_ The gyms are always pretty crowded this time of year, since most people still believe they can complete their New Year’s resolutions.  It's kind of cute, though, right?  They try so hard, but then as January turns into February and Valentine's Day turns into a few extra pounds, all of their momentum and motivation magically disappears.  I take pride in the fact that I don't only go to the gym for the first few weeks of January.  I’m more of an every other Thursday in months that start with “M” kind of guy.

Some people want to lose weight, some want to gain muscle, there may be some training for a marathon, while others are just trying to keep their physical ailments in check.  Pretty much anybody you see at the gym is there seeking some combination of results.  They know that they won’t achieve those results sitting at home on their couch. 

If you want to make any positive changes to your physical health, you are going to have to put some work in.  Despite what you see on 3 a.m. infomercials, there is no secret elixir that will make you “beach ready” overnight.  It takes hours and hours of discipline, hard work, and discipline to even begin to be physically fit.  (Note: I know I said discipline twice, it’s doubly important.)  If it is so difficult to maintain our temporary, physical bodies, why do we act as though our spiritual health will just take care of itself?

We claim that we want to be closer to God.  We say we want to be Christ-like (in case you are unaware of what that actually means, it means trying to be sinless, just, loving, and willing to sacrifice everything).  Yet, most Christians plan to reach these goals by spending a few hours at church each week, listening to Christian radio, and praying before meals.  That’s like saying you want to run a marathon, but your only training is walking back and forth to the pantry to get more potato chips.  You are setting yourself up for failure.

If you really want to be spiritually fit and make positive progress toward your goals, you have to work at it.  You have to spend time in the Word, dedicate yourself to prayer, share your life with other believers, and eliminate all of the spiritual “potato chips” that can weigh you down.  To truly get closer to God and become more like Christ, it takes hours and hours of discipline, hard work, and discipline.

Are you willing to put the work in to be spiritually fit?

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