We know we should be Getting in Shape Spiritually, so that we may “discipline (our) bodies, and make it (our) slave (1 Cor. 9:27).” We also know that we have been called to “discipline (ourselves) for the purpose of godliness (I Tim 4:7).” So today, lets us focus on how to do this practically. Applying the truths of God’s Word to our every day life. For James makes it clear that our faith will be shown through our works. It is not enough to just know the truths, unless we also live them.
Making our bodies our slaves
1. This will mean establishing new habits. For instance, I realize I have trained my body to think it needs more sleep than it actually does. Therefore, I must habitually work to get up early each day until a new habit is formed.
2. This will mean denying ourselves. One of the best ways to do this is to think of that daily indulgence you comfort yourself with. This could be coffee, chocolate, Cokes etc. Now, instead of giving into this indulgence, deny yourself. Each time the craving comes upon you, pray instead. Another way of doing this is fasting for a meal or for a day. As we deny ourselves physical things, we will also learn to deny our flesh. Each time we yield ourselves to the Spirit and allow Him to control, we deny ourselves.
3. This will include spiritual weights. Just as it is impossible for an athlete to get into shape apart from exercise. We too must lift our spiritual weights in order to get into shape. These include daily Bible study, prayer and meditation.
4. This will require complete dependence upon the Lord. In our flesh, we will not naturally deny ourselves or look to Him. Therefore, we must depend upon Him to be our help and our strength.
5. Patience will be needed. Spiritual transformation will not take place overnight. We will all mess up, we will all fail to deny ourselves and fail in our goal of establishing new habits, the key is not to give up. Keep trying, keep confessing and keep depending on Him.
The promise: “You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. Jer. 29:13
Though we may fail, God will never fail. For He is always faithful to His Word.