When one thinks about spiritual fitness, the human mind tends to try and discover what to“do” in order to be “more” spiritual. Perhaps one could go to church services more often, or maybe the idea of a “spiritual journey” sounds appealing. Bible reading certainly comes to the top of the list. Then there are the kind deeds that should score more points with God, right? Perhaps a nice donation to charity would qualify oneself as one step closer to spiritual fitness. All of these things are good things, but what exactly does God think makes us fit for his kingdom?
No one can be spiritually fit without first becoming a Holy Spirit filled believer in Jesus Christ. There has never been another Savior sent from heaven before Jesus and there will never be again. As Jesus spoke to his disciples in John 14, we find Thomas inquiring of Jesus how we can know the way of Jesus, or the way to heaven. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13 It is only after you believe in Jesus that you can do the works that our minds gravitate towards when thinking about becoming spiritually fit, and Jesus is clear, “Verily, Verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12. So, the idea of “doing” something to become spiritually fit has to be preceded by believing on Jesus and calling upon his name. It is only after you believe on him, meaning you surrender your life to him, that you will be equipped to do the works Jesus did and even greater works. The question is what changes once you believe to give such power?
John the Baptist preceded Jesus in order to set the stage for the son of God to begin showing us “the way” himself. Jesus came to the earth for one reason, and that was to reset things so mankind can regain his rightful place with God, and this meant he came to be the payment for sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Jesus came to redeem the world from their sins, from the sin that fell on all men because of that one man Adam in the garden at the beginning. Man has always tried to find his own way, but the truth is Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Without truth you don’t have the way, without the way you don’t have life. Jesus is truly the best gift ever given to the world and he is so very interested in you. Won’t you let him redeem you from your sins and bring you out of that darkness into his marvelous light? Call upon his name and he promises to respond.
John the Baptist preached to a people who had only known God through works, and those works could not fully restore them; they served only to temporarily remove the guilt of sin through animal sacrifices, and it is clear that mankind never could fulfill all of the law. Jesus came to the Jews first, but then reached out to the whole world because he loves the whole world. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Matthew 3:11 We see how John was preparing the world for Jesus, and Jesus was going to do things in a different way than John did. So, before John all the world had at their disposal to take care of their sins was animal sacrifices. During the preaching of John the baptist one needed to repent and be baptized as an outward symbol that he believed, because he had not received the Holy Ghost yet. Jesus promised to send the Holy Ghost to live in the hearts and lives of men upon salvation, and we see the first time that happened in Acts chapter 2.
God sent his Son Jesus as a gift to the world, and Jesus asked the Father to send another gift, the Holy Spirit, to indwell those who believed in him once he left the world. As we see in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit gave gifts as well, and the most talked about part from this passage is the gift of tongues. As we know, the Holy Ghost gives gifts as he will (or wants to) 1 Corinthians 12:11. In Acts 2 we clearly see the Holy Ghost wanted to give tongues as a sign to the non-believers who were there. Not everyone receives tongues the minute he receives the Holy Ghost or gets saved, but God is fair and the good news is, “…the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” 1 Cor 12:7 All we have to do is ask.
So, the first step to Spiritual fitness is to believe in Jesus and call upon his name. It’s important to understand you are submitting your life to God as the Holy Spirit will be sent to live inside of you in order to seal you, help you renew your mind to the mind of God and he will work with you as you serve God. This involves being led by the Spirit, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” John 10:27, and taking action to do good works is a joy when you know the Holy Spirit will not abandon you as you do the works of Jesus and even greater works. “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Mark 16:20
If you don’t know Jesus as your savior but would like to be reconciled to God, what better time to call upon his name than this. No one has the promise of tomorrow. Knowing you are saved by the grace of Jesus Christ because he died and rose again for you is an awesome thing. There is nothing you can do to secure your soul on your own, it takes believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and submitting to him. As a believer you will be allowed to partake of the unsearchable riches of Christ as we see in Ephesians 3:9-12
“9.And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
10. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.
11. According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
12. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”
And as the apostle Paul said in Ephesians 3:15-19, I too want to encourage you as perhaps a new believer in Christ, “Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
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