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Have you ever heard people make these statements: "I've got to get in shape" or "I'm out of shape"? Generally, they're referring to the fact that their physical bodies are not up to par.

Maybe they don't fit into the size of clothes they used to wear, or maybe they've simply run out of energy. Basically, they're out of shape! So they make a decision to get back in shape - to begin dieting or to start an exercise program.

Well, it is important to stay in shape physically, but it's also important to stay in shape spiritually.

You don't usually hear people talk about being out of shape spiritually, but you don't have to be around some people very long before you realize that they're not up to par spiritually.

However, the good news is that just as we're able to get our bodies back in shape, we're also able to get back in shape spiritually!

It is our responsibility to keep ourselves in shape - no one else's! I remember when I was about 17 years old, my track coach once told the team something I never forgot. He said, "It's not my responsibility to keep you in shape; it's your responsibility. And it's also your responsibility to be ready to run when it's time to run."

What he said really made an impact on me. You see, he was there to give us pointers on running and the strategies on how to run a race. But it wasn't his responsibility to keep us in shape - it was ours! He wasn't with us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, to make sure we were keeping ourselves in shape. That responsibility fell on us.

So you're the only one responsible for keeping yourself in shape spiritually. No one else can do it for you. Although there may be several ways to get back into spiritual shape, I'm going to list just a few from the Book of Joshua to help you get started.

Well, one of the best ways is to absorb the Word of God on a daily basis - meditate on it day and night (Josh. 1:8). To stay fit naturally, it's important to absorb certain vitamins and minerals into your body to burn as fuel while you're working out. The same principle applies spiritually. Instead of taking in vitamins and minerals, you ingest or absorb the Word of God.

You see, as you live your daily life, you encounter various tests or trials, and you're constantly giving out - whether at work, school, home, or wherever you find yourself. So it's important to take in. If there's no intake, there can be no outflow. And what you need to intake is the infallible Word of God, which is able to strengthen you and help build you back up.

Another way to stay in shape spiritually is to cleave to the Word of God - attach yourself to it, not allowing anything or anyone to cut you loose from it. You also stay in spiritual shape by loving the Lord God with all of your heart, soul, and body (Josh. 23:8,11).

But your spiritual workout is not complete unless you also cultivate a strong attachment to the things of God, such as going to church and assembling yourself together with others of like precious faith. Being in a corporate setting with other believers will give you that extra oomph you may need to help you cross over that mountain you're facing.

You see, one of the enemy's greatest tactics is to keep Christians away from church, where help is available. For instance, have you ever noticed that sometimes everything under the sun will occur to try and keep you from attending church? Many times when you're going through problems, you're tempted to go the opposite direction and stay away from church instead of running to church. So you need to cultivate a strong attachment to the things of God.

Now that you know some things you can do to get back in spiritual shape, you can begin right where you are by taking that first step toward your goal.

I remember a story about a sixty-three-year-old woman who walked all the way from New York City to Miami, Florida. When she finally reached Miami, she was interviewed by a newspaper reporter. The reporter asked her how she had the courage to make such a long journey on foot. She said, "Oh, it doesn't take courage to take one step at a time!"

Well, just like that woman walked more than 1,000 miles by taking one step at a time, it's one step at a time that keeps you spiritually fit. No, you won't become a spiritual giant overnight, but taking one step will get you closer to your goal than where you were yesterday!

Begin today by taking the steps I've mentioned: absorb the Word of God; love the Lord with all that is within you; and go to church to fellowship with those of like precious faith. Staying in shape spiritually is obtainable. Why not start today?

Source: From a Pastor's Heart by Kenneth E. Hagin, Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Faith Library Publications

Author Biography

Kenneth W. Hagin
Web site: Kenneth Hagin Ministries
Kenneth W. Hagin, President of Kenneth Hagin Ministries and pastor of RHEMA Bible Church, ministers around the world. Known for calling the Body of Christ to steadfast faith, he seizes every ministry opportunity to impart an attitude of “I cannot be defeated, and I will not quit.”

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