Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: HEALTH (10/13/16)
TITLE: Flexing Your Spiritual Muscles
By Judy Sauer
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Are you getting frequent spiritual checkups?
Flexing your spiritual muscles to increase spiritual health is a good daily practice. Everyone has room for growth—even the most learned scholars. Never is this as true as when you are in a relationship with God where frequent spiritual checkups ensure you do not grow stale in this relationship.
To explore this further, let’s focus on:
1. What does it mean to be spiritually healthy?
This question can only be answered individually. If you feel drawn to deepening your spiritual health, then follow doctor’s orders…that’s to say, the Great Physician—God himself. Suggestions to do this are through:
• Daily checkups
• Constant communion in prayer
• Discerning God’s will
• Scripture reading
• Meditation on God’s word
Prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving are a healthy way to start each day because they focus your thoughts on God’s blessings for you and others too. Kindness to yourself and others are important traits of a strong spiritual foundation. Yet many find self-kindness often is very difficult to achieve. How often do you feel at the bottom of the priority pole? Having competing priorities is the downfall. It’s not selfish to focus on a God relationship first thing in the morning; it’s a healthy way to start the day.
2. Spiritual Health Quiz
A. When answering the question, “Who is your best friend?” do you say, “Jesus”?
If not, are you willing to build up your spiritual muscles to make him so?
B. Are you spending time in quiet reflection, at some point, each day?
If not, is this something you would start doing more often?
C. Before agreeing to requests, such as, “Will you serve on this church committee?” do you say, “I need to discern and pray about it first”?
Do you know the dangers of not seeking God’s will?
D. Are you satisfied with the health of your spiritual relationship with Jesus?
If so, are you willing to expand this relationship?
Let’s reflect on the follow-up to question C: Do you know the dangers of not discerning God’s will when asked to commit.
It is human nature to say “yes” without thinking through the effects of such a reply on your life, and on those you love. You always run the risk of stretching yourself too thin—going 90 miles per hour, with barely time to breathe.
It is important to discern if the request is truly a call from God, or simply someone asking for help to which you have neither the time nor energy to offer.
3. How can you enhance your spiritual health?
This is also a personal choice. There are countless tools and programs available to help you stay spiritually fit, and keep growing in faith.
One practice is to use a journal. You can ask the Holy Spirit, “Come fill this place; what do you want me to know today?”
Then rest the pen on the paper, and quiet your mind. Usually, a word will surface. Now is not the time to question if it’s God or you. The Holy Spirit uses your own voice because you are familiar with it.
Don’t pause when writing because this interrupts his flow—just write what comes to mind. It’s an amazing tool. Then go back and read what you have written. You may be astounded, but ask God for a scripture passage that confirms his guidance on this message.
Whether you attend bible studies, use journals, read and reflect on bible passages—perhaps using commentaries to widen your perspective—you will find them all valuable tools. The point is to do whatever feels comfortable yet it stretches your spiritual muscles.
Daily goals, like these, can help you to stay focused. For example:
• Listen and obey the Holy Spirit nudges.
• Ask Jesus to help you sacrifice, pray, or whatever your daily needs may be.
• Turn to God, and when tempted, recite Psalm 119:11 (NIV) “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you.”
Flexing your spiritual muscles daily will increase the health of your relationship with your Father God. If you’re not exercising daily, make an appointment today, and every day, for optimum spiritual health.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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