In light of our current Shelter in Place, I have not been able to go to the gym and have taken up a couple of at-home workout regimens. It has been a shift working out in my living room but many of these workouts have helped me to focus on muscles that I did not use when I was going to the gym. The workouts are slower paced to accommodate the space and though I’m not at the gym doing my normal routine, it has been a challenge to use muscles I had not used in a while and I’ve been able to notice them getting stronger.
There are times the instructor will lead us to engage our core or a specific muscle group when doing the exercise. Rather than using all my might, I close my eyes and focus on the specific muscle and purposely use it as the goal of the exercise. Anyone can lift a weight but to use specific muscles to complete the same task, therein lies the challenge. It makes me think of what it means to engage something; to activate and involve.
How do we engage our spiritual muscles?
Spiritual muscles require focused exercise. At first, the exercises may not feel natural. But over time they become like second nature.
In Philippians 3:13,14, Paul talks about the need to continue to persevere. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul lived a difficult life and suffered much but his mindset was not one that was easily swayed because he continued to remember what Christ had done for him.
Our hardships and struggles give us an opportunity to flex fear and anxiety or use muscle groups we may not be used to. If we shift and focus on the muscles of faith and hope in Jesus, we will notice our trust in God increase in strength. A life that exercises faith and hope will become a life transformed by the love of Christ.
As we are still in the midst of much watching and waiting, let us close our eyes and focus on engaging our spiritual muscles.
What muscles could you exercise in this time of Shelter in Place?
Here are some muscles worth considering:
- Journal your feelings first, then journal a psalm
- Write out a stressed list, then write out a gratitude list
- Read a book on spiritual disciplines in this time
- Start a Bible reading plan on You Version
Perhaps the first steps look like…
Let’s use this time to engage spiritual muscles that will strengthen our journey with Jesus.