Total Fitness Plan

Every January 1st, millions of people - including myself - renew their commitment to exercise and eat healthy. It may be that mysterious tightening of the waistband in my favorite jeans or the way I get out of breath walking from my car to the mall entrance…something in my body lets me know that it’s time to get in shape. I love how God created my body just so…it tells me when enough is enough, lets me know that it’s weak and needs to be strengthened. Once I get the warning signs of aches, pains, and shortness of breath, I know I better change and get my workout plan together.

Amazingly enough, my spirit works the same way! Just as too many donuts and syrupy coffee drinks can lead to a heavier bottom, a steady diet of “I don’t believe it will ever happen,” and “God doesn't hear my prayers,” with a side of “when will things ever get better?” will weigh down your faith and cause the soul to bottom out. I know I’m not the only one who has been guilty of feeding my faith negative snacks of disappointment, impatience, and unbelief. It’s left my faith tired, weak, and out of shape…the same way my body would be on a poor diet and no exercise. It is a well-known fact that lack of exercise and poor diet can be a deadly combination, but we are not just a body.

We are spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a body. If we cannot live a healthy life with a dying body, how do we expect to live a healthy life with a dying spirit? The only thing to do is to begin a new workout plan.

There are numerous sources of information for healthy eating guidelines ranging from the US Department of Agriculture to a YouTube video or blog. It can be confusing at times to figure out exactly what source to trust with your health. The Bible, however, is the one and only resource that gives time-tested guidance on working out your faith and provides testimonies from proven faith warriors. Best of all, the workout comes with a guarantee from God! All we have to do is follow the instructions in the plan.

“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 own salvation with fear and trembling.” --Philippians 2:12 NASB
There, in black and white, are clear instructions to “work out.” Seriously, I am talking about exercising the kind of faith that can save your life. The foundation of this kind of faith is believing the Word of God. Faith begins by believing that the Word is “truth.” You have to believe that reading and living the Word will make a change in your spirit just the same way that eating healthy and exercising will make a change in your body. You won’t see many immediate changes…it takes a while for people to notice that you are losing weight, but the evidence of your work shows up on the outside. It works much the same way with your faith.

It takes more than one “workout” to see results. Spend time every day reading the Word, working out your mind and challenging yourself to accept what it says as true and applicable to your life, your struggles, and your experiences. Don’t tell yourself that something you have read is too hard for you! The Bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). Have faith and believe that you can have the same salvation, the same power, the same faith as those heroes and sinners you read about in the Word. Keep reading, keep believing, and keep your workouts consistent. Feed your spirit with the Word, and exercise it by acting on what you read. You may not see it at first, but a change is happening that will be evident in time.

Once you have developed your faith in the Word by reading and living it, you should see enough results in your life to trust that the plan works! Continue to rely on God’s Word…look for ways to get in even better shape and build deeper faith! You can never have too much faith - it pleases God more than anything else.

Faith can make you whole again when things seem broken beyond repair. Faith moves mountains, heals sickness, and is the stepping stone to all kinds of miracles. Fitness is more than just diet and exercise.

When was the last time you worked out your faith?

by Johnnesha Parker