The number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight. There are a million programs out there, but there is no secret to what really works: DIET and EXERCISE. It’s really not what to do that plagues people but how.
One of my biggest road blocks was getting started. I had no idea where to start with the exercise part. Since 2012 I have found some great ways to exercise, and I feel like my struggle with exercise has also been a growing point in my faith. Here are three things I think God asked of me when it came to improving my health.
1. Be Faithful –
God is not calling you to be anything other than your best you. He is not asking you for a workout that is over the top, crazy or hurtful. What He is asking you for is faithfulness.
As part of a healthy, God-honoring lifestyle, we are called to exercise our bodies. Some people who have been living outside of God’s will in this area feel intimidated by the conviction that comes with admitting that they don’t work out. If you don’t work out and feel like you want to see God work in this area of your life, then spend some time in prayer and ask God for some guidance. (Yes, I pray about my workouts)
What I have learned is that you don’t have to buy a gym membership to be faithful to your workout. All you need is a commitment fueled by faith and a heart that desires to please God with how you treat the body He gave you.
A friend of mine encouraged me to start working out by committing to walk in place in my house for five minutes every day. FIVE MINUTES, and then move it up to 10 minutes in two weeks. Another guy committed to jogging in place during every commercial break when he was watching his favorite shows. This is a start. The idea is to get moving. (I put some video resources for beginners at the bottom of this post.)
Memory Verse: Luke 16:10 says, “”Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
My workout journey began with this in mind. My workout time is my prayer time. If He can trust me to commit this time to Him, than He can trust me with more changes in my lifestyle. He can trust that I’m learning to depend on Him.
Pause and Pray: Am I ready to begin a healthier lifestyle that includes working out? Can God trust me to depend on Him to keep this new workout commitment? Ask God to show you how to get started and keep at it.
2. Be Fruitful –
God is not calling you to tear the temple down and rebuild it in three days. Some people who don’t intend to be faithful to their workout routine prove it by going absolutely crazy overboard for the first one or two workouts. They know they can’t keep that up forever and it usually leads to injury or an excuse to quit and go back to the couch.
There is not one tree who chooses not to bear fruit because it doesn’t feel like it. The only time a tree doesn’t bear fruit is because it is sick or dead. Many of us have unfruitful relationships with God, so we lack the proper nourishment to bear the fruit of a consistent lifestyle of working out. People want the fruit of temple maintainance, but without the connection to the vine that it requires.
People want to loose weight, they want to look good, but they don’t realize that only fake fruit can be manufactured on a whim. Click to Tweet Real fruit takes time and effort to go from seed to harvest.
Committing to a lifestyle of God-honoring workouts means that the fruit is pleasing Him. Dedicate your workout time to the renewing of your mind. Pray often for strength, for faithfulness, for more of Him.
Memory Verse: John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Pause and Pray: What is my motivation for working out? Is it vanity or is it to honor God? What is the fruit that I would like to gain? Is it real and genuine and God-honoring or is it quick, artificial and temporary? Am I committed to seeking God in this endeavor to get healthier for a lifetime: no fads, no gimmicks.? Ask God to show you how to maintain this lifestyle in Him.
3. Be Formed –
God is not asking you to be the “Master Sculptor”. He doesn’t need you to point out every flaw to Him. He made you. He knows you. He wants to shape you. Now, you may be thinking of God like a Thigh-Master genie type of guy, but He is not.
When I started this journey of working out I had some goals in mind for how I wanted my body to change. Here is the truth, if your motivation for working out is body change – there will be times where you will be super excited and there are seasons, days, weeks, months where you may not see a thing.
Pause and Pray: During those times when I’m tempted to go back to my old habits I am reminded that I’m not in it for the body change. I’m in it for the heart change. Ask the Lord to change your heart first in this journey, then your body.
Memory Verse: Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Get started, but for the right reason. Work hard, but for His glory – not your own. Dig deeper, but for His sake. When I started this journey I wanted to look better and feel better. As I learned more about this journey I knew I needed to be better, live better, and become a better Christian. As the pounds come off, as the new clothes fit – I don’t want you to profit a whole new world and lose your soul. Get fit for the kingdom. Commit this journey to Christ, because only what we do for Christ will last. Get Fit the right way.
I have a long way to go, but I’m on this journey for a lifetime!
Leave a comment: Tell me what has helped you on your journey? What has been the biggest stumbling block?
Here is a resource to get your heart in the right place and your body will follow! I love this course!
Here is a list of my Favorite “Beginner Friendly but Flexible for Advanced Folks” Workout Resources
- Ballet Body by Jennifer Galardi
- Walk Away the Pounds by Leslie Sansone
- 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels