For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. -1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13 (NLT)

Endurance runners, thin and frail as they may seem in outward appearance, have very powerful core strength, thanks to training that lets them persevere long distance running. Their bodies have been trained for long distances of punishing physical exertion, which would crush short-distance sprinters who can only manage bursts of strength.

As believers, we run the race here on this earth for the Lord, and we must run it light. But to do so, we must maintain spiritual fitness, so that our cores beat powerfully with the overflow of God’s power through us. If we shut Him out by not staying spiritually fit, out cores will atrophy and weaken…and fail.

Is the core of your strength your own, or His?

This excellent Oswald Chambers piece explains it far better than I ever could:

If you are not doing the task that is closest to you now, which God has engineered into your life, when the crisis comes, instead of being fit for battle, you will be revealed as being unfit. Crises always reveal a person’s true character.

Read the rest of his piece »

We are to worship and depend on Him always, not when things are bad. When we don’t, just as when we don’t train our bodies in exercise, we are weak at our core. And it shows when we’re pushed.

We’re here for the long haul, the endurance race. And to succeed, we need God to power us to our core.

Stay sharp. Keep training and thanking and praising in all circumstances, not only when things are tough. And when you do that, God will imbue you with strength and gentleness not humanly possible when the going gets tough…and at your core, you can reveal that it is not your grace and beauty and strength, but a reflection of His.