So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
It had been years since noticing my body, now heavily drenched in sweat, doing what it was supposed to be doing. The sudden cooling of my skin felt as if the Holy Spirit was blowing a fresh wind through and over my entire body. I remarked to the ladies in the class my thankfulness to God for creating sweat to cool our bodies, and added, “He really thought of everything during creation!”
With the gym floor “under construction,” my fitness classes were moved to an area of the building without air conditioning. This shift in the workout atmosphere was drastic, going from cushy air conditioning to zero air flow. The air was thick and humid. After beginning the class with prayer and thanksgiving, we felt a strong presence of God upon us as we lifted weights, stepped up and down on our platforms, developed our core strength with kettle bells, and worked out on stability balls.
During the workout, with both the heat and my heart rate rising, I felt God addressing my heart. He was encouraging me to continue moving forward with a burning desire in my heart to fulfill His purposes. God reminded me there would be uncomfortable times, sometimes very challenging and difficult, but He would be right there with me in the heat of the battle. He reminded me to keep my focus squarely on Him, and He will direct my path to the places he wants me to go.
Working outside of the air-conditioned part of the building caused me to reflect on my life many years ago. There was a time when I would run and train outdoors, sweat would soak my clothes and pour down my body in the summer’s morning heat. There was a sweet refreshment at the end of the workout, as my heart rate lowered, and my sweat cooled the body.
After the hot morning workout, I would step back into the air-conditioned YMCA and teach the first morning class. My body shivered as I stepped back into cool air. There was no fancy-smancy stereo system, or headset, and their worn-out boom-box seemed almost perfect for my training. As the music blares from my current stereo system, I can’t help but laugh when I think about how God has been molding and shaping the road ahead.
These recollections seemed to ignite a new flame within me, stirring a deeper passion and greater purpose for what God has called me to do. It is as if my heart is set on fire in the heat of those hot morning workouts.
These past few weeks have made me reflect on my current lifestyle. I wonder if I have become too comfortable, maybe a little complacent about important things. Do I take for granted that I live in an air-conditioned home, have a car to drive and food available whenever I want it? Do I give glory to God every time I eat, drink, or go about my daily activities? Do I do everything to the glory of God, or for myself?
In “My Utmost for His Highest,” Oswald Chambers honestly, almost bluntly, addresses complacency among believers, “His salvation is a joyous thing, but it is also something that requires bravery, courage, and holiness. It tests us for all we are worth…God’s grace produces men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not pampered, spoiled weaklings.”
Times of personal reflection are necessary for the health of the whole body. We learn the important things about ourselves and our motives when we search every chamber of the heart.
It is my hope I bare a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, but that takes a daily commitment to prayer and worship.
Do I have a heart of gratitude, or does my attitude reflect something else? Do I recognize my blessings and thank God for each one of them? Finally, is my heart cold and self-absorbed, or is my heart on fire for His purposes?
Shaped by Prayer
Set our hearts on fire God for the things you have called each of us to do. Grant us courage, endurance and wisdom in the days ahead. Keep us fresh and ignite our souls as Your Holy Spirit moves.. We give You all the glory and praise for our lives and we are so thankful for Your unconditional love, patience, kindness, generosity, grace and favor.