~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New Year...New You...New Me! Back to the Basics; Breathe on Me!

Now that we know our heart is in good condition due to the blood flow we will further pursue this quest to spiritual fitness and what it means as it relates to being physically fit. To refresh your memory; WikiAnswers.com tells us: If you are physically fit, you have well-conditioned cardiovascular, respiratory, and musculoskeletal, systems in order to perform physically demanding activities such as exercise, sports, or manual work…

The respiratory system consists of organs that deliver oxygen to the circulatory system and assists in the removal of carbon dioxide, thus preventing a deadly build up of this waste product. The air flow begins in the nose and ends in the lungs. Filtering air through the nasal passage prevents airborne bacteria, viruses, smog, dust particles, and other potentially disease-causing substances from entering the lungs.

Much like this system, the Holy Spirit filters potentially disease-causing substances from entering our lives. Not familiar with those spiritual diseases? Greed, apathy, pride, lust, anger, back-biting, envy, despise and yes, even hate…careless actions, words, or emotions that can destroy love in ones heart, is a good place to start. Without the filter the Holy Spirit provides, churches are divided, couples walk away from each other, families are destroyed, and people are eaten alive by their own emotions.

To keep your respiratory system healthy you must exercise…breathe fresh air instead of stale, and a lot of it! The same goes for the Holy Spirit…have you gotten “stale” in your relationship with the Lord? Are you reading with enthusiasm His Word or are you just brushing through a couple of verses a day…cause Christian’s read the Bible daily? Or, tell me, is your Bible collecting dust on the nightstand or do you keep it in the back seat of your car so you have for the next service. OK, don’t tell me… Do you even take it to church with you or since the verses are on the overhead…it’s one less thing to keep up with? I heard a Pastor once say, “If you don’t have your Bible you must have the whole thing memorized.”

Do you have an effective prayer life? You know the kind I am talking about … the two-way kind of communication between you and God. Don’t just give Him your laundry list of bless this person, be with that person, heal the other, give me patience, give me this or that…and oh, by the way, Love ya, Lord, Amen, and think you are good and done. You might be done, but you certainly are not good. Sorry to sound harsh, but you know we have to listen. How in the world can we be led by the Holy Spirit if we don’t listen?

When you sing a “Christian” song are you singing because you like the singer, the beat moves you, or are you singing it as a true praise? When a song brings tears to your eyes, or that twinge of conviction, are you singing along prayerfully?

And then there’s the whole attending church, being an active participant in the activities that go on there, thing. Just because you are a teacher, or a lay leader, or even a minister does not mean that your spirit can’t get stale…or even stagnant. We sometimes get so busy doing the work of the Lord that we forget to serve Him. He really, really was a servant.... If you have forgotten just how much of a servant he was, I suggest you re-read the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

I just don't see how we can be protected from the build up of deadly spiritual diseases if we are lacking exercise in these vital areas. Do you? Examining them (honestly) gives us a good idea of how fit our spiritual respiratory system is and just where we need to apply exercise. Let's face it, how can we assist others in becoming spiritually fit if we are out of shape ourselves? That's kinda like getting dieting advice from someone who is obese...or marriage counseling from someone who's been divorced 5 times!

John 16:7-14 “But I tell you the truth; It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because me do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes He will guide you into all truth, He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.”

Acts 2:37-39 “When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

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