Discipline. Don’t you just cringe when you hear that word? This is not the punishment of acts committed, although sometimes it feels that way! This is the continual practice of good choices that over time changes our bodies, our minds, and our spirits.1 Tim. 4:7-8 says, “But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” We need energizing exercise both physically and spiritually.
Our physical heart is a muscle. It requires energizing exercise. When we use it vigorously, it grows stronger, when we don’t exercise it, it grows weaker. (Picture – Granddaughter Jordyn playing on the playground.) Our faith is the same way. When we use our faith by trusting in God’s word and His relationship then our faith will grow stronger. When we don’t use our faith, it will weaken and eventually atrophy. We exercise our faith by believing God’s word and acting upon it even when our reality or our emotions tell us something different. In order to do this, we must know the word of God. Romans 12:2 says: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.” We renew our mind by reading the word of God and praying. We have the Holy Spirit within us as believers. The Holy Spirit illuminates God’s word giving us understanding and convicting us when we sin. (“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17.)
Let me give you an example. As a child, hopefully you did not have to worry about where you meals would come from. You went about your day and a parent in your life put food on the table – morning, noon, and night. You did not spend time worrying about your next meal. You did not pray that somehow your next meal would be there. It just was. You put your faith in your parent to provide for you. Each time that you sat down at the table you exercised your faith in your parent.
Our God is the faithful parent. He knows what is best for us and we can trust Him. Charles Spurgeon once said, “When you can’t see God’s hand, trust His heart.” If you know God’s heart – His love for you that drove Jesus to the cross, then you can trust Him, put your faith in Him, and find rest rather than worry.
One way to exercise your spiritual heart is to remember. Remember the times that God was faithful in your life and in the lives of others. Then you can move forward knowing that He will be faithful again. Exercise your faith by believing that what God says is true and walk in that truth. Your heart will thank you.
Hint for the Day: Keep your kids moving! Reduce their tv and computer time and require them to spend time outside. They will naturally run, climb trees, chase each other, jump, or play with the dog. This will keep their bodies healthy.
For their spiritual health, read the word to them daily, sing praises together, and challenge them to trust God when they are upset, worried, afraid, or sad. You can have them make a “Trust God Box”. Take any small box and have them decorate it. Then have them write down anything that they are afraid or or worried about. Have them pray about the situation and then give it to God by placing it in the box. Let go of the paper and the worry. If they start to worry or fret, they are to take the paper out, pray about the situation again, and give it back to God by putting it back into the box. Even we moms could use a “Trust God Box”!