Everyone wants to be strong and many of us wish we were a bit more ripped than we currently are. No one sets out in life and says, “I hope that I’m incredibly out of shape and the laziest person I know.” Yet, very often we wonder how we can drop a few pounds, tone up and get into better shape.
All to frequently the same thing is true for our spiritual life. Our desire is to be connected in a meaningful way to God, to know Jesus and walk with His Spirit. Yet, for far too many of us we live dangerously close to being disconnected with God.
Jesus gives us a great example in Matthew chapter 4 for what we should do in order to be spiritually fit. Check this out.
1Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”
We see here that Jesus did 4 things to stay spiritually fit.
- Jesus was led by the Spirit- His ears were open to the prompting of the Spirit. Jesus was so in tune with the Spirit of God that He followed the Spirit’s lead out into the wilderness.
- Jesus fasted– Jesus stopped eating for 40 days. He took the focus off of his physical hunger to help cultivate a stronger spiritual hunger.
- He memorized scripture- Jesus knew scripture. It was on the tip of His tongue when He needed it most. What He had read as a boy, and a teen was buried in His mind and it infiltrated His soul.
- He spoke scripture out loud- Jesus knew scripture and He spoke scripture in the moments when it would be easy to give in and focus on self rather than scripture.
Typically we call these Spiritual Disciplines. Spiritual Disciplines in and of themselves have no ability to save us, but they do have the ability to help sanctify us, or make us more like Christ. One of my favorite authors, Richard Foster, has said, “A Spiritual Discipline is an intentionally directed action which places us in a position to receive from God the power to do what we cannot accomplish on our own.” We don’t discipline ourselves for no reason. We discipline ourselves so that when the time comes we are ready for whatever comes our way.
Think about it, if Jesus practiced spiritual disciplines, how much more should we? What has been your experience with staying spiritually fit?