Fit for Jesus, Mind Over Matter

About two years ago, after we had our fourth baby, my life came to a haltering stop. This feeling of being…‘stuck’ had become so prevalent that it was far too much to bare, or ignore, any longer. I felt overweight, overwhelmed, extremely exhausted, and completely out of control. After weeks of prayer and tears, I decided I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, which is sometimes what it takes to make a permanent change in our lives. I wanted something more.

Looking back, I realize it was the burdens I had become accustomed to carrying for so long, that ultimately brought me to my knees. They had become so heavy that I finally fell flat on my fanny. Enough was enough. I didn’t want to just coast through life anymore. I wanted to make a difference; and I knew that if I was going to make a difference, then I had to be willing to first allow the change to take place with me.

It was not just about my physical body. I wanted to grow spiritually and mentally also because “what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (Matthew 15:18). Our hearts are full of wickedness, at least mine is. Until we allow God to come into our hearts and start cleaning it up, we are FULL of wickedness. Worst yet, we are usually ignorant to just how ugly we actually are, or I was anyway.

I struggled with LOTS of pride. Before God got a hold of me, I had an unwillingness to surrender control, ugly UGLY amounts of unforgiveness, along with unfruitful, deceitful thinking. I still struggle with my feelings, but I choose His ways anyway. I choose to forgive, to surrender, as well as to listen and act on what His Word says. Sometimes it takes me longer to work through my stuff then other times, but it is a process. I did not get this way overnight, so I will not change overnight either.

I will continue to wrestle with my emotions until my days are complete here on earth, but I choose NOT to stay ignorant about them. I ask Him to search my heart and to show me where I am wrong. This way, I can repent, surrender it to Him, and then get the privilege to change for His glory since only He can change my heart. He knows me better than I ever will. He sees all of my heart and can change all my ugly, but it is contingent upon my willingness to put in the work required of me. It is not easy to see how ugly we are. I use to think I was a pretty good person. SHEW WEEEEE! I was WRONG. He is making me more and more into His likeness every day, but a part from Him, I am not capable of good. “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out” (Romans 7:18).

Anywho, the next thing I know, I signed up for a gym membership, and purchased a brand spankin new pink Bible (oh, the smell of a newly purchased book). So here I was…gym membership in one hand, brand new pink Bible in the other. My mind was set. It was time for transformation and it was ON!!! The cross was before me and I had my new running shoes on, ready to run as far away from the world behind me as possible….with NO desire to turn back.

My first day in the gym was such a monumental moment in my life. Here I was determined and fully seeking God for transformation with a willingness to do whatever it took. When I started, however, I viewed physical fitness separate from my spiritual growth. I mean, I was ready to bring God to the gym with me. It was the start of my ministry outside of my home. I wanted to pray for people at the gym, read my Bible while I was at the gym, as well as praise Him with hands lifted while running or lifting weights. I just never knew how much of a transformation, impact, and ministry this was going to become. I never imagined that over time, God would take physical fitness and merge it beautifully with spiritual fitness.

I am not sure when I started to realize it, but through physical fitness God was teaching me how to overcome my daily trials and temptations. He was allowing physical fitness to take place while simultaneously teaching me true fitness… how to be fit for Jesus. He took these separate desires, and turned them into something much greater than I could have imaged for His glory. HALLELUJAH!!!!

He was turning me into the man who built His foundation on rock and withstood the storms because the man’s house was built well. (Luke 6:48) For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29), and will refine us, test us, and purify our hearts if we will simply surrender to His will. (Isaiah 48:10; Psalm 66:10-12; Zechariah 13:8-9; James 4:8: 2 Corinthians 7:1)

While in the gym, I use scripture like…I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13; whatever you do, do it well (Ecclesiastes 9:10); when I am weak, [You] are strong (2 Corinthians 12:10). We are taught that success in fitness is mind over matter. We overcome mentally, and then we can overcome physically. Sounds pretty applicable to our walk as Christ followers don’t you think? Praise God for this revolution!!!

So, you learn how to apply the same principles in life as a devoted follower of Jesus as you do in fitness, then BAM!!!… You have an equation that the devil himself will be after to destroy. Might even be one of the reasons why He attacks our nation physically because as it is best stated by Elle Woods in Legally Blond, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.”

God gave us our bodies and intended them for sleep, exercise, and food for a reason. We are not God. We need rest, a good amount of sweating during a run/walk, and a wholesome/healthy diet for a reason. It makes our bodies more equipped to face the daily trials and tribulations that are unavoidable.
To date, God has turned my insomnia into at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep. He has turned my 175lb body into 140lb muscle. He has turned my fast food into grilled chicken and vegetables, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, He has begun the process of turning my ugly into TRUE BEAUTY as I am FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE (Psalm 139:14), I am MORE PRECIOUS THEN JEWELS.

{Proverbs 3:13-18; “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is MORE PRECIOUS THAN JEWELS, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”}

I have NEVER felt better in my life. I am running circles around who I use to be. Through fitness, this includes physical and mental, God has afforded me to genuinely LOVE people. He allows me to build people up through encouraging words, opens doorways of opportunity to pray with others, as well as establishes some pretty amazing relationships with some pretty amazing women. He started my ministry long ago; I just didn’t receive the title, Women in Waiting, until He was ready to clue me in. 🙂

So, if you have never really thought about what it takes to get physically fit and compared it to what it takes to pick up your cross, daily, and follow Jesus, then I encourage you to reflect on it. Working out takes, what I like to refer to as the three D’s: drive, determination, and dedication. It takes drive to persevere, determination to endure, and dedication to never EVER give up, no matter what may come, til the very end. Sounds A LOT like something James, Paul, the disciples, the writer of Hebrews, or pretty much any devoted follower of Christ, might say.

Revivals don’t just happen; they have to start with me…with you…with the person wanting to make the difference. Remember, we can’t give away what we do not possess ourselves, and we must be willing to freely give out what we freely have received. (Matthew 10:8)

How do we receive? We receive by allowing God to change us completely. He takes our old ways, and makes them into new, shiny, STRONG, UNSHAKABLE ways.

{2 Corinthians 5:17-18; “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” }

Every time my feet step into the gym, I realize this is His time to shine through me as well as a time to teach me. To teach me what it takes to run my race well. To preserve and trust the unseen until it becomes seen. When I run, lift weights, or Zumba, I don’t see instant results. It does not happen overnight. No, it takes drive, determination, and dedication to be willing to keep pressing through until the reward is in full view.

Regardless of the how, let Him guide you through a complete transformation. Let’s get FIT FOR JESUS!!!! He knows what is going to make you run like you’ve never run before…”for those who wait for Yahweh shall renew [their] strength. They shall go up [with] wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

So whether it is in the gym, in the classroom, in the office, in the grocery story, behind a podium, at your house, or in your car, allow God to transform your old ways into a new way to truly live. Allow Him to show you that all you lose is really a way to truly gain.

{Philippians 3:7-9; “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”}

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9 thoughts on “Fit for Jesus, Mind Over Matter

  1. Good job Samantha. Being fit also require discipline. Love the exercise anologies. Being fit for Jesus, and fit in life has a lot of cross over. Both take tenacity and perseverance.
    Very encouraging. Makes me want to go workout, and worship. 😄

    Like

  2. Oh, how I bless The sweet name of The Lord Jesus! Our of His Love for us, He gives us each other! As I continue to learn more about the beautiful women around me… I’m quickly learning that we are not so different after all!

    A lot like you Samantha, I was unknowingly in bondage to vanity for midst of my life. (I called it athletic, driven, health nut, so on) After I have birth to Sara Grace, I quickly realized the struggle of so many women around me. The emotional struggle. The Lord began tendering my heart in a way that brought me to repentance for idol worship. My physical fitness was my idol. Well, one of my idols. And may I remind you? This was not all while in rebellion.. But that idolatry snuck into my new life in and with Christ! I just always thought, “well, I have to tend to my health. And I need to make it a habit. I mean, it is my therapy. At least I’m not an addict.”

    Oh my! Was I terribly deceived. I giggle as I write this. Can you see how cunning the enemy is? I was, in fact, an addict. I was addicted to exercise. Physical fitness isn’t harmful. Only beneficial, when you do it in moderation. I still enjoy it. More than ever before, because I now know that it’s not my slave master! I am free from all bondage, and have the knowledge of Christ! With that knowledge, I have contentment with the progress of getting fit for Jesus! In front of my treadmill, I posted a proclamation… “my physical health WILL reflect my spiritual health! ‘I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13”

    I so believe in being whole. We are incomplete without being fully yielded to our Father God. When we are surrendered to Him, we can ser then, where we are without wholeness in other areas of our lives. For some of us, that’s physical health. For some, it’s relationships. Ladies, we need Jesus Christ. Each and every one of us. Every second of every day! Cry out to Him and He will show up! He did for me, and He loves us both the very same! HALLELUJAH!

    I’m praying for you, Love, Leslie

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Leslie, for sharing your experience!! I’m only privileged that God would allow such a beautiful woman in my life such as yourself. The enemy does not play fair and is sly enough to turn some of the greatest benefits into nasty, excessive, unhealthy idols. Praise God He is able to pull us out of the darkness by revealing truth. Hallelujah!!! Ladies we can do this!!! Jesus did not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34). We are princesses being prepared for our King. The things of this world are merely gifts we our given to enjoy as we go through refinement. However, it is all about balance and our relationship with our Creator until we get where we are going. YAY!!!! THANK YOU again Leslie for sharing your experience.

      “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

      “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I apologize for my ignorance on how to allow the ability to leave comments, lol. But the Lord has enabled me to figure it out. Please feel free to leave any encouraging words you might have about your own journey. Much love to you ladies!

    Like

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