Tag Archives: spiritual training

Training For Godliness – Encouragement 

Each year, I take one week off from writing to help me refresh and reset. This is that week. To help you stay faithful to your daily devotional time, I’m bringing back a series I wrote a few years ago on disciplines we as Christians need to have. Enjoy and I’ll be back next week with all new devotions.


Training

Once you can do everything that we discussed this week, it’s time to really start training. Training is about pushing yourself beyond your limits. Jesse Owens, the Olympic sprinter, talked about how he learned to push beyond the pain. We must too. We can’t let life’s pains stop us from our training and running our race. We can’t let other people’s faults interrupt us from reaching our goal. It’s time to start really putting our faith into practice daily. Each day I ask God to allow me to be His hands and feet to at least one person. I ask that He would use me to speak His words to someone.

Training is hard work. Hebrews 12:2 in the Message says, “It means we better get on with it. Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – He could put up with anything.” Start running and never stop. Keep your mind on things above and look to what awaits those who finish the race.

Keep your mind on the prize. Paul said it like this in Philippians 3:14, “Friends, now don’t get me wrong; by no means do I consider myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward – to Jesus.” Just like in a marathon, you need to keep your mind on your goal of completing the race and hearing Jesus say, “Well done.” Hebrews 12:1 says that there is a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on! We aren’t alone in this race. We have others who are out there to help us complete it. Find a running buddy and challenge each other daily to keep going further than you ever thought possible.

Conclusion

There are many similarities in training for a marathon and training for godliness. Both require mental strength and endurance. One is for temporary gain and the other is for eternal gain. Set your mind on the things that are above and remember that this world is not our home. We should be working towards our eternal home. Spend time each day working on getting there. Philippians 2:12 says, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation.” Keep working. Keep pushing. Don’t let set backs discourage you. You are not running this race alone. You’re in it to win it!

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Training For Godliness – Nutrition 

Each year, I take one week off from writing to help me refresh and reset. This is that week. To help you stay faithful to your daily devotional time, I’m bringing back a series I wrote a few years ago on disciplines we as Christians need to have. Enjoy and I’ll be back next week with all new devotions.

Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential when in training. It will keep you strong and keep you going. You need to have a steady diet of God’s Word in you. Thats what will keep you strong in your faith and keep you going in the difficult times. When researching nutrition for a marathon, they recommended that your diet should consist of 65% complex carbohydrates, 25% unsaturated fats and 10% protein. As a Christian, I believe you should be getting 65% of your nutrition from your study of God’s Word and in prayer. It is important that you are feeding yourself.

You should get 25% from your church. It should not be the bulk of your diet. The food you get there should balance out what God is giving you personally. It should help give you more nutrition beyond what God is speaking to you. For too many of us, the on,y time our spirit eats is on Sunday morning. Your physical body won’t last long eating once a week and neither will your spirit man.

The final 10% should come from other trusted places. I recommend reading books or blogs on living a Christian life. There are a lot of places where you can get daily doses of God’s Word. Find books or blogs that challenge you to do more than you’re doing now. Some book authors I recommend are Mark Batterson, Chip Ingram, John Bevere and Max Lucado. These men write things that challenge me to grow and help change my perspective.

Hydration

You will go no where if you get dehydrated. You must carry water with you and drink it often if you are running a marathon. Dehydration causes weakness, dizziness, confusion and sluggishness. Spiritual dehydration causes the same symptoms. If you are weak, you are vulnerable to attack. If you are dizzy or confused, it is easy to get lead astray. If you are sluggish, you should go to the ant and consider her ways according to Solomon! These things will slow and stop your spiritual growth. Just as dehydration physically is dangerous, it is more so to be dehydrated spiritually.

We all go through the dry times our lives. We must continuously pour the water of God’s word into our spirit. In the Parable of the Sower found in Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus talked of the seeds that fell among the rocks. It says, “But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died.” (NLT) You need roots to get water. The water for your spirit is in God’s word. Dig deep into it and plant your roots in it so you can stay spiritually hydrated. If you don’t read the Bible much because you don’t speak personally in “thee’s” and “thou’s”, then read a different translation. I recommend the New Living Translation. It’s easy to understand and is in language that you speak.

Tomorrow we will look at how to avoid injury and some pre-training things you need to do before you really start training for Godliness.

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Training For Godliness – Motivation

Each year, I take one week off from writing to help me refresh and reset. This is that week. To help you stay faithful to your daily devotional time, I’m bringing back a series I wrote a few years ago on disciplines we as Christians need to have. Enjoy and I’ll be back next week with all new devotions.


There are several parallels between physical exercise and being spiritually disciplined. Both require time, hard work and dedication. There is more to it than just wanting to do it. You must make being disciplined a priority or it will not get done. Weight loss and exercise are among the most common new year’s resolutions each year. Christians typically resolve to read the Bible more and to pray more. Resolving is good and we’ll see why in a minute. However, most people don’t maintain their resolutions because they are unprepared mentally and physically to achieve their resolutions.

It’s the same when it comes to spiritual disciplining. Many Christians aren’t mentally, physically or spiritually prepared to handle spiritual training. Their heart is in the right place, but their ability to carry it out lies in the battle of the mind. We end up where Paul was in Romans 7. In verse 21-23 he says, “I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. (NLT)”. The first battle you need to win is the battle of the mind.

Motivation

My sister in law recently ran a half marathon. I researched some things to help her and I discovered several things that apply to us who are training for Godliness. Like I said earlier, resolving is the first step. If you never make a resolution, you will never begin. The next thing is to be motivated. There is a difference in being motivated to start being disciplined and being motivated to keep going day after day, week after week. You must learn how to discipline your mind first.

David understood this principle well. He was referred to as a man after God’s own heart, yet he struggled all the time. Just because you struggle it doesn’t mean you don’t love God or that you aren’t a good Christian. It means that you’re human. Psalm 118:24 says, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (NLT)” In Psalm 43:5, again David gets his mind prepared. He says, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Savior and my God! (NLT)”. He had to tell himself these things over and over.

You need to start each day talking to your self. Out loud. Seriously. Your mind, heart and soul need to hear you say, “This is the day the Lord has made. I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.” An article in “Psychology Today” says, “Practicing this technique reprograms the mind and body, allowing them to release unwanted habits and tendencies while supporting positive change. The mind is very powerful, and it needs to be spoken to.” If David did it, we should do it.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at setting spiritual goals and wearing the right gear.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mind-wellness-awareness/201211/affirmations

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