THE BELIEVER'S TENT
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7)
Biblically, life means to unite and death means to separate. When Adam became a living being, his soul was in union with his body. When he died, his soul separated from his body.
As long as you are alive, your soul is united with your body. But when that separation occurs, you do not cease to exist. Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Your primary identity is not found in your physical existence. Paul said, "From now on we recognize no man according to the flesh" (2 Corinthians 5:16).
Even though your principal identity is more than physical, in this temporal life you cannot function without your physical body. Your immaterial self needs your material self, and vice versa. You need your physical brain to control your movements and responses, and you need your immaterial mind to reason and make value judgments. Your brain is like a computer and your mind is the programmer. The finest human brain can't accomplish anything in a corpse that lacks a mind. And the most brilliant mind cannot function in a brain damaged by Alzheimer's disease.
In 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 Paul referred to the believer's body as a tent, the temporary dwelling place of the soul. Using his illustration, I must confess that my tent pegs are coming up, my poles are sagging, and my seams are becoming frayed! At my age I'm just glad that there's more to me than the disposable earth suit I walk around in.
You don't exist for your body; it exists for you. That's why Paul said, "I beat my body and make it my slave" (1 Corinthians 9:27 NIV). In order to fulfil your purpose for being here, you need to manage your body well through exercise, balanced diet and adequate rest.
Lord, help me to not overemphasize or underemphasize the significance of my physical life but stay in step with Your view.