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February 10, 1998

Physically Prepared (Part Two)

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She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. PROVERBS 31:17
Phew, you might be thinking. That lecture wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I felt a little guilty, but now I can move on to something else.
Think again. The whole subject of physical preparedness is too important to pass over so lightly. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Although Paul was specifically addressing sexual immorality in this passage, the application extends much further. Do you want the Holy Spirit to have to make His home in a flabby, out-of-shape, heart-attack-prone, tired-out temple? Those are the accommodations you’re providing Him if you don’t make physical fitness a priority.
“You just don’t understand the demands on my time,” you might say. “By the time I work ten hours a day, get supper on the table, do the laundry, spend time with the kids, and squeeze in a few minutes of Bible reading and prayer, there’s just no time for the treadmill.”
That’s understandable—we’re all busy these days. That’s where good old- fashioned discipline—plus a little bit of creativity—comes into play. How can you make your time stretch? Maybe you could get up a half-hour earlier—just the amount of time you need to get a vigorous workout on that treadmill. Perhaps you could give up watching one of your favorite sitcoms or news shows and devote that time to exercise. Or maybe you could combine working out with your prayer time— instead of watching television while you jog in place, pray. If you stay focused, you’ll be amazed at how much ground you can cover with God during a twenty-five- minute stint on an exercise machine.
Don’t lose sight of your ultimate goal: providing a healthy home for the Holy Spirit. All the other results—increased productivity and energy at work, better health, a stronger body, etc.—are all fringe benefits.

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