“Physical training is of some value, but godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come” (1 Timothy 4:8).
Do you feel like you need to eat healthier, exercise more, or get more sleep? Maybe you find yourself wishing this to be true, but see no results, unable to make it your lifestyle. Knowing what we ought to do, we often find we lack the discipline it takes to carry it out. I have learned that discipline without desire fades as quickly as a New Year’s resolution that is so easily broken. The desire for pleaure for the moment often overrides the desire for better results in the long run.
This same principle also applies to our desire to grow spiritually. We all have areas we can personally grow, and life has a way of exposing our weaknesses. Just as physical discipline, spiritual discipline needs to be a regular part of our lifestyle to be healthy.
Without a compelling and ongoing motivation, we easily fall into the old habits we had wished to overcome.
I believe the greatest motivation to prompt desire is the eternal and unconditional love of God. To compliment that is valuing the eternal above the temporal. Not only is the eternal enduring, but it comes with the promise of rewards not only for this life, but also the life to come. (1 Cor. 4:18).
I am confident with moral and spiritual issues, but have always struggled with a confidence in who I am. Although God has showed me I am His beloved, it is another thing to walk that out. But it’s in walking it out that He can take us to the new depths He wants to bring us.
In my life, both directly and indirectly, unkind actions or words communicated to me (at some point), have broken down my personal confidence. Recently, I saw this phrase written on a poster: “Kindness in words creates CONFIDENCE”. Scripture also tells us in Proverbs 12:18 “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
I have learned that the areas in which we struggle, influence how we treat others. We have all heard the saying: “It’s not what we say, but how we say it”. In my case, the Holy Spirit has brought to my attention how I can, at times, unintentionally offend people that I love, by the tone in which I have said things. I have felt really bad about this. Really bad. But – I have to do more than just feel bad about it to change.
We can feel bad about a lot of things. We can feel bad about being out of shape, but if we just assume we’re going to get healthy because we feel bad – we are fooling ourselves. My husband used to counsel people and would often hear the phrase, ” I know…but God has not changed me yet.” He would tell them that God has given us His truth and grace to equip us to change. But it is our choice to lay ahold of His grace and truth, appropriating it to our lives.
This is where our DAILY WORKOUT comes in. However – we need DESIRE to maintain THIS DISCIPLINE. The greatest motivation in life I know of is the undiluted love of God which compels us to love him and put others before our self. That is why we are told that physical exercise has some value, (it does not say no value), godliness is much better.
Our spiritual work out begins by meditating everyday on God’s love and discovering how His Word instructs us to treat others. This is a win-win situation. It has both benefit for this life and also the life to come as we store up “Treasures in Heaven” (Matt. 6:20,21).
As we daily work out our salvation, God joins us in our workout, working in us both to WILL and to DO His good pleasure.
“Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Phil. 2:12b, 13).
Remember that you are eternally loved. There was no beginning and there will be no end to God’s love for you! He’s cheering you on in this daily work out!
I’d love to hear from you, so please scroll down and leave me a comment.