Are You God's Gym Buddy?
Updated: Sep 12, 2019
Well, you can be, sort of. It is more like accepting God as your personal trainer who prefers you train everywhere, not just at the gym. Think of your Sunday church service as a spiritual gym where you work out your faith muscles. How spiritually fit will you be if you work out only once a week?
OK, you get it. Great! To become spiritually fit requires more than attending a church service once a week. You may ask, what else can I do, or, perhaps more commonly, why do I need to be spiritually fit?
Why You Need to Be Spiritually Fit
To be spiritually fit is to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus tells us, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Free from what? Free from slavery to sin John 8:34 and free from doing the deeds and desires of the devil John 8:41 and 44. You see, Jesus' message is about living forever with God and also about living a transformed life on earth. Living a transformed life means loving God and serving others Mark 12:30-31 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" Ephesians 2:10. The more spiritually fit we are the better prepared we will be to do these good works that God has planned for us to do. Another reason to be spiritually fit is to become a spiritual trainer for others. Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, he told his small group of disciples, "Go and make disciples..." Matthew 28:19. Disciples making disciples. Trainers training future trainers. That is Jesus' method and command.
Three reasons why you need to be spiritually fit are:
To be set free from slavery to sin (John 8:31-32)
To do good works that God has prepared for you to do (Ephesians 2:10)
To become a disciple-maker, a spiritual trainer of others (Matthew 28:19)
What's the Goal
The goal of working out with God as a personal trainer and with a fellow Christian as a workout partner is to "be conformed to the image of Christ" (Romans 8:29). Paul writes, "do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind " (Romans 12:2), and "hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 1:13). As a disciple-maker, Paul's pattern (words and actions) serves as a model for Timothy so that Timothy can be transformed to the image of Christ by God. The goal is to be transformed to Christ-likeness through the Holy Spirit which resides in us and with the help of a human workout partner, a disciple-maker.
The goal is to be conformed to Christ-likeness
How To Become Spiritually Fit
Simply put, the way to become spiritually fit is by doing spiritual workouts. The Bible says,
"exercise yourself toward godliness..." 1 Timothy 4:7. Exercise requires effort with dedication, discipline, and determination. It requires loving the unlovable and serving your neighbor even when it is inconvenient. It means doing good works as a way of life. It also means training others.
When writing to the Christ-followers at Philippi, Paul tells them (and us), "The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you" (Philippians 4:9). Here again, Paul provides the pattern as a disciple-maker and encourages his new disciples to practice what they learned.
We grow spiritually by doing. A few things you can do to get in your spiritual workout more than once a week are:
Set appointments to talk with and listen to your Personal Trainer (God) through prayer.
Meet with your earthly trainer (disciple-maker) to study the Bible and celebrate application of Bible truths in life.
Be an active part of a faith community (church) that meets regularly for corporate worship and fellowship.
Address your weaknesses by confessing your sins and by turning away from continuing to do them.
Actively serve and love others unconditionally and unselfishly.
Rest between workouts to avoid burnout and to be prepared for the next workout.
Become a workout partner to train others (disciple-maker).
Keep the goal (conformed to Christ-likeness) as a top priority for your life.
We call the words in bold letters spiritual disciplines. The spiritual disciplines form the basic exercise agenda or routine for every mature follower of Christ. They are meant to be practiced daily.
Do your spiritual exercises daily using the workout routine of the spiritual disciplines to become spiritually fit for your own health, to help others grow stronger, and to bring greater glory to God.