Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spirituality and the Treadmill

Just today while I was running on the treadmill, I was listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss who was talking about discipline and the christian walk.  It got me to thinking about my own spiritual walk compared to my new exercise routine.  In September of 2001, I realized that I was a sinner who was trying to earn my way into heaven by reading my Bible, attending church, going to Bible college, and even marrying a soon to be pastor.  I thought that by doing all of these things and because when I was 7 years old I walked down an isle at church and prayed a prayer that I was a Christian.  I thought that sin was something that I did and not  who I was by nature.  Then after an interview to join a church I realized that I had no idea what sin really was.  So, I went home and read Romans and saw that we are all born sinners and that we all fall short of God's glory and that we deserve hell without the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives causing us to repent of our sins and trust in the finished work of Christ who lived a perfect and sinless life, died a sacrificial death, rose again from the grave, and is now reigning as King at the right hand of the Father.  So, as I was reading through Romans I knew that I was in need of the Holy Spirit drawing me to Christ and that I could not just make myself believe.  I thought long and hard about how I deserved God's wrath, but also knew that because of Christ's righteousness I could have eternal life if I repented of my sins and trusted in Christ alone for the forgiveness of sins.  So, at that point in my life I started repenting of my sins and trusting in Christ alone for the forgiveness of my sins.  My life was drastically changed and I started really loving God and His Word.  Bible reading, prayer, and attending church was no longer just something to check off my list for the day making me a good person.  There was joy in serving Christ and there still is.  I wanted to please my Lord and to know Him and His righteousness and tell others all about Him.  Christian life was no longer a drudgery.

At this point you may be asking where does the treadmill fit into this story.  It fits because as I have now been faithful to using the treadmill for 7 weeks now, I realize that it takes discipline and is not always easy. Exercise is not always easy as there is a lot of sweat and stretching of the muscles.  There are some days where I am simply tired and do not want to get on the treadmill.  However, immediately after getting off of the treadmill I feel much better.  The spiritual life is not always easy.  It takes discipline to pursue Christ and His righteousness.  You do not grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ with out trials and without work.  It takes discipline to study God's Word, memorize God's Word, meditate upon His Word, share His Word with others, and teach it faithfully to your children all the time.  There are many days when I just want to coast along and do the minimum.  However, God tells us to persevere in the Christian walk and that without holiness no one will see the Lord.  Do not lose hope, persevere, and look to Christ.  Isaiah 40:28-31 tells us, "Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable.  He gives power to the faint, and to Him who has no might He increases strength.  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."


I am blessed! said...

You're about 6 weeks ahead of me! I just got back to running last week. I started up before Christmas, but then missed 3 weeks over the holidays. My husband and I are just realizing we've set very low standards for our Bible reading. A few days after we started the 90 day Bible challenge, he was like, why don't we do this all the time? I mean, what better use of time is there? I've had to cut out all tv, but obviously not my blogging :) I'm hoping after the 90 days are up I'll be "in shape" and ready to keep on reading at this intensity.

MommaMindy said...

I was surprised, and encouraged, by your testimony. My children all professed salvation at such a young age, and I have always been concerned if they were truly saved, or just professed. I have been able to trust the Lord to do the work of conviction in their hearts, either unto salvation, or to maturity. I am so thankful you found the Truth!

Roan said...

Hi Debbie!
What a great comparison--spirituality and the treadmill. I run 4 days a week, and every single time, it is hard to actually get started. Every time. But like you said, I feel great when I am done. Sometimes I have to make myself read my Bible and pray when I think that I need to do _____whatever instead, but I ALWAYS benefit from choosing to spend my time in God's Word, much more than I benefit from running. We certainly reap what we sow. Time spent reading the Bible, praying, memorizing Scripture, teaching and training our children...will reap an eternal reward.

Great post! Keep up the running!