Our loving heavenly Father has graciously made each and every one of us marvelous. A psalmist in the Old Testament states this so beautifully.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
What a tremendous reality! What God has done for us is most worthy of praise! To show our thanks to Him for this magnificent work, we can take care of what He has awesomely and wonderfully made.
A man or a woman who is born again of God’s spirit is a complete person of body, soul, and spirit. Understanding the truth that God designed us as threefold beings helps us determine the necessary action for proper stewardship in each category. In regard to our body, we will gain a multitude of benefits when we stay fit to serve God and take consistent and faithful action in physical exercise.
The faithful carrying out of physical fitness activities provides a multiplicity of benefits. Not only will we be thankful and blessed in seeing results as we progress toward our desired goal, but we will see the benefits in other categories as well, such as increased mental endurance. Maintaining physical fitness requires mental effort and action, and it always begins with the decision to do. As we faithfully follow through on the decision to consistently pursue physical exercise, we are building mental toughness that can carry over to other areas of our lives. The following verse can be a great reminder of the process involved in making a decision and the benefit of building physical and mental strength.
I Corinthians 9:27:
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The words “bring…into subjection” in this verse mean to lead into servitude. In other words, my body is subject to my mind. As I decide to do, my body has to follow. And then I can see the benefits of that decision.
Increased energy and stamina are evidence of some of the blessings that we’ll experience. Exercise can improve our strength, endurance, and flexibility, thereby preventing injuries and boosting our immune system. It helps prevent chronic health conditions and encourages weight loss. Exercise also strengthens the cardiovascular system and improves circulation throughout the body, including the brain. Who doesn’t need their brain to function better! Improved circulation to the brain helps optimize our ability to learn, decreases stress, and improves our mood and attention span. These are just a few of the many benefits resulting from a fitness program.
Not only does physical exercise improve our quality of life, but there is also a satisfaction in knowing that our efforts are building strength to help us serve God to the best of our ability. Our service to God can be in a multiplicity of ways, and we want to be ready to respond as the need dictates. Aside from personal benefits, what greater motivation is there for keeping ourselves fit than to be ready and able to respond to God’s call in service!
Setting realistic, attainable fitness goals that fit our current season of life is a great way to start on a routine and address what we want to accomplish. A successful fitness plan, one that we’ll stick with and make a habit of, is generally a form of exercise that we enjoy. Many sources indicate that a person should exercise three to five times per week for about thirty minutes each time. Depending on our current condition, we may want to consult with our doctor about our goals before embarking on a new fitness program or activity.
The anticipation of attaining a goal from exercise is certainly something to look forward to. One of my goals is simply to have the physical stamina and resources to help serve others at a moment’s notice. What a blessing it is to be ready, willing, and able to give! Keeping our eye on the goal can provide the motivation we need for maintaining consistency and faithfulness.
And it gets even better, because God promises that blessings will abound! Proverbs 28:20 states, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings….” Now that’s quite the guarantee!
When God made us, He awesomely and wonderfully produced an excellent masterpiece. We get to take care of what God made. As we stay faithful to a consistent form of physical exercise, the benefits will abound, and we will stay fit to serve God for His honor, praise, and glory.