Scriptures

Spiritual Fitness As A Christian Woman: The Best You!

Introduction

By Funmi Glover

1 Timothy 4:8 “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.”

SPIRITUAL CONTURING –

streamlining yourself into good shape

PHYSICAL CONTURING

How many of you knew what contouring was when you first heard that this was going to be the talk today? Raise up your hands …. Well I did not know what contouring was. I had to ask them to say it a few times and still it did not quite make sense. I had to go to good old Mr Google to find out what contouring is. It is quite interesting. There isn’t anything in goggle on spiritual contouring that I could find. I found information on physical contouring and you would not believe the extent of physical contouring that people go through.

Basically the word contouring actually means to define a shape. Not the actual article but the outline of the shape. Mostly people use it in terms of their physical bodies to shape the face or any part of the body. This can be with the use of make up where they try to make it as natural as possible so they are not heavily made up.

The purpose is to define or contour the desired shape or outline so as to accentuate or enhance the good areas and detract from the areas that the person feels are not so nice, or in the extreme cases, surgery is used to remove the excess or unwanted areas; and / or firm up within the contoured or defined line.

People don’t usually do the surgery themselves. They get someone they consider to be a surgeon, an expert, experienced and qualified. Of course if people are going for makeup they try to get expert advice. If you go on google or to the sales staff in big shops you can see, read and hear about all the shapes and sizes and colours the experts or those who claim they have experience, advice for your body tone, face tone and colour.

It’s also the same with your body shape, aiming for the best shape and weight for you and then exercising and / or dieting to reshape your physical body and then wearing clothes that enhance your new look, yet detracting away from the areas that cannot or are not easy to reshape.

So basically, that is what contouring is… you define an outline you think is the perfect or fabulous you and then you work within that outline to make a better you, showing or enhancing your best features and detracting or hiding your “not so good” features.

The average British woman spends up to £40,000 in their lifetime on hair, £100,000 on cosmetics (£2000 / year) and ~ £300 billion a year on keeping themselves looking their best. £2.8 million was spent on getting into shape this January – from buying new trainers and clothes to gym fees and equipment, not to mention how much is spent on dieting.

Exercising and healthy eating are all good to keep us fit and healthy yet in the end we know that our physical bodies will not continue for eternity no matter what we do to it. The wrinkles and grey hairs will still come. I already have a few. How much time, energy and money do you spend on your physical body which is temporary?

SPIRITUAL CONTURING

So what about spiritual contouring? It’s the same process. You look at the shape you are currently. Define the contouring outline you want to make. Decide who is going to advise you on it or possibly do the surgery for you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 states that:

“All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”.

This means the scriptures is the only place we can go to find out the truth about spiritual contouring. We read in Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:7 that

God made man in His image and likeness and breathes into him to be a living being.

In Hebrew it translates as breathing the breath of LIFES into him. So the lifes we and Adam have is made up of a physical body, a spirit and a soul.

Our physical body, like Adam, is what we can see, touch and feel. Now I want you to choose someone sitting next to you, in front or behind. Now look at them but do not say anything. You are looking at their physical bodies and you see yours every time you look in a mirror.

Our spirit, is our communication line to God. Our telephone line while we are in the physical body on this planet. Before we came to Christ the line was blocked by our sin (Isaiah 59:1-2). Now we are in Christ we are constantly in His presence, the communication line restored. So every time we pray or talk to God our spirit is communicating with Him that is why it says in Romans 8:16 that

“the Spirit of God testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children”.

Now we are God’s children and His royal priests, we are to pray to God without ceasing, giving thanks to God in all situations. This is God’s will for us in Christ (1Thessalonians 5:17-18,1Peter 1:5, 9).

So how often do you communicate with God? Do we realise we are ignoring God when we do not talk to Him throughout the day, especially as His Spirit lives in our physical bodies? Do we always thank God irrespective of what we are going through? Are you and I constantly communicating with God to keep our spirit in shape, to maintain it and be pleasing to God?

Our soul is in our physical body. Our soul is us. Therefore like Adam we are able to open our eyes, think, speak and move. When we die our physical bodies go to the ground and become dust, the spirit goes to back to God as we won’t need it anymore and our soul remains for eternity. It is the part that is created in God’s image and likeness.

Now turn to your partner and say hi! You have just communicated with their soul and them with you. Now look at each other and tell each other what is absolutely fabulous about each other’s soul. Remember the soul is the person, who they are.

Could you see their soul? Yes / No? Now tell me what you found out about each other’s soul? ………So it all has to do with their character. When we read about the character of God in the bible, we get to see what we are supposed to be like as we are made in His image.

THE SURGEON

Since we cannot physically see each other’s souls then no human being can perform or maintain what I call “Soul Contouring” on any of us. We cannot self-contour/enhance our own souls either. Hebrew 4:12-13 tells us that:

“The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account”.

Since only God can see the soul and knows man inside out, He is the only one with the experience and power to tell us what contouring our soul needs. He alone can truly tell us what is good, fabulous and the best us; how to enhance and maintain our soul; what in our soul is dead weight or “excess fat”, and what needs to be removed or chopped off and His word tells us how it can be done.

Paul writes in 1Thessalonians 5:23:

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

That means its God Himself that has to do all the contouring, and shaping of our souls. He is the best and only soul surgeon. He makes all this possible for us at our immersion into Christ.

THE CONTOURED SOUL – The Surgery

Many passages in the scriptures including these: Isaiah 59:1-2; 64:6, Ephesians 2:1-10, Colossians 13 Matthew 6:22-23 and Romans 1:16-31, 3:9-18, 8:1-10 say that we, our soul, was condemned, dead, rotten, darkness, ugly and a disgusting aroma to God, because of our sins, when we followed the ways of the world and Satan.

We were the walking dead, but God in His righteousness and great mercy lovingly made us alive in Christ Jesus, through our faith in Him even though we did not deserve it. We did not even have to pay for it. All freely given because Jesus paid the price in full at the cross.

So God through Christ made us into a new creation by forgiving our sins, giving us life in Christ and giving us His Holy Spirit to continually live with our soul, in our physical bodies. He also translated us from the kingdom of darkness and ugliness into the kingdom of His beautiful and glorious Son. He dressed our soul in His glorious righteousness and seated us with Christ in the heavenly realm which is now our true home. Completely mind blowing!

So now we are no longer condemned, darkness and ugly with sin, but we are free, and shine bright and beautiful as a city on a hill and as the stars. We are also no longer rotten and smelly, but a sweet smelling aroma to God (2Corinthians 2:16). We are now absolutely fabulous and gorgeous in Christ!

THE MAINTENANCE – After Surgery

Remain in God’s light: 1 John 1: 5-9 reads:

“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

So for us to continue to shine bright, beautiful and fabulous we need to: Remain in Christ in God’s light. If we leave Christ we will die and be darkness, rotten, ugly, disgusting and smelly again.

Keep walking in God’s light. Have continuous fellowship with God in Christ. Know and practise the truth. Have fellowship with one another. Then Jesus’s blood continually cleanses us from all the unrighteous things we do, say and think. While God faithfully forgives us totally when we confess our sins.

Keep in step with the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 1:14 tells us that as long as the Holy Spirit is in us, He is the guarantor of our eternal inheritance in heaven until we acquire possession of it. He is also continually moulding and shaping our soul to be the best for God.

He is doing this to completely transform us to be like Jesus, to look like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:18 and Romans 8:29). Therefore we need to live, walk and set our minds in line with the Holy Spirit of God and keep in step with Him so that we will continue to have life and peace in Christ (Rom 8:1-8).

Galatians 5:16-22 says:

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Walk by the Spirit Means we allow ourselves to be led by Him and we obey Him then we will be able to do things that please God, remain in Christ and not frustrate the Holy Spirit. We therefore have the power to say NO to the things of the flesh and the world as we read.

To obey the Spirit Means we also need to know the word of God. This means we have to spend time daily reading and studying God’s word so we will be equipped and become people of God who are not ashamed of His word but are able to correctly handle His word, make our stand against Satan and grow in the grace and knowledge of God. (2Timothy 3:16, 2Peter 1:16-21, Ephesians 6:17)

So how often do we study, attend classes, meditate on His word and use it in our daily life? Bear the fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22 – 25 says:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit”.

Jesus told his disciples in John 15:1-12, that:

The Father expects us to grow, mature and bear His fruit in whatever situation we find ourselves. He prunes and shapes us so we will bear a lot of the fruit of the Spirit. He also prunes and removes anyone who is dead and not bearing the fruit of His Spirit which will happen when we do not walk in step with the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of the Spirit includes love or agape which is the greatest command we have from God because God Himself is love. He wants us to love like Him and he showed us how by giving Jesus as our ransom and sacrifice in our place. Jesus also wants us to love each other as He loves us and gave His life for us.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 says:

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”.

Try putting your name in place of love and see how well you are doing with God’s love. Compare what you were before you became a Christian to now and notice the difference in you.

I know I certainly still have some way to go and I am glad of the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in my life. If like me you feel you fall short in some or even all the areas of agape, then know that the Spirit of God is still working in you. We need to patiently let Him complete His work in us so we can bear a vast amount of His fruit in our lives while we shine brightly to His glory.

Use your Spirit given talents: God through His Holy Spirit has also given each one of us the talents or abilities to faithfully and humbly use them to encourage and build the church (1Corinthians 12:4-31). Using our talents will also help us grow and shine brighter. This is part of our spiritual exercise to keep us fit. So do you know what your talents or talents are? Are you using them as you should? Are you encouraging others to use or keep using their talent? Are those who are older encouraging and training the younger ones as their spiritual training mentors?

Give God your best – Be busy for God

God gave all for us in Christ and Christ loves us and laid down his life for us. So to what extent are you and I willing to give all for God who is now our Father, Saviour, Redeemer, Master and King and we His children and slaves?

How much time do we spend doing the things God has asked us to do to show our love for Him? Jesus said He and the Father are always busy. So how busy are we in doing God’s work rather than our own work or desires?

Mind Renewal / Transformation

For us to be transformed or changed to look like Jesus we need to totally renew our minds and not keep conforming to the ways of the world at all. Romans 12:1-2 says when we do this our bodies will be a pleasing living sacrifice that is holy and acceptable to God. Also we will be able to discern God’s good and perfect will. Have you noticed that God working on our soul, works from inside out?

He transforms and moulds us from within our bodies so that the amazing contoured beauty of our soul will shine out like a city on a hill, like the stars in the sky. Also His work on us is not temporary but permanent for eternity. So how is your transformation going? How brightly are you and I shining each day?

Let us read Romans 12:1-21 to see how we put all this into practice:

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, in view of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

“Let love be genuine. Hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly (or sisterly) affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slow in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honourable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”.

God has empowered each of us in Christ with His Spirit to be able to accomplish all this and much more. We will continue to be amazingly contoured as long as we remain in Christ, keep in step with His Spirit, lovingly obey Him, renew our minds and not conform to the way of the world, while we keep communicating with Him in prayer, thanking Him and using the talents or abilities He has given us to encourage and build each other in His church.

We need to constantly and absolutely keep relying fully on God’s grace, the constant saving power of the blood of Christ and the help of God‘s Spirit to keep transforming us into the image of Jesus.

God is true and completely faithful, reliable and trust worthy in keeping all His promises. He promised Abraham He will bless him and give him a son. 25 years later Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. He promised our salvation in the garden in Eden and brought it to fruition 4000 years later.

Jesus told His disciples He would be killed, be buried and rise up from the grave 3 days later…. And He did. He also told His disciples that after his resurrection he would meet them in Galilee. He kept that promise too. He tells us all He will come back again to take us home and He will. May we be faithful to God until the end as He is to us!

WHAT’S THE POINT OF SPIRITUAL CONTURING?

So what value does being godly have in this life and in the life to come? What is the point or benefit to us in having all these qualities now and after we die? Why let your light shine, speak truth, be faithful reliable and trustworthy? Why remain in Christ and have God’s Spirit in us? Why worship serve and be obedient to God. Why?

1. God is real. The universe was created it did not evolve. It has a designer and sustainer which more and more scientists are beginning to accept.

2. Our soul lives forever after our physical death.

3. God is love and is also a righteous judge who punishes those who break His laws. The punishment is death which is separation from Him who is our light and life source and therefore from everything good for all eternity.

4. Separation means going to hell, the abyss. A place reserved for Satan and the demons. A place even they don’t want to go. A place of pain and agony for the rest of time which God absolutely does not want anyone to go because He loves us so much beyond our understanding; and why He planned our complete and perfect salvation in Christ to the greatest of cost to Himself.

5. We all face various difficulties and trials in this life. As Christians we do not go through any of it alone. God carries us through them all. He makes sure we only go through things we can endure even if we think we can’t. His Spirit in us comforts us, strengthens us, and gives us peace within that no one can explain.

6. Everything in this life that we go through has a purpose – to help us grow to maturity, to be the person the Creator intended us to be with great value, self-worth and purpose that lasts through to eternity…. If not, we are pointlessly wasting our time, energy and enduring pain, tiredness, exhaustion on this planet for physical things that will not last.

7. He blesses us now with every spiritual blessing in Christ so that we would lack nothing and we have everything we need for a full life and godly living.

MY TESTIMONY

As a saved believer in Christ I have gained so much more than I can ever imagine or dream of in this world apart from the eternal life to come. On this planet to date I have needed a lot of counselling but the best Counsellor I have ever had and still have is God.

I am an orphan but my God provided the best Father, Brother and a universal spiritual family I could ever dream of. I immigrated to this country when I was 16 and though I am a British citizen, I don’t truly feel at home anywhere in Nigeria or here. God has given me a home in heaven with Him for eternity and I am already there with Him in Christ right now.

So I am a citizen of heaven temporarily on holiday here. He will keep His promise and come to take me home to be with Him for eternity and when He does so my body will be changed to be like His glorious body. I may physically look young, fabulous and gorgeous to you but l have had benign lumps removed from my breast. I suffer from chronic pain and tiredness; IBS and high blood pressure which makes me high risk for diabetes, stroke and other diseases. And oh don’t forget the possibility of dementia in old age. But in Christ my soul is being renewed daily.

My job as a pharmacist can be frustrating, tiring, has severely affected my health and I am supposed to work until I am in my sixties before I can retire. So the possibility of enjoying a very long healthy physical life after retirement is limited but in Christ I have a full life.

I have been through a lot of things so far and I definitely need a purpose to continue to live on this planet. God provides this purpose in Christ not just for me but for every single person on this planet. He is always with me, living in me by His Spirit. I have nothing to lose but everything to gain. He is a companion who knows me inside out. Who knows all my thoughts feelings and what I am going through so I don’t have to try and explain when words fail me.
I have the best ever prayer partner in His Spirit & direct communication by my spirit to God.

He directs my path the best ever route. Whatever the difficulties I have faced and will face He sees me through them all. He opens doors and paths for me. No-one could and has blessed me with an amazing peace I truly cannot describe. … Oh and a loving, caring husband too. I am so richly blessed that at work when people ask how I am I tell them I am good, ok, fabulous even though physically my body is falling apart and mentally I am tired. That’s because my soul is me and all is truly well with my soul.

EXHORTATION

So what about you? When I look around I see some of the most beautifully contoured Christians shining brightly. Remember all God has done and is doing for you and tell people so that they too will not only praise God with you but also want to be saved in Him if they aren’t already. If you have not being fully immersed in God for your sins to be forgiven and to receive God’s Spirit then the bible says you are darkness, dead and ugly. So what are you waiting for? You are missing out on a full life, the best relationship you can ever have, blessings beyond your imagination and eternal life.

God is amazing, mighty, faithful and true to love us and accomplish all He has promised to us in Christ in whom alone are all the blessings. The more we know Him the more we love Him and the more we realise we cannot live or survive without Him and His word in our life. Oh the power of the presence of God in us!

So don’t let go of the faith you have in Him. Remain in Christ, keep in step with God’s Spirit renew your mind, be transformed, and never give up. Persevere to the end and never looking back. You have an eternal home to go to. Keep growing in the grace and knowledge of God, use your talents and see Him work amazing miracles to make the best beautifully contoured you.

RELAXATION

Be still and know that He is God…. there is no other there is no other Rest quietly oh my soul. Be still and listen for the comfort of His voice. Be confident the Lord is on your side, your salvation drawing near. Be still and know that He is God.

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

2 Timothy 1:7

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