Toning Your Spiritual Muscles
Exercise Them Daily to See Growth in Your Spirit
by J.M. Troppello
“Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God's most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear.” – Charles Stanley
I’ve been sharing recently about my journey toward better health and wellness and how my exercise routine has been yielding results. When I got ready for bed the other night, I brushed my hair in front of the mirror.
Now, I’m not saying this as a narcissistic comment, but just to show I have been improving in my fitness level. I noticed that my bicep muscles have been getting very toned. I was so excited about it that I went into the living room to flex my arm muscles to show my husband. He smiled and said, “You’re doing a good job, honey.”
I’ve even noticed more definition in my leg muscles. I’m still working on toning my core and triceps. Those are my trouble areas. However, I know that with continual exercise, I will see more and more improvement.
Toning Your Spiritual Muscles
This reminded me of how it takes hard work to develop your spiritual muscles. Of course, you don’t really have spiritual muscles—I’m just being figurative here.
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. – Col. 1:9-10 (NKJV)
When you are filling your spirit with the knowledge of God’s will “in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (through reading and studying the Bible), that is pleasing to the Lord. As you increase in the knowledge of God, you can be fruitful in every good work.
That should fill you with hope, not trepidation or guilt.
God’s grace is new each morning. Yet, you need to renew your walk with the Lord daily, confessing sin and asking Him to guide you in the path of correction.
However, I know it’s not always an easy task to single-mindedly focus on God and put aside the voices of the world and sin that can so easily ensnare you.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:1-3 (NKJV)
I love this passage from Hebrews. When you can lay aside the world and sin, it’s easier (with the power of the Holy Spirit) to “run with endurance the race that is set before” you (verse 1).
The most important way to grow your spiritual muscles is to exercise them daily. Take your devotional time seriously. Spend time with God in prayer and worship.
Embrace trials. Yes, I know that is counterintuitive, but that is one powerful way that God cultivates spiritual growth in your life.
You and I are the ones who run from the Lord due to sin or being caught up in life’s problems. He is always waiting for you with arms open wide.
About the Author
J.M. Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel.
Connect with the author on Twitter. You can find her on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Clouthub. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Visit MSS Live Well Corner and our Ko-Fi MSS Community.