Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Spiritual Exercise

HEBREWS 5:14 – But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”


THEME OF THE DAY: SPIRITUAL EXERCISE. We hear a lot about its value and necessity, but knowing of its value and necessity does not make it a regular activity in our lives. Knowing about exercise does not put my sneakers and workout clothes on and get me going!  The gap between my knowing and doing might be wider than I want to admit.


In the realm of spiritual exercise, the gap between knowing and doing may also be present (James 1:27).  A couple of things contribute to this gap.  The first one is the privilege of being reared in a Christian home where family worship is a normal practice.  Along with the blessing of daily exposure in Word and action by godly parenting is the acquiring of truth, which if not practiced, widens the gap between what we know and what we do.  The result is cold Christianity where truth no longer makes the heart burst forth with love and praise.  A second contributor to the gap is the privilege of being a church where the Bible is believed and taught. I cringe to think of all the good sermons and teaching I have sat under by godly pastors through the years and consider how many actually made it into life-altering applications.  Should this practice occur, a gap between KNOWING and DOING forms.  The result of a lack of spiritual exercise is that a person becomes spiritually “flabby: with mere knowledge (knowing) while the “muscles” of faith atrophy. (doing)


About exercise in general.  First, getting into good physical condition is tough.  Secondly, staying in good physical condition is tougher.  It places demands upon us to continue the routine.  Fall out of consistency and it will not be long before we know the ill effects.  Should we not expect to see the same parallel results with spiritual exercise?  We live in a dangerous world requiring constant discernment between good and evil.  Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “There is no vacation in spiritual conflict.”  The only proper way to discern comes from the Scriptures and more pointedly, exercise of the Scriptures in daily living.


Today’s reference states, “who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:14).  How are we to discern in a world of powerful spiritual foes?  We exercise the Scriptures.  A good practice before lights go out is to look back through the day just completed.  Did we find ourselves applying the Word in our work ethic, interpersonal relationships, assaults by the evil one, and challenges by our flesh?  It won’t be difficult to think back on the day seeing if we made it to the “spiritual gym”.  If not, then confess our absence to the Lord, knowing His forgiving grace, and resolve not to miss any more workout sessions.  We will find ourselves in top spiritual shape and those “muscles” of faith strengthened and developed!


Prayer:  “Lord, You have given us Your Word to know Your mind, heart and will, leading us to a life of ever-increasing obedience.  Help us to not neglect our Bibles.”


Quote:  A. W. Pink, “The Scriptures are not given us, primarily, for our intellectual gratification, nor for emotional admiration, but for life’s regulation.”


Because of Him,


Pastor Jim