7 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

2 Kings 15:1–16:20
Acts 19:13-41
Psalm 147:1-20
Proverbs 18:4-5

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Psalm 147:10-11 (CSB): “He (the LORD) is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

When I was in college, I worked out with a man named Ron Lacy (1929-2005). I was in reasonably good physical shape but I knew that Ron, a member of my church in Lexington, Kentucky, could help me to get in much better shape.

The name, Ron Lacy, may not be familiar to you. Let me take a few moments to share a few of his accomplishments.

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Ron Lacy

In 1955, Ron won the Mr. Kentucky Contest. In 1957, he won the Mr. America Contest and also obtained the title of “Most Muscular Man.” In that same year, Ron placed first in his height class at the NABBA Amateur Mr. Universe.

During my college years, Ron’s garage had been converted into a gym. All sorts of weight equipment filled every inch. Pictures of incredibly fit men and women peppered the walls as if to invite us to join them in the adventure of physical fitness and muscle development.

There is certainly nothing necessarily wrong with physical fitness. God had given us our bodies and He has made every single Jesus-follower the temple in which He dwells (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). In fact, I would argue that it is a sin to take less care of our bodies than the priests took care of the magnificent Old Testament Temple.

God dwells in Jesus-followers just as He did the Old Testament Temple. We must take care of His house, our bodies.

But …

While I was obviously impressed with Ron’s accolades and his ability (in his mid-60’s) to continue to work out with massive weights while I worked out alongside him, the verses that I have chosen for today reveal that there is something much more impressive to the Lord.

Psalm 147:10-11 (CSB): “He (the LORD) is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

While we need to take care of our bodies, and while physical fitness is a good thing, we sometimes tend to value it much more than our relationship with the Lord. We care more about what we look like on the outside than we care about what we look like on the inside.

The Lord is much more impressed with the fitness of our hearts.

Psalm 147:10-11 (CSB): “He (the LORD) is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

Maybe you’re on a diet, or you are developing a biking or running habit, or you work out at a gym. It’s good that you are taking care of your body.

But, are you spending as much or more time developing your heart?

Do you fear the Lord (stand in awe of Him and fight against sin because it would bring His discipline)?

Do you hope in his faithful love (find your true strength in trusting, resting in God and His love for you)?

If not, you are walking into very dangerous territory. I have seen it time and again when someone, who claims to be a Jesus-follower, takes their bodies more seriously than their hearts. They trim down or bulk up while their relationship with the Lord suffers. Multiple times, I have seen those people become more self-centered and sensual-centered. They end up making immoral choices that leave guilt and carnage in sin’s wake.

Friend, I am convinced that if we focus on our inner lives, making it our ultimate priority, and then work on our physical fitness as a secondary matter, God would be well-pleased with our choice.

And there is no danger at all in that. When we look in the mirror at a body that is getting in shape, we aren’t inflated with pride and a sensual mindset. Instead, we are moved to gratitude to the Lord for enabling us to take care of His temple. Our marriages and minds remain intact and pure … because we are keeping Jesus first and our bodies second.

Colossians 1:18 (CSB): “He is also the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.” (emphasis mine)

Conclusion

So, do we work on physical fitness or spiritual fitness?

Both!

But, just make sure that you focus on your inner life first. That’s what the Lord REALLY values. And when you focus on your relationship with Him first, then you will keep your goal of physical fitness in perspective.

In fact, you might even come to see that taking care of your body is an act of worship as you clean up the Lord’s Temple. And this perspective will turn your goal of physical fitness into spiritual fitness … which the Lord greatly values.

Psalm 147:10-11 (CSB): “He (the LORD) is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.”

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