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?
Are you a young adult? If so then you need to check out this conference on September 28th, 2013. I will be one of the breakout speakers there and I would love to have you come join us for this awesome local one day conference. I’ll be leading a breakout session called, “P90X Your Spiritual Walk”. At The Remix you will connect with other people your age, and most importantly with God. I can’t wait to share with you how to kick your faith up a notch.
Check out this year’s promo video:
The theme for this year’s conference is, “THE FATHER’S LOVE” and it is based on 1 John 3:1 that says, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
In order to sign up click over to www.remixconference.com. Sign up is cheap, only $25 a person! Don’t wait, do it now.
This past week I have been focusing on Psalm 51 and learning what it means to meditate on the word of God. I have been doing this for one of my classes at Biblical Seminary called “Formation and Mission”. The project at hand was to learn two new spiritual disciplines and put them into practice in our lives. Our group choose simplicity and meditation. Before you start getting all up tight thinking I’ve become too eastern or anything understand that meditation for a Christian is far different than any other form of meditation. Richard Foster in his book “Celebration of Discipline” explains it like this:
“Eastern meditation is an attempt to empty the mind; Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind. The two ideas are quite different. Meditation of Scripture centers on internalizing and personalizing the passage.”
After practicing this discipline for a few short days, I have really appreciated the discipline. Now, on to the good stuff.
As I mentioned our group chose meditation, and we chose the passage of Psalm 51 to meditate on. One of the coolest things that I came across after meditating on this psalm was verse 10. Listen to how the Message paraphrase puts it.
“God, make a fresh start in me,
shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.” Psalm 51: 10
Can you imagine what that would be like? We know that Psalm 51 is a psalm of David that was written after he had an affair with Bathsheba. His life is wildly out of control and he was chasing after the desires of his own heart at this time. Then brokenness hits him. The reality of what he had done has struck him in the face through the prophet Nathan. David begins to pour his heart out to God in repentance in this psalm.
Have you had seasons or decades in your life where you were like David? Okay, maybe not running around spying on naked women from your roof, but maybe you were living a life that was wildly out of control and seeking after the desires of your own heart. Can you resonate with the words of David? I can.
I love the beauty in the way the Message put it; “shape a genesis week from the chaos of my life.” That’s powerful! A genesis week, the week when all that we know to exist was created. Shape it from the chaos in my life! Wouldn’t you love to turn over your life’s chaos and have it shaped into something beautiful?
I know I would.
Check out this video by Gungor called “Beautiful things”
Everyone of us is made up of certain habits and practices… We allow these habits and practices to define who we are and the make up of our personality, character, etc. As this is true in life, the same is true in our relationship with Jesus Christ. We simply cannot pin our mediocrity on the fact that Jesus does not want to know us or be known by us. It comes down to what do we do in order to be connected to the living Christ? Each one of us have some spiritual discipline or another. Today I want to know, what are yours?