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Centered Part Four: A Pure Spirit

I am a follower

Here we go again, I thought as I dropped my tools and urgently made my way out of the mission house—to the out house. I have always prided myself on having a cast iron stomach, but I was learning many lessons in Africa. This was yet one more; everything that entered my mouth had to be purified. It wasn’t that I was ignorant or unconcerned. My doctor had warned me, and the literature handed out with our inoculations cautioned me in bold type. If that wasn’t enough, a lifetime of missionary stories was sufficient to scare the recklessness out of me. Oops, moving as quickly and as cautiously as possible—so as not to stir up the churning contents of my innards, I made yet another sojourn to the room with the pink toilet paper.

Until I had experienced the effect of unpurified food it was just head knowledge. Our bodies are not designed to dispense with food that quickly or with that much disruption. The normal pattern of my life was upset and what should have been a usual reaction to digesting food had now become unnatural. The result of impure food created an abnormal motivation to act, and the resulting action was not life giving; my body lacked the opportunity to draw nutrients from the food. If this had continued for much longer, I would have become weak, and in an extreme situation, I may have died.

It graphically and accurately puts into words the effects of spiritual impurities in our lives: garbage in garbage out. God’s words through Jeremiah are ringing in my ears,

“I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10*).

The state of our spirit will dictate our motivations and, ultimately, our actions.

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