“BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]” (Ps 1:1-3 AMPC).
To be spiritually fit we must know what the goal is, and then set forth strategies (spiritual exercises) to help get us to where we desire to be. In the passage above it speaks of walking, sitting, standing, delighting and being planted. If we are spiritually unfit, we must first take measured steps so we can begin the process. We can’t just plunge into spiritual fitness and be done. We can’t take a magic pill to get spiritually fit. Once we reach a certain level we can’t just slack off. In the natural, once we reach our desired goal, we must work to maintain it. The good news is that we can attain and maintain spiritual health by continually taking heed to God’s Word.
Let’s look at it from another angle. There is a time to sit, to stand, to walk and also to run. Each has its place. When do we sit, and what do we do while sitting? How and on what do I stand? Where and how do I walk?
- We can’t always run, or we’ll get overtired and be unable to complete the race. This is especially true if we’re unskilled or out of shape.
- We can’t always walk leisurely as though there isn’t a care in the world. Some things need a more strenuous or strident pace.
- We can’t stand for everything, or our stance becomes futile or pointless.
- We certainly can’t always sit. While we understand that sitting can denote a posture of learning, at some point we must put into practice what we have learned during our seated stage.
“But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]” (Jas 1:22 AMP).
Then there are those who are always looking for a shortcut. There are no shortcuts to spiritual health. The Pastor and leaders can put in all the work they are led to put in, through studying and then sharing, teaching and modeling, so we can gain insight and understanding to deal with the challenging situations we’re facing. However, if we don’t do our part, we don’t get the desired outcome. If we don’t seek God for the wisdom and revelation needed, and then skillfully apply what has been given, we won’t achieve the desired results. Shortcuts always affect our spiritual health, and can cause setbacks. God has a tried, tested and proven track record. Satan always shows us things that look good and appear to be easier, but they cost us in the long run. He comes to steal our productivity. Spiritual fitness is an ongoing process. Christ comes to give us Zoe life; the GOD kind of life; the life of a continually maturing, healthy, fit believer.
So what do we do? In what should I delight? On who or what should I meditate? We must begin to strengthen our character to match our talk. We must be willing to delight ourselves in the LORD and in the law of the LORD. “I delight to do Your will O my God; Your law is within my heart” (Ps 40:8 AMP). Do we delight ourselves in Him and in His Word, so that in turn He can give us the desires of our hearts? Do we daily read and meditate on the Word of GOD? “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success” (Jos 1:8 AMPC). If we truly are meditating on His Word day and night, seeking Him and following His instructions, that translates into health and maturity HIS way.
During the maintenance process, let’s keep in mind the following things:
- We are already seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (Eph 2:6 KJV).
- We are free to stand fast in the victory Christ won for us. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Gal 5:1NKJV) (also see I Cor15:57-58 NKJV).
- We must walk with one another in order to grow and mature. Accountability is key. “He who walks with wise men will be wise” (Pr13:20a NKJV).
- We must run this race with patience. It takes time. We have great examples, and the prize is at the end. “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1 KJV).
The world needs healthy Christians. Let’s maintain our spiritual health by practicing good consistent, continual patterns of spiritual exercise!