Many people searching for “happiness” will come across fitness and decide that’s what they need to be “happy”. They need to lose weight, they want to feel better in clothes – more confident, prettier, proud, etc. While fitness DEFINITELY does these things, after you get the perfect body or get into the best shape of your life, you may find yourself feeling unusually empty.
You can’t work so hard on your body and neglect your soul. The problem is, most people don’t even realize their soul is out of shape. You’ve heard the phrase “He’s a good soul”. Most of us think we have a pretty darn good, healthy soul.
To be TRULY FIT, you need to not just examine your fitness with a regular weigh-in or look in the mirror, but you need to examine your mental health and spiritual health too. You don’t want to end up a miserable hot person. You want to be as physically fit on the inside as you are on the outside. You should want to get your body fit for your time here on earth – AND work just as hard to get your spiritual body fit for heaven. (spoiler alert: your spiritual body lasts longer than your physical body, so it’s worth the investment. #JustSayin’).
I felt like I was supposed to share this today with you guys because I think so many people do not realize their need for spiritual fitness. Maybe it’s because we look in the mirror every day and are reminded of how “out of shape” our body is, so our body gets more attention. But, if we had a spiritual mirror (which we do, it’s the Bible), it would constantly remind us how out of spiritual shape we are and would help point out things we need to work on to build our spiritual strength.
Today, I just want to touch on 3 problems we have that we may not even realize we have and 3 things God can do to help.
“He has sent Me to HEAL the BROKENHEARTED, To PROCLAIM LIBERTY to the captives, And RECOVERY of SIGHT to the blind, To set at LIBERTY those who are OPPRESSED” Luke 4:18
This, to me, reminds me of how much God truly cares about us. He’s not just God the creator, God the big guy in the sky, God the big “boss”. He’s God our Father – and he cares enough about us to send His son to heal our broken hearts, open our eyes and set us free. A father’s heart breaks when he sees his kids hurting – even when the kid doesn’t know they are doing anything that is really hurting them (like making bad decisions). The problem is, most people go around not even realizing they are spiritually broken and need a heavenly father.
The biggest lie we can ever tell ourself is that we are OK. That we don’t need God. We often are under the impression that we are already “free”, that we can see just fine, and that our heart is OK. But, if we are all honest, ALL of us deal with a broken heart, all of us wish we knew what path to take in life (feeling blind at times) and all of us feel oppressed to a certain degree – whether it’s financial, emotional or circumstantial, we all have felt it. So, the first step to becoming spiritually fit, much like physical fitness, is realizing what you are doing now isn’t working. You can’t fix a problem you don’t admit you have.
Let’s address the broken heart first. Most people relate a broken heart with a bad break up, but our parents can hurt us, our career can let us down and our own failures can leave us brokenhearted. And, even if you don’t think you’re dealing with a broken heart right now, a broken heart without God’s healing touch can stay broken for years. It can affect your thoughts, self worth, actions and even your loved ones. It’s impossible to live life without getting your heart broken. So there! You have a broken heart that needs fixing (we all do).
Not only has our heart been broken from time to time, it’s broken in the fact it doesn’t work right. It isn’t honest to us, it’s not reliable, it’s not always on our side. It’s deceitful and wicked and oftentimes gets us to do stuff that is horrible for us and the people we love. I hate that saying “just follow your heart”. That idea almost got Steve and I divorces. Our heart lies and can lead us so far off the right path it’s scary! “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9
If we let our heart lead us where ever it wants to go, it blinds us. So many people are lost and don’t even know it. I marvel at how blind Steve was a few years ago. He thought he could “see just fine” – until God opened his eyes and his response was “Oh my gosh! I was so deceived.”.
I think people take this scripture too literally. YES, Jesus healed the blind many times, but I think it’s symbolic of how He desires to heal our spiritual blindness. He doesn’t just want to heal eyesight, He wants to heal our spiritual sight – our ability to see God, understand Him and clearly see the right path to walk in.
If you are in a place in your life where you don’t know what to do, I PROMISE God will open your eyes to show you. 2 years ago Steve wanted to leave me and didn’t know what to do. He lacked so much peace and felt so confused. In a place where he needed clear direction, he turned to God. And, through scripture, God told him EXACTLY what to do. I mean, He spelled it out clearly in black and white text.
He said things like “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:8. ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:3-9 AND, He encouraged us both with this verse, “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Jeremiah 43:19.
So, the answer was stay together and be blessed. And, even thought he had NO idea how that could ever be possible, God said He could make it possible and He’d make a “way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert”. He fulfilled that promise. He did a miracle in our life but it required us allowing God to open our eyes so we could make good decisions and follow His lead. God continued to open our eyes in other areas too – in business, with relationships and in every day life. And, he continues to open them more every day.
If you are reading this blog, it’s CLEAR you want to make good decisions. If you don’t know what to do next or how to handle a situation, then you are dealing with a level of blindness and if you go to the Lord, He can help you see clearer.
Lastly, he wants to set us free. Freedom is not doing whatever we want. That’s actually being in bondage to our fleshly desires. Freedom is being free – even from our own body. Freedom is not being in bondage to what we want to eat, to money, to people, to power, to emotions, to drugs, to (fill in blank here). We all serve something, but serving the Lord is the only thing that will set us Free because it comes with an amazing peace.
Freedom is being able to sleep at night without tossing and turning over life issues. It’s being at rest even during difficult times. It’s letting go of things you’ve never been able to let go of and trusting God will take care of you. Freedom is not having all the answers, and totally being OK because you know God does.
We can’t fool ourselves into thinking living our own way is true freedom. Spiritual fitness requires peace. Without peace, we are spiritually out of shape. And, without peace, we live a stress-filled life, which means it will be impossible to be physically fit.
I encourage you to look in the spiritual mirror. Ask God what He would like to show you so you can work on those things and let him train you every day, strengthen you heal you and get you in the best spiritual shape possible – so you can be just as fit on the inside as you are on the outside!! <3