Get in Spiritual Shape This Summer

If fitness-themed content has infiltrated your social media feed, then you’ve likely seen a version of this video: it begins with a woman holding her phone up to a mirror at the gym. Cue music. As she stares straight ahead, words appear over her image: 

If you start today . . . 

In two weeks, you’ll feel it. 
In four weeks, you’ll see it. 
In two months, your friends and family will notice.
In three months, everyone else will see it.
In six months, they will ask you how you did it.

In other words, if you start working out today and remain consistent, it won’t be long before you experience results. I thought about this video (motivational music and all) during a recent Revive Our Hearts chapel featuring Pastor Bob Lepine. By the time he finished speaking, our staff was fired up about getting in better shape . . . but with goals you won’t hear about from most fitness influencers. 

Train Yourself in Godliness 

Toward the beginning of his message, Bob Lepine turned to 1 Timothy 4: 

Have nothing to do with pointless and silly myths. Rather, train yourself in godliness. For the training of the body has limited benefit, but godliness is beneficial in every way, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance. For this reason we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. —1 Timothy 4:7–10 

Did you catch the command in the first verse? “Train yourself.” This idea refers to training with your full effort. It’s to work very hard, exerting complete physical and emotional force—not for the purpose of reaching weight loss goals but in order to grow stronger spiritually. “We have to train ourselves to be godly,” Bob said, and the way we do that has a lot in common with our physical fitness. He continued,

We have to do the workouts. We have to develop the muscle memory—the spiritual muscle memory. It is through the practice of spiritual disciplines like prayer and time in God’s Word (memorizing, meditating on, and studying it) and other spiritual practices (going to church, corporate worship, fellowship with other believers, and evangelism). 

Those activities are like stations in the gym . . . In the gym, there are all these machines that work out different muscle groups. When you go to the spiritual gym, when you do your workouts (in the Word, prayer, evangelism, discipleship, solitude, or fasting) . . . These exercises we participate in condition the soil of our hearts for the seed of God’s Word and for holiness to grow in our lives.

Spiritually Strong or Spiritually Flabby? 

As you look ahead to the summer months, it’s a good idea to have a routine in place to get stronger physically, but do you have a plan to grow your spiritual strength? Bob Lepine’s chapel message will inspire you to rethink the way you approach spiritual disciplines. 

Bob ended his message with a set of questions to help you assess your current level of spiritual fitness. Before you press play on his message, read through each one and start to consider how you would answer: 

  1. If you were giving yourself a spiritual fitness grade on a scale of 1–10, what would your grade be? (10 is spiritually strong. 0 is spiritually flabby.)
  2. Do you easily fall into temptation? Spiritually flabby people fall into temptation more often. Spiritually strong people are able to resist temptation more easily.
  3. As you look at your life, do you see spiritual progress? Is the fruit of the Spirit evident in how you interact with others?
  4. Is there joy and desire and passion in your life to walk with Christ?
  5. Do you have a good spiritual workout routine that you’ve set for yourself? (This may include time in God’s Word, time together with the body of Christ, time in prayer, sharing your faith, discipling others, and being discipled by others.) Are these things a regular part of the rhythm of your life?
  6. Are you going through the motions, or are you regularly, prayerfully engaging in these spiritual disciplines?

Once you’ve finished watching this, revisit these questions and prayerfully put a plan in place to grow in godliness. Consider asking a friend or your small group to come alongside you in the process—after all, isn’t it easier to workout with a buddy? But don’t wait to begin. 

If you start today . . . 

In two weeks, you’ll feel it. 
In four weeks, you’ll see it. 
In two months, your friends and family will notice.
In three months, everyone else will see it . . . 

. . . and you will get to share how God, through His Spirit, has worked to accomplish in you what you’d never be able to do on your own. 

In the video, Bob Lepine mentions that Revive Our Hearts staff was headed into Staff Summit, a dedicated time May 14–16 where ROH staff from around the world will meet together to intentionally work out our spiritual muscles with an intensive time on the topic of prayer. We’re so grateful for this opportunity which would not be possible without the gifts of ministry friends like you. Thank you.

Would you prayerfully consider giving again today toward our $838,000 fiscal year-end need to support what God is doing through this ministry around the globe? 

About the Author

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep

Katie Laitkep was working as a hospital teacher when God called her to join Revive Our Hearts as a staff writer. She serves remotely from Houston, Texas, where God sustains her through saltwater beaches, Scripture, and her local church. Katie's … read more …

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