Most of us can imagine what a typical physical workout might look like. We’d first stretch a little to warm up the muscles we would be using in the rest of our session. Then there would be some type of cardiovascular or aerobic workout – repeated, nonstop contractions of a major muscle group over a period of 15 to 60 minutes or even more that would elevate your heart rate to a level that is measurably above your resting heart rate. That might be followed by resistance exercises to strengthen the muscles. If you were in a gym you’d perhaps use some equipment designed for that purpose performing two sets of 10-15 repetitions of about ten exercises working the major muscle groups. To end the workout, you’d want to again stretch out the muscles that were used. The workout might last an hour or an hour and a half. If you were working with a fitness professional, he would consider the FITT principle in developing your workout plan. He’d want to determine the frequency(F) of your workouts, the intensity(I) or how hard you’d perform the exercises, the duration or amount of time(T) you’d engage in the various exercises and the various types(T) of exercises you should perform. These are all basic considerations when working out physically.
How would working out spiritually or working out with God look? First Timothy 4:7-8 says “spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next.” ( First Edition of the New Living Translation of the Bible) In the context of how this word is used here perhaps your consider this as a definition of spiritual exercise – “It’s any belief or intentional behavior that helps one become more like Jesus, draw closer to Him, know Him better or that follows the principles or commandments of God.”
Over the course of the next several weeks, I’ll be writing more on this topic. In the meantime, I have a few questions for you.
What types of ‘spiritual exercises’ are you including in your day to day activities to be spiritually fit?
What are you doing to work out your spiritual muscles?
Have a great week!