“Give us this day our daily bread.”Matthew 6:11 KJV
Being able to swim the free style stroke for long distances has been a desire and personal goal.
As it is not something I get to do often enough, the conditioning of the body, muscle memory and strokes tend to be ineffective.
To have greater endurance for any physical activity, conditioning is the key!
I see a strong parallel to how greater endurance is built in our physical body in relation to our spiritual one.
We all desire to be great ‘Spiritual Endurance Runners’ in Christ and this requires us to have spiritual conditioning incorporated in our daily lives.
Endurance is not just about being able to endure pain or suffering, but as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 10:13, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
This tells us that whether you are bearing much or going through a challenging season, which will be common to anyone of us, God is faithful and He will show us a way to cope with it, thrive through it, overcome it, and ultimately be victorious in Christ! Amen?
In Matthew 6, Jesus taught us about the Lord’s prayer, a model for prayer. In verse 11, He gives us a glimpse of how our spiritual conditioning should take place for greater endurance.
I would like to share the three Cs of spiritual condition.
- Conditioning – Our body, soul and spirit should be conditioned for the race that God planned for us.
Physical conditioning helps to have muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, aerobic fitness, etc.
This helps prepare the body, improves the condition of it and reduces the likelihood of injuries.
Apply this to your walk with God.
“Give us this day…”, tells us that it is God Himself WHO WILL condition us (if we allow…) primarily through His Word.
God desires to prepare us for the long haul by developing our spiritual strength, endurance, and fitness so that we can be more effective for Him in accomplishing our kingdom assignments.
- Consistency – It is all about diligently building your spiritual muscles daily!
Like physically exercising regularly, we need to exercise spiritually everyday too.
Some of us term it spiritual disciplines, while others refer to it as spiritual training.
Both are useful phrases to remind us that it requires effort, hard work, and consistency.
Consistency develops healthy habits and routines that can be weaved into our daily lives.
Consistency helps one not to rely on ‘reserves’ and diminish the possibility of being complacent in our spiritual journeys. Consistency gives us the momentum that we need to keep moving forward!
- Capacity – When we are consistent in our daily spiritual discipline training, our capacity to endure and persevere in strength will grow.
It all goes hand in hand!
Having the capacity to go the extra mile means that there is greater endurance to last longer during the race.
This should be our end goal.
The consistent conditioning of our body, soul, and spirit will enhance our capacities to be GREATER VESSELS for God in His Kingdom.
Greater capacity leads to greater hunger for more time with God and the things associated with His Kingdom!
Let us all be mindful that this spiritual journey is not about speed like a sprint, but more like an endurance run (like a half-marathon).
Be mindful about how we are conditioning ourselves holistically to be efficient, effective Kingdom runners in the work that God has called us to.
Spiritual food for thought…
- Spiritual strength: How strong is your knowledge about God and His Word?
- Spiritual flexibility: How prepared are you to do His work, share the Gospel and be His vessel every day?
- Spiritual endurance: How well do you embrace His call for your life and the vision that He has revealed to you?
- Spiritual fitness: How are your spiritual disciplines? How is your prayer life? How is your giving? How are you using your spiritual gifts?
1 Corinthians 10:13, Colossians 1:11, 2 Peter 1:5-8, Romans 15:4-5