Christian Living


Beyond Physical Fitness – 7 Ways To Achieve Life Transformations

Many people exercise because they want to change something about who they are.  It may be their physical appearance, their health, improvements in attitude or sleep, and simply feeling physically, emotionally and mentally better. While exercise is great it takes more. Take a look at these seven spiritual concepts that are fundamental to achieving life transformation.

1. Follow Jesus in His Footsteps.

Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me. For I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:29). As followers of Jesus, we should all be inspired and encouraged to follow Jesus in His footsteps, walking with Him in our journey of faith and fitness.

2. Endurance Training Becomes Living by Faith.

Faith makes discovering health and fitness possible, not necessarily easy, but possible. Growing in faith is a journey, a daily decision and responsibility, as are the daily choices we make regarding our endurance training. The pursuit of fitness is an exercise in faith.

3. Seek Jesus for All the Guidance We Need in Life.

The greater our faith, the great things God can and will do with our lives. “Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right” (Lucado, 1999). We need to seek Jesus for all the guidance we need in life. Jesus, through His presence and power within us, transforms us in such a way that we begin to live, love and move toward being whole and holy.

4. Discipleship Becomes Submitting Your Will to God.

In Matthew 6:33, Jesus tells His followers to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you.” Seeking God first, above all else, is what Jesus commanded us to do. The kingdom of God Jesus speaks about is referring to His reign in our personal lives, in our health and fitness goals as well.

5. Invite Jesus into your health and fitness goals.

When you invite Jesus into your health and fitness goals and challenges then He will begin to grow your faith in these areas. He will help you overcome any real or perceived barriers to change.

6. Draw on God’s Power to Renew Your Thinking.

A good way to begin your journey of fitness through faith is to first realize what Jesus commands of us. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2), and “with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). If we truly believe we are spirit filled, Christ-empowered people that are walking out and living in His power, then we can accomplish His purposes by His power.

7. Good Form Becomes Being an Example to Others. Realize that your body is not your own, as a Christian, it belongs to Jesus Christ. “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:1-2). Our identity in Christ gives us the strength, courage and discipline to live a Christlike lifestyle. Seek Jesus in all you do, in fitness and in life!

Read, Fall In Love With Your Career – And The God Who Created It.  This story by William Jessup Graduate Kimber Otis illustrates how these seven spiritual concepts have shaped her life and fitness career.

From Faith & Fitness Magazine October/November 2019. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © Faith & Fitness Magazine and Lifestyle Media Group. Faith & Fitness Magazine is a lifestyle resource to build physical and spiritual strength. It helps readers make connections between the Christian faith and the fitness lifestyle. To contact the publisher of Faith & Fitness Magazine, Brad Bloom, for reprint permission, e-mail [email protected].

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