Strengthen the core
While in physical therapy for compressed discs in my neck, the therapist reminded me to make a conscious effort to keep my stomach muscles tight. Those muscles are core and vital to many common movements, such as lifting, twisting, reaching, and bending. A weak core causes problems with posture, back and neck pain, and other health-related issues.
This made me wonder if my spiritual core is strong. Spiritual core muscles are strengthened by spending time with God, reading and remembering His truth. My spiritual muscles won’t be strengthened without a conscious effort. The world is a rough place, and if we don’t have a strong spiritual core, we will be tossed and tumbled like a pebble in the ocean. Our firm foundation is on the solid rock of Christ. He is Truth, and His truth helps us stand strong.
Let’s keep our spiritual core strong by …
Reading and memorizing God’s word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB) “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” ~ Psalm 119:105 (NASB)
Spending time with God in prayer. “You must pray at all times as the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. Pray for the things that are needed. You must watch and keep on praying. Remember to pray for all Christians.” ~ Ephesians 6:18 (NLV)
Remembering God is in control and nothing is impossible for Him. “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10 (NASB) “For with God nothing [is or ever] shall be impossible.” ~ Luke 1:37 (AMP)
Bad things happen in this difficult world, but remember God sees all and will punish evil. “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” ~ Proverbs 15:3 (NASB) “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil; he will erase their memory from the earth.” ~ Psalm 34:15-16 (NLT) “I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” ~ Isaiah 13:11 (NKJV) God “will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil…” ~ Romans 2:5-9 (NKJV)
Spiritual exercise takes effort, “but you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” ~ Jude 1:20-21 (NASB) “…lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” ~ Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB) “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24 (NASB) “That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you … For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (AMPC)
“Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please! Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. You can count on this. Take it to heart. This is why we’ve thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We’re banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women….” ~ 1 Timothy 4:8-10 (MSG)
And, “…continue to work out your salvation [that is, cultivate it, bring it to full effect, actively pursue spiritual maturity] with awe-inspired fear and trembling [using serious caution and critical self-evaluation to avoid anything that might offend God or discredit the name of Christ]. For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” ~ Philippians 2:12-13 (AMP)
Finally, remember the stability of our peace comes from the stability of our unfailing, unchanging, ever-loving God. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” ~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)