Strength Begins with Core Training ~ blog

 In Daily Encouragement

I don’t know about you but I pretty much hate to exercise. My body reacts whenever I try to exercise. It says; “Hey what do you think you are doing?  Stop that right now and get back to your recliner.”  And just as a rocket ship uses 50% of its fuel just to get off the launching pad it takes 50% of my mental energy to get off my butt and maintain motion for 30 minutes.

However, if we really want to begin to bring health back to our bodies it is important to start with working our core. To understand this a little here is a quote from an article from the Harvard Medical School. 

“Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Whether you’re hitting a tennis ball or mopping the floor, the necessary motions either originate in your core, or move through it.”

We are told to work out in the Bible.  Here are a couple of passages that teach us this.

“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;  but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”  1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Now, we have been learning from Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3::14-19 that it is possible for us to be filled up to all the fullness of God.  Wouldn’t that be awesome???  And part of that happening to us comes from the Holy Spirit strengthening us with power in our inner being or core. Paul was praying that for his readers, and we need to be praying this for ourselves.

So that begs the question of how exactly does a Christian become strengthened by the Spirit in our inner being?  Is this one of these ask and you shall receive deals or is there something I am supposed to be doing and as I am doing my part then the Spirit will be doing His part. Or, is this all up to me?

The answer, as it often is found in the center. This aspect of the Christian life requires work from me and from the Holy Spirit.  If I will put in the work, He will produce the results.  The results will be experiencing being filled up to all the fullness of God. He will begin to produce in me the fruits of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control.

So, if you want to reach the place in your Christian life where you have freedom from sexual sin, where you can be tempted and just walk away from its lure and enticement because the Spirit has transformed your heart and your desires…then we have work to do and that work begins with us being strengthened done by God in our inner being.  Think of it as Spiritual Core Training.

Now some of this you already know and perhaps are doing it, but it has not really changed you. Some of you are making an effort but you find in time your efforts do not seem to be producing results.  You lose interest and forget what you are striving after. You get distracted with the busyness of life because you are trying to jam in more stuff into an already stuffed schedule.

And when it comes down to having to make a choice between spending quality time with God or watching more Netflix, Amazon Prime or any of the other ever-increasing number of distractions of entertainment escape that are out there…God usually ends up in last place.

And where does that leave us?  With a weak relationship with God and a strong addiction to porn.  Living in a world of isolation where we live in fear and shame about when the truth will be discovered. Or we can join a community of other believers who are bearing one another’s burdens and turning one another away from sin and walk together growing closer to God.

Now look at this verse carefully;

“…work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”

He is not telling us to work so that we can have salvation.  Salvation is the free gift of God to those who put their trust in Christ and are justified by God and born again into His family.  He has saved us, and we cannot work to earn it…it is His free gift to us.  Eventually, we will die, and the third part of our salvation will be we will be glorified in heaven for all of eternity.

God alone does this first part and third part of our salvation.  It is this middle part where we come in and it is called Sanctification.  The process beginning the day we are saved and ending the day we die, and it takes work on our part and the work of the Spirit.

As we do our work while being strengthened by the Spirit in our inner being we grow stronger and become more godly Christians.  We find it much easier to put to death the desires of the flesh. We find our desire for purity to become greater than our desire for sexual sin.  And slowly, day by day, as we do the work to strengthen our core, He transforms us into Christ-like followers of Christ.

And once you begin to taste that…the sweetness of the Spirit’s fruit you will find it far easier to walk away from sexual sin.

Tomorrow we will begin to learn how to strengthen our spiritual core.

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