WORKOUT III : Things that Hinder Our Workout

“I can’t believe I did this to myself again!”

I say this every January when I step on the scale. I’m sure you can guess what happened because you may do the same thing as me.

As soon as the weather starts indicating that Autumn is on the way, I start baking. I love to bake and give it to others as gifts. Baking isn’t the problem of course. The problem is that I SAMPLE most of what I bake.

Another problem is that I start to AVOID THE SCALE. I know those pounds are coming on, but I don’t want to face the issue. I continue to carry on with life, ignoring the problem.

Here’s the thing, I’m actually quite aware of the problem and it’s bothering me. It bothers me when my pants are getting tight. It bothers me when I look in the mirror. And it bothers me when I go out for my jog. I feel slower and sluggish—like I am carrying an extra load. Well, that’s because I am, for goodness sake!

You know what? I noticed a connection between the extra weight physically and spiritually. Take a look at Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

. . .let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. . .”

Physically I was feeling sluggish and having difficulty in my “race.” It also made matters worse that I was avoiding the issue. I think we do the same thing in our spiritual race.

Is there something hindering you or slowing you down in your relationship with God? Have you been ignoring the hindrance altogether?

In the words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Remember in my last blog I talked about staying motivated?

It’s hard to stay motivated to continue a workout if you are sabotaging yourself in some way.

Spiritually speaking, sin sabotages our progress and saps our motivation.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says to “strip off” those things that trip us up. Next it says, “we do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus.”

Remember we are not in this race alone. God is for us. Not against us. He knows when there is a hindrance and He wants to help.

Here’s our part:

  • Admit the hindrance rather than avoiding it (Talk to God).
  • “Strip off” the thing that trips you up (Give it to God).
  • Stay in the race by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Here’s what God will do after you do your part:

Isaiah 40:31 NLT

“For those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Sounds like a good deal to me!

WORKOUT Lesson II

How many of us have started a workout routine only to let it fall by the wayside? (I’m raising my hand)

What the heck happens, I ask you? There are probably a hundred or more reasons, but I want to share with you a few that I have discovered. There is one that I believe is most likely at the root.

MOTIVATION. . .or lack thereof.

What really motivates us to do anything? I’d venture to say these are probably at the top:

Necessity and payoff.

Let’s face it, we do what we really want to do. And we do what we really need to. You know— I go to work because I need a paycheck. I watch TV because I want to.

In my last blog, I wrote about incorporating my daily prayer time into my workout routine. My motivation was to get healthier physically and spiritually. I think that’s a pretty good motivation.

But I found that after awhile, there were days that my “motivation” waned. I started dreading workout time. We’ve all been there! That brings me to what I have found is another reason for workouts to fall by the wayside.

LOSING SIGHT OF MOTIVATION.

When I began to notice that I was dreading my jog/prayer time, I decided to talk with God about it. I mean, He already knew anyway. God lead me to the following scripture from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT:

2Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

The apostle Paul (author) is telling us the key to staying disciplined with our spiritual workout is to remember our motivation which is:

Run to win the eternal prize!

We must keep the finish line in our minds in order to stay motivated. My mom use to bribe me to finish my vegetables by telling me I would receive dessert afterward. I tell you what, I gagged those veggies down for ice cream and cake!

As an adult, my motivation lies in knowing that my finish line is in heaven where I will meet my Savior face to face! It will be ice cream and cake like I have never tasted!

Notice that in verse twenty-seven it states that it takes discipline. Oh, that dreaded word!

WE NEED MOTIVATION PLUS THE DISCIPLINE TO CARRY IT OUT.

If you are lacking in discipline, (and who really isn’t?) I have good news for you. God will help you with that. Take a look at Philippians 2:13 NLT

” For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

Amazing! The God of the universe is working in us. Even giving us the desire and power to do what pleases Him. And we know that taking care of our bodies physically and spiritually pleases Him.

1 Timothy 4:8

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

One final thought. I’m not telling you that this is easy. Few things worth working for are. But I will tell you is this. If you set a goal to “workout with God” on a daily basis, the rewards are beyond what you would expect! And I’m not just talking about the finish line in heaven. I mean here and now.

I will tell you more about that in my next blog. Until then, enjoy your workout!

Now That’s a Workout

jogging

I am one of those people who actually likes to jog. Notice that I didn’t say I’m great at it, but I do enjoy it. Oh and by the way, I don’t have the typical physique of a jogger either.

Several years ago, I had put on some extra pounds. The idea of jogging appealed to me because I didn’t need to go to a gym. Ugh! I really, really don’t like the gym!

I started out just jogging around the block–literally. It took some time (okay a lot of time), but I built up to running several miles. With some discipline and consistency, I am still jogging today.

I have found lots of motivators to keep jogging, that is for as long as my knees will hold out. Outside of all the physical benefits that I’m sure you already know, there’s one benefit that tops them all.

God.

You see, around the same time I took up jogging, I also took up a consistent daily prayer time. My new routine consisted of: a cup of coffee (this is a must!), a scripture reading, prayer time, and a jog. The trouble was, it’s really hard to fit all of that in before getting kids off to school. As a mom of three small children, I was all about “killing two birds with one stone.” So I took my daily prayer time on the road. It was during one of those early morning jogs that God started to teach me, bringing to life the scriptures that I had read beforehand.

I clearly remember the first “jog lesson” that God taught me. I had been reading that morning from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT.
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”

While on my jog, I struggled to run up an extremely steep incline. My lungs were burning, my side was hurting and I wanted to stop. But it was there that the Holy Spirit said, “You must stay in the race in order to receive a prize.” As I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do, another scripture came to mind from Philippians 4:13.

“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

I meditated on that scripture with each stride.

I can do. Breathe and step.
All things. Breathe and step.
Through Christ. Breathe and step.
Who gives me strength. Breath and step.

And before I knew it, I was at the top of the hill. I was elated! Not only had I made it to the top without stopping, I had heard the voice of the Holy Spirit! I was hooked! I learned firsthand that day, God really does want to speak to us. And one of the primary ways that He will do this is through His word and prayer.

He will speak this way to anyone who is willing to put forth the effort of spending some time with Him. Yes, it does take some discipline, but it is worth it!

1 Timothy 2:15
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.”