8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”
1 Timothy 4:8 (New Living Translation)
As I was watching the CrossFit Games, I noticed the competitors’ bulging muscles, washboard abs and stocky quads, but I wondered about the condition of their faith, or as I like to call it – their “muscles in Jesus.”
They lift weights and train for hours to buffet their bodies in the quest to be crowned the fittest man or woman on earth. But what about the inner person of the heart?
What if believers entered into the same kind of rigorous conditioning program, but instead of building our bodies, we built up our faith through spiritual exercises?
What if we were athletes of the Spirit, using our daily stresses for training in godliness? What if each trial or test of our patience was seen as spiritual weightlifting, cardio and conditioning?
I know that for muscles to grow, they must be torn, causing them to develop more and stronger fibers as they heal. And it’s the same for our spiritual muscles.
So to grow our “muscles in Jesus,” we must enter into the pressures, stresses and trials of our daily lives with the attitude and mindset of an athlete in training.
Put me in, coach!
Athletes prepare to play the game – Christians prepare to win souls. Matthew 28:19, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations …”
Bring it on!
Athletes embrace every physical challenge – Christians embrace every hardship as discipline. Hebrews 12:10, “But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in His holiness.”
One more rep!
Athletes work harder – Christians seek God more fervently. Jeremiah 29:13 (NASB), “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
No pain, no gain!
Athletes understand the cost – Christians understand God’s grace in that His pain is their gain. 1 Peter 2:24, “…for by His wounds you were healed.”
Give 100 percent!
Athletes pour their hearts into it – Christians pour their hearts into Him. Psalm 62:8, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Friend, it is possible to be dedicated to being a great athlete, while at the same time being a passionate Christian who is growing stronger in Jesus daily.
The key to doing both is to understand how to build not only physical muscles, but how to develop your spiritual muscles in Jesus.
Train for godliness!