The apostle Paul was aware that his body was just a “tent”and the desires and the hungers of the body did not have to dictate how he lived his life and what he did from moment to moment.
Look at his words taken from the Amplified Bible…
“But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
1 Corinthians 9:27 AMPC
Paul was in full control of his body, he was its master, and therefore he had control of his life.
Now, we know that God was in control of his life, but Paul was in control of his body.
This means that when God wanted him to do something or go somewhere the hungers, desires, thirsts, and needs for pleasure of the physical body were not a hindrance to him, or to God’s plan being worked out through him.
How many times is it because of the body’s craving for the creature comforts of life that people have refused to do the will of God?
They won’t go to that place because there isn’t the food that they like there.
They won’t go because it’s uncomfortable or unfamiliar.
They are not free.
Paul was free.
He was free from the distractions of life.
He could go anywhere and do anything for God at any time.
“But I’m married!” I hear you say.
“I have a family.”
This is what Paul was saying when he says in 1 Cor 7, “Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am.”
And again later in the same chapter:
“But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 NASB1995
So, The question is, what are you concerned about?
I’m not saying that you need to get unmarried or only the unmarried can be focused on God.
It is true that someone who is not married can be just as distracted by the things in life as the married can be by the things of their relationship.
This is where each of us, no matter whether we’re married or unmarried, can learn this lesson from Paul and harness in the distractions by learning to be aware of what’s going on in this tent we call our body.
However you are right now, whatever your status, glorify God and be in control of your body’s hungers, thirsts, and desires for pleasure and you will be able to steer your life to be able to do the will of God when he calls.
Let the discipline of denying yourself set you free.
Be blessed & be a blessing,