August 10, 2015 · 5:18 AM
Guys are famous for wearing clothes that pass the smell test. To get dressed, they will grab clothes off the floor, or wherever else they’re laying, smell them and then wear them if they don’t stink too badly. The clothes can smell some, just not too much. When clothes get too stinky, they go in another pile. This cycle continues until they either buy new clothes or are forced to do laundry because they’re broke and out of clothes.
To some of you, this sounds sick. But to many guys, this is a way of life. Now imagine if a guy had a closet full of new clothes and started putting on the clothes from the floor that passed the stink test. It’s one thing to be out of clean clothes, but if you had clean clothes and you still put on your old ones, people would start to question you. This is the illustration Paul used in Colossians 3 for Christians who go back to their old way of life.
In verses 9-11, Paul was referring to how you lived before you became a Christian when he said, “It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the Creator, with His label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. (MSG)” You’ve been given a new way of life since you accepted Christ and a new wardrobe. It doesn’t make sense to live like you used to.
We shouldn’t be sniffing around our old way of life to see if it doesn’t stink too badly when we’ve got tailor made clothes freshly made for us hanging in the closet. When we left that old life for the life Christ gives, we need to leave that wardrobe behind. Even if it doesn’t stink too badly, it’s still not the clothes that God made for us to wear. That wardrobe consists of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength discipline, being even tempered, and quick to forgive according to verses 13-14. With these clothes on, we’ll look and live like disciples of Christ.
March 19, 2013 · 8:13 AM
This week, I’m doing a series on training for Godliness. Many Christians don’t look at the life they lead as a marathon and therefore don’t train their spirit to handle struggles that come. These lessons will provide you with the tools you need to keep your spirit strengthened for a lifetime. Our core scripture I Timothy 4:8. It says, “Physical Training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. (NLT)”
To read Part 1click here.
The next important step in spiritual discipline is setting goals. Each of us set goals in our daily lives whether it’s for work, retirement, our family or leisure. Why don’t we set spiritual goals? Proverbs 21:5 says, “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity. (NLT)” We need to plan out our spiritual growth. Where do you want to be in your walk with God one year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now? What would that look like?
It’s going to take hard work to achieve those goals. Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen over night. It takes time, planning, dedication and hard work. I also encourage you to write out your goals. Read them out loud every day. Tell yourself where you’re going and keep your eye on the prize. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. (NKJV)” You are not running a sprint race. You’re running a marathon. If you’re going to run, you need to write it down and read it so you can continue to run in the hard times! Having the right goals for the right reasons will help you to be successful. A few months ago I wrote an entire post on setting spiritual goals. You can read it here.
Wearing The Right Gear
In physical training and exercise, the right gear is of utmost importance. Your gear can help you or hinder you. In I Samuel 17:38 – 40 we read where David was about to go out to fight Goliath. Saul wanted David to be dressed for battle so he put his own armor on him. The Message says that “David tried to walk around but he could hardly budge… Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five stones from the brook, and he put them in his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath.”
Knowing what gear you need to be spiritually disciplined is key. While Saul’s armor was too big, God’s armor is just right. It was tailor made for you! Ephesians 6 tells us that we are not fighting against flesh and blood so physical armor won’t do any good. We need spiritual armor. It also tells us that we should put on God’s complete armor. Half way dressed for this won’t cut it. You will be in trouble quickly unless you fully suit up.
In a marathon, your shoes are one of your most important pieces. It’s the same in our spiritual race too. Ephesians 6:15 says, “And having shod your feet in preparation to face the enemy with firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news of the Gospel of peace. (AMP)” If you’re going to resolve to be spiritually fit and to grow spiritually, you need to be prepared to face some opposition from the enemy. You need the Word of God to help you keep your footing while you are fighting. Jesus used the Word of God to keep His footing while being tempted and you should too.
Tomorrow, we will look at having the proper nutrition and staying hydrated.
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