If you have been following along with my posts since January 10 then you know I have begun my quest to physical and spiritual fitness…So far, I know I have to have a clean heart which is in good working order. I understand that I need to ensure that my respiratory system is in shape physically by taking in plenty of good fresh air and that I have to have a true working relationship with God. For as surely as the body needs physical breath the soul needs the living breath experienced only from the Holy Spirit.
As I continue my search for exactly what it means to be physically fit I next examine the musculoskeletal system. This system provides form, stability, and movement to the human body. Not only does the musculoskeletal system consist of bones and ligaments, joints and cartilage it also consists of other connective tissue which supports and binds tissues and organs together. Very interesting… if I do say so myself! So can I apply these three words: FORM, STABILITY, MOVEMENT…to my spiritual fitness?
FORM: The first part of this system, bones (or skeleton) serves as a rigid structure and protects the delicate internal organs and serves as housing for the bone marrow. Most interestingly, bones undergo this process called remodeling. It’s where old bone tissue is gradually replaced by new bone tissue. Did you know every ten years every bone in the body is completely reformed?
Oh, this is a tough one…what is my spiritual form? Is it my spiritual backbone and if so, what exactly is my spiritual backbone? Is it the tenets of faith, the creed, from my denomination? While it might be an important part, I believe it goes much deeper than that. I believe it has something to do with knowing the word of God…whole-heartedly. Knowing it so well that it becomes my second nature…no my first nature. It also includes that one-on-one relationship with God through the Holy Spirit so that when I need to stand…I stand strong. When I need to make decisions, when I need to use discernment…I automatically react and act in a godly manner. When others look at me I want them to only see HIM...now that's the spiritual posture I want to have...How about you?
2nd Corinthians 5:7 reminds us that we live by faith and not by sight. We are also reminded to die daily to self so that we can live for HIM...in that manner(dieing daily) our spiritual bones are remodeled much the same as our physical bones....hummm...now there is something to ponder.
STABILITY: Joints are the junctions between two or more bones. Some joints don’t move while others allow a large and complex range of motions. The components of joints provide stability and reduce the risk of damage from constant use.
So, if joints provide stability in the musculoskeletal system then what is it that provides stability in my spiritual life…church attendance, daily bible study, active prayer life…is there more to my spiritual stability than these? Is it unwavering faith? The praise Him in the good times and praise Him in the bad times kind of faith? The Bible says it so I believe it kind of faith? I think, yes! It is the inexplicable childlike faith that resides in the heart of all believers that provides spiritual stability. Without faith, how can we not become damaged by overuse?
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” ~NIV ~Man that is a good chapter! If you haven’t read it in a while take a minute to read it now.
MOVEMENT: Skeletal muscle is what most people think of when they hear the word, muscle - the type that can be contracted to move the various parts of the body.
The muscles cause movement much the same as the Holy Spirit moves us spiritually…but how are we moved spiritually and how do we know we are moving in the right direction? Is it sending a card to a shut in or to someone who is having a difficult time? Is it rocking babies in the nursery, mentoring a teenager, teaching a class, feeding the hungry? Is it reaching past the walls of our churches and getting down and dirty…in the nitty-gritty of our communities? I think we can all agree with a resounding YES! It is just that and so much more! How do we know we are moving in the right direction? We are known by our fruits, are we not? Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” It is by examining our own fruits that we know we are moving in the right direction.
To maintain good bone health (bone density and strength) the body requires adequate amounts of calcium, minerals, and vitamins and certain hormones. Activity such as weight-bearing exercises help bones strengthen by remodeling. Activity combined with the above mentioned items, bones develop into a complex lattice structure that is not only light weight but strong as well.
Much the same can be applied to our spiritual health. I love that term “weight-bearing.” It reminds me of Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
It all goes back to diet and exercise doesn’t it? This…being healthy thing? Let’s take time to examine where we need improvement…for without knowing where we need to improve we will not know what plan of action we are to take.