection on you. Because, somehow, this topic, I get why people don’t talk about it. Cause there’s so many landmines around it. And when this topic is spoken, the storm of shame... will want to fall.

But please, please, please, hear my heart. I just wanna give you a biblical perspective on this.

Now all of you are like, “What’s it gonna be?”

Romans 12. Turn with me there if you have a Bible. Verse 1 says this:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy...

It’s all because of grace. It’s all because of mercy. 

...to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  

Today... we’re gonna talk about our bodies. And... I think it’s an important conversation because when you... begin to discover... Greek thinking... the Greeks, thousands of years ago, began to discover and discern and say, “Heaven is good. The soul is good. And, someday, in heaven, the souls will go to heaven. But earth, and the body... are bad.”

And I think, for many people, we have been okay at giving God our soul, giving God our mind, giving God our heart—but that passage that Paul writes, “I urge you, in view of God’s mercy, to offer” what? Your bodies.

Now, this brings you back to the Old Testament. When people would take a perfect lamb without blemish, they’d walk it to the temple, they’d find themselves leaning into this lamb, almost symbolizing as if their sins were being put on this lamb. They’d place this lamb on the altar. And they would sacrifice it.

And it would be this pleasing aroma. And Paul is saying, “Hey, I want, every moment of every day, for you to not get off the altar. Every moment of every day, I want your pleasing, true act of worship to be you offering all of you—head, mind, heart, soul, and body.”

 

And the truth is many of us wrestle with this. Because, when we think about the body... we have seen it tainted in our culture. We’ve seen people objectify the body. We have seen people find their image and identity in their body. And we know people, maybe some of you even in this room or watching online... can’t stand your own body. But that’s culture. That’s shame. What does the Bible tell us?

And I think you have to really wrestle, what does God say about the body? And why is the body so important? You can flip through Scripture, and verse after verse, and you’ll see that God has a high view of you and your body. So let’s lean into that.

But I want to lean into it because I’ve watched people in our culture... see something about their body. August 3rd, 1977, Tom Brady came into this earth. He’s forty years old, and he’s the quarterback for the New England Patriots. He’s forty. And he would say that his skill is decent. But his ability to maximize all of the energy from his body is what has separated him as a quarterback.

You can look at Kobe Bryant. He took care of his body. He wasn’t out partying. He wasn’t out just kind of hurting his body. Everything was about maximizing the energy of his body. I have spent time with business leaders, Fortune 500 leaders, vice presidents of massive companies, and you know what they do? They take care of their body. And they believe that it gives them a focus and an energy.

But some reason... for some reason... the church has had a low view of the body. And today, of all grace, the pastoral heart, and a love for you, I wanna just show you what God believes about you and your body. And what could happen if you could maximize the energy that He wants to give you for such a time as this.

If you have a Bible, turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 6. And it says this in verse 19:

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

There are three primary truths from these two verses. The first one is simply this: Every one of us in this room, whether we are a believer or not, you must recognize you were bought at a price. This is the gospel. That Jesus came. Didn’t stay up in heaven. He came to this earth. He took on a physical body. He walked this earth. And He taught us how to walk in step and in tune and in harmony with God.

And it led Him to the cross. Where He broke His body, poured Himself out, so that we... could have access to the Father today and forever. We were bought at a price. The cross was that price that God gave for you.

Second truth is that your body is a temple. It’s a temple. I don’t know if we ever think about it like this, but this is what God views your body. It’s a temple. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the temple mount in Israel. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to another temple. But whenever you walk, and I was in one in Haifa, the Bahá'í Garden, I just, I get curious about buildings and temples. I just wanna see it. And something evangelistically comes across me, where I wanna have conversations with people.

But I was walking. And whenever you’re on the grounds of a temple, it’s detailed. It’s manicured. It’s taken care of. And God says your body is a temple. For what? For the third person of the Trinity. For the Holy Spirit to reside in. You were bought at a price. Your body is a temple.

And then the third truth, from that passage of Scripture, is God says for you to honor God with your body. Honor God.

Now, the word honor is where we get the word doxology. And I love when our church stands up and sings, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” But, really, from the way that we live our life and the way that we view our body—from the way that we are in meetings and at tables and at board rooms, with our friends, in our cities... we are to be a living, breathing doxology that proclaims the blessings and praises of God with our words, with our songs, and with our temples.

This is who you are. This is how God sees you.

Now, how do I bring this to everyday life?

I was driving through my neighborhood, and I believe that God is a God of props. I think God is like constantly trying to say, “Hey, hey, Steve, you don’t get this. I’m going to make it so easy for you.”

Do you remember the first house you bought? Or maybe the first... home your parents bought or your family purchased?

I was driving through my neighborhood, and I saw one of these signs [HOUSE FOR SALE BY OWNER], so I just went and took it. No, just kidding, I didn’t, I didn’t.

But you see this sign, right? And, and all of a sudden, do you remember when you were like, you called the realtor? And you’re like, “Hey, can we go check out that home?” And you walked in. And you were like, “Pink tile in the bathroom. Wow. Okay. Alright. I will change that. Um, fluorescent green walls. Nice. Okay. I’m gonna change that.”

And you begin to go into negotiation. And you end up getting a lender. You get this price. You wait forty-five days. And then you sign the title. And someone hands you the keys. And you begin to move in. And you begin to transform room after room. Basement. And it becomes yours. And now, you get the chance to have this peace and allow this home to be this fixture of what you desire for years and years to come.

But just imagine... just imagine...

You found the right price. You found the right home. Found... the Smiths, who were selling, and you agreed to pay this price. And you signed the title. They gave you the keys. And then you showed up at that house, and their stuff was still there. And you were like, “Whoa- we bought... this is our house.”

And they’re like, “Yeah, I know, I know. But can we just stay in this room?”

And you’re like, “No. Get out of the pink-tiled, fluorescent-green-walled room. This is our home.”

“No, no—just, just let us stay here. We’re gonna squat here.”

And you’d be like, “No... no.”

And I started really thinking about this. Like, I pulled over on my street. And I’m like thinking about this. I’m like, “This is a message idea. This is a message idea.” I wonder how many of us have given God our souls, given God our past, given God our minds, given God our hearts, but we have never really understood that the gospel was also for our bodies.

And the truth is, I imagine, that, for some of us, we’ve never put a for sale sign... on our temple. And I think God goes, “It’s not even a house. I’m going to transform it... into a temple. And I’m gonna put the third person of the Trinity. And I want access to every room. Every organ. Every limb. I want... My Spirit to have full...”

But I think, for some of us, we’re like, “We’ll just give You the heart, and give You our mind... and I’ll give You my soul, but everything else is mine.”

And He’s like, “No. I want all... of... it.”

And I believe that God doesn’t just want our bodies to be a temple... so He can go, “Hey, look at My temple.” I think God believes that if the Spirit of God was at work, it had the full freedom, the full reign in your life... that you’d actually have more energy. Throughout your day, you’d have more focus. Throughout your day, you would have more opportunity to be present, to be free, to be fully who God made you to be. This is what it means to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice.

So how do we do it?

How do we do it?

And, to be honest, this is where Bill said, “Hey, in the last couple years, I’ve seen... you... go on this shift. And it’s become something where I’ve seen this game-changing moment happen in you in regards to how you view your body and how you view food and how you view energy.”

And today, I wanna help you. Cause I believe that God wants to give you this Holy Spirit sustained energy for not just a little sprint or a little burst but for the long haul. So how do we do it?

It’s this acronym that I call E.N.E.R.G.Y.

And I wrote it down, in my journal, about fourteen, fifteen months ago. And I got back to the basics. Many of you know I played college basketball. It was something that I loved. And then, once the game ended, I just was like, I’ve given so many years of my life to that, I’m just gonna... just veg out for a long time. And I did. And I wrote down this E.N.E.R.G.Y. It was something that I held on to years and years ago, and I had to get back to it.

And I wanna share this with you.

And I believe if you actually take this word, and you begin to lean into it—you view your body as a temple and you choose to honor God with your bodies and to offer it all as a living sacrifice, God’s gonna do something in your life.

So first. If you want that Holy Spirit sustained energy for the long haul, it begins with what you eat. What you eat.

Now, food is really... interesting. Because, for many of us, how we view food is the game changer. For some of us, we view food as the fuel. As the energy so that we can live out the teachings of Jesus. But for others of us, we view food as an escape, don’t we? All the pressures. All the stressors. We use food to escape from the present. And there are some of you in this room... that you view food... as an enemy.

I have a dear friend who struggles with bulimia, anorexia. She stopped me, and she said, “Steve, you know, you gotta understand. My relationship with food... is that it’s the enemy.” And I was like, oh, man.

Well, how do you view food? Now, true to formation, if you don’t hear anything else, take this. If you flip through the Old Testament.... If you wanna be formed and shaped into the best possible version of who God intended you to be, hear this. There are three letters, or three environments, that we find in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. They are Egypt. And Egypt represented—it symbolized being chained and enslaved. The Hebrew people were in slavery for 430 years before God freed them.

And then God took them to the wilderness, where they spent forty years. And the wilderness was a place of God shaping and God forming before He brought them to the Promised Land where they experienced freedom and favor. And this, my friends, is the same path that every one of us must go on.

So let’s talk honestly about food.

Where are you today?

Maybe, for some of you, you’re like, food is my escape. It has me in bondage. I do not have a healthy relationship with it. Or it is the enemy, and I find myself... stuck. Maybe, for some of you, you’ve begun a journey to have a healthy relationship with food, and you’re watching God shape you and form you to see food as an energy so that you can be free to actually have the favor and live out the teachings of Jesus.

To be honest, the succession process... was long. And many of you knew the process was happening, but, every day, every meeting, every teaching, every moment, it felt like an interview. And I’ve been in long interviews—six months. But it felt like a very long interview. And I didn’t—couldn’t talk about it. I couldn’t really discuss it. It was just something that was happening inside of me, and what did I turn to? Ice cream. It was the only way I knew how to process this. And probably for a year and a half, I just came home... and I just ate my way out of the tension or the unknown... of succession.

And I would have moments where I would feel God say, “No, no, no... you’re here. Let me shape and form you.” And then I would have a teaching that I didn’t feel great about. I’m like, “Yeah, ice cream. Back to Egypt.” And then I would stay there for a couple days. And then I would feel like... God invite me to shape and form me. And then I would go back. And I just kept zig zagging back in here. Until God really said, “No, no, no. Surrender it all.”

But think about this. This same progression of formation happens with how you view money. For some of you, you’re here. Money controls you. You’re enslaved to credit-card debt. And God wants to give you this opportunity to shape and form you. And maybe you’ve done a course of FPU or some other kind of mentor or coach who’s helped you find freedom and favor. And you’ve learned to make money behave.

Or maybe it’s in regard to how you view time. Well, that’s peace, but um... maybe you get angry. And you find yourself... or time. And you think about it. When it comes to time, maybe you’ve just stayed busy, and you’ve found your identity in what you do and how you go, and you’ve never learned how to actually properly view time. And God wants to take you on a journey to shape and form your view of time. So that you can find freedom and favor in that.

That’s the journey. And if you want to actually have Spirit-filled, sustainable energy for the long haul... how do you view food? Is it for energy? Is it to escape? Or is it the enemy? You have to get this right.

N... of this kind of acronym... is the word notice. And this is really important. Because you have to learn to notice the stressors and the triggers that will want to bring you back into slavery. There are moments throughout your day where there will be these pressure points—these moments of frustration where the enemy just wants to pull you back... to Egypt. Back to a place of oppression. Back to bondage. And if you can’t name these triggers and notice these triggers that are coming at you... friends, you’re gonna get stuck. And you’re gonna watch your energy decrease. And you’re gonna watch your view of your temple... leave.

I don’t want that for you.

You know, growing up, just by osmosis, I learned how to handle stress, pain, and frustration in six ways. Now, I had some great parents. But I learned six unhealthy habits. And I can feel these six habits come after me, these six triggers, come after me. And the enemy just wants to pull me back. And those six were, when stress comes, eat. And eat a lot. When stress comes, drink. Drink a lot. When stress comes, stay busy. And work your tail off. When stress or pain comes, go out and buy whatever you want. When stress comes... hold secrets. Don’t tell anybody. Have it all together. When stress comes, sexual brokenness. Those were the six that I saw in my family, pulling me back to Egypt. And I can feel it. And you have to notice those triggers. What are they for you?

You’ve got to be able to name them and share them. If you’re going to see your body as a temple, you’ve gotta be able to know and name how the enemy wants to come in and... mess up... your house.

Third, E, if you want this Spirit-filled kind of energy for the long haul... exercise. Exercise. Now, here’s the thing. You know what is today’s version of smoking? Our HR director, Colby Burke, was sharing this with our staff a few months ago. He said, “Today’s version of smoking is sitting.” We sit at our jobs. We sit behind a computer. We sit and binge watch an entire season on Netflix. We sit and sit and sit, and you go back two hundred years ago, people were walking. They were walking to work. They were walking to hunt. They were walking to gather. They were walking place to place... to get things. But today, we sit.

And there’s something inside of us where we have to get up and get that blood flowing. Where we have to train our bodies. Where we have to exercise. And, I’m not asking any of you to... just sit here and go, “Okay, I want you, in one week, to run a marathon.” I would never wish that on any of you. But I will say... that I think all of us have to get back... to... getting that endorphin high. Getting those moments of just stretching our legs and walking and running.

And no matter what your age is. I know some of you might go, “Steve, that works for you. Cause, you know, your age. You probably still have energy.” I’ll tell you what. I go to the gym, and there’s an eighty-year-old guy. And he’s on the treadmill. His name’s Ken. And he’s nice. But he’ll challenge you. I walk into the gym, there is a woman there who has, kind of, these braces and crutches on her wrists that she walks with into the gym. She takes those off. She picks up a sledgehammer, and she starts hitting a tire. And I’m like, “Man, you are the toughest, most inspiring woman I’ve ever been around.”

And I’m watching this. None of these people are making an excuse. They’re moving because they believe with their lives they’re better people. And whenever you have that time to exercise, you always feel better. You feel clearer. You get kind of all the callous and all of the stuff that’s in your brain, it somehow just goes away. And throughout the rest of your day, it gives you this vitality and this energy.

But, for many of us in the church, when you have a low view of your temple and a low view of your body, you’re kind of like, “Ah, I can’t do it. I don’t wanna do it.”

Now, every morning, when that alarm goes off, I do not want to get out of bed. But I know, at the end of the day, I’m better because I went on that walk. Or I’m better because I stepped into that gym. And, again, people will have these expectations that I’m supposed to go to the gym. And if I go to the gym, I’m gonna look like Ryan Gosling or George Clooney or whoever you think... it’s not about that! It’s not about that. It’s about having the Spirit-filled energy for the long haul. It’s about having clearer focus. It’s about having something that you can maximize the gifts that God’s given to you. It’s about giving the Spirit more residence in your temple. That’s what it’s about.

Let me ask you... when’s the last time you were consistently committed... to exercise? It’s important for your overall health and endurance and stamina and energy.

The fourth letter in the acronym called E.N.E.R.G.Y. is the word rest. You know 25 percent of our culture struggle with sleeping throughout the night. And most people don’t get the hours of sleep that they need depending on their age. Many of us are just walking around tired. And when we walk around tired, what do we do? We drink more coffee. And when we drink more coffee, it makes it harder for us to sleep. And when we can’t sleep, then we get a little bit more grumpy... and take things a little bit more personal, so we feel bad, so what do we do? We don’t work out; we just eat some more. Which only... doesn’t help. Do you see how this process just holds our lives in check?

And it really begins with how do you view rest. Do you take sleep seriously? If I could tell my younger self something, I would say, “Invest in a good pillow.” It’s a game changer. Like... you want to be able to sleep. The other thing that struggles for sleep is, I know, for many people, who tell me they can’t sleep, I’m like, “Well, tell me about your pattern into bed.”

They’re like, “Well, I lay down in bed, and then I get, open my phone or my iPad, and I start checking Facebook.”

And I’m like, “Oh, so you’re just, it’s like social media crack cocaine for your brain. And your brain is just wired. And now you’re like, ‘Okay, I can’t sleep.’ You have to train your brain to turn off.”

And many of us are struggling with it. And we’re giving it more and more caffeine, and we’re not sleeping, and it’s making it difficult in our relationships. How are you turning it off... earlier and earlier throughout the night? So that when you hit the bed, you can go... to sleep. Your body needs that rest.

Fifth in that letter, in that acronym... is the word goals. Every one of you should have a goal. And they should be realistic goals. Don’t set something that’s unattainable, cause that’s just gonna add shame. Every time I walk into the local gym, I write down on a piece of paper the same four goals. And those four goals are attainable. And when I hit one of those four goals, I celebrate. I celebrate. I wanna create attainable goals so I keep going. I don’t want anything that’s unattainable. I wanna hit the goal. And I wanna keep going.

Do you have those goals? Around food. Around exercise. Around rest. Do you have those goals? And when you do, celebrate those. Because they give you, kind of, a path. And many of us haven’t been given a map. Have been given a map for our finances. We weren’t given a map for health. We weren’t given a map to how to walk with Jesus. You gotta find those guides.

And when you can find someone that maybe has this area of their life kind of in a good place, ask them questions. Be honest. Be human. Say, “Help me with this.” It doesn’t matter your age. Do that. Lean into it.

And then the last letter in this acronym of E.N.E.R.G.Y. is the simple word you. You. You have to ask yourself what is the motivation for you. What drives you? Is it the Scriptures? For you to honor your bodies because your body is a temple? Is it... because... you’re watching yourself not having energy? I went months after months after months coming home and feeling sluggish. Not wanting to play with my kids. I don’t want that.

Maybe you’ve experienced that with your kids or your grandkids or even with your friends—just not being present. What drives you? And the question is, what kind of legacy do you want to leave for your family?

But also... maybe, for some of you, what drives you is the pain or trauma that has come into your family because someone hasn’t been able to take care of this area of their life.

I’ll be honest, at the age of two, it was probably the last time I saw my biological father. And I was able to locate him years and years later. And he lived in upstate New York. And I was really excited to go out and meet him. We had hired a private investigator. But two days before we bought our tickets—or two days before we were supposed to go, we had already bought our tickets... the private investigator called and said, “I’m so sorry. I gave you the right address. But I just found out that he died two years earlier of a massive heart attack.” And I never got to meet him.

I never got to introduce him to my kids.

And that... that rocked me.

It really, for the first time, kind of shook me, and said, “How are you taking care of you, Steve? Cause this is part of your lineage and hereditary and DNA, like, how are you taking care of you?”

Maybe, for some of you, you’ve experienced that. I have a friend whose dad had a heart attack this past year. And it was a game changer for him. And he made massive shifts. And I have another friend whose dad has had three heart attacks. And the third one took his life. And he never made the shift.

And, friends, I don’t know what it is for you, but I do know... that when you begin to take this area seriously, you have to ask yourself what drives you.

Now, you can work really, really hard. And only do a couple of these. And you won’t see results. There are some of you who will try to eat well and exercise. But you will not rest. And it won’t work.

For some of you, will exercise and rest well—many marathon runners do this. They’ll run 26.2 miles, be tired, and sleep well... but they eat whatever they want. And even at the end of their marathon-running season training, the event, they’ve gained fifteen pounds. Blood pressure’s even higher.

You have to do all three to get the maximum results for energy.

And the same thing’s true for noticing your triggers, the goals, and your motivation—what drives you. If you don’t name and notice those triggers, and you don’t have goals, and you don’t really clearly articulate what is driving you... you’re gonna stop doing this. And what’s gonna end up happening is your energy’s gonna drop. Your effectiveness is gonna drop. It’s gonna affect your decision making. It’s gonna affect your relationships. And it’s gonna affect God’s ability to use you in every moment of every day. And I just don’t want that for you.

I want us to be known as a community that’s filled with Spirit-led energy... for the long haul. I want us to feel good and not let culture define how we see our bodies. I want God... to define our bodies as His temple. And the truth is... there’s only one of me. There’s only one version of your temple. And I wanna do whatever I can to maximize my energy, my years on this planet, for the most amount of Kingdom effectiveness, and I want that for you.

And we take that away... it limits how God can be at work through us if we’re not here. And God wants to use... us.

So here’s what I’ve been thinking. And I don’t know if this hits you, but this is just my thought. Bill’s taught a lot about second conversions. And I wonder if today... is a day for a second conversion. Doesn’t matter what your age is. Doesn’t matter how you feel about your body. Doesn’t matter about anything. What if today was the day that you said, from now on... I’m gonna view this as a temple. From now on, I want to give the Spirit more freedom. I want the third person of the Trinity to actually fill this temple. God, give me energy to do more of your Kingdom work today. I’ve given You my soul. I’ve given You my mind. I’ve given You my heart. But maybe today... is the day that you declare... that your body was bought at a price. That your body is a temple. And the invitation for you is to honor God with that temple.

 

And if you wanna make that declaration today, our prayer is that you’d see For Sale signs on homes and you would be reminded, every one that you pass by in your neighborhood... and you’d be reminded, “No, no, no, I was bought at a price. This house is a temple of the Lord. And I’m gonna honor it in everything that I do. To bring more praise. To be this vocal doxology that just spews from my body and from my lips and from my heart and from my mind.” I want that for you.

But here’s the thing. Maybe for some of you, shame is what’s holding you back. Maybe fear. Maybe struggle. Maybe you’re sitting here going, “Steve, you don’t understand. I have tried to get on a plan around food, and it hasn’t stuck.”

“Steve, I’ve worked my tail off for exercise, and it hasn’t ever stuck.”

“Steve, I can’t do this.”

And I hear you.

But I’m not asking for you to do it. I’m asking for the Spirit of God to give you strength to do it in you. And through you. And not just for you. But for your family. And for your community. And for your church.

How many of you today just need to say, “I gotta start today”?

“I gotta start today and make my body a temple. Spirit, help me.” And if that’s you, I’m gonna invite something vulnerable, cause we’re a place of high challenge here at Willow, and I love it.

But if that’s you, I’m gonna ask that you would just stand. And say, “God, I need Your perspective. Let me view my body as Your temple. I’m putting up that For Sale sign. I’ve given You my soul. I’ve given You my mind. I’ve given You my heart. Today’s the day where I give You my body. Allow your Spirit to fill... me.”

And maybe for you it’s just putting out your hands. Putting out your hands and saying, “God, help me. Help me.” And with your hands open... I want you to hear these words. I want you to say these words. This song that we’ve been singing, that “You can have it all.” It’s gonna require us surrendering the keys, the title, and saying, “God, make this a temple for Your glory. For Your glory.” So let’s sing this together...

...You are a temple for the Holy Spirit. And my prayer that this week... is that you wouldn’t allow shame, you wouldn’t allow the past, to hold your life in check. But you would give God everything. Heart. Mind. Soul. Future. Past. And your body. And let’s see if God... what He will do with the Spirit having that freedom to give you energy and how that will affect your relationships, your future, your job, your family, and your life.

And I believe it. I believe if we have that... phew.

Every environment, everywhere we go... people will see something different in us. And it will be because we’re a temple... of something that gives praise and honor to Someone so much greater. And it will be an opportunity for you to share what God is doing in and through you.