Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. 1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT).
If we’re going to last and make it to the end, we must feed our faith.
Are you exercising spiritually? You won’t reach the finish line if you don’t get spiritual exercise.
Why do some people backslide and fall away? Because they stop exercising spiritually.
Do you have a fake faith? You know, you come to church when you feel like it, hang out with Christian friends when it suits you, but being tight with Jesus, well if you’re truthful with yourself you know you don’t really know Him.
You’ve no doubt heard it before, but I’ll say it again, you’ve got to work at a relationship. If you want a strong faith, you’ve got to pump the spiritual irons, break a spiritual sweat, workout on the treadmill of God’s Word, and meet with your Personal Trainer (Jesus) every day.
We all know a runner only wins a race when he’s spent time in training. If you think you can be a Christian without training, you’re naive. Every one of us needs the disciplines of daily Bible reading, times of celebration, occasions for silence and solitude, prayer and fasting, and so on.
Are you cultivating the spiritual disciplines? Without them you’ll find it next to impossible to persist through the ups and downs of life. Why? Because the spiritual disciplines create the environment in which the Holy Spirit fills our minds and transforms our lives so that we can successfully run the race of life.
I’m deeply concerned about some people who say they’re Christians. Frankly, it’s not possible to walk with God at a distance, say you love Him when you’re preoccupied with yourself, or go to church but not serve.
If you name Him, but don’t live all out for Him, something’s wrong. God hurts when you distance yourself from Him, mourns when you’re too preoccupied to meet with Him, and grieves when you’re not committed to Him.
God will do His part, but you must do yours. You must cultivate the spiritual disciplines. You must do what it takes to attain the reward both in this life and the life to come.