Devotions

Strengthening the Core

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“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually” (I Chronicles 16:11).

If watching exercise clips online would increase my strength, I’d already be a healthier person. Unfortunately, I’m supposed to do those exercises, not just watch someone else sweat through them. I also get helpful emails telling me ways to increase my core strength, but just reading the email does nothing. Unless I choose to take action, I will still have flabby muscles.

There are some very good reasons I should increase my core strength:

  • To increase my overall fitness
  • To improve my balance and stability
  • To make it easier to do most physical activities

Growth Requires Action

The same principles apply in our spiritual walk. We can listen to sermons and read books on spirituality, but growth requires action on our part. And that action starts with discipline, a word that sometimes causes us to groan. Discipline isn’t drudgery (as some think); it gives us freedom to become all we can be. It involves persistence, getting back up after setbacks, and taking control of our life rather than letting it control us. Discipline means being intentional and consistent.

There is some debate in the exercise world over which is better—short bursts of exercise during the day or a long workout. I’m not an exercise guru, but it seems both have valid points. The same holds true in things spiritual. Yes, spending a dedicated amount of time with God each day is healthy and good, but so are those “short bursts” of prayer and praise throughout the day.

It’s easy to feel guilty if we miss praying a set number of minutes each morning—thirty, sixty, or whatever. But you can work in shorter times with the Lord throughout the day and still be strengthening those spiritual muscles. God doesn’t require us to worship Him with a stopwatch to be sure we get in a set number of minutes. Our time with Him should never involve guilt or drudgery. Whether an hour or ten minutes, enjoy a time of sweet communication and feel joy in His presence.

Strength Gives Stability

When our core muscles are strong, we have balance and stability. We will have the strength to overcome whatever the enemy of our soul brings our way. Our footing will be sure.

“The LORD my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights!” (Habakkuk 3:19, Christian Standard Bible).

Prayer: God, I desire consistency and discipline in my walk with You. I enjoy our times together, whether long or short. Time with You brings so much joy into my life. I never want our time together to seem difficult or a drudgery. You are my strength, and I want You to be part of my day—all day, every day.

 

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Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

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