Exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things.. (1 Tim. 4:7-8 KJV)
By the wisdom of God, Paul distinguishes two types of exercise: bodily or physical and spiritual exercise. He employed the metaphor of physical exercise to reveal profound spiritual truths regarding our spiritual lives.
Bodily exercise has natural benefits. Science has taught us that exercise has health benefits for the body and the mind to a minor degree. Although physical activity has some advantages, it only profits us physically and mentally. But we are much more than physical or mental beings. Therefore Paul says, “bodily exercise profiteth little”; he acknowledges the benefit but defines its limitations.
Spiritual exercise is training ourselves for godliness, and it has a benefit for this life and the life to come. It can be easily understood if we think about how physical exercise works. In general, exercise promotes health and stimulates muscle growth and development. When muscles are not put to work, they lose their vitality and shrink. The Spirit thus reveals to us that our spiritual faculties( spiritual muscles) can be trained to promote spiritual health, growth, and development.
The human heart can be trained in spiritual things. You can train your heart to believe God or listen to His voice more clearly. Yes, we can learn to walk more closely in fellowship with the Holy Spirit or be more sensitive to His leading, or even be more loving and kind to others! This training is what spiritual growth entails. God wants us to increase in faith, love, knowledge, giving, etc.
Exercise implies we have to initiate the process. We prepare ourselves, set out the time, and go for the workout when we want to exercise. Training is never accidental. The same principle applies to spiritual exercise. We have to imitate the process of spiritual exercise by using the equipment in God’s gym. In God’s Gym, His process for exercise is straightforward. He has an exercise coach called the Holy Spirit. Our Coach has two major pieces of equipment and secondary equipment to train us. The major kits are His Word and prayer. The secondary equipment is the believers around you, including ministers who might impart or train you spiritually.
Continue to exercise yourself unto godliness. The Holy Spirit is up to something with you!
What is a spiritual exercise, as described above?
Apply the Word
Many believers are not in God’s gym and often wonder why their spiritual muscles are weak. Don’t wait until Satan punches you for you to start building spiritual forces—it is often challenging to develop spiritual stamina amid a battle. The best strategy for spiritual warfare is to prepare yourself before the war. Enroll in God’s gym today. Spark your devotional life!
Ask the Father to help you exercise yourself unto godliness.