Hi friends! You have no idea how excited I am that our Good Morning Girls groups are starting back up! I have been a part of one for 4 years now and the accountability that they have been in my life has made a HUGE difference! I am so thankful that you have taken the time to find that group of friends and to take time with our great God every single day! Oh the blessing it is to be in fellowship with Him!
When I saw that our theme for the next few months was “intentionally focused” my jaw dropped! I am in the middle of Beth Moore’s “Daniel” study and it was one of the first things we talked about as we examined Daniel’s life! It’s a theme that God has revealed to me in various other ways over the past few months, so to see it appear again in this study again confirms that God is indeed doing a work in my heart in this area!
As I look over the areas that we will be covering: our spiritual lives, our minds, our marriages, our friendships, our children, our ministries, and our health, I see how easy it is for us to go on cruise control in these areas. I’d venture to say that most of us don’t do it intentionally, but instead accidentally as laziness or drift sets in. And unfortunately, when we are not intentional, it’s not God’s standards that sets in deep in our spirits, but instead those of the world. We must be deliberate! We must be proactive! We must be…intentionally focused! Reading in Daniel, chapter 1, verse 8 sets the tone for the whole book, “But Daniel RESOLVED not to defile himself…” Daniel knew that if he had not been training in certain areas, that he would be apt to drift. Beth Moore says it like this:
“Daniel’s brand of resolve involved something he was challenged to practice every single day. In fact, you might say he ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don’t think for a moment he wasn’t tested and tempted by the sights and scents of succulent foods. Had his decision been easy, it wouldn’t have demanded RESOLVE.” (“Daniel: Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy”, page 24)
So it’s with this preface that I come to you in regards to our health. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a fitness instructor, fitness lover, and fitness motivator of sorts. I blog at www.peak313.com where my heart is to encourage women from the inside out. My desire is for you to find refreshment in the area of your health as you seek after God in this area. I truly am after your heart, not your waistline, and with that said, there are so many ways that our health, as Christians, have been an area of “drift” for us. The statistics and the stories we see show us Satan has taken something good in our lives and made it a battlefield for many.
Food–in it’s abundance, diversity, and beauty–is no longer for some something kept in moderation as it becomes an obsession both for those who eat it too much, and those who are afraid to touch it. Exercise–in the unique way it provides stress-relief, strength, and clarity–becomes yet again something that many struggle with managing as it becomes an abuse both for the one who puts too much worth in it and the one who puts none in it at all. And finally, we must not overlook the mental/emotional health. Our thoughts about our worth, our confidence, our image, and so much more are an even bigger part of the equation of health than many consider.
So how do we manage this? How do we keep the balance in a world where extremes are the normal and where what’s “skinny and healthy” changes every 3 weeks? We resolve. We resolve to keep from drifting. We are focused. We are intentional. We have a plan, and we do it all to the glory of His name! Friends, there’s a way to be intentionally focused in our health and not let it get out of whack! I see it all the time with the many readers who come to my site and I’ve seen it in my own life. The key is the spiritual component, and no, not a “zen-like” emptying of the mind that many fitness people will tout but instead a FILLING of the Holy Spirit, with the RENEWAL of our minds, as we are TRANSFORMED from the inside out.
I know that many of you come from some pretty crazy backgrounds in regards to your health. We’ve all got our “life box” filled with past circumstances, hurts, and victories that we carry with us. That box will play a huge part in how you view your health–some for the good, and some for the bad. My prayer for you is that you would be open to see how God may be speaking to you in this area. Our health is about stewardship, just like any of the many gifts He gives us on this earth. Our health is to be something we take to Him daily, just like any of the other worries or daily activities we have in our lives. One of my favorite quotes I say to myself often is from Elisabeth Elliot from her book, “Discipline: the Glad Surrender”. It says,
“We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies to ourselves.”
Would you ask Him to show you how you may honor Him in this area?
Clare lives with her husband and 2 children in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelor’s degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university. Clare’s passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313!