“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
The weather outside is good. Summer is coming. People are out again, jogging, walking, hiking, cycling, getting in shape and getting healthy.
This is a good thing; people just feeling better, active, alive, moving again.
Physical training is a good thing, but even better, in addition to, but not instead of, is spiritual training, preparing our souls, building our spiritual endurance, making us stronger, establishing our character and integrity.
Spiritual training is good not just to build our faith but to also build our relationship with Jesus. Spiritual training, if done in a true spirit, is done with Jesus not for Him. He is beside us every step of the way – ready to listen, speak to us, encourage us, exhort us, guide us, and challenge us; like a coach and friend.
Just like in physical training, there are multiple ways to train spiritually. Here are a few:
- Reading the Bible – even a verse a day. This is the equivalent of getting out to walk. It gets the heart going and takes you places. As you read, listen to what God may be saying to you and apply it. Live it. Become it.
- Prayer – of course prayer is a key part. Prayer strengthens us in ways few other things do. Speak, listen, reflect, sit in silence. In times of great stress, prayer can be like wrestling with God. It can also be like the cool down after a hard workout. Prayer crosses all other disciplines. Learn to be good at prayer, which is simply this - be yourself as you talk with God.
- Scripture Meditation & Memorization – this is where you can go deeper. It’s for the person who likes High Intensity Work Outs, really diving into the Word, making it part of yourself, embedding it into your heart. Real change begins to happen here.
- Generosity – it’s like inviting someone to train with. It is going beyond yourself to help someone else, to encourage them and help get outside your own agendas.
- Fellowship – the group ride or run of the spiritual disciplines. It’s being part of a team that pulls for each other, making each other better and growing stronger. Knowing others are cheering for you makes all the difference. Find others who are walking with Jesus and walk with them.
- Fasting – the fuel for growth. Eating right is a key for good health. Though it seems counterintuitive, fasting can feed the soul as it denies the body. Fasting can jump start spiritual growth.
- Silence – the time of restoration. Your body needs to rest and recover after a hard work out. Your soul also needs rest, and silence is so restorative. Just being quiet whether it’s in a room or outside in nature can bring healing.
- Simplicity – the abandoning of all non-essentials. The less we have to carry, the farther we can run or ride. Why carry something or hang on to it if you don’t need it?
- Celebration – the joy of completing. Celebrating is easy to forget but vital to keeping going. Who doesn’t need more joy? It doesn’t have to be big, just life giving. Notice what God is doing and celebrate!
- Worship – the recognition of the One who makes it all possible and who gives life. For those who follow Jesus, worship is integral to their lives. It centers us, calms us, energizes us, and keeps us coming back for more of Him in our lives. Our daily spiritual training can help our worship grow sweeter and fuller.
Physical training is good. We just feel better, and our bodies get stronger. Spiritual training is even better as it lasts longer.
Do something today to grow!