The following is related to an earlier devotional post on “tools”: use what God has given you. If you’re not familiar with this series, you may want to review some of the foundational articles and videos on W.A.I.T. training and specific posts on “tools“.
There are 24 such subjects on this website. You can use the search function to read the devotionals and related Scriptures, view training videos, and even watch contemporary Christian music videos on the same subjects. Simply place your smartphone or tablet on the reading deck of your favorite cardio equipment in the gym, or prop it up in a safe place as you and a friend exercise at home, or even project it onto a smart TV through wifi or bluetooth for larger groups.
I offer the applications below and others only as examples of how you might physically express spiritual principles. They are not magical formulas or guarantees. Neither are they substitutes for God’s call to gather with other believers for worship in a local church, to study His Word and pray privately, to fellowship with other Christians throughout the week, or to serve the hurting and lost.
In the metaphor of physical fitness, consider this series as a “supplement” for your spiritual health. I do believe, however, that these articles and related video which simultaneously feed our spiritual, physical, and relational health can be very practical. After all, the Lord created each of us as a body with a spirit for relationships. And remember, always consult a physician before beginning any new exercise program.
Suggested applications for meditation on “tools”:
Even if you don’t have a gym full of equipment available to you, there are still ‘tools’ of physical fitness that can remind you of spiritual principles. Let’s think about a few of them.
When you put on your running shoes, notice how they’re designed with extra padding to support your stride. The maker of the shoes did this to protect your ankles, knees, and back from the pounding that could otherwise come to your joints.
Does God describe Himself as the shield of His people? Have you ever tried running or doing jumping jacks in your bare feet? Yes, I’ve heard that those new shoes with little pockets for each toe are supposed to be better for you, but that’s hard for me to imagine in every circumstance. That’s like saying a thin coat is better for you that a thick coat. Wouldn’t that depend on how cold it is outside?! Our Lord shields us from harm by His providence, ordaining that some circumstances are not to touch us. He shields us by His Word, warning us so we know how to avoid trouble. And He shields us through other believers who are a comfort to us in times on heartache.
Take the time to praise Him when you’re jogging or even walking and feel the difference that protection makes!
Some of my favorite tools are the many types of weighted belts that you can strap around your ankles, wrists, or waist. One quick reminder, though: as always, ask your doctor before starting any form of exercise. Some research indicates that using excessive ankle weights, for example, can put too much strain on some of the tendons and ligaments in your legs. You must work smart. Having said that, the added weights can provide just a little extra resistance to work your perseverance during a long power walk, treading water in a pool, or jogging with someone who’s not quite as fast as you.
If you use these types of weights, you went out and paid good money for them and voluntarily strap them to your body! Why? You know the goodness that a little extra ‘burden’ can bring over time. This being the case, meditate on the several small weights that God has added to your life that are building your spiritual stamina: learning to life for Jesus with difficult neighbors whose beliefs and values are very different from yours, parenting a child whose personality seems like a burden to you but is directing you to be more consistent in prayer and fellowship with other parents, maintaining a key relationship over a long distance, etc. God has added these to your life, and they may not feel like heavy burdens that can overwhelm you all at once. But because they’re there for the long haul, the journey is strengthening you over time. Praise the Lord!
And if you do have a gym available to you, think about how some of the specialized machines target exactly the body part(s) you need to work and how this may remind you of God’s specialized work in the Body of Christ. For example –
Every machine with free-hanging cables (triceps pull-downs, crossover pulleys, rowing systems, etc.) offers you a greater range of motion to fit your unique body size and movements. Whether you’re tall or short, use wide arcing motions or narrow, the machine literally meets you where you are. Our Lord does that, too. He’s made us different and He treats us different. Just look at Jesus’ relationship with the Disciples. He doesn’t take a ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to our growth!
When you use a machine with a backboard, you can praise Him for the extra support that He gives you when you’re under pressure. When you use machines with counterweight systems, remember that His Spirit is always ‘lifts’ with us, too.
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