Building Spiritual Muscle

By Barb Zeller

There it was in black and white: my fitness assessment. Looking my personal trainer in the eye, her good questions prompted soul-searching answers.

For the next six months, my trainer used my words to keep me motivated, accountable and encouraged. She offered tips on nutrition, working and resting muscle groups—and most importantly—the reality that changing from fat to muscle remains unseen for a time. So I would have to keep my eyes on the goal.

As I moved forward, I found that physical routines mirror spiritual rhythms:

    • Success begins with the choice to show up. This mirrors the daily/weekly/monthly time on my calendar dedicated to meeting with God.
    • I have to take ownership of what I put in my body, like taking ownership of how I feed my soul.What am I reading, watching and listening to?
    • Internal and external change requires intentionality. I read God’s word, reflect on what it reveals, repent of wrongs, receive forgiveness, rest in His presence.
    • I strengthen my core through activating muscles and breathing while not moving (planking). I remain totally still while actively waiting on God.
    • It helps to keep the end goal in mind. I keep my eyes on Jesus, believing in His promise for a transformed life and eternal reward.

 My updated fitness assessment shows steady progress. People ask what I’ve been doing and it leads to good conversations. The same thing happens when we build spiritual muscle. Those around us notice changes in our choices, responses and attitudes. Our commitment to allowing God to transform us from the inside out gives others hope that He can change them too.

Are you ready for a change? You can get tips to take your next step here.

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 ESV