As I’ve reflected on how to keep fit this is what I have discovered – – calorie counting and exercise are important but the road to health starts a lot deeper. Real health begins in the soul, and if you want to be fit for life you have to begin by building your spiritual muscles. To do that we must first understand that there are three levels of living and that everyone chooses at which level they will live. Here comes level 2…
Level 2 This next level is all about a life shaped by what is only temporary
Paul wrote to his young apprentice Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7b-8a …train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.
This is all about getting our priorities right – it’s about the right balance between the physical and material life – and our spiritual life.
You see, not only does an athlete have to refuse to eat the wrong things, you also have to make sure you eat and take in all the right things too and in a balanced way.
Speaking about balance I heard about a person who died from drinking too much water!
The person had entered a competition and the idea was to see who could drink the most water without having to go to the bathroom.
Apparently the person drank so much water that it diluted her system to the point that she passed out and later died. Terrible!
Now water is normally a good thing for us – and it should be, seeing as though 90% of our body is made up of water. But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing right?!
The point I’m trying to make here is this; not only do we have to refuse to take in the wrong things, we have to make sure we take in the right things too and in a balanced way.
You know, balance in the Christian life is so, so important. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the immediacy of this life that we forget that we’re living for eternity.
Sometimes we get so busy with life and concerned about the here and now that we start to cut corners with God. Outwardly we act the part, but inwardly our spiritual life is dead. We’ve taken in so much of the “water of the world” that God has been diluted right out of our system.
Ever feel like that?
My question is, what’s the point in living like that? What’s the point of living with such a diluted faith that each time you rock up to church on a Sunday you feel like you have to put on a face so that people won’t notice?
The apostle Peter wrote about the Christian whose Monday life does not measure up to their Sunday life. He said in 2 Peter 2:19b-22… a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud”
There’s so much in that passage for us.
First, this thing going on between you and God is sacred! Peter says if you dilute that sacred relationship by playing games with the world you will be worse off – in fact it would have been better if you had never known the way to salvation. What he means is, if you weren’t saved then you wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt of breaking God’s heart every-time you got caught up in the world.
Next Peter’s says you can’t build spiritual muscle if you keep eating vomit! What does he mean by that? He means this – so long as this world means more to you than Jesus Christ, your Christian walk will never be happy one.
Once you have tasted what it’s like to follow Jesus Christ, every time you return to worldy ways and worldy standards of living, it’s like eating vomit. And you will never grow and you will never accomplish anything much for God by doing that. In fact, as long as this world means more to you than Jesus Christ you will sit idly by and watch as God does marvelous and wonderful things in other people’s lives and through other people’s lives, all the while wondering why it isn’t you!
So long as this world means more to you than obedience to Jesus Christ you will not be much use to God.
You can’t build spiritual muscle if the “water of the world” has diluted God right out of your system.
If you want to grow faster, overcome more and accomplish great things for God then you’ve got to live for something more than this world.
So, if you want to keep fit, then you´ve got to get in shape!
Have a great week as you reflect on just how you can apply this with the help of God.