Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16)
How amazing that God chose the human body as the vessel that would contain His Spirit! What a profound mystery! If our bodies are that important to God, they should be important to us too – important enough for us to take good care of them. We can have the best spiritual intentions, but if our bodies cannot function to their full capacity, we will inadvertently cut short our destinies.
Nick and I travel more than 200,000 air miles each year, preaching, teaching and running all of our A21 Campaign offices around the world. We wouldn’t be able to physically cope with such a demanding schedule if we weren’t fit and healthy. It would be foolish of us to neglect our physical fitness and then pray, “Oh God, make us able to do this!” Why should God answer that prayer if we are not doing our part? Instead, we have to do all that we can do by exercising properly, taking the correct nutrition, and avoiding those things that would damage our health. When we faithfully do what we can do, God will do what only He can do to supernaturally sustain us.
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise (Hebrews 11:11).
So often we look at our circumstances, our bank accounts, our education, our physical bodies, our gifts or our connections and we think that a promise cannot come to pass because it is not naturally possible. But we should never limit our infinite God to finite options. If He said it, then He is faithful to perform it, no matter our natural circumstances.
Don’t let impossibility squelch your faith; rather, allow it to fuel your faith. It is those things that are impossible with man that are possible with God. Have you given up on believing God because your situation looks hopeless? I want to encourage you to look beyond your circumstances to a faithful God.
If He said it, then He will do it.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you (Isaiah 26:3).
Long-term vision is vital if we are going to finish the marathon of life. I have found this to be true in three specific areas – my decision to go to Bible school, dating and marriage and my health and fitness. Without long-term vision in these areas, I would have quit long before accomplishing my goals.
Vision gets us through the difficult and challenging seasons. So many people sabotage their destinies because they fail to trust God and the vision He’s placed in their hearts. Without vision, we settle for less than God’s best. Vision enables us to pick our heads up, keep going, set our eyes on the finish line and live out our dreams.
Ask God to give you long-term vision for your life; it will change everything!
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work …” (Exodus 20:8-10).
For a runner, rest and sleep are not luxuries; they are necessities. Sleep plays a vital role in restoring their bodies, healing the inflammation and micro-tears in their muscles that the intense running produces. One complete day of rest every week is essential as part of a runner’s weekly training schedule. Training day in and day out without a break leaves runners feeling very stale, weary and unmotivated because their bodies need recreation time.
Recreation is an interesting word. It means precisely what it says: We need time to allow our self-regenerating bodies to be “re-created.” Rest and recreation have been part of God’s plan for humanity from the very beginning. He even modeled it for us Himself by working on creation for six days and then taking a day off.
And if God needed a day of rest, then we must too!
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).
Christians cannot afford to live compartmentalized lives. We have one life – and that is the life we have in Christ. That is why it is so important to care for our bodies, souls and spirits, and take a holistic approach to training and discipline that will help us win our race.
- God cares about our bodies. Diet and exercise are both crucial to fulfilling His purposes in our lives.
- We must also regularly deal with any soul issues that we face, such as unresolved hurt from the past or persistent negative emotions like pride, jealousy or anger.
- And, of course, we should each maintain a discipline of feeding our spirits by reading God’s Word, praying, worshipping and meeting with other believers.
If we neglect one of these areas, we compromise our race fitness, but if we take a “whole person” approach and realize that all aspects of our lives are interconnected, we begin to run the race of life in a way that is pleasing to God.