I must confess that I have been guilty of taking some scriptures out of context. One is the glorious saying in scripture “Not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” (Zechariah 4:6) It is worth checking that verse in its context for yourself.
My misuse of the verse has seen me have a relaxed approach to things because I have been of the opinion that my might and power will get nothing done, so I just need to rely on the Spirit. Now that last bit is spot on. I do need to completely rely on the Spirit. Yet I took that first but too far and as a result let myself go in some areas that God is still interested in. For example He is still interested that I use this physical body properly – after all it is a gift from Him, so it is a good way of saying thanks by not letting it just flounder under the misguided impression that my might and power will be of no use at all.
In fact as He has shown on a number of occasions, if I get that bit in check then it is amazing what I will have the might and power to witness Him accomplish by His Spirit! Another way of looking at it, is that it is all well and good Him doing great things, but a flab-tastic Christopher won’t have the energy, stamina and capacity to enjoy it if he hasn’t looked after God’s gift that is the body.
You will be glad to know that doesn’t mean I am about to be narcissistic, constantly craving the Adonis figure. There are more important things than that. It does mean that, thank God, I am paying attention to the hints He has dropped over recent weeks like my daughters calling me ‘fatty’ and acknowledging increasing fatigue and not just thinking God’s grace is covering me and not address the issue.
Being fit, however, is pointless unless it has a function and a purpose. As the athlete gets fit to compete to an excellent degree, I was given an insight recently on why it’s important to get fit. That capacity to be at a good physical condition improves the chances of being fit to fit into the places where I can make His presence known. There’s certainly a connection between mental and physical well-being, which is for the purpose of making the most of opportunities to fit in just when I need to. Fatigue and accompanying loss of awareness truly does mean we can’t be there when we’re needed.
That, however, is not just an encouragement to get physically fit. It’s an invitation to take opportunities to be fit in every aspect of our life seriously so that we will be fit to fit in. Alert and reactive to show that act of kindness when needed because our hearts are fit. Alert and ready to contribute to a worthy cause because our conscience is fit. Alert and responsive to the needs around us because we depend completely on the Spirit and have developed that degree of sensitivity by training through intimate encounters with our Lord and Saviour.
Fitting in isn’t about being conformed to the world, it is about being fit for Kingdom causes at all times, however they emerge – whether in a gathering of the saints in a church facility, in the workplace, at the place of study, in a pub or even in a gym.
That approach to being fit for Kingdom purposes causes us to reject any notion that we can do things independently and recognise that depending on the Spirit will call us to interdependence with those in the Body of Christ and even those who are people of peace who we can connect with to see everything fit as God views it.
I hope to keep you informed with how this current fitness drive develops. In the meantime I have every intention to look to Christ to help me to fit right where He wants me. I am assured He will do this – not by might, not by power …
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden