It took ten months of intermittent fasting and exercise for me to start seeing a notable change in my physical appearance. While I was excited with my weight loss, after months of training I reached a weight-loss plateau. My routine of fasting and exercising was no longer effective because my body adjusted. The only way I could continue my physical progression was to change my routine. The same is true spiritually, when we get stuck in a routine, the enemy can adjust how he attacks us, therefore limiting our spiritual effectiveness.
Every year, millions of Americans pledge themselves to a diet and/or exercise routine in order to lose weight and improve their outward appearance. While dieting and exercising is important for a variety of health reasons, it is equally important for us to improve our inner self. From His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being. When we feed our flesh and starve our spirit, we become spiritually unhealthy. Fortunately, God has developed a plan for those who trust and believe in Him. To make spiritual gains with God, we are going to have to diversify, diet and rest.
Diversify: An effective fitness routine will incorporate cardio, upper body and lower body training. If you just focus and train one area of your body, you will gain strength in that area, but you will become weak in others. Diversifying your spiritual routine is equally as important. Routine makes us an easy target for the enemy’s attack. If he knows our routine, he will send distractions to interrupt the time we allocate towards God. If you pray but do not walk in faith, attend church but do not tithe or read your Bible but do not praise and worship God, then you will be strengthening some areas in your spiritual life while remaining weak in others. Pledge to spend more time with God and try some new things spiritually. Read a daily devotional, subscribe to a spiritual podcast, partake in Holy communion, join a prayer/church group, start a Bible study or read a spiritual book. Seek God on a level like you never have before, and you will begin to see changes throughout your life.
Dieting: When we ingest more calories than we burn we gain weight. Similarly, when we consume negative and destructive images, speech, and people and don’t offset that with God’s word, we gain stress, fear, anxiety, doubt and hopelessness. Learn to eliminate these things and people in your life that add weight but do not make you a healthier person. The more you seek and pursue God and His Kingdom and burn off the excess things and people keeping you away from God, the healthier you will become in your Spirit.
Rest: Resting is just as important as working out because it’s an equal part of the total process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. No matter what you may be going through, find the time to rest. Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” So, cast your cares unto Him and find your rest. Let God rebuild and restore you as you grow your faith into Him.
God wants to do some amazing things for you this year and fulfill the plans He has for you. Plans to forgive, restore and prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future. To receive all God has for you, diversify how you seek Him, eliminate unhealthy habits and people, and find rest in the Almighty.