Tag Archives: spiritual exercise

Three Steps To Spiritual Intimacy

In my own experience, I’ve found it takes three things in order to lose weight: a strong determination, exercise and good food choices. When I’ve had these three things working together, I’ve been able to lose weight. Without them, I tend to gain weight. I’ve also found that spiritual growth and intimacy with God takes the same three elements. When I put my focus and energy into these three areas, I experience intentional growth and closeness with God. When I lose sight of them, I tend to drift along spiritually. 

The first thing I’ve found that I’ve needed is a strong determination. I have to choose to want to grow and to get closer in my relationship with God. The moment you decide to move closer to God, you will begin to see lots of barriers in your way. If you have not fully committed to pushing forward, you will lose sight of the goal and turn back around. Any time I start to feel discouraged and want to quit moving forward, I remember II Chronicles 15:7. It says, “But you must be strong and not be discouraged. The work that you do will be rewarded. (GNB)” Keep your eye on the reward and encourage yourself to keep going.

Next you will need to begin exercising your faith if you want to see improvements. Just like physical exercise, spiritual exercise is not easy. It involves stretching yourself, making commitments that others won’t and cutting out certain areas of your life that waste your time or push you away from God. Fasting is a great example of spiritual exercise. It denies your flesh what it wants and spends time in prayer and reading God’s Word in its place. You choose how long the commitment is and what it involves. I’ve found that having someone to fast with keeps me accountable and improves the results. I Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. (NLT)”

The third part is the toughest for me. Making the right choices on my spiritual intake. There are so many things that are bad, but just like regular food, some of my favorites are not good for me. Putting in the wrong types of food are detrimental to the goal. You can take one step forward in exercising and two steps back in spiritual food consumption. What you put into your spirit through TV, movies, books and music matters. Each one either feeds your spirit junk food or proper nutrition. Making the right choices determines the growth and intimacy you will see.

I read a quote from Jeanne Mayo that has had me thinking quite a bit. She said, “Salvation and grace are free, but closeness and intimacy with God are not. They will cost you.” Unfortunately, most of us are content to live with the free gifts of salvation and grace. That’s not God’s desire. James 4:8 says, “Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.” He wants us to move closer to Him. He wants us to have intimacy with Him. The question is: Do you have the will power and determination to pay the cost through spiritual exercise and what you feed your spirit to make it happen?

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Spiritual Exercise (Video)

Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.

I Timothy 4:8 GNT




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Stretching Your Faith

I saw a funny exchange that a friend of mine put on Facebook. A person told her, “I didn’t think a Christian would be so into yoga.” She replied, “You’re right. Christians don’t normally stretch.” It hit me that she’s right more than she knows. While she was talking about physically stretching, I was thinking of spiritually stretching. It’s not something that most of us do. We prefer to leave things the way they are and to not be challenged.

Brian Tracy speaks to the Law of Inertia. It says that people continue doing what they’re doing until they’re acted upon by an outside force. It’s not until we face a trial or have a bad day that we wake from our zombie-like spiritual existence and begin to stretch spiritually. If we don’t voluntarily stretch, God is happy to be that outside force that moves us off the path we are on. He’s not content with our spiritual contentment.

We shouldn’t be either. We should each desire to be the best Christian we can be, to have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Christ. The problem is that desire is only part of the equation. The other part is that we test our faith, push our spiritual limits and strive for the high calling in Christ Jesus. Stretching prepares us for growth. If we don’t stretch, the growth will be painful.

I’ve been in sports my whole life. Stretching has always been a part of every workout, every practice and every game. It warms up the muscles that we are about to use. I Timothy 4:8 says, “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way.” Paul understood that our spirit needs exercise. If it needs exercise, it needs stretching. The way we do that is to put our faith yo the test. We believe God for more than we think possible. I heard He’s able to abundantly more than I could even ask or think, so why not think big!

If you don’t like to stretch, you’re not alone. Don’t wait for an outside force from God to get you to stretch your faith. Find ways today to stretch it out. Give more than you thought you could give (I’m not just talking about money here). Go farther than you thought you could go. Step into waters that are deeper than you’ve been in. Believe for more than you think is possible and watch what God does. Be a Christian who likes to stretch.


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