Friday, March 14, 2014

Getting into Spiritual Shape

For some reason, I always feel like winter gives me an excuse to not be as active as I am in the summer. As if the lack of sunshine should be a reason to compromise my physical health. And when I am inactive for a period of time, I don’t have any motivation to get back into shape. Being lazy becomes a habit, one that requires much self-control to break.

On the other hand, when I am in shape, I refuse to become sluggish again. And when I am in shape, I remember all the things that I loved about it: The endorphins that are released when I work out. The adrenalin rush. The amount of energy I seem to have throughout the day. The fact that I can even sleep better at night.

There is nothing like the feeling of having good physical health—so why is it that I fail to remember this when I get out of shape? I forget that working out helps to sort my thoughts. I forget that it somehow enables me to accomplish more tasks.

Isn’t that similar to our relationship with God?

When we go through spiritual dry seasons, we tend to forget how great it felt to be on fire for God. We fail to remember just how beneficial our daily quiet is; how it enables us to see our problems through God perspective; and how we are able to face our circumstances with supernatural strength.

Think about it: When you’re not in shape physically, you probably struggle going up flights of stairs much more than when you’re in shape. Likewise, when we get out of shape spiritually, our energy becomes drained as we try to face our problems through our own strength. Not to mention, we have extra “fat” that has been caused from depression, stress, fear, etc. Things that could easily be lifted off of us if only we would give them to God.

Instead, we fill the void with spiritual junk food, such as: partying, television, music, and even friends. Sure, these things may help temporarily. But in the end, they’ve only added more weight.

So why is it that the one thing we need is the one thing that we continue to ignore?

Every Christian goes through ups and downs in their relationship with Christ. However, Romans 12:11 (MSG) says, “Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant.”

When we’re not moving forward, we’re going backwards. Similarly, when someone doesn’t stay active, they’re most likely going to start gaining weight—especially if they only fill their body with junk food.

It’s hard to get out of that rut. It requires much self-discipline to take that first step forward.

“God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out . . . At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” 
~ Hebrews 12:5,11

Even though it might become difficult to turn to God rather than your bad habits, keep in mind that working out daily will eventually bring a great reward. 
 “Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally.” 
~ 1 Timothy 4:9-10

Also, remember that there is a difference between reading the Bible every day and actually acting on it.

If one were to read a book every day about the benefits of staying healthy—yet they didn’t do anything but sit around and eat junk food all day—you would think that person was crazy, right?

And yet that is exactly what so many of us do every single day in our walk with Christ.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” 
~ James 1:22 (MSG)

It’s time to stop going backwards and start going forward. It’s time that we put down the spiritual junk food that only weighs us down.

And it’s time that we pursue the kind of life that God has called us to live.

Spring is approaching . . . Are you ready?

“I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.” 
~1 Corinthians 9:26-27 (MSG)
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1 comment:

  1. Great post! And so true =) I need to get into shape both physically and spiritually!


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