“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”
When I first came to know the Lord there was a T-shirt that said "God’s Gym" that was a take off on the famous "Gold’s Gym" logo and was popular with exercise buffs in the 1980’s. Just like it takes discipline to get into physical shape it takes discipline as well to get into spiritual shape too. Interestingly, the root word of discipline is the word disciple. To be a disciple of Jesus is to live a disciplined life. In helping us grow in our Christian disciplines consider these four factors successful exercise enthusiasts know.
1. For best results get a personal trainer
2. Be enthusiastic
3. Have a personal workout plan
4. Trust your spotter
1. Get a personal trainer. The human body is complex, as we are fearfully and wonderfully made by God. A good personal trainer knows the mental and physical and nutritional needs to enjoy peak performance and can help you develop a plan and the needed accountability to keep growing when you reach those places where you get tired and or frustrated and feel like giving up. Whats true about a personal trainer at a gym is just as true in looking to Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us each day. Man can’t live by bread alone but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God. We are made up of body, soul and spirit and learning to worship God in every facet of life is what the Holy Spirit was given to help us do as we seek the Lord daily, and as we meet together in our devotional times.
2. Be enthusiastic. Just like those who exercise consistently do, those who practice spiritual disciplines daily are far more enthusiastic about life than those who don’t. The health benefits to our mind and spirit when we exercise physically are much like those we get when we spend time with the Lord. Some call it the "natural high". After all, the English word “enthusiasm” comes from two Greek words, “en” which is our English word “in” and the the word “Theos” which means “God”. Real lasting enthusiasm comes from being “in God”, so keeping yourself “pumped up” in your faith carries over to every other area of life too. The apostle Paul wrote, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Now that's exciting!
3. Have a personal workout plan. Just as Paul wrote in Philippians 2, "work out your own salvation" not some one else's. The great thing about working out is you set the weights according to your plan not everyone else. Thats why the weights are adjustable. To be your best physically as well as spiritually is to develop a workout plan that fits you and your goals. Our God is personal and it’s not “one size fits all”. That’s legalism. Jesus meets as all right where we are at and provides what we need to grow in Him. I like what one of my favorite pastors is fond of saying, “read your bible every day, pray, and obey.” Growth is personal. Seek God on your own and watch your faith grow as you spend time with Jesus.
4. Trust your spotter. When lifting free weights at a gym it’s always recommended to have a "spotter", someone to assist you as you lift. The help of another person will always provide the confidence to lift more than you ever could on your own. “Two are better than one” when it comes to lifting weights and as well when it comes to growing in our relationship with Jesus. Jude 24 reminds us, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” Don’t go it alone, walk with Jesus each day and see the transformation take place as your faith gets stronger and stronger.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I LOVE YOU!
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