My family enjoys an occasional hike at one of North Carolina’s many beautiful state parks that are nearby. On one such trip recently, we either underestimated the incline of the trail we had decided to take or we over estimated our level physical fitness. Either way, the 4 and ½ mile trail (half of which was uphill by the way) was nearly the death of me. I did make it to the top and was rewarded with a beautiful view. However, there were many times on the way up that I found myself wishing that I would have been more committed to my daily exercise in the months leading up to that day. If I had been, surely this hike would not have been such a traumatic experience.
My struggle to climb that mountain is a good reminder of what happens when we haven’t been conditioning our spiritual muscles and we come up against a difficult situation in our lives. When molehills begin to feel like mountains it doesn’t take long for me to realize that I haven’t been spending enough time with God. And, even though He’ll help me get through what ever trial it is that I’m currently facing, it would have been a whole lot easier if I hadn’t waited until I was mid-mountain to pick up my Bible and start praying.
In the fourth chapter of 1st Timothy, Paul writes a lot about the importance of spiritual conditioning, here are a few of those verses…
(8) 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.
(13) Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
(15) Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. (16) Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Let’s pray today that God will help us find the time and motivation to spend time daily with Him so that our spiritual muscles will be in good enough shape to handle whatever challenges come our way.