When a person begins an exercise program to improve their cardiovascular or aerobic fitness level, several things are going on physiologically in the body. The cardiovascular system – the oxygen transport system – has to get used to carrying oxygen in the blood through the blood vessels and deliver it as fuel for the muscles. Once the blood and oxygen arrives at the cellular level, the membranes of the cells must become ‘trained’ to allow the oxygen in so it can be used by the muscles. The more a person exercises, the more efficient this oxygen transport system becomes. As these pathways are used more and more, the person’s cardiovascular fitness will improve.
In a similar way, as we exercise aspects of our faith, we improve our level of spiritual fitness. I’ll give you one example.
Our beliefs shape our attitudes, which shape our thinking patterns, which shape our behaviors. As we read the Bible our beliefs begin to align with the truths we read. If we’re serious about growing in our faith, we’ll be intentional about meditating on these biblical truths. Our repeated thoughts will grow our neural pathways. These repeated thoughts become our attitudes which will permeate our mind and our emotions…. and end up shaping our will and its corresponding choices. This will determine our behaviors.
Recently I have been reading about what it means to be ‘in Christ,’ and for Christ to be ‘in me.’
The Apostle Paul knew that – “I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) This is true for all of us who have genuinely accepted Jesus into our heart. As a branch of a grapevine is connected to its vine, I am connected to Jesus, the Son of God. That’s what the Word of God tells me. This is a supernatural, or spiritual, truth. And I believe it. I embrace it. The more I dwell on this truth, the more my attitude aligns with this truth. This enables me to ‘rest’ in my union with Jesus.
I have gained confidence that Jesus is living His life through me. His Spirit is prompting me throughout the day to write, call someone, speak encouraging words, pray to His Father in Heaven. My life is bearing the fruit that Jesus’ life is having through me.
What I have briefly outlined is a form of spiritual training or exercise. The more I dwell on these truths, believe them, think them and trust that God’s Son is living in and through me, my life is changed. This is what Paul meant when he wrote:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
In Christ, I am a new creation!
Just as our aerobic fitness level improves with regular exercise, our spiritual fitness matures when we embrace and practice God’s truths.
Now go and train yourself spiritually… and have a very blessed day, in Christ!
Related Blog Posts and Content