1 Timothy 4:7b-8 (from The Message)Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.
It's easy for me to rally in the fitness category, once I set my mind to it. Can you relate? I get inspired by group classes with motivating instructors. I enjoy the opportunity to connect with friends and meet new ones. I feel more energetic and more comfortable in my clothes. There are more than a few mental and emotional health benefits aside from the physical gains.
But can I claim to be spiritually disciplined? Am I as enthusiastic about reading the Bible? As dedicated to praying? Uhhhhhhh... ahem... whoops.
Sad to say that I don't think I could pray as long as I could run. I don't think I could spend as much time with the Bible as I do at the gym. Wait a sec. God promises that I can do all things through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). Forget the "I can't." Bring on the "God, help me."
One of my resolutions in this new year is to have daily (I mean it! DAILY) quiet time with God (I am 5 for 7). Another is to faithfully turn to him (instead of my nasty side) when the daily grind grinds me down (3 for 296). At the core is my need for spiritual discipline. And it truly is a NEED. Not just for today and tomorrow, but for our life together in eternity.
So if you have pointers for staying focused on God when life's demands pull you in other directions, please let me know. I want to – I need to – learn from your discipline and faith!