Spiritual Aerobics: 6 Exercises for Soul Fitness

I’m not a fan of exercise. I do walk—but my “brisk” is a little slower than most people’s.  And I get quite a bit of exercise playing with my grandchildren.  But nothing approaches aerobic.So I find it a little amusing that God gave me some aerobic assignments—spiritual aerobics.  That is, He reminded me of a sequence of "positions" or "exercises" needed to experience fully the blessing and fruitfulness that I desire in my life and ministry.I have actually done messages on several of them, and continue to study all of them in God’s Word. Here they are briefly:

1. Fall on My Face

When Isaiah saw the Lord, He said, "Woe is me. I am undone."  When Daniel was confronted by the Angel of the Lord, he fell on his face.  When Peter realized that Jesus was God, he asked Jesus to leave him because he knew he was sinful.When we truly see God and truly see ourselves, we can't help but fall on our faces.  His holiness and our sinfulness are totally incompatible, causing us to appropriately fall on our faces in fear of the Lord.  Then the most amazing thing happens.  With grace and mercy, God lifts us into His presence by the redeeming blood of Jesus. (Isaiah 6:1-8; Daniel 10:9; Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 22:4; Psalm 19:9)

2. Drop to My Knees

I am convinced that the work of God is done on our knees.  Then we go see what has been accomplished.  So many of us are truly activists, out getting the job done, and that is commendable.  But I believe we would see far more fruit if we spent a lot more time on our knees.  (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; John 16:24; Ephesians 6:18)

3. Stand Firm

Repeatedly God's Word reminds us that we are in a battle.  We have an adversary who is determined to distract, defeat and destroy us.  But we are also reminded, in the words of Martin Luther, "the right man [is] on our side."We are admonished to have courage, stand firm, and see the deliverance of the Lord; to be on guard, to be strong and to stand firm; to be free and stand firm; to put on the armor of God and stand firm; to resist the devil and stand firm.  We are the victors if we stand firm in the power of God.  (2 Chronicles 20:17; 1 Corinthians 16:13; Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:14; 1 Peter 5:9)

4. Walk Worthy

Then we start walking.  We start living the Christian life—in a way worthy of our calling.  We are to walk in humility, love, purity, holiness, patience.  We are to walk in truth and obedience, as lights shining in the darkness to reveal our Savior.  We are to walk not in our own strength, but in the power of the Holy Spirit.  (Ephesians 4; Colossians 3; Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:18)

5. Run with Endurance

The cliché holds true:  The Christian life is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.  Each of us has a prescribed course.    We are invited to throw off worldly encumbrances and entangling sin and to run with endurance  the course God has marked out for us, with our eyes fixed on Jesus.  We are encouraged not to grow weary and lose heart so that we might win the prize and hear those wonderful words: "Well done, good and faithful servant.  Enter into the joy of your master."  (I Corinthians 9:24; Hebrews 12:1; Matthew 25:14-30)

6. Rest in Peace

God is a firm believer in rest:  He rested on the seventh day.  He commanded us to rest one day a week.  He told the Israelites to let the land rest every seventh year.  The psalms speak repeatedly of “resting in God.”  And the Lord Jesus makes the most wonderful offer:  "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Right now I am tired and weary—and so grateful Jesus gives me rest and peace.  (Genesis 2:2; Exodus 31:15; Leviticus 25:5; Psalm 62:1; Psalm 91:1; Matthew 11:28)I’m grateful that the Lord has been so clear about the kinds of exercise I need to follow and serve Him. And He gives grace for me to push through even the most challenging courses.Which exercise are you most in need of?  Leave a comment here.c2011 Judy Douglass