On Making Exercise an Act of Worship
Is your exercise an act of worship?
No problem! Those are two of the things I’m passionate about sharing with others.
- God’s word is true and applicable to our daily lives. I want to help people see how to invite God into every aspect of his or her life.
- I love to workout. Fitness is a daily part of my life and I want to help others see how it can be beneficial and enjoyable for them as well.
Scripture is full of motivation to help us see our bodies as His beautiful creation and to encourage us to take care of those bodies because they were carefully crafted just as a temple. (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Exercise can be an of act of worship when it is focused as an act of obedience.
I’m a runner and I have participated in more races than I can even count. I have kept track of my half marathons (over 50), full marathons (over a dozen), and ultras (2) but in addition to those I have raced several 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, 5 mile races, 10 mile races, 1 mile races, etc. Plus I’ve done a few bike races, duathlons, and centuries (100 mile bike ride).
My point is this…I trained for many of these events. I had goals to finish in a certain time or cover a certain distance.
I’m not going to write this blog post and tell you that it’s not okay to have goals and to follow a training plan. I’m not going to tell you not to celebrate wins. And I won’t try to convince you that you won’t feel a bit discouraged when you miss the mark on a goal.
But what I do want to encourage you to do is to invite God into this process. Include Him in your training plan.
You can start by practicing gratitude for what your body can do and by using your training time for prayer and worship, maybe even adding uplifting music.
Exercise may not be part of your regular activity, but would you consider trying to add some?
Exercise can be an act of worship when it becomes an act of obedience. #faithandfitness #fitnessmotivation Click To Tweet
You don’t have to become a runner or a cyclist or enter races or make it about the competition and big goals. You don’t even have to join a gym.
God gave us bodies to move them. He gave us these bodies so we can be about the business He’s called us to. And He’s called each of us to something…big or small…He has a plan for you.
When we’re not involved in regular movement, our bodies actually slow down. We tend to get injured more easily.
Regular movement delays the aging process. Exercise gives us the endurance to care for our children and grandchildren. God has special work for each of us to do, so we need the energy to do it.
God has special work for each of us to do, so we need the energy to do it. #faithandfitness #fitnessmotivation Click To Tweet
Looking at it from a different angle, you may find it hard to focus during your quiet time.
Exercise time could become just the time when you can focus. Many exercises like running, biking, walking, don’t require anything other than for you to move your body. It’s a perfect time to get our minds on Jesus and have a conversation with Him.
And then there is lack of time.
You may feel as if you don’t have time in the morning to get up and do Bible study and work out. While I do believe that we need to be in God’s word, flipping through the pages of scripture, and taking note of His truth, some of those mornings you can combine your time with the Lord with your exercise time. You could even listen to an audio version of the Bible or praise and worship music.
Using this exercise time for the good of both your body and spirit is perfect.
When we include Him in this, or any other area of our life, I believe we find more strength, determination, and commitment to the process. He always wants to spend time with you. Why not spend some of it while you’re moving?
I’ve run many miles on my own and with friends. And let me just tell you that the conversations we have on a run are ones that would never happen over a cup of coffee. There’s just something about running, or other movement, that opens you up a little more. And when you’re on your own, I can’t think of a better person than our Lord to share my wins, struggles, and concerns with.
I’ve had times that I’ve been out running or biking and find myself crying because I’m pouring my heart out to the Lord. Other times He reveals something to me or I have a breakthrough in an area.
Friend, He’ll meet you wherever you are, and He wants to go with you wherever you go.
Consider making your next workout an act of worship. Invite Him to join you.
If you don’t have a regular workout routine, make a date with Him and tell Him you’ll meet with Him at 5:00AM or on your lunch break or after work for a walk or bike ride. He’ll be there. Will you?
For in him we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:28