Living By Grace

Balanced Fitness Begins With God

By Linda Goldfarb

“And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Romans 12:1-2, NLT).

Back to the Basics

Self image is one thing, God’s image is everything.

As an introduction to my health & fitness column, I would like to take you on a journey back to the basics. God is very deliberate in His attitude about His children and how they should behave, think, love, eat, sleep, and interact with one another. Psalm 139 illustrates this for us quite well.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in  the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139: 13-16, NIV).

Have you ever taken the time to sit down and really ponder what God is saying through this piece of Scripture?  Allow me the liberty to give insight into how God may want us to view His Word and ourselves in the process.  Let’s take a few bites out of this wonderful offering and taste the saltiness of our loving God.

…you knit me together…  Our manufacturers tag would read “Made by God.”
…I am fearfully and wonderfully made… A lot of thought went into our creation.
…your works are wonderful I know that full well…   We trust that God is truthful.
…My frame was not hidden from you…  God is fully aware of our physical limits.
…your eyes saw my unformed body… Even as dust, God knew us.
All the days ordained…written in your book… God is always aware of our life’s journey.

Now that we have a more intimate picture of God’s view of our lives, let’s look at how we can make a difference every day to be what He wants us to be physically, spiritually, and relationally.

The 'I-Zone' : Our Spiritual Battleground

There are many things in life we have no direct control over—the weather, other peoples' opinions, sale prices at the local mall, etc.—but we can control what we allow into our influence zone. Advertising, literature, television, movies, friendships—those very things that guide our thoughts and desires also impact our spiritual vision of others and ourselves. What we allow to come into our I-Zone can be used by Satan to hold us away from God and His Glory.  Satan’s visual images can be very strong and deceptive. If we fail to stand up for what we believe as Christians to be truth, we will fall for all that Satan dishes out. Our emotional appetites are affected both physically and spiritually by what comes into our I-Zone.

It is imperative that we continually seek God’s will in our lives and the lives of our children. Spiritual discernment comes through the reading of God’s Word; it will prepare our hearts to be sensitive to Satan’s handiwork. Let’s look at a very simple example of how Satan can use unsuspected means to make a negative impact on our lives. Consider the bathroom scale. Quiet and unassuming, this is a perfect tool used to set your mood. Instead of “waiting” on the Lord to give us direction every day through prayer/quiet time, we jump on the scale and allow that kind of “weighting” to determine our mindset for the day.  Our whole outlook is controlled by a piece of manmade metal. If my weight is down, the day is good; if my weight is up, “Get out of the way!”  Once again, we make the choice to allow negatives into our I-Zone where it has a good shot at affecting our vision. A better way to start the day is trusting in our steadfast Lord, who only provides truth through His Word.

As we cover issues of health, fitness, and nutrition over the upcoming months, keep in mind that in order to begin a successful attempt toward optimum health, we must have a solid relationship with Jesus Christ to make it work.  A verse close to my heart, James 1:22, “Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says (NIV),” helps us to remember that our action causes the plan to work.

Understanding God’s view of our lives helps us to set aside the negative factors that block our abilities to love ourselves. When we invest time, energy, and a new sense of purpose in our daily walk, we will rekindle the loving relationship He desires with us. Plan each day to spend time with the Father; He will be faithful to bless your efforts.

About Linda

Linda Goldfarb is a certified physical fitness specialist, speaker, and syndicated radio talk show host. You can download her weekly “Not Just Talkin’ the Talk” radio broadcasts, a one hour variety talk show based out of San Antonio, Texas, at Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day.

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