In the physical, we look at people and desire to have well-built body like them. In the spiritual, we look at men and women of crazy faith who have done crazy things for God and desire to be like them. The Physical and the Spiritual have a lot of similarities. To be physically strong and fit, you need to eat right and work out hard. To be spiritually strong and fit, you need to eat right and work out hard…What should you eat and What is the workout you need to do??…Before we hit the Gym, let’s get some basics straight..
Salvation and the Finished work of Jesus:
When you believe in Jesus, receive His finished work and accept Him as your Lord and Saviour you don’t just receive forgiveness and a ticket to heaven as most people believe. You become transformed into a Son of God, a Daughter of God. You are not just forgiven, you have been set free and made new. You have been set free from sin, sickness, curses, poverty, failure and given the Life of God. You are a New Creation, a new breed of human. You are not a normal human, You are a Super Human. You were born as a son of man, You got born-again as a Son of God.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, “all things” have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17(NKJV)- You are not half Good and half devil, ALL things have become new and the old things are gone. You are a New Creation, You are a Saint and the old sinner is gone.
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun. 2 Corinthians 5:17(TLB)
A Life-changing Truth:
You may think-“If I’m changed, why Am I doing bad things?? If I’m God’s Son, Why Am I living normal?”. It is because there is an inner truth to this truth. Man is a 3 part being. “You are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body. You are not a physical being, you are a spiritual being with a mind and a physical body”. What you see on the outside, your hands and your hair, are less real than your spirit on the inside. If you get the truth about the Truine nature of Man, your life will be revolutionized.
You are a New creation- You are like God, like Jesus and one with the Holy Spirit. Dogs give birth to dogs not cats,Lions give birth to lions not rats. Similarly,God gave birth to us so as a child of God you are like Him….”in your spirit”. When you get saved,your body stays the same. If you are fat,you remain fat. If you are tall, you remain tall. Only your spirit is changed- totally made new…On the outside,I’m Kenneth you are So and So..but when we look on the inside- Like God..Like God…Like God…We are all like God on the inside. (Ephesians 4:24, 1 John 4:17, 1 Corinthians 6:17)…Pause and Let this sink in you…
Now,we have our mind and body left out. Your mind and body are neutral, they are not bad or evil as many believe and preach. Your mind can release only what you put into it,like a computer. What you upload is what comes out. Next,your body just follows your commands or the habits you have developed. God took care of your spirit, now you have to do something about your mind and body.
Note: Flesh or Sinful nature, the bible talks about is not your mind or body. It is the part of man that is inclined to sin and do bad things but in Christ, the sinful nature is removed.
You’ve got work to do:
Many get vegetative saying Jesus has done everything, which is a demonic belief. We work because of what Jesus did. We work out what God has done in us and Step out to work for the expansion of His Kingdom.
Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. Philippians 2:12,13- It says “work out” not “work for”. We don’t have to work for our salvation because we are saved by Grace through faith. But we have to work out, the salvation we have received. God will work in you and give you both the desire and power to do His Will, you just have to cooperate.
Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice to God, this is true worship. Do not follow the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1,2- Surrender your body, Don’t follow the ways of the world. Changing your mind brings transformation.
According to the above verse, You have to renew your mind or change your thinking and surrender your body to God. You have to do something or else nothing will be done. It doesn’t say anything about your spirit because your spirit has been totally changed. You are Kind, Good, Holy, Pure and Powerful in your spirit- RIGHT NOW. For everything in your spirit to come out, you have to change your thinking and surrender your body. Mind is the door to your spirit. When your mind is renewed and changed it is open, if it is not renewed and changed it will be closed. Open the door by changing your thinking and you will start to live like Jesus. Inward transformation happens when you believe in Jesus, outward transformation happens when you change your thinking.
According to the world, our actions determine our identity. According to God, Identity precedes actions. We don’t know who we are and so we do wrong stuffs. When you know who you are in Christ ,what you do will change. Change your thinking with the truth about your identity in Christ, then Christ-like actions will follow. At the end of the day, it all comes down to what Jesus did and what you receive from what He did. “Knowing who you are and What you have in Christ” is the key that unlocks spiritual growth. Check out these diagrams slowly, to get this truth…
Healthy diet and Life changing Work-out :
What you eat matters both in the physical and the spiritual. When you get the right spiritual diet, you will be healthy and will function as a effective christian.
Everything that passes through your eyes and ears will influence you spiritually for Good or for Bad. With that said, you must not let anything in, that will affect your walk with God and growth in God. If all you do is sit before the TV and watch junk or Hang out with your Smart Phone as it is your New Girl friend, forget growing strong in God. You need to get serious and say No every garbage the world throws at you through people and the media.
Open your heart and mind to the things of God, shut them to the devil and the world. Hit the Spiritual Gym and work out hard to bring out the World changer who is in you . You are a World-changer. If you are faithful and consistent in doing every exercise listed here, you will be changing the world around you in no time. Guess what, you will even grow up to change nations and impact the entire world. Enough said, don’t make this mechanical and religious. Intimacy with God is the foundation and everything else. It is all about Loving God and Loving people, not growing up spiritually and showing off.
Let me give you the best list of exercises based on my level in God. Time to sweat and breath deep:_
Tongues-Up: You must not just pray in tongues when the music beat goes fast in Church, you must pray in tongues every day. When you pray in tongues, you are always praying God’s will. Praying in tongues charges you spiritually. Like charging your phone. Praying in Tongues stops Normal thinking and starts Supernatural thinking. Praying in tongues opens the door for revelation and wisdom from heaven. If you think it’s not necessary then ask Apostle Paul who said-“I speak in tongues more than all of you”. If you are not used to praying in tongues daily, start with 5 mins and then 10 mins and keep increasing till you are blasting in tongues for hours at a stretch.
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves. 1 Corinthians 14:4(NIV)- The word “edify” used in the KJV and NIV is a foreign word to this generation. Edify means charge or strengthen.
A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally. 1 Corinthians 14:4(NLT)
Bible-Study crunch: If you read the Bible as you read a newspaper, you are not going to get anything out of it. You must go to the Bible as a Hungry Lion goes towards its prey. Bible is to be studied not read. When you receive the Word of God as THE WORD OF GOD, then it will work in you. The Best practical way I can give you is “study slowly and attentively” then “study the same passage or chapter again and again before going to the next”. Another powerful way to study the Bible is “Studying Loud”, which makes the Words of God take deep root in your life. Studying the Word of God without the Spirit of God is the stupidest thing you can ever do, let Him teach you, be humble.
- Old Testament- Eden was God’s original, primary plan but failed. Between the fall and the coming of Jesus,it was God’s permissive plan. Everything was just a partial revelation of God or a shadow. Jesus is the exact revelation of God. View everything from that truth. You can a learn a lot from the men who walked with God.
- Gospels- Jesus is the only model for Christian living. So see yourself in Jesus’ place while studying the Gospels because you have to do what He did. Gospels show you how a Christian’ lifestyle must be.
- Acts of the apostles- Acts throws light on how the Early Church functioned and how the believers lived. Second model for us, next to Jesus.
- Letters or epistles- Epistles tell us who we are and what we have in Christ. Will give us instructions on how to live. First part of most letters will talk about your identity in Christ and the second part gives you instructions on how to live. We make the mistake of trying to follow the instructions, which is nothing but the law. When you know who you are and what you have in CHRIST,what you do will change. Build your identity and actions will follow. If you live in the Epistles, you will start to live out the Gospels and Acts.
Meditation-Press: Bible Study will give you truths and Bible Meditation will get the truths rooted in your life. When God highlights a truth or a verse while you are studying the Bible, close your bible and get into meditation-mode. Keep chewing like you would chew a bubble gum. For ex, when the truth that “I’m a new creation, I’m a Son of God” hit me, I started thinking about it and started talking about it to myself- that’s meditation. You can also choose a verse or truth for each day and chew on it through out the day, wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1,2(NIV)
Fix your thoughts on Jesus. Hebrews 3:1(NIV)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8(NIV)
Confession-Thrust: “Personalizing verses and Speaking them out Loud” is similar to the strength exercises we do in the Gym. It changes your perspective of yourself, you start to see yourself as Big because God is in you. It builds strong spiritual muscles and gets you into Kingdom action faster. Take verses that talk about your identity in Christ and what you have in Christ, personalize them and speak them out loud. For ex, “The One Who is in Me is Greater than the One who is in the World” , “I’m like Jesus on the inside, I’m like Jesus in this world”. Keep repeating a list of truths everyday. If you need a personalized list, ask me..
Outside Resources-Stretch: You can access teaching resources in multiple ways. Apart from your personal Bible study and your Pastor’s Sunday sermon, it is good to be exposed to various teaching resources. You can buy Sermon DVDs or watch sermons online or subscribe to blogs; you can purchase spiritual books and study them. Accessing teaching resources is fine unless you are discerning because there is so much junk being preached from pulpits and a lot of stupid books in the racks of Christian bookstores. Be discerning or get help from mature Christians because many stuffs out there can destroy your spiritual growth.
Silent-Curl: Shhh…Get Quiet…Soak…Being silent is power, Being silent in God’s presence is Super-power. “Be still and know that I’m God” says God but we have mastered the art of being busy and have nothing to do with the art of waiting in God’s presence. It is high-time we revive it and live it out because it is explosive. It is in the place of quietness and stillness, you encounter God. Say No to Busyness and Get Busy soaking in God’s presence. The Longer you soak, the deeper you go. If you have not practiced doing this, then it will be really tough because we have trained to be busy that sitting down and doing nothing is painful. Get into a comfortable position and close your eyes and focus on God. I sit in my bed or in my swing with pillows to keep comfortable to go long. Start with 5 mins and keep increasing your time and as you do, you will start going deeper into the realms of the Spirit.
Kingdom Friendship-Crossover: Fellowship doesn’t just mean cake and coffee, it means enhancing each other spiritually. The group you fellowship with must impact you spiritually and lead you closer to God. A private encounter lifestyle with God is the key to a powerful fellowship. The sad truth is most Christian fellowships are famous for gossips and religious cliches like “Praise the Lord”. We grow well when we grow together. Get along with people who have God in first place and Get into action together. Iron sharpens Iron. Connect with Strong men and women of Faith, who will sharpen you and push you forward.
Action-Slam: The Fastest way to build strong muscles like your WWE Superstars or Hollywood stars, in the spiritual, is by getting into action. You grow fast by doing not by praying or fasting. God says Love, so get out and Love. God says forgive, get hold of people and forgive. God says serve, step out and serve. God says preach, go around sharing the Gospel. God says heal the sick, find sick people and get them healed. God says drive out demons, find out demonized people and set them free in Jesus’ name. Don’t wait for an angel to knock at your door, Don’t wait for this anointing and that anointing, just take God at His word and get into action. Your Spiritual biceps will hit out, Your Spiritual chest will pop out, your t-shirt will become tight, the people around you will go-“What?? who you are???” and you say “I’m God’s Son and the devil’s worst nightmare”. The best exercise out there is to obey God, do His Word and get into Kingdom action. You can obey Him because you are a New creation and His grace provides empowerment to obey.
The Important Ingredients of Spiritual Growth:
Time is valuable. You must move from spending time with God to living with God. 30 mins with God and 10 hours with the world will not result in spiritual growth. If your time with the junk of the world is more, then it will choke and kill the results that you received from your time with God. You have to walk with God all day long not just during your morning prayer time.
Consistency is mandatory for results as it is in the physical. If you skip gym for a week, your tummy will greet you. Same in the spiritual. Be consistent in doing these exercises. Don’t quit or skip, no matter what. Keep going forward.
When the revelation of “who you are and what you have in Christ” hits you deep, you will start to walk like Jesus and do what He did. Your dream of Being a Spiritual Giant will come to pass if you just keep hitting the gym and doing the exercises because they also had to work out what God did in them through the finished work of Jesus. You are a Son of God, a Daughter of God but for you to live as One you have to work out and get out. Eat right, Work out, Change your thinking, Surrender your body and live a crazy life for Daddy God.