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Keeping Spiritually Fit

Whew! The workout is finally done. You are tired, but you feel exhilarated. As you cool down, you have a feeling of wellness and relaxation. Not only that, but just look at that muscle tone you’re developing. It is definitely worth the effort!

This is true of a physical workout like an aerobics class, the finish of a race, or the end of a swimming workout. But it is also true of a spiritual workout. A what? That’s right — a spiritual workout. It takes the discipline and effort of a physical workout, but has even better results — strong spiritual muscles.

Some Exercises

Here are a few exercises that can help keep you spiritually fit so that you can have an effective ministry at your high school.

Stretch!
If you don’t stretch before a physical workout, your muscles won’t be ready and you may hurt your effectiveness. It’s the same with a spiritual workout. Without stretching and preparing your soul, you can overextend yourself. You see, you are only able to give to others what you have received. If you try to give more than you have, you will lose your effectiveness. Before you begin ministry, you need to focus on God and receive from Him.

Knee Bends!
The next thing you need is the right attitude. Become a servant leader and "bend down" to help others. Jesus says in Mark 10:43 that "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant." Jesus was the best example of this. He washed His disciples’ feet, healed many people (even when He was tired), and welcomed children. Jesus continually served and ministered to the needs of others—often at the expense of His own needs.

But, what does it practically look like to serve students? It means being patient with them, driving an extra ten minutes to pick someone up, being willing to do the jobs that don’t get noticed, being kind to someone you don’t like. Basically, it is putting others before yourself. It’s being willing to do whatever God asks you to do for His glory and not yours.

Team Building
Working out is great, but we all know it’s tough to do alone. It helps to have someone next to you, pushing you to greater heights. As the Bible says, "iron sharpens iron." Did you know that even a giant redwood tree can’t stand by itself? You see, as the tree grows, its roots need to join with the roots of surrounding redwoods. If it doesn’t have this network, it will fall over as soon as a strong wind blows.

Anyone in Christian leadership can fall without encouraging support. You are now a leader. Could becoming disqualified from ministry happen to you? You betcha! But accountability is your safeguard. Find a trusted person who can ask you the tough questions and be honest with you. It involves submission, trust and risk, faithfulness, courage and fear of God.

  • Do you have a person you can be accountable to?
  • When will you meet?
  • What will you discuss?

Looking in the Mirror

"You can’t do it!"
"Nobody will listen to you!"
"You’ve blown it too bad!"
"Nobody is interested!"

These are all lies! Satan wants to discourage every believer, but he especially wants to pull down those who are committed to serving God. How do you stand against his lies?

The key is knowing your identity in Christ. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, it says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."

Here is what your new identity looks like:
  • I am a child of God (John 1:12).
  • I am Jesus’ chosen friend (John 15:15).
  • I am holy and acceptable to God (Romans 5:1).
  • I have been bought with a price and belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
  • I am a saint, a holy one (Ephesians 1:1).
  • I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).
  • I am free from any condemning charges (Romans 8:31).
  • I can’t be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:35).
  • I am born of God; the evil one can’t touch me (1 John 5:18).
  • I am a Spirit-empowered witness of Christ (Acts 1:8).
  • I am a temple where the Holy Spirit lives (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19).
  • I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Satan would love for you to stay ignorant of your new identity. He knows this will keep you from living up to all that God has for you.

It would be just like a prince who was orphaned as a baby. He grew up with peasant parents, never knowing his true royal identity. But one day someone told him who he really was. A whole new world opened up for him. He claimed his inheritance and lived as the prince that he always was.

Many Christians live in spiritual poverty rather than who they really are – children of the King! Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will."

This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever sin again, but it does mean that you are forgiven. Nothing you can do will change your identity. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin, simply confess it, and thank God that He has forgiven you. If Satan condemns you, you can then stand in your true identity.

Relax

You are in for the ride of your life! Just remember who is really in charge. Never forget that the work belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Check out some of the things He does for you:
  • He provides motivation (2 Corinthians 5:14-15).
  • He is the One who selected you to reach this school (John 15:16).
  • He will provide the power to do whatever He asks you to do (Acts 1:8).
  • He will bring about the results (1 Corinthians 3:5-7).

So what is your part? This is simple. You just need to relax, to trust God and to be faithful to do whatever He shows you to do.

From VITAL LINC Call 800.789.5462 or visit www.svlinc.com


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