My mind was made up, today was the day. I made my way into the closet to pull out the long neglected exercise ball. The book demonstrating the exercises was open at my feet, along with the hand weights. As I sat on the ball, ready to begin the quick work out, the telephone rang. This call was a prayer request that needed to be passed along through the prayer chain. Several calls and prayers later, as I looked at the clock, my allotted exercise time was up. Pushing through with a dedication to get this done, I did the exercise routine. It was an easy exercise routine, but since I had not been diligent in working out, this was hard! Ten minutes and it was done, but the effects were still going on in my shaky muscles.
For years, I had a fitness routine that worked for me. Fifteen minutes of weights in the morning and a brisk walk in the evening kept my muscles toned, my body active and my energy level high. But through the busyness of the Christmas season, one day of not doing it, led to another day, then a week, then a month. My muscles are softer and my energy lower.
God’s Word talks about exercise:
But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. I Timothy 4:7-8
The effects of exercise on the body are great, but to exercise toward godliness is profitable – beneficial, useful, advantageous. Godliness or godly character doesn’t ‘just happen’. Our good intentions will fall short. It is only through a daily routine of prayer and reading God’s Word that we exercise toward godliness. Our spiritual growth relates directly to our basic daily discipline of time spent with Him. This is where we draw strength that enables us to profit in other areas of our life. Our faith is like a muscle, the more it is used, the stronger it gets. When we purpose to strengthen or exercise in godliness, distractions will come. We will be tempted to take the easy way out in situations. Our eyes and attention will battle between godliness and the things of the world. But, when we first ‘exercise’ in that daily quiet time, we are strengthened in our heart to face these challenges. Resistance builds strength and will build us up in the ways of the Lord.
Just as is takes a mind set, followed by an action plan that cannot be swayed to develop a fitness routine, we can use that to grow our faith muscles and exercise ourselves in godliness. It will look beautiful on you!