Are You Strengthening Your Spiritual Muscles?
Are you training for eternity? If I took a peek at your goals for 2018, what would your goals tell me? Our goals tell us the focus of our hearts and minds.
My top priority for 2018 is to reflect His word daily. How does this look? What does this mean? I want to be a reflection of God and to be part of His plan, I need to train my spiritual muscles for strength and endurance.
Training and Discipline
I’ve never trained for a marathon, 5K or 10K. But, I have trained and exercised with specific goals in mind such as flexibility, strengthening my core, and increasing circulation. Although minor compared to disciplining oneself for a marathon, training and discipline will allow me to achieve my goal.
When we focus on our spiritual muscles, we are training for eternity. To accomplish this, we must exercise our faith. Working out strengthens our physical, mental, and emotional health. Exercising our faith strengthens our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Although each of these is a benefit in and of itself, strengthening our spiritual muscles brings us closer to God and fortifies our faith walk. The stronger our faith, the more we shine (reflect) God’s light!
Are you beginning to see the benefits of exercising our spiritual muscles? Much like training, it does not happen overnight. We must discipline ourselves and be consistent in our training. Below, I share steps you can take in your training to strengthen your spiritual muscles. It is a process. I encourage you to apply these practices daily and keep track of your progress. I am confident you will reap the benefits physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!
5 Steps for Strengthening Your Spiritual Muscles
1. Prayer – spend time each day communicating to God. When we pray, we share our deepest desires and needs with God. Prayer also allows us to offer up prayers on behalf of our family, friends, community, and nation.
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)
2. Bible Study – dedicate time daily to study God’s word. Read a chapter a day in the Bible. Invest in resources such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary or Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to deepen your understanding of God’s word.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
3. Journaling – the benefits of journaling are numerous and increase our mental health. I shared in my post, The 5 R’s of Journaling, the advantages of writing out our thoughts and reflections. Journaling restores our thoughts, rejuvenates our minds, and records our faith walk. Journaling allows us to offer written prayers of praise and gratitude for answered prayers.
“Once again I’ll go over what God has done, lay out on the table the ancient wonders; I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.” Psalm 77: 11-12 (MSG)
4. Fellowship – sharing our stories and our journeys with one another encourages others. Sharing our testimony also praises and glorifies God for all He has done in our life. We are called to worship and fellowship together “spurring one another on as we [train] for the big day.”
“So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10: 22-25 (MSG)
5. Mentoring – giving back what we have been given is a true sign of discipleship. Jesus mentored the disciples, and in return, the disciples went out to share God’s word and teach His ways. This is a wonderful example of mentoring because mentoring is reciprocal. We are called to mentor one another. I shared in previous posts The Benefits of Titus 2 Mentoring, Making Time for Mentoring, and The Significance of Mentoring the impact mentoring played in my life, and continues to bless me. Mentors encourage, support, pray, and guide us in our faith walk.
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1 (NIV)
My Prayer for 2018
My prayer for 2018 is to strengthen my spiritual muscles. My word for 2018 is “Strength.” Merriam Webster defines strength as “the quality or state of being strong: capacity for exertion or endurance; power to resist force: solidity, toughness; and power of resisting attack: impregnability.” Amazing yes?
As I strengthen my spiritual muscles, I am focusing on strength training. Increasing my strength will allow me to withstand and resist forces coming against me. God’s word helps me to endure as I run the race God has set out for me. I encourage you to pick up the baton and run along with me as we strip off every weight that slows us down. Let us run with endurance!
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)