So far we have identified that to be (or to become) spiritually fit is much like being (or becoming) physically fit. Since we are focusing on spiritual fitness in this series let’s review the three most important aspects.
We are blood-bought and must accept this gift of salvation. Surely without that gift we can be of no TRUE service to our Lord, nor our community, nor the strangers that He has placed (will place) before us. There is no way we can share what we do not have to begin with. Jesus, Himself, has commissioned us to go forth and grow HIS kingdom!Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We must have a two-way communication with Him through the Holy Spirit…that includes listening and patiently waiting upon the Lord for direction. The Bible is full of stories of people who waited and the consequences of NOT waiting. Isn’t it a good thing that He can come in and straighten out the situation? Let’s face it…HIS WILL will come about no matter the mess I make of things…I just don’t want Him to have to do that… I’d rather be a willing servant than a haphazard-I-can-do-this-on-my-own-in-the-name-of-the-Lord servant; don’t you? We have to go no further than the book of Genesis and the story of Sari and Abram to see what happened when they grew weary of waiting for a child…the consequences of that action/decision remains a vivid reminder for us all in the Middle-East to this day.Galatians 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
We know we have to have a strong and healthy spiritual backbone… We have to know the Word of God and stand faithfully planted upon that Word. Never swaying or being led astray…always checking what we hear or read against the one TRUE WORD OF GOD…which is the Holy Bible.John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself and God our Father who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every deed and word.”
Now that we have a good understanding of what it means to be spiritually fit…let’s explore why we want to be that way in the first place. Our reasons might differ a little but we all know we have to be fit in order to be of use by God. I like the way that Wiki definition of physically fit put it: You do not tire easily after strenuous activity because you get sufficient rest. Your immune system stays strong against infection so you rarely, if ever, get sick.
THAT’S why I want to be spiritually fit! So I don’t grow weary doing what it is He has set before me whether it is rocking babies in the nursery, preaching a sermon, teaching a class, cleaning the building, taking care of the grounds, feeding the hungry, taking care of the needy, sitting with the infirm… comforting someone with a hurting heart… for they are all strenuous when trying to accomplish them with a less than fit spirit. I want to be certain I get enough rest in Him that I am serving Him and not working for my church.
Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus, Himself, says “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I want my spiritual immune system strong so I can fight the temptations and struggles that will surely come my way once I am whole-heartedly COMMITTED to serving the One True God and God alone…I want to be immune to those spiritual diseases that crop up when the worldly man beats the spiritual man in the daily running of the race. That truly is the WHY of it all!
Galatians 5:16, 17 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so you do not do what you want.”