………Physical Strengthening………Physical Strengthening………Physical Strengthening………
………Spiritual Strengthening………Spiritual Strengthening………Spiritual Strengthening………
Last week I compared how my physical alignment problems with my back led me to see how a problem of spiritual alignment can also occur in one’s life. Today I want to expand upon the physical and spiritual similarities in correlation to exercising. After alignment comes strengthening through exercises. Physically the muscles and tendons of my back needed to be strengthened. Likewise, spiritually there is a need to strengthen one’s relationship with the Lord after getting back into proper alignment with His plans and purposes. I realize I may be taking the following scriptures out of context as I create a physical and spiritual exercise program. Particular words are highlighted for emphasis. Unless otherwise noted, scriptures are taken from the New International Version of the Bible.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalm 72:26 NLT
This struggle started for me when my back alignment failed to be what I needed for the best support of my body. It is interesting that scripture mentions that when health fails, the spirit can also encounter weakness. My faith was not always as strong as I would have liked as my physical problems prolonged. Through this scripture in Psalm 72, I realized that God is aware of the connection between physical and spiritual health and He is there to provide both types of strength.
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest.”
At the beginning of my back problems, I asked my chiropractor what was the best thing for me to do to promote healing. His response was for me to just rest. I did not like that answer because I wanted to actively do something to make it better quickly. I have to admit that resting in the Lord can also be the solution when I encounter stressful times spiritually. All the Lord may ask of me is to rest. This may not be easy but it can be the best thing to do.
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a
conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
Acts 24:16 KJV
After numerous adjustments to my spine and a time of rest for healing, the next step was to begin an exercise plan to strengthen the weakened areas of my back. My exercises were very simple but I had to start at the beginning after having done next to nothing for almost a month. I find it interesting that when the Lord speaks of exercising in His Word, he relates it to not allowing oneself to be offended or hurt by things that happen or words people say. This may sound simple but it is not always an easy directive to fulfill. There are times when I have to exercise my faith to avoid getting angry. My chiropractor gave me guidelines for physical exercising. I need to rely upon the Holy Spirit to be my trainer for spiritual help.
Therefore, strengthen your hands which hang down
and the feeble knees, make straight paths for your feet
so that what is lame may not be dislocated,
but rather healed.
Hebrews 12:12-13 NKJV
Wow! Here is a real physical and spiritual workout! I had to strengthen many weak muscles in order to be able to keep my spine straight. I did not want another dislocation – I wanted healing. My spiritual exercises involve lifting my hands in praise and bending my knees in prayer. This will strengthen my walk along the straight path the Lord has mapped out for me without my becoming dislocated. This is the path to healing, health and wholeness.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen
you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
As I followed a routine of physical exercises, my back became stronger. I could do more reps of each exercise at a time. When exercising the privilege of prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit strengthens a person’s spirit. Both of these strengths are achieved little by little because exercises take time for the greatest benefit to occur.
but they who wait for the LORD
shall renew their strength
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
I had to not only continue to do the exercises but I had to wait to see the positive results of my efforts. My physical strength has been renewed but it took time and I continue to do the strengthening exercises so that I will not experience misalignment again. The Lord promises to answer our prayers and meet our needs but we have to wait upon the Lord for His strength in His time. I must continue to stay in alignment with the Lord.
the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
This scripture is both a reminder and a testimony of the faithfulness of the Lord. His strength helped me to regain physical strength in my back and His strength continues to be a joy in my spiritual life. Last week I compared the physical strength of tendons and muscles to the spiritual strength I gain from expressing gratitude unto the Lord. I daily continue to express my gratitude to God for His strength both physically and spiritually.
My Reader, are you experiencing some form of weakness in your life? I believe that God sees each struggle we face as an opportunity to train us to be stronger in our faith just as a physical trainer works with individuals to become physically stronger. We may feel pain as we strengthen muscles we have not recently used and we most likely will feel pain as we strengthen spiritual muscles we have used to the best of our ability. Do not reject the opportunity for growth and strengthening in any area of your life. In the coming days, engage in some exercises that will build stronger physical and spiritual muscles. Don’t give up! Remember, the Lord promises in II Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” May we respond with the words of Paul in II Corinthians 12:10, “for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses,… For when I am weak, then I am strong.