As Christians in the 21st Century, we have more leisure time than any other people living in any other time period in history. Technology and inventions have drastically cut down what we need to do just to survive. But, greater time doesn’t equal better choices. If we’re honest, we’ve become spiritual couch potatoes–especially if we compare ourselves to the pioneers who worked fifteen hours a day cutting trees and pulling stumps just to plow the ground to grow food to eat. It was only then by oil lamp that they would study God’s Word to know His will.
I. 1 Timothy 4:6-8. The process to get into spiritual shape is much like getting into physical shape. Just as we must choose to deny ourselves unhealthy foods and exercise regularly, so we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus (Mark 8:31-35). Neither happens from the couch!
II. 1 Peter 1:13-16. To get spiritually in shape we must be holy as God is holy–and this too is part of God’s spiritual training program. Even though it’s hard, we must choose to be trained by it (Hebrews 12:7-13). Sexual holiness is a big struggle for us today in this sin-soaked culture (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
III. Romans 12:9-13. Someone who only works out at the gym serves only himself if he doesn’t use those muscles to help a friend move or carry in the groceries … so do those who only have a vertical relationship with God through prayer and study of His Word. God wants us to serve others (Galatians 5:13). What personal ministry does your spiritual training propel you to do?
We can either watch the spiritual Olympics from our spiritual couches with the spiritual remotes in our hands or we could participate in them. Are you in training?