“Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Most of us have “heard it all” about staying fit, at least with regard to physical fitness. It is even more important, though, that Christians be spiritually fit. The ways and means of fitness are closely related for both so let’s review the basics.
If you want to be in good physical shape you need to pay close attention to three things:
When we think about being on a diet we usually think about avoiding foods and snacks that are high in certain kinds of fat and sugar — giving up anything that tastes really good. A proper diet, however, is not just avoiding bad things, we have to be sure we are eating the right things! Eating healthy is the first step to physical fitness. If we are to be spiritually fit we must also be aware of our spiritual diet. Of course we must carefully avoid those things that might turn our hearts and minds from godliness. At the same time, though, we must be sure to consume those things that will contribute to our spiritual vitality. And for sure, we need large helpings of God’s Word. Remember, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3).
The second area of concern is exercise. You should know that exercise is only of value if we “do it till it hurts.” When exercise is vigorous it causes our muscles to grow and our strength to increase. Spiritual growth sometimes hurts as well. Paul wrote, “We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3-4).
Lastly, we need plenty of rest. It varies from person to person, and age is a factor, but most people need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. This is important because t is during our rest times that we recover, heal and grow. Again, we must rest spiritually as well as physically. The Psalmist says of himself, “My soul finds rest in God alone” (Ps. 62:1). We rest in God by trusting Him rather than self, by letting Him fight our battles for us, and by depending on His provision day by day.
Pastor Keith Andrews