Having examined the lives of several biblical characters concerning how they lived the sacrificial life it’s time to focus on us how we can build ourselves spiritually or become spiritually fit to live the sacrificial life.
Three things are necessary if you would be spiritually fit. In summary you need VIM in your life to be spiritually or otherwise fit. VIM is an acronym for VISION, INTENTION & MEANS.
Vision is critical for being fit, spiritually or otherwise. This is having a clear appreciation of the what, why and how of being spiritually fit. What is it really? That state of spiritual being where your total life (inner/outer) is intentionally in subjection to God’s Word and Will. Why should I desire this state? Rom. 12.1: It is the best, possibly the only way of being able to discern God’s will/way for your life. Guaranteed Divine benediction and inner peace. How do I go about getting and staying there?
Compare my seminary experience re learning Greek.
Difficult I heard, but my vision was that I wanted to be able to read the Greek New Testament with relative ease, interact and even disagree with commentaries while preparing sermons and Bible studies, and be able to teach New Testament Greek with skill and effectiveness.
Re intention it would mean registering for classes, spending time with irregular active verbs in Greek which demand as much work as trying to understand a woman. Okay sisters calm down.
Vision alone is not sufficient though necessary for being spiritually fit, Intention is also critical. This is not mere wishing or wanting to achieve but involves a decision of the will to achieve regardless or come what may. (Consider the man in the text and what would pass through his mind as he pondered Jesus’ question. After 38 years of being crippled, what do you now do if you are healed?) With reference to intention guard against PROCRASTINATION (putting off for some other time) which is very efficient at aborting intention. Andy Capp said “Every now and then I get the urge to run but I just lie down and the urge goes away”. Plan at your earliest to implement the vision.
Finally means is also critical. Here we can play with the traditional means of physical fitness. Eat right, exercise, take supplements and rest. Eat right spiritually – cultivate a healthy appetite for God’s Word as delicacy (you like/love it) or as medicine (you need it despite its taste). Exercise – by obedience to the Word and through service to God and your fellows. Take supplements – Iron is critical so remember iron sharpens iron, be regular and consistent in fellowship with the Saints. Calcium is also a recommended supplement not simply through the milk of the Word (mastering the basic doctrines of the Faith) but through the cracking and chewing of bones (the weightier/trickier doctrines of the Faith, fall in love with solid, systematic teaching of the Word). Prayer is like vitamin shots, take healthy regular doses along with the periodic fasting for control over the appetites of the flesh and spirit.
Then something you would not otherwise expect, rest/sleep – the literal stuff. This replenishes the mind, the body and the spirit. We easily see excesses as sins but we need to recognize some deficiencies as sins too. A person who lacks sleep is often very cranky interpersonally and is not at his/her best spiritually either.
Do you want to be spiritually fit? Then get VIM in your life. VISION, INTENTION and MEANS. Absolutely crucial for any person who is serious about living the sacrificial life.