14 03 2009

exercise1aWe are continuing this blog series, “Growing the Christian Life,” inspired by the article “Growing,” written by James Autry.


            We will be looking at the third principle of exercising. James writes of exercise: “As a body requires physical exercise and movement to grow, so does our spirit.  We must be obedient to the will of God in life and do only what He commands us to do.  It is the enemy that will command you to constantly exercise and wear your body out with over exertion.  God will not command you to do something that will not strengthen your relationship with Him.”


            As we look at what Scripture says about exercise, we turn to 1 Corinthians 9.


“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1CO 9:24-27


            I have heard this scripture used in reference to the Christian life. Often we hear that the prize is completing some task, from winning souls to some big project. In light of what James Autry is saying, we should consider seeing the prize differently. When the prize we are to seek is relationship with God, then we can have renewed strength and not be like a person running aimlessly about, as this scripture warns us…


            Just this last week, I found myself with this quandary about how to run the race of life. My pastor asked me to lead a Bible study on Wednesday nights because our women’s leader just finished a six-week series, so   he is now looking for a new leader. I am currently in another group on Wednesday nights. Because I understand relationship with my Lord is my priority, my prize, it wasn’t hard to tell my pastor no, I can’t right now. I had such freedom and joy knowing I was doing the right thing.


            Right now, the best thing for me is to continue in my study group, which helps me to get connected with others in my church, and complete the Genesis Process. God is building relationships within this group as we share from the depth of our lives, and this is the most valuable thing for me right now because I am new to the church and I don’t know a lot of the women. My ego would have been gratified if I was to lead the study and become known that way, but the witness to those in my Genesis class would become tarnished. This leads us to Hebrews and another Scripture passage that speaks so powerfully about exercise…


‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” HEB 12:1-3


            Jesus’ relationship with His heavenly Father was first and foremost in his life, and then as the crescendo of his life, out of the fullness of his relationship with God, he could give his life on the cross.


            It is my prayer that the Lord will reveal to you more and more t how to exercise without running aimlessly through your lives.


Please share with me your own insights as we grow the Christian Life!


Blessings and Complete Joy,



Check out our monthly memory verse on the Equip page as well as a copy of SOAP a bible study method you can copy and print out for yourself.
On our Mentor page, you can find a copy of the article by James Autry, upon which this series of blogs is based.
 Intercessors Heart; replaces the often visited Secrets from My Prayer Closet where you can read a personal prayer blog, find helpful prayer tips and current prayer opportunities and post your prayer requests, which will be shared with my intercession team.
This blog is part of the ministry of Complete Joy and is published each Tuesday and Saturday, usually by noon Pacific Time.



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