spiritual warfare and our fitness

We are currently in the middle of a “fitness fad” in our culture. Suddenly it has become a popular thing to run mini-marathons, go to the gym, use a Fitbit, have apps on our phones for tracking what we eat, eat organic food, and so on. If you watch social media, you will undoubtedly see people talking about the next race they are running, posting selfies of them self at the gym, or sharing their opinions on ways to get and stay healthy.

Now, I’m not saying this new “fitness fad” is a bad thing. Getting in better shape and becoming healthier is beneficial. Being more mindful of what we eat and how much we eat is definitely something that is good to do. I don’t even mind seeing some of the social media posts, because in today’s world that is our reality…we post what we are doing for all to see.

Just a little side note before I continue…some people need to reconsider some of the selfies they post from the gym as they are a little too revealing, and others need to post less about all their progress because after a while it just looks like a lot of bragging. Ok, side note done.

As Followers of Christ, we must make sure we are diligent to become healthy in our Spiritual Life too. We can’t neglect our Spiritual Life and expect to have a strong faith or a close relationship with God. We can’t avoid prayer or reading God’s Word and expect to be growing more mature as a Follower of Christ. We will have a hard time guarding our feelings and emotions, or desiring Godly things over fleshly things, if we are not seeking to have a healthy Spiritual Life. And thus, we will be more vulnerable and susceptible to Satan’s attacks.

Just like when we begin to work toward becoming more physically fit, we must be intentional and diligent in becoming more spiritually fit as well. Let me give an example.

When I decided I wanted to get into better shape physically, I did the following things:

  1. I worked to save up money in order to buy a treadmill, so that my wife and I could use it. I purchased a set of DVD workouts to use, as well as some weights.
  2. At first I began working out in the afternoon whenever I was able. However, often work or family activities would make that difficult, so I didn’t get to be as consistent as I knew I needed to be. Because of that, I began getting up early in the morning before the kids were awake and before I had to go to work, so that I could have a consistent time to work out.
  3. I set goals for myself to strive for. I even began using one of those apps on my phone to track what I eat to help me accomplish those goals.

When I decided that I needed to be healthier and in better physical shape, I did several things to accomplish that. I was intentional in my desire to become healthier and more physically fit.

To grow spiritually, we can do the same kinds of things.

  1. We can remember that God has entrusted us with the money and possessions we have, and we are to use them wisely. We are to be using what God has given us for his work, not just for our own pleasure.
  2. We can make sure we set aside time each day to spend with God; reading his Word, praying, meditating on what God’s Word said, and so on. Doing those things help us to be spiritually healthy.
  3. We can set goals and have a plan, so that we have something to work toward and keep us on track. A Bible Reading Plan, having an accountability partner to check in with us and keep us on track, a prayer journal to remember what to pray for, etc.

We need to be very intentional to become healthier and more spiritually fit, just like we would if we were working and training to become more physically fit. It will look a little different for each of us (when, how long, what we do and utilize, etc), but the point is to be intentional with our spiritual health.

 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8)

In a world full of distractions and temptations, we must do what is necessary to stay close to Christ, who gives us the strength we need to live a Godly life. There will always be many excuses to not spend time with God or focus on your spiritual health…guard yourself from making those excuses, and be intentional about your spiritual health. We are in the middle of a spiritual battle, so it only stands to reason that we should work to be spiritually strong and healthy.