Joined: 20 Jul 2006
|Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:10 pm Post subject: SPIRITUAL STRENGTH & CONDITIONING
|Spiritual Strength & Conditioning
Did you know that many universities and colleges employ a strength and conditioning coach to train their athletes? Their responsibilities include program design, teaching exercises, performance testing, teaching proper weight lifting techniques among various other duties. They rigorously train and strive to abet an environment that is conducive to helping them reach their optimum functioning capacity. There is much thought time and preparation exerted in order to prepare their athletes. They support and recognize the need for effective training. A proper nutritious diet is encouraged as well. When properly grasped the acquired skills are useful to strengthen and enhance one’s day to day life when implemented, as well as their overall playing ability.
Did you know that the Bible refers to life as a race? But this race is not about speed, it is about endurance! Conditioning is an integral aspect of training for a professional athlete. Stretching and toning exercises are employed to strengthen the body in addition to physical exercises and weight lifting. Flexibility, strength and endurance are all apparent components when one subscribes to a disciplined exercise program. In addition a partner is used for resistance in order to further enhance one’s ability to become agile. The importance of implementing a daily proper nutrition program is essential. Balance is the key. Knowing when, how much, how little and where to apply the acquired skills are crucial. But the main concept and principles should never be abandoned in order to reach your desired goal. One must always keep in mind that the main purpose is first and foremost. The purpose is to develop a healthy strong body constitution. This will ultimately factor greatly in one’s overall success and endurance ability. The long term goal is that it all eventually in due course becomes a natural process incorporated into one’s daily life. In this respect their goal is not at all different from what God wants for us. Developing a strong body constitution is just what He wants. Perhaps if we kept uppermost in mind who the Body really belongs to we would handle things quite differently? Perhaps the long term goal would be embraced rather than the temporary “quick fix” method? We must remember that endurance and embracing Truth is the key!
The Bible is adamant on its position that the “Church” is the “Body of Christ”. It is crystal clear telling us how important it is to be mindful of the things we say or do. How we live day to day, regardless of where we work, live, play or attend worship service. Daily personal Bible study and its application are important for spiritual conditioning. When Bible study at church is used to further strengthen one’s spiritual life it is most effective. However, all too often it is used to condition one to think the way of the one teaching. The Holy Spirit is our ultimate Teacher. The Word of God vociferously tells us the importance of embracing and implementing God’s principles to our daily life. Life is a race to be lived that has already been won by Jesus Christ! Did you know it actually tells us to do whatever it is that we do as we “do it unto the Lord?” The wonderful thing about God is that He is Omnipotent; meaning He only is all power! It is through Jesus Christ who is the Word of God that He spoke every thing into existence. There is no power, authority nor principalities on earth or in heaven that are greater. Now that is heavy! Yet, God still gives us the freedom to choose. He has given us countless examples and statistics of possible choices inclusive of results and consequences. The Bible is concise and the Holy Spirit illuminates brilliantly the pitfalls and possible detours when one chooses to operate in their own strength. Proper spiritual conditioning is key for endurance.
How you choose to embrace, daily adopt or overlook God’s principles will determine your overall spiritual strength and endurance. The employments of the Fruit of His Spirit are the nutrients necessary to digest the “Spiritual Food” that is necessary for this life journey. Discipline is key! Proverbs 25:18 tell us that “like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” If you want a conditioning coach that is readily available 24/7 I highly recommend Jesus! I recommend that you really get to know Him through His Word and begin implementing the principles therein. Galatians tell us that the Fruit of the Spirit are; “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self Control.” It goes on to say if you belong to Jesus Christ you have “crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” If you read further it tells us not to give up! You have as much time as you need to do the things that God has prepared for you to do. It really is not about how things appear. Endurance is the key! Knowing God intimately is the key! Knowing that there is freedom in Christ is key. Jesus died to set us free. Sin brings bondage. He does not want you burdened by a yoke of slavery. “His yoke is easy and His burdens are light.” Not obeying the Truth will side track your ability to run gracefully? It will impede your progress.
God has given gifts to the Body of Christ to facilitate and augment its growth. It is His desire for us to grow and mature. Spiritual conditioning is key! He does not want you “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.” Scheme they will. Just know that this in no way impresses God. Know that in His time He will right every wrong. So I say, “Hallelujah anyhow!” You can rest in knowing that God knows what is really going on, and also knows the Truth! Nothing gets by Him! “So, we can say with confidence, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be afraid!” Hebrews 13: 6. Know the Word of God for yourself! God is a God of Light! When you speak the Truth in love there is power! But first you must really know what Love is? Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not envy? Do you not boast? Are you proud? Are you rude? Do you want your own way? Of course you do not get angry easily? Nor do you keep records of wrongs? Did you know that love rejoices in Truth? Love not sometimes but, Always protects, Always trusts, Always hopes and Always preserves? This is God’s definition of love! Think hard and long before you say or use the word LOVE so loosely? God knows because He is TRUTH and He is LOVE! It is what He knows and thinks that is most important. It should be a daily prayer that God fill you with “The knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of Light.. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Remember that conditioning I talked about earlier? God’s Word is so powerful! Remember God’s Word says that “everything was spoken into existence through Jesus Christ”! God has a predestined plan for each of His children. The race is given to who? Do you really know what LOVE means? Do you know the difference between tolerance and patience? Be honest with yourself! Or just ask someone who really knows you, not someone you are trying to impress or you just see at the Church meeting? Or how about asking that partner that helps to test your resistance? Do you “Yield not to Temptation?” Did you know that God is the ultimate burden bearer? Did you know that it is through Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection we can be reconciled and presented Holy in His sight? It cancelled the code that was against us. God is awesome! Jesus really does have a better way. The Body of Christ really does belong to Him. The Church is His Bride! Colossians says “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the LORD CHRIST you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”
“We walk by faith not by sight” To successfully run this spiritual race you must keep the faith! When your hope and trust are in the Lord you are on solid ground. He will level your path and make sure you are on the right path. He will prune away all that is necessary to make your path straight! Watch out for the wide road! Remember, “Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it!” Matthew 7:14. When your spiritual diet consists of the fruit of His Spirit and you daily digest His Word you are on your way. It will keep you balanced. Learn to be patient. When you allow Jesus to be your strength and conditioning coach you can definitely endure! The Holy Spirit will illuminate your path. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked before us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” God is good! Daily mediate upon His Word! James says “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest in righteousness.” Consider it pure joy brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance……………… Is Jesus your strength and conditioning coach? Then you can definitely endure! In this spiritual race our prize is guaranteed. To God be the Glory!
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and has released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".