Exercise has been for me, similar to the presence of God in the way that once I’ve tasted its goodness, once I’ve truly encountered his presence and that love and “high”, there really is no forcing me to exercise or to pray – because I know that I don’t feel good without it, and I absolutely cannot live well and full.
Desire cannot be worked up – it is encountered. Once I saw the benefits and felt the endorphins of a good workout, I find myself not being able to go a day without trying to get at least some planking and push ups in- even if it’s after a shower before bed ( probably not recommended but I so crave it! ) because my body just doesn’t feel good! I know that I don’t feel good when I haven’t been in the presence of God. I get sensitive, irritable, easily offended and I don’t remain in love and am more prone to selfishness and negative thoughts. And I don’t mean just reading the Bible and going doing the “deeds”. I mean really spending time, talking to him and listening to what he has to say – to allow his love and joy to enter into my heart and for what he says to feel real inside of my soul.
It also dawned on me today how similar building faith is to building muscles. How can we expect to see our faith grow if we are not exercising it / taking risks? How can one be stronger except by putting pressure and carrying weight heavier than the usual load you can carry? How can one who has truly experienced the love of God ever want to be away from his presence ? It’s addictive because we were made FOR it, we need it to survive and everything seems empty without that love.
I remember looking for it in all the wrong places – boyfriends, the approval of men. I remember filling that “high” And calm i needed by smoking and drinking but it was all temporal with harmful side effects and could never satisfy. Beloved of you are reading this today – and have always felt like it’s so hard to be a Christian, so hard to discipline yourself to exercise , I pray you encounter desire! I pray you experience the goodness that would lead you to desire and we know we always do what we really “want” ! I pray all that in Jesus name.