Words On The WORD
Monthly Articles Grounded in Biblical Truths



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Subject: Spiritual Strength

It’s a new year! Did we make a New Year’s resolution for 2013? If so, are we among those who have vowed to ‘become fit”?

Perhaps determined to improve both our health and appearance, we have mapped out a regime of knee bends, squats, sit-ups, early morning walks, jogs and/or trips to an exercise facility. We may have even finally uncovered the various pieces of home exercise equipment that have not seen the light of day for months, maybe even years! We overhaul our diets and cautiously watch our calorie intake. For a while, we display great resolve! If we aren’t careful, however, our determination will begin to wane, and another resolution falls by the wayside!

Without doubt, exercising and eating properly can lead to numerous medical benefits, and striving to maintain good health are both commendable and recommended, but what about our spiritual health? Do we stay ‘fit’ for God? The Apostle Paul says in I Timothy 4:7 “…exercise thyself... unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Paul is plainly stating not to become obsessed with our physical appearance to the point of neglecting our godliness!

Still, what exactly does Paul mean by exercise unto godliness? Let’s examine physical exercise. Deciding upon a form of exercise, maybe swimming, aerobics, cycling, walking or jogging, we begin slowly building our physical bodies. We begin by swimming half a lap, biking half-way around the block or running a short distance. Soon the distances will increase. As we work-out, little by little, we begin to build a foundation upon which to push ourselves to excellent physical fitness!

Having accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, a sturdy foundation upon which to improve our spiritual ‘health’ already exists! We possess the solid foundation of Jesus Christ! “For other foundations can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:11) Unlike a potentially shaky physical base, the foundation of Christ is the ‘rock of our salvation” (Psalm 9:1), the bedrock of godliness! We have only to build upon it!

As we begin our physical workouts, we usually incorporate a series of warm-ups in order to loosen-up our muscles. Christians, we also need to daily ‘limber-up’ by kneeling in prayer, asking for continual strength to obey, requesting lasting stamina to serve and pleading for courage to witness to the lost! Simply put, we need a spiritual cardiovascular boost so our hearts strongly beat for Jesus! Through such a daily routine, we can become marathon runners for the Lord! In I Corinthians 9:2, Paul speaks of running for the prize or reward. Unlike a physical race, where everyone races to be the single victor, every believer can become a winner on the racetrack of godliness! “…and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” (I Corinthians 3:8). No one loses when striving to be like Jesus!

Nonetheless, we must walk before we run! Sitting on the couch of Christian complacency gets us nowhere! Secure in our salvation, we cannot, must not, ignore growing in spiritual strength! Thus, to begin our spiritual fitness regime we must strengthen our daily Christian walk. We must: walk as Abraham in faith (Romans 4:12); walk in love as did Christ (Ephesians 5:2), walk in the Light of the Lord (Ephesians 5:8), and confidently walk in trust (III John 4)! Encapsulated, we must walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:10) and pleasing to God (I Thessalonians 4:12)!

Certainly looking good and feeling good attribute to our everyday well-being, but it is transitory in nature, only beneficial for a limited time. The physical body deteriorates despite our attempts to maintain youth! Even if we do not exercise and eat properly (which we should do), and our bodies become a bit flabby, overweight and/or showing the negative effects of aging, one day every born again believer will receive a new body, one wholly free of weak knees, bad backs, crippling arthritis, dementia, cancer or any other physical problems, large or small.

Imagine! We (believers in Christ) will have perfect bodies in Christ! “For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

Yes, physically we should take good care of our bodies! But, even more importantly we must strive to continually strengthen our spiritual condition by daily bending to God’s perfect will and continually stretching in our pursuit of God’s flawless standard. (Matthew 5:48)

Nancy Hamilton

© 2013 Words On The Word

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