Walking out of my intense workout session at the gym, I was expecting the usual – grab some water, cool down, and head home. But, what I wasn’t expecting was Kelsey, our inspiring trainer, gathering us all and inviting us to an impromptu Bible study session. As the beads of sweat trickled down my temple, I thought, “Is faith really a muscle I want to exercise right now?”
However, as Kelsey delved deeper, it struck me. Throughout our lives, we focus so much on nurturing our hearts, soul, and mind. But, have we ever pondered about what it means to love and worship God with all our strength?
A Faith-Filled Workout
In Luke 6, when a teacher quizzes Jesus about the route to eternal salvation, Jesus poses another question right back. The teacher’s reply from Deuteronomy sets the context: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
Most of us ardently pursue the spiritual paths of the heart and soul. Yet, the realm of strength remains relatively uncharted. Why is it that our physical well-being is often sidelined when it comes to spiritual conversations?
Dating back to the days of early Gnostic Christians, there was an inclination to regard the physical world as less significant than the spiritual. They perceived the body, with all its flaws and desires, as a barrier rather than a bridge to spiritual attainment. This long-standing misinterpretation has occasionally painted the body as a distraction from the true essence of worship.
Yet, if we turn the pages of the Bible, the narrative is different.
Celebrating the Divine in the Physical
David’s Psalms vividly detail how he conveyed his love for God through both verbal affirmations and physical manifestations. To him, the act of praising God wasn’t confined to words or thoughts alone; it was a full-bodied experience.
Paul’s exhortation to the Romans encapsulates this sentiment: “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” In essence, true worship seamlessly intertwines the spiritual with the physical.
After all, didn’t God manifest His boundless love for humanity by sending Jesus – the Word transformed into flesh? This wasn’t just a theological statement. It was a profound testament to how the spiritual and the physical realms are interwoven by design.
Rediscovering the Rhythms of Ancient Faith
Historically, our ancestors’ lives were rooted in tangible actions – tilling the land, embarking on arduous journeys, or forging paths in battles. Their daily existence was a dance of spiritual intent and physical exertion. Yet, in our digital age, the physical dimension of our lives has been overshadowed by screens, likes, and virtual engagements.
But herein lies the invitation: to reawaken the profound connection between our bodies and our spiritual journeys. Our physique is not just a vessel but a vibrant tapestry, masterfully designed by God. And every time we cherish it, nurture it, and push its boundaries, we are not just building muscles; we are partaking in a divine dance that reverberates through every fiber of our being.
The Dance Continues…
Each time you flex a muscle or feel your heart race, remember the “Hypostatic union” – the melding of the divine and the earthly in Jesus. When we commit our bodies to worship and service, we resonate with that same divine rhythm, a dance that transcends realms and echoes with love for the Creator.
So, the next time you tie your workout shoes or lift a weight, remember: You’re not just working out; you’re worshipping. Embrace the dance!